To risk their living “fully dog”

Yesterday, I set the boys free.

As so often is the case, that which rarely happens goes ahead and happens right at the worst time.  Hours without a vehicle passing our campsite and within a few minutes of letting Reggie and Roger loose, here comes a pick-up truck!

Roger takes the lead, racing and barking.  Reggie is right behind him.  The two protectors of our home attack the truck menace.

Oh, dear, my little dynamos next to those big wheels!

There go the boys, chasing the truck down the hill, dust flying to match their canine outrage.  How dare a truck go by our home!

Finally, the chasing chihuahuas give up.  Reggie, merely a speck in the distance, turns and looks toward home.  When he does, I step out of his view.

After a few, very long, heart-in-my-throat moments, I rejoice at the sight of my two sweeties running toward home, full out.

Running out of energy but running free!

Recently blogorinos talked about risk.

Risk and the fear that follows is a topic that pops up periodically in the comments section of this blog. Usually the conversation encircles the risks associated with the boondocking lifestyle, but also about risks in general.

The risks to persons and pets are real:

Engines break down in the middle of nowhere, tires go flat, coyotes hunt, snakes bite, bears attack, scorpions hide in shoes, predatory people seek their prey, rocks trip, cholla cacti inflict pain and maybe infection, propane heaters malfunction, roads become impassable with no place to turn around, limbs fall from the cottonwood tree onto the rig, lightning shoots down from the sky, and so on and so on.

The risk of any of these things happening on any given day vary and their probability is very low, but the possibility exists.  We hesitate, consider the risk, and either we succumb to fear or we kick it to the curb.  Of course, often there are steps we can take to minimize risk.

But, ooh, that fear . . .   

Poised to pounce and decimate our dreams.

Every day, mostly unconsciously, we weigh risks, determine if they are real or imagined, and decide whether to take them on or to shirk them.

Yesterday I watch the crew and wonder.

Whenever we go outside, Reggie and Roger wear their harnesses connected to short leashes or they’re hooked to a 30-foot tether.  Although the crew is happy to be walked on leashes or on the tether, they are restricted in what they can do.

There are times when I sense Reggie or Roger wish they could be free.  I watch them walk to the end of the tether, curious to explore a sight or scent, and then they reach the end and can go no further.

I hate that!


Often on this blog I write about living life fully.  Shouldn’t Reggie and Roger be allowed to live life fully also?

Oh, but the risk!

Yeah, the risk.  They could be hurt and I could be hurt by them being hurt.

I guess what we have to do in order to live life fully and to give the same to those in our charge is find the best balance of safety and risk, the balance that suits us in our circumstances.  This will be different for everyone.

There are risks, yes, and there are joys.  

I want Reggie and Roger to live “fully dog.”

As much as I dare to allow . . . .

I will try to keep them from harm while remembering that sometimes, when the situation is right, it’s okay to place a finger on the scale, pressing slightly on the side of risk . . .

Just for the fun and freedom and joy of it.



I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I’m going to let the crew run loose anywhere, anytime.  Our present camp is, for the most part, isolated from human distraction.  Wildlife is scarce in this part of the refuge, probably because vegetation is limited mostly to pale tan grass and mesquite.

The site is very large, flat, and perfect for running and playing.  Yes, there is tall grass that tempts Reggie and Roger to wander off exploring.  I’m using those instances when they stray too far or go where there’s increased risk to train them.  They are learning to return at my call, although, at this point, it’s two steps forward, one giant leap backward for caninekind.

Another point:  It’s easy for me to say “Live life fully!” when I have good health, mobility, state of mind, and resources.  I didn’t write this post to encourage people to “throw caution to the wind,” but to think about making the most out of life, whatever the personal circumstances and limitations may be.  I’m interested in reading what you have to say about living a fulfilling life.

Today is Valentine’s Day!  

To each of my readers I say thank you and send you my love.  I’m going to try to stay out of comments, hoping you will feel welcome in our “family room” and enjoy listening and talking with each other.  — Sue


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74 Responses to To risk their living “fully dog”

  1. milliehubbard says:


    • rvsueandcrew says:


    • Stephanie Turner OR says:

      Congrats Millie! I was trying!

