Washington Wine Country

Wow.  It seems I’m about a month behind on my postings.  Life with Inez has been full speed ahead since I picked her up!  We’ve already been together full time for a month and a half.  Time is surely flying!.  She just turned 6 months old on the 2nd of this month, and she’s really coming along quite nicely.  She’s such a sweetheart, who is so willing to please.  Mainly if you have kibble, but she will work for some cuddles too.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but for those who don’t already know, Eastern Washington is my favorite part of this great state.  I love the dry climate, and the sunshine.  The East side of the state gets approximately 300 sunny days a year!  It has so many amazing qualities, and I spend a lot of time over there each year.  Last month, Inez and I packed up and took off to spend the weekend with our friend Sara, a puppy raiser from our chapter who lives on the east side of the mountains.  We had a lot planned in just a couple of days, and we were looking forward to adventuring around the valley with our puppies!

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One thing that really bonded Sarah and I was our love for Canine Companions and for puppy raising, and the other thing that bonded us was our love for wine.  Did you know that Washington State has a substantial amount of wine country?  It’s true!  Something about the soil, climate, and location make Eastern Washington a grape growing mecca.  It’s pretty convenient for us wine lovers, let me tell you!

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We started the day on the hunt for a pumpkin patch.  It was mid-October and the whether in Western Washington hadn’t been cooperating enough for me to willing risk the interior of my car by going to a muddy pumpkin patch.  This was Sara’s last October with her buddy Fritz before he matriculates in February, so we just HAD to get some pumpkin photos with our pumpkins.  There was so much for our puppies to see.  Many children ran around and tractors drove by.  Both of our littles were perfectly content with the hubbub that this particular pumpkin patch brought with it.

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After our photo shoot at the pumpkin patch, we made our way to Wine Country for a day of wine tasting and good conversation.  I had never thought to take my pups wine tasting with me, and had imagined that the wineries wouldn’t be as welcoming as other business are to our puppies in program, but because Sara and Fritz live so close, they go regularly and are always welcome.

It was the most perfect day.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  It was warm, but not too warm and the sun was shining over the valley.  At some wineries, we could see the whole Yakima Valley for as far as the eye could see.  It was absolutely breathtaking.

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Our first winery stop turned out to be my favorite, and we ended up spending quite a bit of time just sitting and taking in the view, and chatting about life, puppy raising, and anything that came to mind.  There is something about puppy raising that brings people together without any hesitation.  Sara and I initially met through a social media app called Instagram.  Soon enough we learned that we were from the same state, and as fate would have it, the same chapter.  Because she lives so far away though, she doesn’t always make it to class and we usually always miss each other since we go to class on different days.  However, it never felt weird or awkward when we met last year.  It just felt right, like we had known each other for some time and we were picking up where we left off.  Puppy raising is great like that!

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This happened to be Inez’s first really big outing with me.  I really wanted to give her enough time to settle into my routine, living under my rules and in my home, and I wanted to give her time to learn to respect and trust me, before jumping out into the world of outings.  She was a little rockstar.  She was attentive for the most part, though distracted at some times.  She settled everywhere we went with ease and would respond pretty well to her commands.  My trust and faith in her is growing and our outings will only increase in length and intensity as she grows up.

After our wine tour, we headed over to a town called Union Gap where we let the pups run at a local dog training facility where Sara and Fritz attend class.  We took them on the agility equipment and let them burn off any pent up energy from being so focused for so long.  They really loved the opportunity, and Inez really enjoyed the equipment.  Her favorite was definitely the A-Frame, and she spent a lot of time going up and down it.

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The next morning, we adventured to a local farmers market and bakery, and ended the weekend with a bath at Petco.  It was truly a marvelous weekend, and was most likely the last time we would get to have an outing with Fritz in Eastern Washington since Turn in is three months away, and the weather is going to turn soon.  I am so thankful for the time we were able to have together, and I am especially thankful that Canine Companions keeps bringing amazing people in to my life.  I have no doubts this is exactly where I am supposed to be, and what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.

Our adventure in Washington wine country was one for the books, and I can’t wait to do it again!

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