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

Wyoming Day Trip

Some times we take what we call a “day trip.” We just pack a lunch, some snacks, and bottled water to last the day. We usually don’t go much more than an hour drive from the RV. Last Thursday we took a day trip to southeast Wyoming.

Our first stop was Cheyenne which is the capital of Wyoming and most populous city in the state. Because it lies in Laramie County in the southeast corner of the state, it is one of the few state capitals in the country that is not centrally located.

In July of 1867, General Grenville M. Dodge and his survey crew plotted out the site now known as Cheyenne in the Dakota Territory (later the Wyoming Territory). This site was chosen as the point at which the Union Pacific Railroad would cross Crow Creek. The city was named for one of the most famous and prominent Great Plains tribes, the American Indian Cheyenne tribe.

The Union Pacific Railroad brought hopes of prosperity to the region. It played a monumental part in the rapid growth of the city.

Our first stop in Cheyenne was the Cheyenne Depot Museum. Cheyenne was to be a division point before the tracks and trains would head up the Sherman Pass, the highest point on the transcontinental rail line. The Cheyenne Depot building was completed in 1887 with the addition of the clock in 1890. We learned a lot in this museum!

Next we went to the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne which was founded in 1895. It exhibits, interprets, and tells the story of the history of Wyoming in its ten galleries. Here is just a few photos.

Our second stop on this day trip was the town of Laramie, Wyoming. If you are a cowboy fan like my husband, you probably watched the television show from the early 1960s called Laramie. Although the show was not filmed in the town of Laramie, the town has a commemorative plaque to the show. Several of the actors from the show have visited the town throughout the years. The most recent visit was last year and the actors that came autographed a large number of commemorative posters. We got one for free!

Laramie was founded in the mid-1860s as a tent city near the Overland Stage Line route. The Union Pacific portion of the first transcontinental railroad reached Laramie on May 4, 1868, along with a few passengers, and regular passenger service began six days later. By then more permanent structures were being built.

Here’s something interesting: The first legislature of Wyoming Territory passed a bill granting equal political rights to women in 1869. In March 1870, five Laramie residents became the first women in the world to serve on a jury. Laramie was the first town in Wyoming to hold a municipal election. On September 6, 1870, a Laramie resident was the first woman in the United States to cast a legal vote in a general election. There is a monument to these events at the Ivinson Mansion.

While in Laramie, we visited the Ivinson Mansion. The Victorian-style house was built in 1892 by Jane and Edward Ivinson with 11,726 square feet of living space. It normally is open for guided tours, but COVID has closed it down. I would have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the inside. We did walk around outside and took pictures.

Next we visited the Wyoming Territorial Prison. It is a former federal government prison built in 1872 near Laramie. It is one of the oldest buildings in Wyoming. It operated as a federal penitentiary from 1872 to 1890, and as a state prison from 1890 to 1901. It was then transferred to the University of Wyoming until 1989.

It was opened to the public in 1991, and designated as the Wyoming Territorial Prison Historic Site in 2004. It was amazing to walk through reading about different prisoners housed there. If you look at the photos carefully you will find a very famous prisoner that was housed there. A movie was eventually made about him.

Our tickets to enter the prison each had a short biography of one of the prisoners that stayed there. Mine was Pearl Smith. Jack was E. W. Smith. We found E.W.’s picture in the prison. They both look like some pretty rough characters, don’t they?

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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