      • milliehubbard says:

        The “math” is the biggest challenge!! Waiting while the page loads…”did I make it this time?” most days it’s Noooo, but I’m always glad to see how many of us sit waiting for that new post notice to arrive in our mailbox

  2. Stephanie Turner OR says:

    What a great topic. Will wait to write more to see if I can come in number 1.

  3. Anne in GA says:

    i love that you used my “family room” description. i’m getting to wander over now.
    happy heart day.

  4. Tara from the Pac NW says:

    Beautiful post Sue! thank you, one to soak up and ponder.

  5. Anna from NC says:

    Not much time for an in-depth reply but I loved this post…..always weighing risks with most of what we do.
    Love those boys of yours. I am most careful with my two little dogs and tell my husband I’m more cautious with them than I am with myself!
    My pups are precious to me as yours are to you.
    Gotta go but I’m always reading, rarely getting to reply.

  6. Deena in Phoenix says:

    Oh my, you are one Grand Mother…the joy in the boys movements and with each other is a wonderful way to show love is for every day…I love these photos of pure joy…thank you

    Happy Valentine’s day to you, Reggie, Roger and the blogorinos…

    Take Care

  7. Judy in East Texas says:

    Hi Sue and the boys, loved this blog. It really gives a true description to living life to the fullest as well as watching for the bumps in the road. Many years ago I lost my daughter to cancer at the age of 23. It wasn’t sudden and we were given the gift of many months to prepare and say all that needed to be said. She spent many a conversation with me about going out and living life to the fullest as we never know what tomorrow will bring. So I am task to living it to the fullest for the both of us. I am somewhat of a risk taker. To all out there thinking about living the life of freedom just step out there. Take that risk and have a blast.
    Thanks so much for letting me live vicariously thru you until I can get out of this office and visit the world.

    Stay safe out there my friend, Judy

    • Seana in AZ says:

      What a beautiful cause to such a tragic effect, Judy. Every risk is worth it, but then again, you already know that 😊 I hope there are those out there that heed your advice, I know I am!

  8. Barbara CA says:

    your candid introspection is hopeful for all us animals, furried or not

  9. Sharon in MO says:

    Am I second??
    Anyway, this is an interesting topic: how much risk do I want to consider taking? Right now we are living fairly risk-free, but I do miss the days of camping and traveling long distances without preset plans. We had a lot of fun doing that but now consider the risks to my husband’s health and body a little too high to continue. So we are trying to still enjoy life within smaller boundaries.

  10. Anne in GA says:

    This kind of goes along with your post about possible problems, etc. If you wish to delete it, no offense taken.

    My travel plans:
    I have been to many places and hope to see many more.

    I have never been in KAHOOTS. Apparently you cannot go there alone. You have to be in KAHOOTS with someone.

    I have also never been in COGNITO. I hear no one recognizes you there.

    I have, however, been in SANE. They don’t have an airport. You have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to “Sent from my cell phone” from children, family, friends and work.

    I would like to go to CONCLUSIONS but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on
    physical activity.

    I have also been in DOUBT. That is a sad place to go and I try not to visit there too often.

    I’ve been in FLEXIBLE, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

    Sometimes I find my self in CAPABLE and I go there more often as I grow older.

    One of my favorite places to be is in SUSPENSE ! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart. At 70 years of age, I need all the stimuli I can get !!

    I may have been in CONTINENT but I don’t remember what country I was in. It’s an age thing. They tell me it is wet and damp there.

    Life is too short for negative drama and petty things.

    So, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly !!

    Author Unknown
    but words I live by,

  11. Sherri D says:

    Sometimes we have to let go and trust the universe. Most times everything will be fine. Once in a while it will be a mistake. You (not just you, Sue) but all of us, can be as cautious with every little thing and the universe can just make it our time to have something bad happen no matter how careful we are.
    The freedom for the boys, every so often, seems to be worth the risk. Like you said, you are being responsible in when, where, and how you do this. The boys get mental benefits from the jaunt.
    You’re practical. And heaven forbid if something bad happened, you’d realize that something bad can happen no matter how careful you are and you’d deal with it.
    In the meantime, in this instance, the boys do enjoy being crazy now and then.

