146. A Beautiful Reunion

Reunion Dance GIF from Reunion GIFs Saturday 2/3- Many of you who know me know that once upon a time I was in the military. During a deployment to Iraq nearly 17 years ago (Ugh, I really feel old after saying that!) I got close to 2 battle buddies who I hope will be in my life forever. We were all young girls from MN in a military field where very few women end up and we formed a tight while trying to keep each other as sane as possible during a tough 18 months far, far from home. After the deployment we all ended up back in MN, but only saw each other about once a year. Despite not seeing each other very often, when we do get together it’s like no time has passed and we can step right back into our friendships without any problems. The last time I saw these gals was shortly before we moved down here, and ever since then we always talked about when they would come visit us. That was finally happening! We have been working on planning this for a while, and today was my & Ramie’s d

130. A Pup’s Trip To The Beach

After the excitement of cows in the yard, I’ll admit, we’ve had a pretty uneventful next few weeks which, in turn, leads to boring blogging. If your not sure what we are talking about you can read about it by clicking here ----->Holy Cows

Friday 8/11- The morning started with a turtle walk for Ramie. They found 1 nest this morning and his team is on week number 5 of finding at least one nest on each walk. I wonder how long their streak will last before they get skunked. We’ll be sure to keep you updated in the coming weeks! So far, for Ramie’s 2 walks since I fixed his backpack for the 2nd time, he hasn’t had any issues, so my fingers are crossed that this last repair will last a while!!

I had a normal workday today so nothing exciting to talk about there, which was fine by me given the excitement of the cows yesterday!! This evening Geoff and Tracy wanted to go out to celebrate my birthday, and of course we were happy to go and hang out with our friends for an evening. Since the last time we went out together we had a little bit too much of a good time and felt icky the next day (ie. maybe a little bit hungover) we all agreed that this time we wouldn’t whoop it up quite so much! I just wanted something low key and casual, so we decided to go to the Jolly Roger bar and restaurant for a laid-back dinner. Ramie and I have gone to the Jolly Roger in Quepos numerous times when we were in Costa Rica on past vacations, but we have never been to the location here near Uvita. The Jolly Roger (both locations) are known for their chicken wings and that sounded absolutely delicious to me!! Geoff and Tracy really like their French fries, so they seemed to be looking forward to it as much as we were. We met at their house around 5 and made our way up the mountain to the restaurant. They have a nice ocean view from up there, but unfortunately it was overcast and rainy so it wasn’t as beautiful as it would have been on a clear night. Although we did get to see some very pretty lightning out over the ocean.

Do you see what I see?  No.... Not the cat!
What is THAT doing in the mountains of Southern CR?!  
Always fun times with these two.

I will say, we enjoyed our wings and the french fries were really good too! We had a few drinks and some fun conversation with great company, as we always do when we hang out together. At around 7:30 we made our way back to Geoff & Tracy’s house to drop them off, but we pretty much always tend to hang around for a little while and talk. We had installed a camera in our bedroom again so that we could check in on Skye while we were out, and Ramie pulled it up to see what she was doing. We could see Skye moving around in her kennel, but this camera doesn’t have sound so we couldn't tell if she was barking and crying. We thought it would be best to head home since it had been about 4 hours that we were away and check on how she did this time. Unfortunately, when we walked in the door we could smell that she had an accident while we were gone. When Ramie opened the kennel she ran out of there faster than we’ve ever seen her get out before. Mostly, it seemed like she was just that excited to see us, not because she was scared or upset. Thankfully she didn't have poo all over herself like she did last time, so that was a step in the right direction!! We got busy cleaning everything up, played with her for a little while, and we were all in bed around 9:30. Skye didn’t even fight with us when we put her back into her kennel for bed time. Overall, I have to say it was a good and definitely interesting birthday week.

She spends her time chewing her kennel when we're gone

Wednesday 8/16- Another Wednesday and another walk, They found another turtle body pit (nesting area) and this one was very big about (8' long and 5' wide) compared to the others. It took Ramie some time to find that actual nest location but he was successful. 

The photo below is a perfect example of how he locates the nest. The disturbed sand is the body pit, the actual nest could be anywhere in this location. He uses a broom handle with a slight point on it to push into the sand. When he pushes, it will only go in so far, but when he finds the actual nest the stick will drop another few inches into the open cavity where the eggs are located. You can see in the photo below how he pokes the sand looking for this area. Where the stick is below is the actual nest location and he will dig down until he finds the eggs.

