LIfe at High Altitude in Colorado

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

-Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Girlfriends' Day in Buena Vista, CO - Our World

Last week, I traveled with 2 friends to meet a third friend for lunch in Buena Vista, 
a small town located in central Colorado on the Arkansas River. 


The town is located at 8,000' above sea level, and is surrounded 
by the Collegiate Peaks. 


We had lunch and walked on a sunny, mild day with a few remaining scraps of snow on the ground.
The river was only partially covered with ice. 

Barb, Di, Sue, Helen and Kyjen, the Black Lab puppy

We are normally a gang of 5, but Mary is currently in Wanaka, NZ, with her husband.
We connected with her on Face Time for a brief chat.


Sue (like the rest of the gang) is a retired teacher. She is a volunteer puppy trainer for 
Canine Partners of the Rockies , which places dogs with Coloradans with disabilities. 
Kyjen, a 6 month old Black Lab, was well-behaved in both the restaurant and on our walk.



Kyjen keeps her eyes on Sue to know what is expected.

If you see a service dog wearing a vest, don't try to pet or talk to the dog.
A dog with a vest is working and should not be distracted. 


A service puppy in training stays in the puppy trainer's home for 18 months before moving to a professional handler who will further train her/him in the intricacies of being a service dog. 
Not all dogs qualify for placement with a disabled person even after months of training.


Kyjen shows a lot of aptitude.
Hopefully, as she continues learning, she'll pass the test and become
 a valuable companion for a person with disabilities.

However, on this day, the constant chatter of 4 girlfriends made her very tired!

52 comments:

  1. Beautiful, I guess Mary is having those scorching days we have up here, 31.6C yesterday.!!! Metservice report...
    " Wanaka, today 31C, 15C overnight" !!
    Volunteers are so needed, here in NZ, with " NZ Foundation for the Blind" they have a pup, for about the first year,then the dog has more specialised training.
    You will have had a great time together,lovely place to be . Greetings from Jean.

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  2. Nice day! Is that high enough to get altitude sickness? I had that once and hope I never do again, though I've been told it's likely once you get it.

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  3. What a great outing. So glad to hear you are out and about. It is wonderful to have this great big world for us to explore. That dog is beautiful. But then I am partial to black labs.

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  4. What a amazing day...that river and the landscape that surrounds it is breathtaking! What a lovely Lab:)
    I think its wonderful that you find the time to get together with your girls!

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  5. What a beautiful place and, of course, I LOVE Kyjen!! What a wonderful dog!! Looks as though a great time was had by all! Thanks for sharing!! Hope you have a great week!

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  6. She's a beauty!! Boom was trained to walk me after my accident.An unusual task for a Malamute. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  7. Love the pictures of the Lab... she is a beauty, Barb!
    Beautiful landscapes... I have enjoyed it.
    Warm greetings from Holland,
    Anna

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  8. Girl friend days are the best.
    Kudos to anyone who takes on the special training of a helping dog.

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  9. Super pictures and fantastic dog.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  10. What a beautiful area for a walk and with such fun company as well.

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  11. Oh my - you hit on my most favorite things - beautiful Colorado scenery and black labs! I'm glad you had fun with your friends, and it's really neat that you were able to include the 5th on Face time. Love your photos!!!

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  12. This looks like a perfect day. I loved seeing the photos of the area around Buena Vista. There really isn't much snow up there this year. Hopefully, we will soon get some.

    I love days like the one you had. What more could anyone ask for than time with girlfriends?

    The puppy is so cute. I admire those who train these dogs. I have several friends who do so.

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  13. What a beautiful place to walk. How nice you have such a willing group. I miss my walkers from Florida. Can't get anyone here interested.
    I know your aren't supposed to pet service dogs but it is so hard not to. They are such wonderful animals and instinct makes you want to give them kudos by petting. I unwillingly behave.

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  14. I love your girlfriend gatherings and Kyjen makes a beautiful addition.

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  15. Sounds like you had a wonderful day! I love the river pictures! I'm a little partial to that river considering I live in Arkansas!! There's snow on your end and on this end it's 70 degrees today! I rather be on your end!!

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  16. That second photo is just gorgeous! Looks like you had a wonderful walk near the river. Such a cute little service dog. You wore her out. I did not know that you shouldn't talk to or pet a service dog when they are wearing a vest.

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  17. yay! bueny! beautiful- glad you had a nice day, the weather looks wonderful!

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  18. What a beautiful place for a special time with friends. It's wonderful that you could Face Time with your friend who wasn't able to be with you. The beautiful service dog was a great addition to your get-together.

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  19. Oh I love this post. But, I am upset about one thing. I live in southern Oklahoma and we have been freezing down here. I see you ladies out without coats. That's not fair!

    The photos are absolutely beautiful and I love the information about the service dog. What a neat job to have! I hope you all have a great day and week!

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  20. Hi, Barb
    What a great trip you had! How wonderful it is to see close girlfriends find time to get together.The icy river is beautiful and my eyes have also captured the landscape which surrounds it.