    For me, I am thrilled when I find a campgrounds that has a dog park that I can let my Dexter off his leash for a bit. It isn’t easy playing ball when he’s attached to a lead, no matter how long!

    AND to be long winded about this, outside of the dogs, sometimes we have to put caution to the wind and just live without living in fear. How sad to live in fear all the time. Life can be so thrilling without being fearful. Being smart, ya, be smart. But don’t live life wrapped up in bubble wrap all the time.

    BTW, been wanting to comment about my dogs. We lost our two old rat terriers last year. My Bitsy went the first part of December and Tipsy went on New Year’s Eve. It just happened that way. They were both in their teens. Dexter is two years old and he seemed to miss the terriers so we just got a mixed mutt puppy for him. Ya, for HIM. It “can’t” be because we had a hole in our hearts from the loss of the two old pals. Now we have Roxy as another camping buddy in training. 🙂

    Ok, hope y’all enjoy my little eBook that I seem to have written today. Happy Trails!!!

    • Dawn in NC says:

      Hi Sherri, I’m sorry about your babies. I love your attitude about getting a new puppy “for Dexter”! 🙂

    • Stephanie Turner OR says:

      Sorry for your loss. Sad day when out wet nose best friends pass. Hope your new crew member is fun and helps relieve some of your sorrow.

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Sorry for your loss. Hopefully Dexter & Roxy can fill some of the void like Reg & Rog do for Sue.

    • ApplegirlNY says:

      Sherry, So sorry you had to say “Goodbye” to your dogs. I’m sure Dexter is happy that you replaced your pack members with a new friend.

  12. milliehubbard says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day Sue, to you and the Crew!

    Your tale reminded me of our little Chihuahua, Nipper, who in her desire to “protect” her family took off one day down the road chasing after one of the town snowplows, the huge garbage truck type plows, I dropped my snow shovel and went chasing down the road after her, calling after her, thinking for sure I’d find a flattened puppy in the road, but there she came trotting back so proud of herself that she had chased away this menace. I scooped her up, so relieved that she was OK.

    As scared as I was, she was clearly pleased with herself and that moment of being “fully dog” let me see that though small she was mighty!! I so wished that I could let her live that freedom everyday, but living in suburbia with plows, and cars, and neighbors, and other concerns, I had to err on the side of caution and keep an eye out for “safe” opportunities for freedom. Though few and far between they were there if I watched for them. 🙂

  13. Rick & Brock the dog, WA says:

    It’s good you are training the boys to recall. I think it’s a critical command. You never know when they might get off leash or out the door and you need them back in a jiffy. I think you have explained your situation very clearly.

    All to often I find people let their dogs loose with no recall training. Hence the “lost dog” posters on the trail heads or worse. My dog is always on a lead. Given he’s a Pitbull I have to error on the side of caution. However, we’re retiring soon and to a piece of property I hope. I’ll fence it and my dog can run to his hearts content. I look forward to seeing that given we’re in an apartment now. Safe travels to you and the crew.

  14. Jool in N. TX says:

    Sue, you always write so well, making a very good point, but carefully giving consideration to all sides of any given situation. I also like your trick (which I use too) of “disappearing” and the dogs come running back to find you.

    We have five acres in a very rural county, surrounded by cattle ranches, no homes nearby. Our entire property is fenced, about 2 acres of house and yard, and 3 acres of pasture. My dogs get the run of the 2 acres. I cannot count how many dogs, over the years, have been bitten by poisonous snakes – most of the dogs survive the bite depending on where they were bitten. That is a fact of life here, but by gosh the dogs LOVE their “freedom”. (Note: I have all big dogs, no tiny ones – but have fostered many ratties and JRTs). The only thing that strikes fear in my heart is coyotes. My dogs are always all out together, (7 dogs) and not after dark. Also, I think it would take a very tiny dog all by itself to make a coyote jump a 5 foot chain link to get a “snack”.

