Saturday, July 5, 2014

4th of July Adventures with Barley

Barley is terrified of fireworks. I know most dogs are, but watching my 53-lb. dog try to fit between the back of the toilet and the wall is heartbreaking. So, I was determined to make yesterday Barley's best 4th of July yet.

I managed to actually get out of bed when the alarm went off and we headed to our favorite spot, The Holden Arboretum. Barley's learned the new route we have had to take since they closed our usual one for construction, and she was crying and barking like a fool when we were still 5 miles away. She  doesn't get that excited about anywhere else we go.

It was a lovely 61 degrees out when we got to the park, so we took a few of the sunnier trails we haven't really explored since it's usually too warm to not run for shade. Unfortunately, they're doing some work on some of the gardens, so a lot of the trails ended up turning into dead ends, so it wasn't long before we were back to the shady trails.

We love the Pierson Creek Loop, but I just wasn't feeling up for massive sets of stairs and rock hopping across the river, so we just walked the top portion between the staircases. Some time between when we passed the first staircase and when we got back on our return (which was no more than 15 minutes), somebody had made several arrows out of sticks and branches. I made one of the arrows point at the most awesome dog I know.

Usually, we don't spend a lot of time in the butterfly garden because that's where most people who are visiting the arboretum end up. When we're in the woods, it feels like we have the whole place to ourselves. But, we got there early enough that there weren't too many people in the butterfly garden, so we got to see some awesome bees enjoying the flowers.

We saw the biggest frog I've ever seen in one of the ponds in the rhododendron garden. Then we saw another one sunning a few rocks over, but Barley sniffed him and he jumped into the water.

We took plenty of water breaks and posed with Barley's 4th of July bandana. It was so nice out that we got in 4.5 miles without even realizing it. 

Since we've regularly been walking 5 a day, I thought we should try to set a new record with our Garmin GPS watch and we kept going until we ended up with 6.37 miles for the hike.

Bar's pretty proud we set a new record! All smiles!
When we got home, Barley got a bath with some calming shampoo--who knows if it actually worked, but she needed a bath before her Aunt L comes next week anyway--and then we went out in the backyard to dry off while I listened to the Pirates game and Barley ate a Frosty Paws.

We heard our first fireworks around 4:30, but amazingly they don't seem quite as scary when your nose is shoved inside a Frosty Paw's cup! My brave girl played a little bit of tug with me and a little bit of fetch and was as relaxed as she ever is outside until about 6:30. 

When we got inside, I ended the day with an extra special dinner: Blue Buffalo's Red, White and Blue Stew. Barley was so excited that she grabbed the can after our photoshoot and tried to run away with it. I think she was happier when I took it back and emptied it into her bowl. 

Around 8, the fireworks started going off more regularly, which sent Barley running for cover. She spent a little time huddled under my lamp--who knows how she gets in there--and then eventually went under the bed instead, so I got a book and read until I fell asleep, too. Who knew a few fireworks were the key to getting me to go to bed before 1 a.m.!

Hope everyone else's 4th was as enjoyable!

We're linking up with Ruckus the Eskie for Sepia Saturday.


  1. Yay! I'm glad she had a good 4th of July! Congrats on the new record! That's a long walk!

    1. Thanks! I think we have gotten so used to our 5 mile days that this didn't even feel long at all! But we took it easy and had a shorter walk yesterday and today anyway :)

  2. That is a very full Fourth of July! We used our new Thundershirt on Bentley and the change was dramatic! It is worth every cent that I spent on it. If you've never had one, I highly recommend it. I was such a skeptic about it until I bought one and he didn't tremble during a major storm. It is so heartbreaking to see them scared.

    1. I thought maybe if we had a super busy day, she'd be too worn out to be too freaked out. It was the least stressed I've seen her on the Fourth, so I think it worked! She just went under the bed and stayed there--no pace, no shaking. I've thought about a Thundershirt, but she hates every harness I've ever but on her, so I'm afraid she would hate that just as much as the storm! She does tolerate her cooling coat, though, so it might be worth a try. I'm glad it's worked for Bentley!

  3. Looks like you had a great day! Barley's so cute :)

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

    1. Thanks! She was especially photogenic this weekend, but we frequently have lots of bloopers trying to get a good picture, especially when I try to convince her we should take a selfie! :)

  4. I'm happy to see that Barely's 4th wasn't just scary fireworks. :) I hope your neighbors didn't shoot too many off!