By Abby

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Human Epik Journeys

Keeper wanders the tall grass prairie of her home, the mountains in the background

Summer is the time of gopher and mouse chasin', of trips to the mountains and dips in cool, cool streams, of long, long days, of hot, hot weather, drenching rain, waving tall grass prairie, of river walkin' near our home, of berry eatin' and visits and barbecues with strange new people . . . . and deer coming by and coyotes howling.

It's a great time to be a Golden Retriever on the Canadian prairie. 

Scaring away villians . . . .

So, Keeper and me, when Rick is gone to some place called "work" and Carol is busy doing stuff, we go out into the field.

And I like to lay out in the field, the wind waving the tall grass around me, listening to the birds hiding in there but just listening, listening for the things that move in the undergrowth and the one's that are crawling in their tunnels in the ground.

I can lay out there for an hour or more, looking around, listening . . . . . and then pouncing!!!

 . . . . . and digging.

. . . . . . and finding things in the ground and chewing them up and sometimes swallowing them.

Keeper just brings those things back to Carol . . . . but Carol doesn't seem to like presents like that as much as you might expect. 

Abby listens for mice amid the flowers at her prairie home

Abby cools down . . . .


This is a pretty peculiar turn of events but we do see the neighbour cats sometimes and chase them up trees and fenceposts but we really haven't had a cat hanging around with us since Gretz The Neighbour Cat.

Fortunately, Polly kind of doesn't like us even though she hangs out with us and therefore she doesn't ambush us in the tall grass like Gretz used to do.

And Rick and Carol are always with Polly when she is outside on account of something they call "her disability."

I guess Polly is alright except Keeper and me are kind of scared of her . . . . or better to say we keep out of swatting range.

But still she follows us around sometimes.

Abby shares the shade of a lilac with Polly

Keeper watches for villians as the Rockies poke their heads through the clouds in the background.

There are times we leave where we live and go driving with Rick . . .

Sometimes we go just a little ways away and get out and go walking in the river, down the middle for the longest while. 

Rick throws rocks for me to bob for but Keeper doesn't bob for rocks.

I like to swim and Keeper swims sometimes too but mostly she likes to investigate the shore.

Other times when we go driving we go to a park not so far away and go walking up and down hills and in the deep forest and it takes hours and hours to go all the way around and then we get to drive back very slowly, even in the cold time, with the windows down so we can look out and smell the smells and see the sights.

A massive prairie thunderhead builds behind Keeper

Other times we go for even longer drives, out to the mountains, spending all day on long, long hikes around lakes and up to lakes or along creeks.

Keeper and I smell strange animals sometimes and Rick says we had a bear encounter once, except the bear walked behind us and Rick didn't tell us until afterwards.

These might be the funnest walks of all because it is so unlike our prairie home and . . . . . there are lots of squirrels!!!

But we've never caught a squirrel. 

They climb trees you know and Keeper and me can't climb trees. This is very frustrating at times. They taunt us and yell at us.

Polly at sunset

Abby on guard over the valley . . . .

But then we come home again to our place on the prairie, with coyotes bothering us sometimes, deer passing by every day and sometimes the big elk herd coming out of the hills at sunset and camping along our fence for the night.

There will always be gophers to catch and mice to dig up, sometimes those terrible tasting lizards . . . . oh, and towards the end of summer, the berries come out, the raspberries, blueberries, Saskatoons and all the other berries in our yard.

That's the best time in the summer, just before the snow.

The end