Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Week at Au Train and One Determined Puppy!

About mid-March of each year, when Winter seems endless and Spring as elusive as a moonbeam, I begin counting the days before we go to Au Train.   In the upper peninsula of Michigan, snow pack lingers far into May, but by the end of June, even in a year such as this, it has given way to wildflowers and lush green countryside.   However, because so much of Lake Superior froze this year, swimming is unthinkable, and even in a kayak, the cold permeates the floor and sends a chill through your body.  But Au Train Lake and the Au Train River (on which our cabin is located) are surprisingly warm.

I was hoping to get Zak swimming this week and we certainly tried. He is able to paddle to shore, but not yet brave enough to willingly lose touch with the ground.   We'll get there.   It was a relaxing week, with lots of time to sit on the deck,  hang out at the beach and explore the backroads.   We've been vacationing there for years, but now we are 'locals' so we figured we'd better get to know the area!

Princess rides home in style

If our week at the cabin was relaxing and uneventful, our trip home was anything but.   Zak has gone on several trips this year already - to the Twin Cities, to my friend's lake cabin over Memorial Day weekend - and done well in the car.   I decided that I'd rather have his wire kennel along this trip, so I left his travel kennel at home.   That was a bad decision.   On the way over, a couple of things happened that freaked him out.    We drove through a pretty intense thunderstorm with pea size hail (which sounds VERY loud on the car roof) and, taking state highways rather than interstate, we hit a lot of rumble sticks.   Like Dee Dee, Zak has a zero tolerance for rumble sticks! He felt that the only safe place to ride was in my lap, and THAT was where he determined to sit!   This didn't start until the last 100 miles of our trip to the cabin, and I was able to push him back with my hand, although it was hard.   He is 31 lbs; very strong and very determined!

So, for the trip home, I decided that he'd ride in the kennel in the back seat.   I thought that if I got it through the door flattened out, I'd be able to assemble it inside and it would fit on the seat.   It didn't.   Tim folded it up and made a barricade between the front and back seats by tying it to the headrests. It took Zak all of two minutes to figure out how to get under it. I stopped to plug holes several times, but he managed to find a way over, under, around or through every barricade. He wanted to be in my lap, and was determined to get there.   I had to pull over five times because he had gotten himself stuck between the door and the seat.   He nearly strangled himself when I leashed him to the kennel.  I was becoming far too distracted by his theatrics, and finally gave in and put him in the front seat.   I knew he would try to get into my lap, and he did, but when I shut off the AC vent in front of him, he finally settled down and rode reasonably well the rest of the way.    The girls slept nearly the entire twelve hour trip home, whereas Zak didn't take so much as a catnap.   He was exhausted when we got home, curled up in his kennel and went right to sleep.  

We are going back to Au Train for another week in August.   Needless to say, the travel kennel will be going with us!
Sunset over the Au Train River


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