“I’d like to go Nelson,” Kathy, my best friend, announced on a dog walk one day having never been there.
“There’s a writers festival there coming up,” I said.
“Lets take the dogs for sure. I enjoy myself so much more knowing Sparkie is having a good time too,” she added.
“I feel exactly the same way.”
Nattering our thoughts out loud at the same time, we batted around details and possible dates getting excited about the idea. Kathy was such a good, comfortable friend. No pretense at all. No inhibitions between us.
The date was set for a July weekend. Kathy picked Brinkley and I up, with all our gear bright and early Thursday morning. We planned to have a picnic about half way and each packed a great pickins to share.
Pulling into a rest stop in Midway with a clean looking outhouse for us girls, it had a matching picnic table plus a babbling brook to water the dogs.
“I brought nachos,” I announced.
“I have cherries.”
The dogs roared over the river rocks, slapping through shallow water as we lunched.
We arrived at Nelson at suppertime after ten hours of traveling, and checked into our pre-booked hotel room. It was great they allowed dogs.
Brinkley and Sparkie had grown up together. They were 5 now, and more mellow but still happily rumbled together.
“You will be charged an additional nights stay for any noise complaints we get regarding the dogs,” the hotel clerk was obliged to tell us.
“That’s fine.“ We eagerly unloaded amazed at what two women and two dogs need for three days. Once settled in, we headed for the dog park google said was close by.
The park was beautiful. A wide gravel path ran between the Nelson airstrip and the lake. A chain link fence provided safety from the landing strip and there were mini peninsulas’, like teeth in a comb, that sported a beach on every one.
The dogs ran and swam, frolicking with each other, inviting every other canine to join in, of which there were plenty. We stood chatting with other owners learning more about Nelson.
Once the dogs were tired and back in the hotel, we splurged with a lovely steak dinner for ourselves. All were bushed by 8 pm.
Brinkley liked sleeping on Kathy’s bed just because. And Spark was on my bed. That was the thing with us and our dogs - our beds were interchangeable to them.
The dogs were calm but ever alert to our rustling bags as we wound down.
“I brought ear plugs for you. Apparently I snore like crazy, especially if I’m tired,” Kathy said, “like tonight.”
“No worries. You haven’t heard Brinkley.” We giggled.
Finally comfortable in our own way, I turned the lights off hunkering into a movie. It was quiet and pitch black except for the blue glow of the TV. Just how a hotel movie should be.
Kathy was right and by the second commercial she was out like a light, sawing old growth cedars. I turned up the volume a notch.
By now, Brinkley too was starting to weeze a little on the exhale. I gave her a Gravol to help konk her out because when she gets over exhausted, she’s too anxious to sleep.
She was still on Kathy's bed but unbeknownst to either of us, my beagle had nestled her way under the blankets on the far side, head on the passenger’s pillow. I laughed at the site when I noticed and went back to my show. A little while later, Brinkley got a louder. The Gravol was kicking in.
Kathy was still at it herself, and it was fast becoming a snore fest. Kathy snoring on the inhale and Brinkley picking it up on the exhale. Kathy flat out on her back, arms overhead, face slightly turned towards the patio – out cold. Brinkley on her side, facing Kathy, covers neatly folded back at the shoulders, head and snout on the pillow, keeping perfect pace in strength and density on each breath. It was the best audio-visual I’d ever experienced. I don’t know who was unconscious more. Between them they must’ve logged enough timber for a full round house.
Next morning, Kathy exclaimed, ”Boy, did I ever sleep good”. Brinkley smiled over at her as if to say ‘You took the words right out of my mouth.’