    Anyway, I’m just rambling, but it is easy to see you know plenty about dogs and when it is safe and when it isn’t. It just broke my heart, however, when Rusty lost Timber. I don’t know if I would ever get over that. BUT!!! Like you mentioned, it is up to us to decide how our dogs live. And Roger and Reggie are absolutely lottery winners with you.
    hugs to all, Jool

  15. Rob, still down by Yuma says:

    My blog showed your post came out 52 minutes ago, you gotta be fast to get into Rvsue’s top 10! 🙂

  16. Terry says:

    Hey Sue, your post couldn’t have been more timely for me. My time to begin my travels is getting nearer and so many things seem to fall into place, while other’s cause me to pause. Making choices, do this or don’t; go there or don’t … there are consequences for every decision. When discussing my travel plans with my grandson Nick (he’s 9) his sweet little face revealed his doubts (his Grammy actually being away from him). I pick him up 2 days a week after school. My job, while I like it, I often feel the window of being there is fast closing. Many clues both internally and externally tell me it’s time. Same with my health. At 67, I still in decent shape. So dear friends keep me in your prayers. I am filled with anticipation and a little fear too.

    • Texas Sue says:

      Hi Terry, my grandson is 11 now but when he was 9 & younger I was doing what you are doing. We were very close & I took care of him a lot. Now he is so busy with friends & activities & school, it’s taken some adjustments on my part but it’s my time so I had to ask myself “if not now, when?” Happy Trails!

  17. weather says:

    As I hope to do a few things while it’s still daylight here, for now I won’t comment on my personal views and experiences in handling life, risks and the balance involved.

    For the moment, I just want to tell you that secretly I’ve longed for the day when you announced coming to the conclusion you have- about letting the boys be free as much as possible.

    Life is short for every creature on earth, whether that life be a day long or many years. To restrict the joy within it unnecessarily is to risk losing precious times one can never recover or duplicate. Brava, Sue, here’s to celebrating moments with wind in all of our and other creatures faces -as we rush headlong into the happiness ahead!

    • weather says:

      My granddaughter and I were talking yesterday morning about the topic of risks involved in our and loved ones’ lives. That discussion began because she’s planning to camp overnight in a snowy place soon. Well, since she knows I’ve done that and enjoyed it, there’s no use in my suggesting she wait until summer to sleep in the woods is there? Haha! Instead we talked about other times we’ve both had concern about risks we and loved ones take, and how those risks have almost always been worth the real outcome.

      One difficult decision I made was to get my son his first bicycle when he was old enough to want one. By then two of my siblings had lost a child after they had been struck by a vehicle in the road. With two nephews that were no longer here, I wanted nothing that could risk my son’s life as part of our experience.

      Thankfully, I had an older and wiser friend’s advice. He was a police officer and had seen the aftermath of risks (both wonderful and tragic), terrible and successful parenting, you name it, as part of his job and his life. He said “Trust me, let your boy enjoy his youth and become a courageous man, that includes courage on both of your parts. Go buy him a bike!” So, I did, and then taught him how to ride as safely and responsibly as possible. He still rides a bike, to and from the school he teaches at every day now.

      God forbid anything should go terribly wrong for any of us doing our best to have and share a fulfilling life. The best we can do is use good judgement about the details the way you do with Reggie and Roger, Sue. One thing I’ve thought about is if I would blame myself if one in my human or animal family had an accident or problem while doing something I’d encouraged them to.

      Really I doubt that I would. They catch a cold, flu, etc. sometimes, that’s part of living and beyond my control. I didn’t cause virus, animal attacks or accidents to be part of life on this earth, I’m not responsible for the fact that they exist. My job, or responsibility, is to give those I care about comfort and joy when I can.

