Colorado Springs

We arrived at our next campground a little west of Colorado Springs on July 31. We were staying here for a little over three weeks.

Needless to say, we are still in the throes of puppy training, so we knew we wouldn’t be doing a lot of tourist-y things. The puppies are doing great with the house breaking thing, and their routine has pretty well been established (see previous post).

They still have A LOT of energy and get into E.VER.Y.THING, but that’s what puppies do. If they didn’t act that way, I would be concerned that something was wrong with them. Here are just a few pictures of Ricky and Lucy from the last few weeks for your viewing pleasure. 😃

That bow in Lucy’s hair lasted a whole five minutes before Ricky helped her get it out!

Lucy

Mischievous Ricky

They constantly get our slippers!

We stayed at Garden of the Gods RV Resort right before you get to Manitou Springs on Hwy. 24. It’s an older park close to the base of Pikes Peak. During our stay there, A LOT of people came and went, and there were always a lot of kids. We kept Ricky and Lucy outside in their wire pen a lot. Every time someone would walk by they would almost always say, “OH! How cute!! May we pet them?” The kids in the park always loved to stop us on our walks and ask to pet them.

We decided to take the puppies on their first “day trip.” We loaded up and headed for God of the Gods which was really close to our RV park. Garden of the Gods is a drive thru park with picturesque rock formations that are very large. Many people come here to hike the trails, and a few come to rock climb. We came just to drive the loop and observe nature’s beauty.

That is Pikes Peak in the background (with no trees at the top).

One morning we got up early and decided to drive up Pikes Peak. The road is narrow, curvy, and a steep climb in various places. There is a fee to access the road because Pikes Peak is part of the Colorado Springs Park system.

Anyway, when you pay at the gate, you are instructed to turn off your air conditioner (so your car doesn’t overheat on the climb up), and to BE SURE to stay in the lowest gear when you come down. We had to watch Ricky and Lucy closely as we ascended the mountain because too quick of an elevation change could be hard on them.

We made several stops on the way up to let the puppies out and walk around. We drove a little passed marker 13 which is at the tree line when I noticed they were getting a little lethargic (probably because of the thinner air). We decided to turn around and start back down.😔 The views was spectacular!

Even the wildlife in m Colorado have to wear masks!

“Butt Ox” … Do you get the pun? 🤣😂🤣 I thought it was funny.

Another day we took a drive to The Royal Gorge. I had been there many years ago when I was nine years old. I have a lot of memories of our family vacation to Colorado and The Royal Gorge.

Needless to say, The Royal Gorge was nothing like I remember (the area; not the gorge; the gorge still looks the same 😉). In 1962 one could still drive across the bridge in your car. The bridge swayed a little with the weight of the cars. 😲You could also walk across the bridge (if you were brave enough) for free. My mom and I did not walk on the bridge, but my dad and older sister did. There were several other places you could get a good view down into the gorge without standing on that swinging bridge!

Nowadays, there is a big Visitors Center and it has become all “tourist-y.” 😔You can see the bridge and the top of the gorge from the parking lot. You cannot see down into the gorge without going through the Visitors Center and paying to go out on the bridge to look down. We weren’t going to pay $26 per person to do that! So, I looked around in the gift shop, and we looked at the bridge and gorge from the parking lot. Such a disappointment. Oh, well.

Well, that is about all we did while in Colorado Springs. We are heading to the Northwoods of Wisconsin next, and we will be taking our time to get there because the puppies will need a lot of potty stops. I can’t wait to see the fall colors up there!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

THE BUSIEST FOUR WEEKS EVER!

We have had the BUSIEST four weeks EVER!! About four weeks ago we left Fort Collins, Colorado. Wow! It doesn’t seem like it could have been THAT long. Time sure flies when you’re having fun! We were headed back to the KOA Campground ⛺️ about 25 miles east of Denver for two weeks.

We chose this campground for two reasons: (1) We were flying back to Missouri for one week to visit my dad and other family, and (2) to do something VERY special there. Can you guess what that special thing might be?

You can’t? Well, I guess I will have to tell you. Have I got you sitting on the edge of your seat yet? OK, OK ….

