2015  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

Denali AKA Mt. McKinley

 

   
 
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 MY NAME IS CASEY: THE RV LIFESTYLE, FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A YOUNG, EXUBERANT LAB

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20

 
"May we always have a young one full of promise to admit us to those places    
of wonderment only permissible while in the company of a Labrador [retriever]."
 
~ Gene Hill, from the epilogue of Richard's History of the Labrador
 
 

Hi! My name is Casey. Sue and Jim are my mom and dad, and Cody is my big brother.

I asked Dad to write this for me since my toes are too fat to type on a laptop computer keyboard. Mom dug up some old and new photos to illustrate my story.

I was born in northern Virginia on August 15, 2012. Mom and Dad adopted me when I was eight weeks old. I knew I liked them from the first minute I met them at the breeder's kennel:

 

And I haven't stopped licking them since!

My birth mother and at least one sister are beauty queens (my sire was a champion, too), but I guess I wasn't predicted to have the looks or personality for a career in the show ring.


Belquest Deep Run Easy Peasy AKA "Easy"  (my dam)


Robney's Two Thumbs Up at Moonlit AKA "Siskel" (my sire)


Deep Run Lemon Squeezy of Kaleef AKA "Squeezy"  (one of my six sisters) 

That's okay, because Mom and Dad think I'm cuter than my sister and they didn't give me such a silly name on my AKC registration.

Easy Peasy? Lemon Squeezy?? Give me a break!!  (Mom thinks it's clever.)

I really love my life and wouldn't trade this lifestyle for anything. I bet I have a lot more fun than Squeezy does, having to primp and pose all the time!


I get to climb gnarly rocks (White Mtns. of NH, July, 2014) . . .


. . . hide from Mom (Whites, July, 2014) . . .


. . . find cool rock windows  (Colorado Springs, May, 2015) . . .

. . . and swim in lakes, streams, and oceans from Florida (above, April, 2015)
to Alaska (below, June, 2015).

We used to live in a house in Virginia, and it was okay but we sold it and now live in our nice big camper. I think we're pretty lucky because we get to travel anywhere in the country we want to.

I really love my family and they really love me. I'm sure glad I picked them for my family.


I even got to help Dad pick blueberries on a mountainside in Alaska this summer.
I'm good at sniffing out (and eating) all kinds of berries. (Aug., 2015)


When we aren't busy, we like to hang out together by the camper. (AK, June, 2015)

Mom feeds Cody and me our breakfast and takes us for walks every morning. I really enjoy that time with my mom.

Sometimes we go for longer hikes in the desert, mountains, or wherever we're staying. I like when Dad goes with us, too.


Playing with Dad in the sand at the nearby conservation area; I love to retrieve
sticks on land or water but I don't easily give them up!  (AZ, Nov., 2015)


I like all the water at the conservation area but Mom won't let me in when the birds are nearby. (Dec., 2015)

Above and below:  Hiking in Black Canyon, AZ  (Oct., 2015)

I'm usually pretty tired when we get home. I prefer hiking where there are trees and water so I can stay cooler:


Cody and I are drinking water in a shady creek at Explore Park in Virginia.

Every night I make my bed just the way I want it, and Mom always messes it up again.


Doggone it.  I had these towels all scrunched up on my bed so I could curl my body around
them but Mom insists they lie flat to keep the beige-colored fleece cover more clean. (August, 2015)

My life isn't all playing, eating, and sleeping though.

Dad and I have been guarding Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) in Arizona for a couple of months now, since we arrived in late October. I get really excited when Mom or Dad mentions "Walky Dog." I can't wait to get going.

We usually patrol the entire post twice a day. Each round takes about 45 minutes.

We go almost every morning and evening. It's usually cooler if we go after dark and that's when all those marauding creatures are out doing their deeds. There are always several foxes and coyotes looking for mischief after dark.


Starting out on our morning patrol; that's our camper and truck behind us.  (Dec., 2015)

Since we're working at night we need special equipment. We bought lights for our bike and Dad let me have the tail light for my harness. We have to be safe and look professional if we're going to guard an important military installation like this.

