BrownStone Chinooks is devoted to fostering the excellent health and wonderful temperament of Chinook dogs. Hard-working Chinooks excel in many activities such as agility, obedience, back yard play, hiking, dog powered sports, search and rescue, and as service dogs. The affectionate Chinook is an excellent family dog matching its activity level to that of its companions - be it strenuous exercise or snuggling on the couch.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Decorating with Chinooks

By October 1st each year I usually have my "fall" porch decorations up. I take down the fuchsia baskets and hang my autumn baskets which are adorned with orange lights. Gourds and pumpkins from the garden complete the scene. This year it is still in the 80's and my fuchsia baskets have never looked better. But, since Halloween is fast upon us and I found this wonderful garden gnome, I now have a mixture of summer baskets and fall gourds.
Trask, he who must put everything that fits into his mouth, showed up just as I was taking pictures of my decorating efforts.
 "Leave it"
I ran into the house, grabbed the bitter apple spray and coated the gnome and all gourds. This picture was taken after one lick of a tempting squash.
 My handsome boy.

Koyuk and Cedar joined us on the porch. They checked out the decorations while Trask checked out the fuchsia. 
 It is now officially Autumn.
 "Enough pictures. Can we go now?"
Bitter Apple spray has proved not to be a deterrent. Between Trask, the deer and I suspect racoons, this morning I have a front yard littered with chewed upon gourds and pictures for the memory of my efforts.

Friday, October 17, 2014

McKenzie - Last Photos

This blog is a diary.  Diaries contain both the joys and despair in life.  McKenzie's last day was the depth of anguish but I feel I must also document it as part of my diary for it shows the depth of love we all had for her as well.
The day we made the heart wrenching decision to let McKenzie go to a more comfortable place, Dave and I carried her outside for pictures with the other dogs. She could not stand or walk on her own. The dogs self arranged.  In all of the pictures, they were all touching her.
To help move McKenzie about during her last days I put on her life jacket. It is padded and snugly wraps her body. The handle on top made it easier to help her up and ambulate as much as she could. Before the vet came, Dave insisted on some last pictures. Dave had a wonderful bond with her. She always had kisses, a smile and  wagging tail for him.
McKenzie was always in tune to my emotions.
 Everyone was with her in the end.
I have been humbled by the outpouring of condolences.  McKenzie was a true friend to all who knew her and prominent ambassador for the Chinook breed. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rest In Peace McKenzie

The moment that you died my heart was torn in two.
One side filled with heartache. The other died with you.
I laid awake last night when the world was fast asleep
and took a walk down memory lane with tears upon my cheeks.
Remembering you is easy. I'll do it every day.
But, missing you is heartache that never will go away.
I hold you tightly within my heart and there you will remain
until the joyous day arrives, when we will meet again.

McKenzie - the Dowager Queen of the BrownStone pack is running over the rainbow bridge to join her son Silly Willy.
I so desperately miss both of you.
CH "PR" Frontier Rain Dancer McKenzie, CGC, HIT, NJ, NA 4/29/2001 - 10-14-2014 
Today's rainbow guiding her way.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fall in the Mountains with McKenzie

Ma Nature outdid herself for my annual fall trip to the cascades. The weather was warm. The air was still.  The fall colors were spectacular. I found myself gasping in awe as I drove up the Old McKenzie Pass; hiked and settled in; and every time I chanced on another view in the changing light. 
 North, Middle and South Sister
The Three Sisters Mountains are my sanctuary. I find so much peace and tranquility whenever I am up there. McKenzie has gone to the mountains with me every year of her life. (see previous blog) She has aged significantly recently. Having her with me on this trip was so special. I was not sure she would even be able to make it this year.
McKenzie took a slow pace with some rest breaks on the way in but once there she was able to lie in the sun and quietly spend alone-time with me.
Scott Lake is a favorite lake of mine and this is my favorite campsite. Other than some day hikers, we had the entire lake to ourselves.
Peace and tranquility with my best friend, a (lake chilled) jug of wine, loaf of bread and a view to take your breath away - heaven.
As the evening fell, the low sun rays changed the scene to match the crisping fall air...

and then the full moon rose.

  "Good Night my mountains".
In the morning the tent was coated with a thick layer of frost inside and out. Knowing I could easily dry everything, I had left the rain-fly off and door open to watch the night sky.
McKenzie was the first one up.
Many years ago, when I took my Camp Fire group for their first back pack trip, the menu was potluck. Every one of the girls brought bagels and cream cheese to share. After four meals consisting solely of bagels with cream cheese, they became a traditional Athey group backpacking staple.
The girls gave me this mug. Someday I plan to write a book titled "101 Ways to Use a Bandana in the Wilderness."
McKenzie also had bagel with cream cheese in with her kibble.  (No bandana table cloth but I did dry her bowl with one).
 "Good-Bye" my mountains until the snow has melted and I can come again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Annual Fall Mountain Trip with McKenzie

Every year I take a fall trip to the Three Sister's Wilderness. For the past 13 years, McKenzie has accompanied me. Today I took a wonderful memory tour through thousands of pictures to document each of our trips.
2001 - Six month old McKenzie at the Dee Wright observatory after hiking into Obsidian Falls on North Sister.
2002 - with her first backpack into Mathews Lakes (NW ridge of the North Sister).
2003- More weight and a longer trip into Glacier Way at the base of the Middle Sister.
2004 - On the SE side of the Three Sisters
2005 - McKenzie with Jake on a week long trip into Green Lakes, Moraine Lake and the SW side of the South Sister...
 until we were snowed out by an early winter storm.
2006 - A week long trip along the east side of the wilderness.
2007 - With Willy into the base of the Middle Sister. (North and Middle Sister in the Background)
2008 - McKenzie on the trail. Her red pack is worn through from her many pack trips including our annual fall adventures. 
2009 - At Scott lake after a hike to the snowline on the Middle Sister (North and Middle Sister in the background)

2010 - With Willy and Cedar exploring new trails on the NW edge of the wilderness.
2011 - at the Dee Wright observatory after packing up to Mathew lakes
2012 - A massive forest fire had the wilderness closed. We went up to the Dee Wright observatory and retreated to Scott lake then Belnap Hot Springs.
The mountains are enveloped with smoke and the air too unhealthy to camp at Scott lake.
2013 - Scott lake campsite after a hike up to the snowline on the Middle Sister
2014 - Two days ago - Our campsite at Scott Lake. This trip was actually two weeks later than last year. The temperature was in the 80's and the mountains haven't seen rain let alone snow thus far this fall. McKenzie has aged. I was concerned that a trip up to the top of the Dee Wright observatory let alone the mountains would be too much for her. We enjoyed two blissful days together lounging at the lake. Pictures to follow next blog.