  18. Diane says:

    Every so often my friend’s dog takes off on a run. When it happens she yells “treats” and it stops immediately and returns where it is rewarded with a treat. Smart enough to stop for a treat, but maybe not smart enough to abuse the method by how they get the treat. 🙂

  19. chas anderson says:

    Good for you.You cannot live 100% in the comfort zone or life would be too boring.

  20. Rob, still down by Yuma says:

    Once (down by lake Mead) we we’re out & away from everyone, we let the dog run.

    Two coyotes suckered him into a lunch invite. He chased the little one and the big one came out of the bushes and up behind him. I thought he was a gonner… but then I heard a yip-yip-yip-yip & out of the bushes he came! He’d gotten away!

    It was a reminder…

  21. Dawn in NC says:

    It’s great to see the rocket boys, zooming away in the desert! The joy on their faces is quite apparent. I have found that the older I get, the less risks I take, and I’m not that old! So….time to scope out my horizons and pick some good risks to take!

  22. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    I love your post!!!! You are such a wonderful Doggy Mom. You insight is always right on. Keep up the good work
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you, the crew and all Bloggerinos

  23. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Oh but what fun it was! By the smiles on their faces…they had a blast! Funny to see them running full out!

    Everyone knows you wouldn’t put the crew in harms way. You are aware of your surroundings. Sometimes ya just got to see……what happens off leash! They did good! Laughed at the photo of them racing back!

    No worries……it’s all good!

  24. Jean in Southaven says:

    Happy Valentines, everyone. Raining in Memphis, but not cold. My dogs go out in our small front yard every morning without a leash as their treat for the day. They have learned to stay in our yard and not go near the street. We give them time to sniff and mark their territory before we head off to work. We let them back inside and they each get a treat from the jar. They know where that jar is and what is in it. They all run straight to the kitchen to the shelf where the jar is kept and sit not so patiently. Even our old dog that is on as much medicine as my husband moves a little faster for this. It makes all of us happy and takes so little to accomplish. Dogs are so easy to please. Just give them some attention regularly and you have a happy dog and a great companion. I wish all of life could be that easy.

  25. Texas Sue says:

    Hi Sue, I enjoy your blog very much. You have a way with words and description of travel, you are an excellent writer. I suggest you write a book! I just know we would all buy it… to you & the boys

  26. Pam from Wisconsin says:

    Lovely and profound reflections, Sue.

  27. Calvin Rittenhouse says:

    The pictures of Reggie and Roger running until they’re tired illustrate “living fully” clearly. Thank you for the discussion of risk. I have taken enough risks that I had to learn how to do that mindfully, as you discuss. I have plenty of good stories, and I lived through even my most foolish decisions. I think you do well to take some level of risk in order to let the boys live fully. Per Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

  28. Barb in Florida says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day! Make me a cup of Darjeeling. No milk or sugar. I brought cookies!!! Oatmeal raisin and oatmeal chocolate chip.

    Continuing the tea thing from the previous post, besides the darjeeling, I also enjoy Irish Breakfast & Orange Pekoe. Twining’s brand is my favorite. Constant Comment from Bigelow is my mother-in-law’s favorite & when I miss her I drink that. It’s black tea that’s got some orange & spices. It’s their original tea & really good.

    LOVED to see your happy boys. If they could talk they would say, “FUN FUN FUN!!”

    • Dawn in NC says:

      I feel like I’m having a tea party with you Barb! I LOVE Twinings. I also love darjeeling, Irish Breakfast and Orange Pekoe. Another favorite of mine is Jasmine. And, you have some awesome cookies to go with them! Hope you have a good day and a good cup of tea.

  29. Jan NH says:

    This post made me think of one of my favorite quotes from Hunter S. Thompson….

    “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

    I think Reggie and Roger have this theory down pretty well 🙂

  30. Pat McClain says:

    I have a 14-1/2 yr old who is nearly deaf and getting steadily blinder. He can’t hear me call until I am very close, so a while ago, I got a small metal whistle. The higher sound reaches him and he comes running. Now, all my dogs are trained to come when I blow the whistle.

