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Monday, April 3, 2017

Travels with Sydney -- Finale

Celebrating Chris's birthday
On the penultimate day of our cross country trip home, we stopped on the western edge of NJ to stay with our friends Gregory Anne and Mark. Mark runs a large estate comprising 400 acres, quite a bit of which is farmed. At this time of year, of course, all the fields are fallow.

And full of game.

Sydney: Oh Oh Oh My God. Let me the heck off this leash, I have WORK to do!!!

There's something moving in there...
And when she couldn't beg a trip outside (no way was she being let off the lead; she'd chase something into the next county), she was camped in front of the lovely French doors staring at the Great Outdoors. All over her face: Can I live here forever?

Just wait, we told her. We're almost home.

So the following day, on the first sunny day since we left California, we drove the final few hours to Southampton, arriving early afternoon. After we unloaded the car, I walked Sydney on a lead the perimeter of the back garden to make sure there weren't any puppy-sized gaps in the fencing that could be a problem. As we unloaded the suitcases, put all the laundry in the washer, and settled in, she sniffed out the house and figured out this must be her new home, it smelled like us.

Late afternoon, we walked into town for a coffee and a chance to people watch. Look, Sydney! There are benches to hang out here too!

This morning I walked her down to Gin Lane Beach and back - four miles - and then we turned her loose in the back yard while Chris and I each dealt with aspects of getting back to the swing of things here at A Butler's Manor.

Up unitl this point, Syd has been my little shadow, following me from room to room. But that was before she met the garden. She spent the entire day galloping around and through it, chasing squirrels up trees and flushing rabbits into the next county. And if there are any field mice in the've been warned.

I followed her on one of her forays, watching her tree a squirrel and then stalk the perimeter, waiting for it to come down (hahaha). And I heard for the first time what may be the Nova Scotia Duck Toller Retriever "scream" -- an odd, frustrated whine. It does sound like what I've found on YouTube, but she's definitely a mixed breed because thus far, she's run away from the surf and any water, whereas the purebreds seem to dive right in.

She followed me in once, just long enough to have a drink of water and then ran straight back outside to continue on patrol. She probably burned off all the weight we've tried to put on her since she weighed in at a measly 17-1/2 lbs. when we adopted her. Her eagerness to be outside reminded me of being a child, when we went out to play after school and didn't return until the streetlights came on. And coming in on command? Oh heck no. Nature is the Bigger Name on the Other Line.

Anyway, looks like we are defnitely going to have less wildlife in Chris's garden this year, with Sydney on patrol. She is on the job!! And boy is she happy!!