Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rivers News 6/25/2006

Hi gang, Rivers here.

We were all camped out in the garage with Mike and Mary enjoying lazy Sunday afternoon. We were watching “Due South”. Well, I was not watching, but I was listening when all of a sudden there was a loud boom of thunder and I heard Tundra bark. She told me that she was barking at a flash of lightning that hit very close to the house. I heard the rain and then hail fall from the sky.

I heard Mike put some rain gear on and then went outside to check. He took Lakota with him. When they returned, Lakota told us that they checked the property but there was no damage. There were no trees down or damage to Mary’s flowers. Even the corn in our garden survived the rain, hail and wind. Mike was making comment about watering the lawn this week. Guess he does not have to do that now after that cloudburst I heard we just had.

The girls never experienced anything like that before and they were sure yapping about it. That made it really hard for me to get my PM nap!

Since the Iditarod picnic was last Saturday, yesterday, many of our friends from outside Alaska were visiting. Our good friend Pat brought two of her friends, George and Mary with her and they, with our Mary, have been doing some sightseeing the last few days. While Pat has been to Alaska several times, George and Mary have not and our Mary has been playing tour guide.

They all went to the picnic but Mike did not. He had to work the Anchorage Saturday Market with his publisher. Mike told me he had a fun time in Anchorage and met a lot of nice people. Several that he meet had purchased our first book and were unaware of the second, or this newsletter, or the web site, or Blog. So they were very happy to find out all of that good info.

Our good friend Sky Queen from GA came a visiting and brought us some treats and Mike some Vidalia onions. I am not too high on onions but these smell super. Mary scrambled some of them into some eggs this morning and they sure smelled great. Nope, we had our pig ears and left the eggs to Mary and Mike.

Several of our friends dropped by our home on Friday PM and Mary fried up some halibut in the garage. Our good friend BEA came by with her friend and co-ITC comms volunteer, Andi. Keith dropped by to give us an update on his quest to run the 2008 Iditarod. Pat, Mary and George also came by. So did June P. and Donna Q.

Donna was very happy because she just closed a deal on some property up north. She gave Mike a book about grilling steak made me drool as Mike read some of the recipes to us. Unfortunately, Mike is not permitted to cook until he retires! I guess that is a deal he has with Mary. I think I heard them talking about Mike brings the bacon home and Mary cooks it! All of our friends spent some time in the garage with us and we had fun partying with them. Even Stormy, who is normally very shy, was letting Donna pet her and took some treats from her.

Speaking of Stormy, she had her own adventure last week. Mike and Mary made
their annual trip to Seward and took Stormy with them. This was first time that Storm ever traveled so far with Mike and Mary. She had a big travel crate and pillow in the back of the truck so she could move around a bit and look out the windows.

Stormy told us that the weather was colder when they stopped for a potty break in Turnagain pass and it was rainy in Seward. Mike walked her up and down the harbor trail by the beach several times and she said there were all kinds of new and interesting smells there. Mike took her to the Japanese friendship pagoda where some of Aunt Sandy’s ashes are spread. Stormy said she felt the peacefulness of the spot. Even the birds sounded different, she said. She told us that there were seagulls screeching all over the place. Seagulls do not come by our home since we are not near the water.

On the way home they all stopped at a place called Portage and got some chow. Mike walked Stormy just around the lodge and ran into some steaming bear scat. That means there was a bear near by. Stormy told us she was a scared, but stayed on alert to warn Mike if she heard or smelled the bear close by. Good girl, doing what a Husky is suppose to do, take care of her musher. While she had a great time, she was glad to get home.

Mike got a chance to check out his new presentation at the Iditarod Teachers Conference last Friday. He has one that he does called “Young Writers Workshop” and another he does about sleds, dogs, mushing and how it is for me to be blind. He normally does that for the schools. Some times I go with him.

The new one is called, “Life with a Blind Dog”. Too bad I cannot see it, but BEA has and she told me that Mike did a good job talking to the teachers about how his life with me has changed not only his life but the lives of a lot of other people also. BEA said that the teachers really enjoyed it. I did not know Mike likes to talk about me. BEA told me that the presentation has a lot of great pictures of me. Hmm, maybe they will invite him back to next year to do the Spring and Summer Iditarod Teacher’s conferences.

Mike and I had a chance to talk about this and I was dumfounded that my story has helped so many people. I guess many people have told Mike that and he decided my story would make a great presentation that could help others. Gee, kind of humbling for a simple tail waggin’ country dog. Mike also mentioned that he was going to use one of the photos on the cover of Book 2 once we do a reprint. It seems that the covers of Book 1 and 2 are too similar and people don’t realize there are two different books. Another photo of me will be used on Book 3, which Mike hopes to finish and have out by August 2008. Yes, he realizes that it will be nearly 5 years between Book 2 and 3 but his work scheduled changed and he does not travel as much anymore, so he has little free time to write. Mike told me a little bit about what he has in mind for Book 3 and, well I guess you are going to have to wait for it just like me.

Wow did I bark a lot in this one! All of this barking makes me tired so once I eat some chow, it is naptime. Yes, the life of a retired racing sled dog, Eat, sleep bark and collect ear rubs!

Take care


PS. Lakota says hi and is doing very well. He thanks all of your for the prayers and good wishes you sent his was after his operation and his bout with kidney cancer!