A window into heaven

Last month I spent two glorious weeks in Colorado, hanging out at a cabin neatly tucked away in one of the wrinkles of the San Juan mountains near Durango. As an extra bonus I got to keep Bonnie, my future hearing dog for those two weeks as well. Up to that point I was still unsure if I had what it took to keep and care for a dog, but we had such a great time together that I was really encouraged and more confident than ever that she would complete her training and soon become my dog for good, maybe by Christmas time.

Snowing at a Cabin in Colorado

It was snowing but this was the best kind of snow: one that doesn’t stay on the ground!

I was really nervous the first night Bonnie and I spent together, almost convinced that I would wake up in the morning to all kinds of love droppings on the carpet that I’d have to clean up, or that Bonnie would completely freak, jump through a window and run to destinations unknown, never to be seen again.  But she behaved near perfectly, almost like she understood I was new to all of this.

American Alsatian wearing a vest

Morning time with Bonnie!

As each day went on things got a lot easier, and I began to fall into a comfortable daily routine.  I’m typically a homebody who rarely likes to leave his man cave, but Bonnie forced me out of my shell, and my usual routine literally changed over night: instead of staying up till 2AM, I went to bed early and got up early, went out for morning walks, enjoyed coffee by the pond, and even talked to some of the guests that were staying in other cabins.  Just the routine of walking and feeding a dog seemed to stabilize my life and kick me out of those unhealthy, sedentary habits (like sitting in front of a computer all day).

Dog exploring cabin grounds

I think I heard a bunny!

After a few days I began to explore the area more, including taking a day trip to Silverton, one of the most picturesque old mining towns this side of Colorado.

Main Street in Silverton

Main Street in Silverton

I was a pleasure to take Bonnie everywhere I went, but our day trip to Silverton was probably the best.  This is where the famous Durango-Silverton train stops, but I opted to take the drive from Durango to Silverton instead, and I’m glad I did.

The road to Silverton, traveling on the Million Dollar Highway

The road to Silverton, traveling on the Million Dollar Highway

I took a leisurely drive just outside of Silverton and found a small park for Bonnie and I to hang out at.  The views of the valley here leading into town were incredible.  I could have stayed in that spot all day.

American Alsatian dog poses in front of mountains

Yep, I think I’ll build a doghouse right here…

All in all, it was a great trip, giving me plenty of time to unwind, experience life with a dog, and get just a little slice of the dream life that I’ve always yearned for: a place in the mountains with a faithful, wolfish looking dog, and of course, good pizza.

Snow capped mountains and lake near Surango

I think I’ll live right… there…

You can check out the rest of the photos I took at Flickr:

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11 Responses to A window into heaven

  1. Maeve June 29, 2014 at 6:25 PM #

    Frank, it was wonderful to hear how well you and Bonnie got along – she really would be the best Christmas gift. Will keep some prayers for you that all keeps going according to plan.

    Amazing pics, BTW

    :-)

    • Frank Swift June 30, 2014 at 1:28 PM #

      Praying too, she’s doing very well with the training, so the only real hurdle here is that she produce a litter to further the breed. Hopefully all goes well at the end of summer and she’ll have puppies of her own this fall.

  2. Judy June 29, 2014 at 9:03 PM #

    Oh Frank it seems that Bonnie is a perfect companion for you. She is gorgeous! :) Our beloved pups have a way of helping us sometimes change ourselves. I hope we get to meet her if it all works out.

  3. ava June 30, 2014 at 6:42 AM #

    bonnie and clyde on a million dollar highway from doctor queen’s back to their gingerbread house :) bang bang!

    • Frank Swift June 30, 2014 at 1:27 PM #

      It sounds like an area Bonnie and Clyde ran amuck in, doesn’t it? Though they didn’t the area is known for another popular outlaw: Butch Cassidy!

  4. DarthW July 1, 2014 at 10:48 PM #

    What a great dog and a great place to boot. I have cats right now, but so look forward to having a big dog again someday…..after the cats are gone….not that I’m necessarily in a rush to have the cats die……but they simply don’t contribute to the household….but my male cat is quite loveable…….still I can’t wait to get that dog someday.

    • Frank Swift July 2, 2014 at 12:30 PM #

      Some dogs are good with cats, my particular dog grew up with animals so he can socialize well with cats. It really depends on the dog. I think cats are easier to take care of, but there’s something about the bond between man and dog that they just can’t compete with, even when I’m cleaning up the doodoo.

  5. Harry July 5, 2014 at 9:55 PM #

    I have been living with the assistance of a border collie/choco. lab mix, increasingly depending for ten years. She is amazing, virtually brilliant and easy to train, mostly to pick up things I drop, above all, to reduce danger to me of bending over, and getting things for me, and acting like a tight rope walker’s pole, to assist in balance, like a self propelled bannister, sort of. Very obedient, amazing. Your dog looks intelligent, so should work out, and if memory serves, Alsatians are working dogs of some good intellect, so I suspect and hope all works out with Bonnie. I happen to live at 10000 feet, in a similar area, not quite as rural but still quite rural, and fully mountainous. See views nearby from this location, live: http://www.coppercolorado.com/winter/the_mountain/mountain_webcams/Excelerator/index.html
    Needless, that is a webcam view, as about the last place I could navigate in my physical condition. But where I live nearby is pure heaven, every day. Should you wish to communicate, just email on the enclosed one, privately, as opposed to the blog.

    Glad to hear your pleasure at the high country, it is astonishing, in the most part, especially if you know where to go, and clearly you picked a great spot. Your photos are wonderful to behold, thanks for publishing ’em.

    • Frank Swift July 6, 2014 at 1:15 PM #

      Thank you! Her training has been going very well, so hopefully by Christmas she’ll be mine. I’ve been close to that mountain last fall too, gorgeous area!

  6. T.Smith July 30, 2014 at 1:51 PM #

    Colorado has two seasons, an two seasons only … July 4th and winter!

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