Thursday 8/17- If you’ve been reading along for a while, you might remember back when we first moved into our new house I had to sew cushions for our patio lounge chairs. At the time, Breeze also needed a dog bed and we couldn’t find any good ones down here, so I made the dog bed to practice for the cushions. Since the dog bed turned out pretty well, I was confident enough to do the 4 cushions for the chairs. Well, it’s come full circle because today I made another dog bed. Fortunately, I wasn’t making another one because Skye destroyed hers (she hasn’t destroyed anything that wasn’t a toy), I actually made her a small pillow for in her kennel so she could have one in there and one out in the living room where she hangs out with us in the evening. It’s a little on the small side because we used some leftover foam and small pieces of fabric, but it’ll do the trick. She’s a small dog, and if she needs a bigger one later, then I’ll just make another one for her.

I think this will do just fine!

Its mine, all mine!

Thanks mom and dad, this is the best!

Fabiola also came over today for Skye’s 1 month follow up. Skye is now up to 8.5 kilos (or about 19 lbs) compared to 12 lbs to only a month ago. The estimate is still that Skye will be about 50 lbs full grown. She had the last of her puppy vaccinations today too.

When that was all taken care of, it was time for some human interaction for Ramie and I. Yes, we love hanging out with our puppy all of the time, but we like to get out once in a while as well. Derek & Joanne, a couple that we met through Loren a few months ago, own land up on the mountain where Loren used to live on and have just recently moved down here full time. Loren hooked them up with us a few months ago so we could share some of the things we’ve learned in the last 2 years and we’ve stayed in touch. Now that they are down here full time, we wanted to hang out again and went out for a couple of afternoon beverages and an appetizer to just spend a couple of hours chatting about life before CR, life in CR, and all kinds of things. We agreed that we would have to hang out more often, we always like expanding our Costa Rica network! Before we left today, we remembered to set up a camera in the bedroom so we could see what Skye was doing. We checked on her a couple of times and while she wouldn’t lay down and just go to sleep, she didn’t seem to be freaking out. Well, surprise to us when we got home- someone had broken out of her kennel!! It had been a while since we last checked in on the camera, so it could have been anywhere from just a couple of minutes, to up to 1.5 hours that she was out. We looked around the house and didn’t find any damage or any accidents, so whatever she was doing while we were gone, she was being a good girl.

Friday 8/18- Another turtle walk and more nests. 6 weeks straight and 100% success rate for Ramie and his turtle crew.

Puppies just grow so fast! We don’t know exactly when she was born, but based on when Red and her friends found the pups and took them in, we estimated that she was born right around April 20, so that’s going to be what we consider her birthday. That makes her just about 4 months old. In the not quite 2 months that we’ve had her, she has already outgrown the first collar that we bought for her. When we changed out her collar today, I thought it would be fun to compare how tiny this little girl is compared to our Breeze. She looks like a little kid wearing their parent’s clothes!

I think it's a little too big

Another thing that we’ve noticed with her growing is that Skye has lost a couple of her baby teeth.

Our little bitty baby puppy is growing up and she’s getting smarter too. Ramie works with her just about every day on her tricks and commands. 

  • Sit (Was 10, still 10) She was naturally good at this from the beginning. No issues here
  • Lay Down (Was 5 now 8) She doesn’t do it consistently with the command Lay Down, but if you tap your foot, she will lay down. Not sure how that developed, but it seems to work.
  •  Stay (Was 2 now 4.5) She’s getting slightly better with this one, we make it a couple of steps but she still really wants to follow us. When she does stay, it isn’t for more than a few seconds.
  •  Up [to stand on her hind legs] (Was 8 now 9) She’s got great balance on this. Eventually we want to teach her to “Dance”- or spin in circles when she’s standing, I think we can make her into a circus dog yet!
  •  Shake (Was 7 now 9) Still seems to be one of her favorites. She always wants to shake even when we don’t tell her to. She’ll switch paws with the “other paw” command, but sometimes tries to shake both paws at the same time. 
  •  High Five (This is new 6.5) Similar to shake, but our hand is in a different position. She seemed to pick up on this pretty quickly.
  •  Follow [like heel to walk close to us] (Was 3 now 6) She still gets distracted, doesn’t always stay close.
  •  Roll Over (This is new 1) She’ll roll over on her own when she’s playing in the grass, so we’ve decided it’s time to start putting a command to it.
  •  Ring the Bell [to let us know she has to go outside] (Was 6 still 6) She’ll ring the bell better for Ramie than she does for me. I try to make her ring it before I bring her outside, but she just looks at me like I’m crazy, so I pick up her paw and smack the bell with it so she can get the hint.
  • Come (Was 5 now 9) When I call her with an angry voice (if she’s somewhere she shouldn’t be) she comes running!! She’s so-so coming to Ramie. I think she knows I’m the tough one!
  •  Off [off the furniture] (Was 4 still 4) She’s testing this- she wants to be on the furniture, I don’t want her to be on the furniture, this could be a tough one because SOMEONE in our house wants to snuggle with her on the furniture!

Ramie also noticed this very interesting caterpillar this week. It resembles bird poo, which is its camouflage. The red/orange fork (horns) come out when it feels threatened and secretes a foul smell. We could not smell it but I'm sure any predator trying to eat it would. This will turn into a giant swallow tail butterfly, which surprisingly can also be found in MN.