I really look spiffy with my light and sometimes I get comments from people we see. But I have to stay focused. I can't just stop to look at all the holiday lights and house decorations on post when we're riding around at night:

This isn't the first military contract we've had.

My first assignment was King's Bay Georgia, one of only two nuclear submarine bases in the country. I had just started using the Walky Dog there. It's a very useful piece of equipment.


I liked all the green grass and lakes at Kings Bay but I couldn't get
in the water because of all the big alligators.  (Winter, 2014-15)

Sometimes I have to pull so Dad will know which direction to go. I don't think he would know how to get back home if I didn't pull him along. Dad finally got used to it by the time we got to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

We've guarded other military installations, too -- the Blue Angel Naval Recreation Area and Pensacola Naval Air Station Florida, Malmstrom AFB Montana, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Alaska, and Hill AFB Utah.


Having fun at the Blue Angel Rec. Area  (April, 2015)


"On duty" at JBER in Anchorage, AK this summer

I used to get a tiny Milk Bone every time I stopped to "do my business," but I'm on a diet now. I only get one when I go #2.

And I try to always do that in the Colonel's yard. He's the Post Commander at YPG so it's important that Dad pick it up. Sometimes he mumbles something about doing it behind a bush where he doesn't have to pick it up but that's hard to do when I'm on such a short leash . . .


Dad always stops to get a couple poop bags out of the handy dispenser located
a few feet from our camper.  He never takes me anywhere without a poop bag!

We average a total of 6-7 miles every day. The time it takes varies, depending on how many critters we find. We always see at least one fox in the family housing area, sometimes two. A coyote hangs out by the ambulance barn and another fox stalks the library entrance.

They don't seem frightened of us. We don't mean them any harm; our goal is to protect military property.

Above and below:  Dad seems to enjoy this job as much as I do.  (Dec., 2015)

Sometimes my big brother Cody and I will play with toys on the floor.

He's fun to play with, but sometimes he's a little grumpy, like when he rebuffed my efforts to play in the picture below:.


I'm moping because Cody won't play with me right now.  (August, 2015)


Here's a good picture of me pestering, er, playing with Cody when I was just a
little squirt. I have to be more gentle now that I'm a Big Girl.  (Oct., 2012)


Playing with a rubber stick toy at Joint Base Charleston (Nov., 2013)

I can usually get Cody going if I nudge him long enough and put a ball or one of our stuffed squeaky toys next to his nose. Mom really likes to see us rolling around on the floor, playing together. We play even harder when she laughs at us.

Mom and Dad used to put a gate up at the bottom of the steps to keep me from going up in their bedroom in the wee hours of the night. I only did that a couple of times though, mostly when something scared me, like lightning or high winds.

They stopped using the gate because I've outgrown my fears and don't go up there until I hear them stirring in the morning. I love to go up and lick Dad's face when he wakes up. I get so excited in the mornings. They seem really happy to see me in the morning, too. Cody lets me do all the work. I do all the wiggling and licking and we both get breakfast.

All-in-all, I have a pretty good life and I'm very happy. I can't wait to see where we go next.


I really like snow. Dad doesn't, so we're in Arizona for the winter. Although it gets
cold in the desert at night, we won't be getting any snow in Yuma. Phooey. (CO, May, 2015) 

As long as there's a place where Dad and I can play ball and go for bike rides, I'll like it there. Another military contract would be nice, too.

[Addendum from SueAt 3+ years of age Casey is less of a Wild Child than she used to be but she's still an exuberant little girl who charms nearly everyone she meets. Cody is almost 13 now, fairly old for a Labrador retriever. He's still in great shape and mostly tolerant of Casey's antics. We think she's probably keeping Cody younger -- us, too, because we frequently laugh at her silliness and she makes sure we bike or hike a bunch with her every day. She's an animal!]

Next entry:  year-end review of our 2015 RV travels

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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