For those of you who had trouble guessing at our big surprise...yes, we spent M's day off driving up north to Estes Park to visit friends (photos to come later....it's been a long day!) and then looping back west onto the plains to a town called Loveland to meet the newest member of our family: Fred.
It has been a season for dramatic weather, and Estes Park looks good with a little drama going on. The mountains were still snowy, and the meadows a shade of emerald green that I haven't seen in years. That's not even to mention the wildflowers, which were just amazing. I wish I'd gotten some shots of those, but it was a bit of a rush trip.
A shot of the canyon on the way down from Estes Park. Just gorgeous with all the extra greenery!
A little less talk, and a little more action, you say?
OK...I'll end the suspense.
This is Fred. He's a six-year-old basset hound. We adopted him through the High Country Basset Hound rescue.
Our journey to Fred started quite some time ago...two or three years ago, in fact, when we fell in love with a basset hound puppy that had moved in across the street from M's parents' house. We talked about it at the time, and the seed was planted. At the time, however, we had two active dogs, and were contemplating a child. It was no time to think of a third dog.
Not long after we brought our QQ home from China, however, M lost his beloved dog Max to a stroke. It took us all some time to get over that loss, but after a few months had passed we started thinking about our next adoption. For us, it's always about adoption. We couldn't think about buying a puppy when there are dogs out there desperately in need of loving homes to take them in.
The search was, as it happens, a long one. We watched the pounds. We considered a couple of other breeds. But in the end, the conversation kept coming back to bassets. One or two that we saw at local shelters turned out to have behavioral issues that we couldn't handle. We needed a dog with just the right temperament both for our toddler and for our Sam. It took months for us to find just the right dog - not too old, not too young, gentle enough to be safe around a little one, but with enough strength and energy to keep up with our athletic lifestyle...the list went on.
The Basset hound rescue did a good job of considering our needs and locating just the right dog for us. Arriving in Loveland, we were braced for another disappointment...but on sight, Fred appeared to be just as he had been described. We both gave him the thumbs-up, and into the car he piled.
The weather did not cease to impress on the long drive back south to Denver. Across the planes and through farm-country, we skirted and dodged a tornado warning. It even looked like tornadoes out there on the plain.
In the back of the car, Fred wondered why he couldn't sit up front with the rest of us, and when QQ was going to share one of her chips with him.
Still scanning the horizon for funnel clouds. I love this farming country - the wide, tilled fields, the vistas, the beautiful barns, the unobstructed views of the mountains in the distance.
In the end, we escaped twister-free and made it home safe with our new family member.
Fred letting himself in the front door for the first time. He certainly wasn't hesitant.
Checking out the latest blooms in the garden, as I do every time we come home. All the excess moisture has done amazing things this year.
My latest peony.
We took the dogs and Q for a quick jaunt in the park before dinner.
Our new hound on the scent.
Back home and settling in for a quiet evening, this is what happened when Fred's short legs met our slippery hardwood floors.
His full name will be "The Dread Pirate Fred", by the way. And his first nickname will be Eeyore, because I can't think of anything else when I look at him. I may give him a popped balloon for his birthday.