Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Samson's Best Day Ever

Samson and Bailey are about as opposite as two dogs can get. Bailey is big; Samson is small. Bailey is brilliant; Samson is more ‘simple-minded’. Bailey is rambunctious; Samson is all gentleness. Bailey is well trained while Samson is well behaved. Bailey is hyperactive; Samson is the dictionary definition of relaxed.
Since our two dogs are so different, they have an entirely different set of needs. Since Bailey is our more high maintenance dog who requires an hour of exercise per day, she’s been getting a lot of one on one attention lately; getting to go for jogs and hikes while Samson is often left behind.
I’ve been feeling mighty guilty over this disparity so on Sunday Jonathan and I decided to spend some one on one time with our baby boy.  I had heard that Crathes Castle Estate had a few forests trails that were about 4-5 miles long, so that’s where we decided to explore.
At the beginning of the walk, Samson was so excited and pulling on the lead so bad that I’m sure he didn’t appreciate how this walk was different than any other. However, shortly into the walk, we started walking parallel to the Dee River, which distracted this water dog enough to slow down and smell the rabbit poop.

He insisted that he get in for a swim, and since I was still feeling guilty, I obliged him. After about 3 miles of scenery such as this:
we decided to take a breather on one of the many park benches strewn along the trail.
Towards the end of the hike, we crossed a bridge over a fish ladder that helps salmon get upstream and I had to closely supervise Sam to make sure he didn’t jump in after them.
We also came across an old cemetery complete with Celtic crosses and that elusive thing known in Scotland as sunlight.
The drive to Crathes from Aberdeen only took us 30 minutes, and the paths were well marked and scenic, so we’ll definitely be making a return trip soon. On our drive back to Aberdeen, Samson napped in the car while Jonathan and I stopped to take a look around ‘The Mains of Drum Garden Center’ in Drumoak.
Garden Centers in Scotland are vastly different than what you would think of in the States. Yes, they have garden supplies, but they also sell clothes, furniture, gifts, food, etc and also have nice cafes located inside. If you’re ever in Scotland and pass by one of these hidden gems, I suggest you stop in for a look around.
I had a basket full of goodies when Jonathan’s hungry monster appeared, and he insisted that he couldn’t wait to be served at the restaurant and needed a snack NOW. Such is the nature of the hungry monster. I had to abandon my basket and take him directly to the car where I had my secret cookie stash. Oh well, it just gives me another excuse to go back soon.
Since Jon was still hungry when we got home, I made him a peanut butter sandwich with the last of our JIF Natural Jar (sniff, sniff). Since I needed to clean out the peanut butter jar before it could be recycled, I decided to cap of Samson’s perfect day by letting him lick it clean.
Now, Samson is a rescue dog, so I can’t speak for the first 4 years of his life, but I’m guessing that Sunday, the 10th of June, will go down in his record books as the best day ever.

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