  31. Jan Johnson says:

    My kids and I talk about that all the time with our pets. We live at the back of a large property so unless our landlord drives over, as he does every now and then, they are safe from cars. We walk the dogs off-leash and they have the best time rooting in the leaves, following deer trails. There is a danger of foxes and coyotes – we have two poms and a beagle – but they have such fun and they stay fairly near us.

    We tried to keep our chickens up but we did lose most of them in the end, but they were miserable in the pen, just frantically racing back and forth in front of the wire. So I don’t have regrets. Quality is sometimes more important than quantity. We also had a cat who chose to live like a wild animal, hunting and roaming the woods. She did disappear one day and I’m sure something got her, but I have no regrets there either because she was so happy and free. She would come in briefly in the winter and then had to get back outside again.

    Those boys of yours sure have fun being free and playing and running. I think the benefits outweigh the risks!

  32. Randall Small says:

    The proof’s in the puddin’. Those adorable pets of yours would make anyone’s Valentines day perfect. Glad you’re here. Look forward to reading you every day. 🙂

  33. Linda in NC says:

    Hi Sue- A thoughtful post. The joy on their faces says it all.
    I do not like walking Hannah on a leash all of the time. She has learned the word “come” but sometimes thinks that it is a game. She is young and full of energy. I have let her off leash in remote areas, and she runs full out. It is such a joy to watch. When we walk on the leash in a new place, she sometimes stops and turns around to see where we are parked. (at least I think so) Life is full of risks and if we don’t take any we can paralyze our happiness and theirs. So we make calculated decisions. That is the best we can do.
    Sending virtual chocolates!

  34. Lauri from SoCal says:

    I agree, the Universe will guide us! If something comes of it, there’s also a wonderful lesson in there somewhere. We may not understand that lesson until much later, but I have faith in the process. Because of my belief system, fear is farther away than it used to be. And in the face of fear we walk through it to find freedom on the other side.


  35. Julie says:

    I’ve never commented before but, this blog hit home for me. I agree with you, Sue! Let dogs live! A smalll amount of risk is what makes living great.

  36. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    This was a good post to get conversations started. Angel likes to run, but we have leash laws in the city, county and community. She did get away from me one day and ran across the street to visit our neighbors who were outside. She has slipped her harness twice, which I still have not figured how, but she stayed there with me. I also had he outside while talking with the guy trimming my shrubbery & I totally forgot she wasn’t leashed but she stayed in the yard. Thankfully, no other dogs were out or she probably would have ended up in a dog fight, seeing as how she thinks she owns the neighborhood. She is not real dog sociable, so we don’t go to dog parks, but go to the city park. So far she has behaved, but most folks are at work when we go.
    She and I do short sprints, but since I am now 70, and have three stents, I don’t need to do a lot of that. Happy Valentines Day everyone.

  37. Linda Sand (Minnesota) says:

    My mother-in-law had a new-to-her shepherd she was training to come when called. One day the dog was within sight but refused to come. So MIL suddenly dropped to the ground. The dog came to see if she was OK. Not a training method per se but something to use in an emergency.

  38. ApplegirlNY says:

    We’ve been busy packing and cleaning the Casita for our trip south. Florida will be 80 degrees next week. Yeah! I do plan to check in on the blog, but internet is sketchy while we’re travelling.

    Can’t wait to have my face in the sun and my toes in the sand.

  39. MB from VA says:

    Good morning Sue & Crew,

    I have been think along these very lines myself. I have two favorite quotes that have helped me make some very difficult decisions lately. One is from a movie. In it, a father tells his daughter that “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather, the knowledge that there is something more important than fear.” And the second is from Face Book. The credit is given to Nelson Mandela. It does sound like something he would say…but as we know…FB is not always to be trusted. 😉 I love it all the same. “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

    Since 2008, I have been very closely associated with some people and animals that passed away. They were either in my care or I cared for them deeply and was involved in their care and well-being in a very personal way. Parents, Uncle, a dear friend, 5 horses, 2 dogs and 2 cats. I was in the trenches with all of them. And we won many battles. But, in the end all but my uncle passed away.

