{grand river hoji ben} one year

it’s been one year since we said goodbye to grand river hoji ben.

{july 7} grand river hoji ben 1

my cousins husband is a fabulous artist and creates beautiful pet portraits of your family pet.

{july 7} grand river hoji ben 2

i had these portraits of ben done for ryan.

if you are interested in an original pet portrait for you or someone you love check out pet portraits by keith.

home is…missing our four legged fuzzy faced old man.

rain and sunshine

It takes both rain and sunshine…

reece rain and lorelai

to make a rainbow.

Meet Grand River Hoji Rainbow, our new black lab puppy! We call her Rain, Rainy, or Sweet Girl…as Lorelai likes to call her.

This was her very first adventure with us…cutting down our Christmas tree!

She came from the litter of tiny puppies that the kids got to hold in October when we visited Idaho.

You’ll be seeing lots more of her.

home is…plenty of rain and sunshine to make rainbows.

 

{31 days} interrupted

{31 days} header

~secondhand and thrifted~

I interrupt this program for a little bit about our weekend road trip. We went to Idaho to see long time friends. We are dog people…namely, Grand River Labrador people.

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Each year, we meet up in a small town in North-Central Idaho to talk and learn about dogs. It’s been a couple of years since we had been. This year, we took Ben and Oak’s ashes up there to scatter in one of the rivers. It was a beautiful tribute to the dogs that have been a part of our lives since before we were married…really, Grand River has been the only constant in our life for 15 years.

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The kids explored…

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…and played with puppies.

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{I bring a thrifted quilt in the car wherever we go…it comes in handy at parks, on vacation, for baseball/football games, the beach, etc. You might also spy one of my thrifted thermos’…for hot chocolate, of course!}

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Eight week old puppies.

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Almost two week old puppies…their eyes weren’t even open yet.

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I don’t think I have ever seen her smile so big.

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They learned about dogs.

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They met lots of new people.

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It was a much needed retreat for heart and soul. I like to call it the “church of dog”.

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I did make a stop at a local secondhand store…

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When I get a chance, I like to stop at thrift stores in the places we visit and bring home something to add to my collections.

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Hoping to spray paint this fixture and hang it near the craft table where we need more light!

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This was the LAST thing I picked up after about 10 rounds around a tiny little store packed with stuff. It is a chip and dip set with a nut bowl…all three for $10. It is GORGEOUS!

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And, of course, another thermos to add to my collection!

home is…{31 days} secondhand and thrifted with a good dose of puppies.

Join me while I link up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days.
Click here to find a list of all 31 posts as they are published.

encouraging news

Yesterday morning, we took Ben to our regular vet after our trip to the emergency vet on Saturday.

We’re going to take everything step by step. Get his vomiting and other gastrointestinal issues calmed down and then re-evaluate. So, for now he is on meds to try to calm everything down in addition to a bland diet. If things don’t improve, come back, or get worse once we start to reintroduce his regular diet, then we will do some further testing.

Again, thanks for all your prayers, positive energy, and offers to help

home is…encouraging news.

impromptu idaho

I mentioned yesterday that we took a road trip to Idaho over the weekend.

Just about 12 years ago Ryan made contact with Mike Gould. Ryan was looking for a hunting dog and had read Mike’s book, The Labrador Shooting Dog. One night when we were having dinner at a friend’s house they pulled the book out, called information, and asked for Mike Gould’s number in Kamiah, Idaho.

Mike answered the phone and Ryan spent about an hour talking to him about a dog. Soon after that Ryan sent Mike a long letter about what he would like to see in a hunting dog. Ryan and Mike talked on the phone weekly, and by March of 2000 we were on our way to Utah on a quick road trip to pick up our Grand River lab, Ben.

Through the years we drove up to Idaho from Colorado multiple times a year. We spent hours driving the logging roads, talking about hunting, nature and dogs.

By 2004 we had 3 Grand River labs. At the beginning of May 2004, Oak (our female) had a litter of four puppies in our garage. We had 7 Grand River labs living in our small house near Cherry Creek in Denver.

One of the reasons we moved to Portland was to be closer to Idaho.

Something about our drives and visits to Idaho make it feel like home.

I’d have to say it is one of my happiest places on earth.

The little guy made his first trip to Idaho when he was less than 3 months old. We have spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with Mike and the friends we have made there.

Every fall Mike hosts a Grand River Seminar in Kamiah, Idaho. It had been 3 years since we had been to one. In fact, the last one we went to I was pregnant and we told everybody there before anybody else in our family knew…mainly because I wasn’t drinking beer around the campfire like I usually do. {I miscarried a month later, but that’s another story}

It was about time to make a visit to Kamiah.

Ryan had been trying to figure out how he could make it work. He was going to fly out there alone. He was going to drive out with Odyssey. He was going to fly out with Reece. Finally after we calculated how much time it would take to fly and drive (from Spokane or Lewiston) we figured we could drive out there in the same amount of time…and ALL of us could go.

So, on Friday night while I took the little guy to a birthday party Ryan packed up food and supplies for our road trip.

We left Portland for Kamiah Saturday morning at 5 am.

We arrived at the seminar (after checking into our cabin at the Lewis and Clark Resort) around 1:30 pm.

The little guy did NOT want to go to Idaho on Saturday morning.

On Sunday morning he did NOT want to leave.

The property that the seminar was held on was FULL of fruit trees…some wild, some planted on purpose at some point.

Apples, pears, plums (we picked 3 different kinds).

The kids and I drove back to the cabin around 9 pm…Ryan finally made it back after 1 am. I am glad he had the time to catch up with all the guys.

After eating breakfast by the campfire we visited with friends for a bit longer and then got back on the road.

The kids earned some new toys for being so good.

We could hear geese down on the river, so they guys started calling.

We left Kamiah for Portland Sunday morning at 11:30 am.

And, made it back home just in time for baths and a good night sleep.

It was well worth the 15 hours of driving for the time spent with friends…new and old.

And, here is my favorite series of photos from the trip.

Our good friend, Dr. Duck, made quick friends with baby girl by helping her with her shoe after it fell off.

home is…dropping everything to go on an adventure with our little family to see great friends.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that the little guy played baseball during a lull in the afternoon. Man, he was hitting the ball HARD and far. All the guys at the seminar were really impressed with his left-handed hitting skills…I think we have an athlete on our hands! I wish I had taken pictures of it…I think I was making a run back to the cabin for a diaper, or down to the store for M&M’s!