My fondest memories are of sitting on the front porch with my grandmother's brother, Uncle M. He used to tell the wildest stories and would whittle with his pocket knife some of the neatest things. I don't know what it was, but the fact that he would sit and talk with me for the longest time intrigued me to fascination. I treasured these days and couldn't wait to go back and spend the time there in the nature and quiet and to be able to explore the various things around the house that once was the home of my grandmother's mom and the 9 kids that had lived there.
These days however, the mosquitoes, bugs, and having to check and remove any found ticks, along with not being able to get a shower each day, makes staying there less than desirable. Inside the house, the lighting is very poor and the walls and floor are a grey hue and make it very difficult for me to see much of anything. I do still like to go visit and see Aunt L as she comes up every year and stays with my grandmother there in the old home place as well. Seeing her reminds me of the days of spending with her late husband, Great Uncle M.
Thus we started our trip early on Thursday morning, which Uncle M came out to our place to pick me up and get back up to Castleton and ready to take off for TN by 8-8:30am. We headed off quickly, Aunt N driving and Rei and I n the front seat, Grandmother n the back seat. Within a few minutes, Rei shifted her position and must have caught her toenail on the tract for my seat and she let out a loud yelp and came up into the seat with Aunt N and I. So we thought to try to see if she'd go into the back seat, which she quickly did and settled down, her head snuggled against Grandmother's leg.
We made our way down through KY, stopping at a rest area and then again in Glasgow for a break and lunch. We really made good time going down, knowing we were on a time schedule to meet up with Erin. We got down there to the home place about 1:30 and was able to visit with the family there for about an hour before heading into Cookeville.
We then met up with Erin at 3pm and Rei immediately recognized her as soon as she got out her car. I let Rei out of the car and tail was wagging so hard she sounded like she was beating a drum against the car next to us. LOL!
Erin knelt down and Rei excitedly licking her and saying hello, with her whole rear end wiggling.
Rei jumping up to give Erin a "kiss" as she affectionately loves to do. :)
After our initial hellos, we loaded both dogs- Rei and Ben, a yellow lab in training as an assistance dog with Erin, into the car to drive the 1 1/2 hr to Knoxville, TN. We ate dinner at a Firehouse Subs, which was a first for me and really good. :)
After this, we went down the road to the park and met up with a puppy raiser for Wilderwoods Service Dogs for Erin to have her meeting with J- Erin is an advanced trainer for WSD and is the manager of the foster family/puppy raiser program there.
At the park we got the dogs out and while waiting for J to arrive, Erin and I walked our dogs, Rei doing leash guiding, around the whole park on the walk path. It did good to burn some of the energy off before we started trying to work with them a bit. J arrived with Hope, a beautiful 5 month old golden retriever female that reminded me a lot of Honey. It was all I could do to keep from reaching out and petting her, but I knew better! LOL!
Erin & J walking with Ben and Hope ahead of Rei and I:
Hope sitting still and looking back at the camera:
Ben with his tongue hanging out happily as he alertly watches the dogs that were walking behind me, thus the direct look into the camera!
After the meeting was over we drove to Erin's house before dark to introduce all the dogs to each other-
Bubbles- standard dachshund
Texas- mini- dachshund
Eden- Golden Retriever/Poodle cross
Ben- Yellow Labrador
The dogs all said their hellos and quickly worked out their pack order.
Ben and Rei wrestling together on the floor, Ben on his back, Rei laying beside him pretending to go for the jugular...
Bubbles snoozing on her bed, a Tigger flip couch for kids:
Rei and Texas wrestling:
Ben laying down and being good, looking at the camera:
Rei happily chewing on her present from Erin- a large nylabone. :)
Erin sitting at her computer desk over looking the dogs, Bubbles asleep on the flip couch, Eden under the desk at Erin's feet, Ben stretched out on his side, Texas in the middle looking for something good, and Rei chewing on her nylabone, the three of them amidst the litter of destroyed dog toys, thanks to Rei.