    While many would say that the full-time RV lifestyle requires courage….and it certainly does. For me the courage is in the staying. The MB I like could not leave an elderly family member even though he had “other family” in town. I knew they would not be there for him. As a cousin (on the “other side”) said to me when I was wondering aloud why people seemed to think that I had an MD, DVM or RN behind my name….”You don’t have MD. You have WD.” Huh? “WILL Do”. Yep. From reading the comments over the years,I know many of the people here have a WD behind their names too.

    So, for me…the courage lies in “staying” here because that uncle’s kidneys just dropped to 29% and he will need dialysis soon. And the courage lies in giving this beautiful 6 acres the love and care it deserves. It was where I grew up. It is my inheritance. And it is beautiful. It just needs TLC like the garden in my favorite children’s book….”The Secret Garden”. And so, I stay….for now.

    Funny thing is that when I made the decision to stay here, my eyes opened to the beauty around me and the good things in my life. The property (Brookwood) will be my refuge in the hard times to come. And I will be her caregiver. I am looking into ways in which to use Permaculture and make it into a tiny nature preserve. And, I made a list of things I loved to do “before” and am doing them again. It’s still a grand adventure….just not the one I planned.

    I will be reading all of the comments above when I take an afternoon break. Like you, I am very interested in what they have to say.

    Love to you and the crew from me and mine!
    MB/Brookwood Girl 🙂

    • Dawn in NC says:

      MB, I am so sorry for all of the losses that you have suffered. I am glad to have met you in this Blogorino community. I love your attitude towards choosing to stay when you wanted to leave. Your unlce is blessed to have you. I am glad you have your family property as a refuge.

      • MB from VA says:

        Thank you Dawn! I’m glad I found this community too. Sometimes it’s nice to just share things with people who care….but who aren’t involved in your “real life”. People here listen with a “different kind of ears”. Sue has done a wonderful job of attracting some wonderful caring people to this blog. 🙂

    • JazzLover says:

      Dear MB/Brookwood Girl, it seems you made the only decision you could in staying to take care of your uncle. You would not have been at peace with yourself had you left I think. Now there is a, as you said, beautiful 6 acres for you to love and care for and give you respite from what will be going on with your uncle in time to come. A grand adventure indeed you have chosen for yourself. May you wrap yourself in the beauty that surrounds you and find peace there.

      • MB from VA says:

        JazzLover. Your last sentence brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful……Thank you.

        Have a wonderful day!

        • JazzLover says:

          MB, I am sure you will find the peace you need to get through what lays ahead of you.

          You have a wonderful life!

        • JazzLover says:

          MB, apologies meant to tell you you’re very welcome. You and your uncle are together for a reason which shall become evident as time goes on. You always have support in this wonderful blog of Sues. Keep in touch.

  40. FL/WI Beverly says:

    Hello everyone, I love seeing dogs on a full out, happy run. I have two labs. Both are whistle trained, which came about when I’d take them to the beach. They could not hear my calls over the sound of the crashing waves. They hear that whistle and dash to me, and of course there has to be a reward for their actions…I carry small broken up treats in my pocket and they know it. Folks at the beach are always amazed at how well they come to me. Some days they amaze me, too. We live in small lots with a lot of families. I can throw the toy for them in our front yard and they stay in boundaries fairly well. I have great neighbors that understand the need to give these girls some exercise. I’m with you Sue, on letting them have freedom when the risk is low.

  41. Ken McElyea says:

    Hello Sue and Crew.

    Our dogs are a big part of my family too and I really don’t want to see them get hurt. I also feel that it important to their mental health – to let a dog be a dog and let them run. I can tell that you think about them when making your choices on where you stay so that they will be fulfilled too. I also know how you feel when they demonstrate a complete unwillingness to listen to you. I used to have a dog that was so good that she could have walked along a freeway off-leash and never leave my side. My 3rd generation dog (the same kind of dog, even) that I have now – I do not trust off leash in my own un-fenced front yard. The struggle is real, but no true animal lover is going to think less of you for the occasional embarrassment that they cause us. You’re a good, responsible dog mom and trying to give your pups what they need to be healthy and happy.