Saturday 8/19- Today was an exciting day, both for us and for Skye. Today was this little girl’s first trip to the beach! Of course, you just never know how a puppy is going to react to something new, and we know that Skye is pretty much a chicken when it comes to all things, so we weren’t sure how this was going to go, but we knew we had to give it a try, and if we do want her to become a beach dog, we’ll have to get her used to it. 

We brought her to the secret beach where there are plenty of ocean waves that might scare her, but this time of year there is also a shallow river/creek that drains into the ocean here. The water in this creek is very shallow, ankle deep or so typically, and isn’t as wavy and scary as the ocean. Before we even made it down to the beach, Ramie spotted something in the dammed-up logs behind the impassable bridge. This critter was completely unexpected, we didn’t even know they were here in Costa Rica!!

Hi! What ya looking at? Never seen an otter before?

Who knew otters even lived here!? And this one is big!! At first when Ramie called me over to see what it was, I thought it was a seal (which I also don’t think they have here) but then I saw legs instead of fins, and quickly realized I was wrong. And wow, this guy was big! We watched it hanging out on the logs for a little while and then continued on down toward the beach. 

We brought Skye to the river first. Yes, of course, she was very nervous to walk into the water. Since there was no one else around and we know she stays close to us, we left her off her leash and just started walking around the beach. Ramie & I crossed the little stream of water and were looking around on the other side for anything interesting that may have washed up recently, and Skye stayed on the other side of the water just whining and crying. We know she doesn’t like it when we get very far from her, so we figured that with a little bit of coaxing she would eventually come across to join us. She did, but she didn’t seem to enjoy being in the water too much.

Once she was across the water, she had fun running around in the sand, jumping and playing. Before long we walked down toward the edge of the waves to see what she would do there. As expected, every time a wave came up onto the sand and got too close to her she would run farther up the sand.

This sand feels so nice on my feet!

The waves are trying to get me... save me!!

Ramie and I walked close to the water’s edge, but she just wasn’t having it. She was enjoying running and playing, but the whole time she was out there she was making that squeaking noise like she was crying. She does that sometimes, I still haven’t figured out what it means. As she was getting more comfortable, we started walking further into the water, still only as deep as our calves, but if she wanted to walk close to us, she would have to come in the water. It was a slow process but eventually she was playing in the waves, very cautiously and only if we were close by, but she might have been getting used to the idea. 

Ooh, this is fun!
I think I changed my mind.
Mom! I'm Scared!!

We played with her in the water and made her as comfortable with the whole situation as we could. We only stayed for about an hour before we figured that was enough for Skye on her first go at the beach, so we packed up and headed back home. I do think that if we keep bringing her back to the beach she could get used to this and become a beach dog. Now we just have to make a point to do this with her!

On the way home we decided to stop at the cute little One Love Café in Dominical to get some coffee, and wouldn’t you know it we ran into the painter who we bought a painting from about a year ago. He had all of his painting set up for sale again, we found 4 that we liked, packed them up, and then went to get our coffee.  Unfortunately their baker is away so Ramie didn’t get his giant cinnamon roll and I didn’t get a gluten free brownie. 

The turtle and the toucan are new. The Heliconia was originally in our living room and we moved it to our bedroom.

We placed this one in the living room where the large Heliconia painting was originally
The frog went into the guest bedroom.

The artist does sell his canvasses unframed as well, so if you are ever visiting and find something you like you can roll it up and bring it home in your suitcase, then get it framed once you're back home. 

This was Skye’s first time at a restaurant, another first for her today! She couldn’t sit still at all! There were other dogs around, too many people, and she was just over-distracted. We drank our coffee and headed home. 

Once we were in the car, the exhausted little dog crashed!

At home Skye got a bath, but she didnt do much of anything the rest of the day. I guess all that fun in the sun wore her out.

We were home early enough that I still had time to do a bunch of baking for the week (and for the freezer) and still have time to relax in the pool!

Wednesday 8/23- Another Wednesday and another beach walk with more success. This is definitely prime turtle season and Ramie and his partners are always so excited when they find a nest. They know eventually their luck will run out and there will be a day when they don't find a nest. When Ramie arrived home he couldn't sit around long, the contractor that installed our wall was sending two guys over to pour some concrete stairs to our lower property. We had some leftover cement and rock mix from the wall project and we thought that the cost of the additional labor would be money well spent.

Ramie had made some makeshift stairs about a year ago to get us by but we needed something better. The ones Ramie did were starting to loosen up and crack with all of the rain and weather we have here. The guys showed up and got to work, first removing the cement Ramie had done, then digging out the hillside. They finished up around 2pm just as it had started to rain. They covered the fresh concrete with plastic and left for the day.
New and improved!
Pura Vida!