Tucker and I headed back to the West Coast after Asheville to get some much-needed renovations done on the house. Although satisfying for humans, the process is rather boring for dogs, and Tucker had to put up with my stressful outbursts as the renovations didn’t go quite to plan.
We hiked in Griffith Park, and Tucker got an expansive view of the city (in monochrome.) Not quite the same as looking out over the Appalachian Mountains.
He missed his friends in Asheville. The balance we had in North Carolina of work, play, hike, and canine friends was gone. Tucker is much like a military kid. Except at least a human child understands the why behind each move to a new town.
I took Tucker up to the San Gabriel Mountains in September, not only to be back in the mountains, but to try to escape the stifling Valley temperatures that were still topping the high 90’s even after Labor Day.
The photo and video updates throughout the days made my smile each and every time. My happy Tucker was back. Balance had been restored.
In early October we did one more hike—back to Malibu. A burned down “cabin in the woods” California style. There seems to be many of these in the Los Angeles area. Fifty to seventy years ago people started building mini-mansions off the grid in the wilderness to get out of the “city.” And it was hardly a city then. I don’t think these people would be able to tolerate the crowded urban sprawl that is Los Angeles today. And the woods are hardly woods--just canyons in the desert.
Like a military kid, Tucker had say goodbye to his new friends which saddened me greatly. At least this time I was certain we would be back and he’d return to his friends again, but for Tucker, the future was unknown. All I could do was promise him new adventures.
And a rain jacket.
I would like Tucker to be a versatile wilderness explorer, but I am sensitive to his Southern California upbringing. I hoped he wouldn’t be considered a wuss for wearing it. I’m not sure how other dogs reacted to it, but my favorite comment from a human came from the label she gave it: not a “raincoat,” but a “Vancouver Jacket.” Tucker wasn’t being wussy wearing a rain jacket; he was a hip dog with impeccable fashion sense sporting a piece of clothing named after the city we were stationed in.