We picked up two eight week old Shih Tzu puppies! They are just the cutest things ever.

Many of you know we lost our beloved Shih Tzu, Zoey, last April (you can click this link to read about her: https://retirementnowwhatdoido.com/2020/04/28/our-sweet-little-girl-zoey/ ). We have been really lonely and somewhat “lost” without her. I am sure that the COVID-19 self isolating thing has had some to do with that “lost” feeling, but we felt lost mainly because we were missing her. Therefore, we decided to get another Shih Tzu puppy. Well, actually two puppies. Here they are:

I am holding the girl, and Jack is holding the boy. Their names are Ricky and Lucy.

We picked up Ricky and Lucy on July 23rd at a small town near Fort Leonard Wood in the south central Missouri Ozarks (it was about a two hour drive, one way, from my dad’s house). The puppies had seen the vet the day before, received their next set of shots, and were given a clean bill of health. It has been a total whirlwind since that day.

Jack and I are not as young as we once were, and having two puppies has been exhausting! We knew it would be, but I guess we REALLY didn’t know HOW exhausting. We stayed with my dad a few more days before heading back to Colorado.

Since we didn’t want to try to fly back to Colorado with puppies that young, we rented a car and drove back. The puppies did pretty good in the car for the two day drive! I am glad we drove because I found out later that substantial increases in elevation might be hard on dogs and puppies. We traveled from the STL area which is about 450 feet above sea level to Strasberg, CO, which is about 5300 feet. Ricky and Lucy were able to gradually adjust to the increased elevation.

Once we arrived back at the RV the “fun” began. We had to figure out where and how Ricky and Lucy would sleep, eat, and play. We set up “barriers” to places we didn’t want them to go until they were house broken. And, yes, we had to begin establishing a routine of going outside to use the bathroom. It was rough going a first, but we have basically gotten them on a schedule with which we can all live.

Now, more pictures!

Here are pictures of the litter Ricky and Lucy came from a few days after they were born. Look at those sweet little pink feet and noses!!

The breeder we found sent us pictures of each dog in the litter when they got a little older, so we could pick the ones we wanted. There was only one girl in the litter, and I just KNEW I had to have a girl! There were four boys in the litter, and it was really hard to chose which boy.

Here are the photos of the girl (Lucy) at about 4 weeks old:

Here are 4 week old photos of Ricky. We chose him because he looked playful and mischievous in these pictures compared to the other boys’ pictures.

Can’t you just see Ricky’s feisty attitude?! What we really did not expect was exactly HOW feisty this little guy was going to be.

The first two days we had the puppies, we began to doubt our decision and thought we might have to take Ricky back. He was SO aggressive towards Lucy! She was constantly shaking after his aggressive playfulness!

We called and talked to the breeder’s husband (a.k.a. the “dog whisperer”) who is very knowledgeable about dogs and asked his advice. After talking with us for over 30 minutes, we took the information he gave us and began letting Ricky know he was NOT the alpha of the pack (we were the alphas), and that we expected him to behave. I am very happy to say that most of the aggressive behavior was eliminated within the next 24 hours.

Here are some photos of the puppies while we were still at my dad’s house.

Of course, Ricky wants to use Jack’s phone! Ricky’s text: “Hi, mom. We miss you, but we LOVE our new parents and home! Love, Ricky 😘

Ricky is on his back, and Lucy is looking up at me and saying, “HELP me! Ricky is hogging the bed!”

Here are Ricky and Lucy in their car carrier on the way back to Colorado.

Once we got back to the RV, we had to “puppy proof” our home. Our goal was to keep them on the portion of flooring that is tile while we are trying to “potty train” them. Here is what the RV looks like all cluttered up with barriers and doggie beds and toys! 🤣😂🤣

Now you have an idea why we have been SOOO busy the last four weeks. I am happy to say the puppies are adjusting nicely, and SO ARE WE!

A couple of weeks ago, we moved to an RV Park in Colorado Springs which is very close to Manitou Springs. We are basically at the base of Pikes Peak. I’ll be posting soon about some of our adventures while staying here.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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