    Yes, hopefully, the dog will go through her training and become a beautiful dog that helps invalid people!.I like Kyjen very much!
    Have a good day,Barb!
    Tomoko




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  21. What beautiful nature shots, Barb! So nice to see you with all your friends. What a lovely black Labrador puppy and I think it's wonderful that these sweet-natured animals can be trained to help people with disabilities.
    Thank you for your visit! I am writing small stones without realizing it! I am keeping a daily journal of them though and love the way doing this brings me into the present moment!
    Have a lovely week. Sandra

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  22. That is a cute pup! And such wonderful blues in your photos!

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  23. Beautiful scenic river shots! And I love the cute black lab pup! Wonderful photos from your world. Have a happy day!

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  24. Kyjen is a beautiful puppy. I admire your friend for training service puppies - it must be difficult to give them up after caring for them for a year and a half.

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  25. What a FUN day!! and that pup is adorable!! I hope he is able to help someone in need :)

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  26. What a beautiful place to visit with friends. Kyjen looks so sweet and calm. Have a wonderful week!

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  27. So young the pup so mature her eyes...I'm sure she will make a great service dog.

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  28. Magnificent photography of a beautiful place and such wonderful friendships and a beautiful lab puppy ~ love the one with eyes closed!

    Carol of A Creative Harbor

    Thanks for coming by and commenting ^_^

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  29. Looks like you are having a great time.
    The Arkansas looks some different than it does in Oklahoma. I used to visit my aunt's farm was on the banks of the wide, brown river when I was a kid.
    Loved the photos of the puppy, too.

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  30. I enlarged your first two pictures – what gorgeous surroundings! The puppy looks so sweet but I bet it takes a lot of patience to train a dog. What fun it is to be out with friends like this on such a beautiful day.

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  31. What a beautiful destination! I've wanted to have a service dog for training, myself...I think it would be hard to give up. Best of luck!

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  32. I love the Buena Vista area. The mountain biking and camping around there are sublime. I love the thought of the girlfriends hanging out there for the day. And, what a cute puppy... heart melting. Your friend has a heart of gold to raise a service puppy. We've often talked about it but we don't think that we could ever give the puppy back at 18 months.

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  33. What a beautiful sky blue and the reflected colors in the stream! I know how women-only gathering is fun, and when joined by such a wise and charming Labrador, it is perfectly lovely, though she must have been tired (happily) as you wrote. Being with a dog has therapeutic effect but I hope dogs won’t have stresses while working too obedient and hard. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that she will pass the test. I’m glad to see you again on this blog, Barb.

    Yoko

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  34. It looks like a fun outing.

    We know some kids at our son's school who have service dogs, they kind of settle the kids down somehow. I don't know how it works but it does.

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  35. Wow! What a beautiful day with your girlfriends! How perfect!

    I always wonder if service dogs get any time to just be dogs. Do they get to run around and play and go for long walks without having to assist anyone? Such amazing dogs. I hope they also get the lovin' they so deserve.

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  36. What a great time you must have had, BARB, and those photos are stupendous, especially the ones of the lab. Labs, as you might know, are very close to my heart.

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  37. How fun to hook up with friends! So wonderful of Sue to give her time to train the pup.

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  38. Every time you post a story about hanging out with your girlfriends, I get lonely for mine and have to call them!

    Lovely lovely lab....

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  39. What a great day! Neat volunteer service your dear friend is doing. That's a wonderful looking dog.

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  40. Looks like you had a wonderful day out in the glorious world around you. Girlfriends, mountains, a river, sunshine, a dog to go ‘Ahh’ over and lunch; bliss!

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  41. Great first picture and lovely useful dog. A loyal compagnion who unconditionaly loves you.

    Tomorrow we publish our month article of top commentators and you are in place 10. Thanks.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  42. A lot of catching up, BFF! Cute dog, looks like very friendly too.

    Something new I learned, no petting for service dogs. As oppose to our visit to the wold sanctuary. We pet them.

    I like the landscape, leaving a lot of water, not freezing.

    I hope everything is well with you Barb!

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  43. Hi Barb,
    I enjoyed wonder of nature with you! I haven't seen a partially frozen river for a long long time. Just beautiful!! Every phase of nature has each beauty.
    I am sure she will pass the test. How adorable her sleeping face is!
    Have a great weekend!
    keiko

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  44. Hi...I saw your comment at Jackie's blog and read "Snow here in Breckenridge". I grew up and lived in Colorado [north of Denver in the foothills] for nearly 50 years until we retired to AZ. Now I live in Texas on the coast. But anyway, just wanted to stop by and introduce myself and add that I enjoyed your beautiful, COLORFUL Colorado images.

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  45. I admire people who can foster - whether it be children or animals. I can't imagine what it must feel like to get attached and then have to let go. Looks like Kyjen is on her way to being a very special animal. And what a wonderful place for a gathering of gals.

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  46. What a cute pup. I've always thought it would be fun to be involved with the training of service dogs. I'd like to observe the process and the progress. Looks lke a fun girls day out. Interesting that you found so little snow at 8000 feet.

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  47. 8,000 feet -- Wow! Looks like you are all having a wonderful time! And three cheers on the Service Dog Kyjen. She's lovely. I know one never disturbs the service dog -- but they are always so nice, you just want to! (Don't worry -- I can be very restrained!). I think the hardest part would be having her so long as a foster and then say goodbye. She's precious.

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  48. Oops. SUE is training! OK -- I had to reread!

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  49. The sun may have been shining but that ice made it look cold.
    My sister raised several puppies but only one made it in the end. It takes a special dog.

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