We were both falling deeply in love with our creek. My feet were getting worse and I was headed for foot surgery. I was grateful that she would go and explore on her own and come back to whatever rock I was on. It was exasperating, hiking her all out for over an hour, she'd come back to the the car and dash off into a vacant field chasing bunnies for another hour! SO much energy!
Mabel and my bestie's lab, Sarah Jean, were constantly together. Sarah helped with Mabel's training and got as exasperated with Mabel as I did! Back then, you couldn't hike right by the water. There was a natural rock levy. Sarah Jean and I would hike along on the top of the rock levy. But we couldn't move fast enough for puppy Lou! And she just loved to splash and be in the river. So as we moved forward down the stream, Mabel Lou would run up and down, up and down the face of the levy... about a 5 - 6 foot drop into the river. She just had boundless energy to spare. Several times a hike, Sarah and I would look at Mabel, look at each other and roll our eyes!
I'm including this pic for the Creekerati ( my pet name for the people and dogs in our pack). Many of them have heard me talk of "Volkswagon Rock," a HUGE boulder that was in the stream bed back then. The perspective is off in this pic but that's the rock behind Sarah and Mabel! It really was the size of a car! And the one in the foreground is nearly as large. Both washed away in the '05 flood!
I took so many pics of Mabel in the stream that spring and summer! That's when I landed our first CreekHiker logo out of sheer luck in timing! Mabel was terrified of deep water...thanks to me. My pool is deep and I always feel the need to make it perfectly clear to any new dog how to get out of the pool. Which means getting them in the pool! I throw them in and show them the way out... very dramatic! Mabel actually cut a path behind some shrubs to avoid running near the pool!
Mabel made her first flight to Louisiana to visit family that summer. I didn't take many pics of her there but I do love this one. We put her in one of my brother in law's kennel runs for a family event. She was NOT happy! But she was trying so hard to be cute!
I had foot surgery that October and was in a wheelchair quite a while. I took no photos of the girl between summer and Christmas! We spent Christmas here...just the two of us as I was still recuperating and trying to learn to walk again. Here's Miss M opening her gifts:
By Spring of '04, my sister's breast cancer had returned and she and my mom came to live with us for over three months! Mabel was the buffer between all of us. She kept the peace and loved us all through it! My sister and I would leave very early every morning for the 150 mile round trip to the proton radiation center. Many days we would return to find Mabel and Mom like this:
And I think that's when I officially gave up the "No Dogs on the Sofa" Rule! Thanks Mom!
My sister would often sit by the pool and Mabel would lurk near by. I'm certain she knew how sick her auntie was. Mabel would always watch over her outside.