  42. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    I am reading this post a day late, and thus, my perspective and thoughts are colored by the horrible school shooting event in Florida yesterday. Sue said, “I guess what we have to do in order to live life fully and to give the same to those in our charge is find the best balance of safety and risk, the balance that suits us in our circumstances. This will be different for everyone.” I think her statement can be applied to the national discussion on guns and mental illness. I am an avid Second Amendment supporter and NRA member. I am also a grandmother with one grandson in high school and one in middle school. My heart breaks for the parents and families of those murdered yesterday. I believe if we give up our guns, it is a slippery slope to giving up other essential rights. But we must find a way to balance our 2nd Amendment rights with our collective desire to protect our communities from crazies with guns.

    A neighbor of mine – an elderly man – said he used to carry a rifle to school, as did many other students, and no one ever shot anyone else. What has changed? Why do we have kids who are so broken they feel a need to break others? What do we do about it?

    Sue, if this is too far off-topic, please feel free to delete.

    • Good point. I’m not an NRA member but I believe in our right to bear arms. Gun owners need to be educated on gun safety and use. Mental illness and guns do not mix. I see folks giving bebe guns and military style toy guns to children for Xmas but they don’t teach the children about gun safety and it’s use…it’s a dangerous weapon and the consequences of it’s use is dire. I’ve been around guns and was taught how to carry a gun when loaded and some gun safety. I never owned a gun myself but when I do decide to purchase one, you can be sure I’ll go to school for safety and safe keeping.

  43. I’m a risk taker big time…I drive out everyday into traffic speeding at 70+ miles per hour never knowing if I’ll get hit or if I hit someone but I do it time and time again, day after day. However, along with risk comes caution…I’m a defensive driver, stay in my lane at proper speed, signal when changing lanes, pump my brakes to make people aware, etc. I drove on L.A., CA traffic for many years in fog, heavy traffic – bumper to bumper, etc. and I managed to survive. As I got older, I stay in the slower lane but some people insist traveling at greater speeds in the slow lane and they annoy me. I drove my sister to Los Angles, CA a couple of weeks ago and traffic zipping by in unfamiliar cities and can’t look at navigator…voice commands giving wrong directions, etc. sheesh we made a couple of wrong turns but we survived traveling the freeways and byways….it wasn’t so bad after all. Trucks can only travel 55 mph on freeway and sometimes it was safer in the truck lanes hahaha. Dogs are like three year olds, you can teach them to stop, stay, etc. but when they see a rabbit or other things to chase, every command goes out the window…so, I leach them up when we go where I know it will be congested or dangerous for them. Some big dogs will attack a smaller dog for no reason….maybe they see small dogs as a prey rather than their own kind…who knows. Dog parks are now designated for small/big dogs due to mauling. Yes, living fully takes risks…lots of it from simple things like using gas stove, electricity, vehicles, even walking on sidewalk or going shopping…never know where the boggy man lurks. Do not be afraid. Risk taking is part of life so enjoy life to the fullest as much as possible and/or let canine be ‘fully dog’ when possible 🙂

  44. ReneeG from Idaho says:

    Wonderful story today! Yes, Reggie and Roger so deserve a little freedom and the feeling of their ears blowing in the wind in an all out gallop! Then back to the lead for their own protection.

  45. JazzLover says:

    Oh boy, don’t you wish you knew what they were thinking as they came racing back to you? Neck in neck in first picture, in the second one I can almost hear Reggie saying, “Hey Rog, wait up, will ya”? Number 3, Reggie telling Roger ” Phew,I needed a break”. Then they go into zoom mode. I wonder if they knew they were not tied to anything or perhaps just thought that “Mom” must have bought about a gazillon feet of tether. Yes, Reggie and Roger should be allowed to live life fully, when you feel it’s safe, it’s only fair. The look on Roger’s face in the last picture says it all.

  46. Tesaje says:

    A lot of wisdom in this post. Finding the sweet spot between adventure and risks.

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