The joys of a puppy

Merlin 2 months.

In March of this year, unfortunately my sixteen year old, best friend and Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, passed away. It wasn’t unexpected, after all, he’d outlived his life expectancy by several years. Still, it was hard. I decided to wait a couple of months before getting a new dog, to let my heart heal and to find the perfect new friend.  I knew I wanted a toy Australian Shepherd. They were similar dogs to my Sheltie and small enough  to make traveling easier.

Best laid plans. The next day, yes barely twenty-four hours after Laddie passed, my daughter found the perfect puppy online. He was the right size, cost, and less than two hours from my home. Yep, we jumped in the car and came home a few hours later with Merlin, the magic puppy, an adorable eight week old toy Aussie. He was a very sweet little ball of fluff those first few days–content to lay in my arms and sleep most of the day.

And then he woke up. I’m happy to report that almost three months later, he is happy, healthy, the love of my life, AND a lot of work. A whole lot of work. I’d forgotten what it was like to have a new puppy, since I hadn’t had one in sixteen years. The last couple of years Laddie slept approximately 23 hours per day.

Not so with Merlin. He has times each day when he goes absolutely crazy, running around the house getting into everything he can reach. He chews on everything! Including me, and let me tell you those puppy teeth are razor sharp. For several weeks my arms were solid puncture wounds. And then there’s housebreaking. One day he’s a star not having a single accident. Yes, he’s getting it. The next day he squats and pees on the carpet right in front of me. It’s a ongoing challenge. And then there’s the high pitched yip that he lets out when he wants something. It can pierce your eardrums.

I’m learning coping mechanisms. Long walks. Several times daily to wear him out (well sorta) Play dates with my daughter’s dogs are good, but even they get annoyed after awhile with his energy. I’ve learned to take him outside a lot. Every couple hours is a must. All this is good, I’m getting in better physical shape than I’ve been in for years!

Anyway, it’s an adjustment. It’s a good thing he’s so darned cute. I can forgive him almost anything. And when he snuggles up next to me and falls asleep, you can’t beat that. Some day those wicked baby teeth will fall out, and he’ll be the best behaved dog on the planet. Pray for me that day comes soon 🙂

Merlin 5 months

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY–SUZY DECKER

I understand you’re fairly new to Peakview. How long have you lived here?

It’s been almost a year. I moved here on the first of June last summer.

What brought you to Peakview?

I first wandered into town in a blinding snowstorm right before New Year’s Eve. My son had passed away, and I needed to get out of Denver. I just drove. I think God brought me to Peakview. I met Jerry, my husband and a world that had turned dark, was suddenly worth living again. Anyway, we fell in love and decided to open our bed and breakfast, Heart’s Haven. We’ll celebrate a year in business July first.

How’s the business going?

Great. I didn’t know it, but I think I was born to run a small inn. I love all the people we meet. Some become almost like family. We even do specialty weeks. We had weeks for veterans, families who’ve lost a child, and foster families. We plan to do a lot more of that kind of thing in the future.

Any plans to expand your family?

If you mean kids, not right now, but our four-legged family keeps growing. Since opening the inn we acquired a pony, another dog, several cats and goats. It’s fun. Being raised a city girl, I’m loving the mountain life.

What would you like to tell people about Peakview?

It’s a magical place. It saved my life. I want to do that for others. If you find yourself in our area, come on by and spend the night. I think you’ll love our little slice of heaven on earth.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-MOLLY PEYTON

Tell us how long you’ve lived in Peakview County.

My husband, Jim and I purchased Peaktop Guest Ranch almost thirty years ago. We absolutely love these mountains and the community. We also love running a guest ranch. Our two children grew up here.

What exactly is a guest ranch?

I’m glad you asked. A guest ranch, or dude ranch as they’re sometimes called, are wonderful places for family vacations. It’s an American-style all-inclusive vacation. The main activity is horseback riding, although there is plenty of other activities to keep our guests busy if the don’t ride. There’s many miles of hiking trails, fishing, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. During the summer months, everyone stays a whole week, from Sunday until Sunday. We have activities every evening. We have a square dance, singing around the campfire, cookouts, hayrides, and an old fashioned melodrama. During our off-season, September through May, guests can choose to come for a weekend or just a couple of days. We are closed in January and most of February.

That sounds wonderful.

People like it. We have many families that come year after year. We’ve even gotten to the point where kids who grew up coming here are now bringing their children.

Any plans to retire?

Not in the near future. Our hope is someday when we get too old to want to do this full time, that our kids will take over. Our son, Brandon is a junior at Colorado State majoring in animal science with a minor in business. He hopes to become a vet. It would be great to have our own with so many animals on the ranch. He loves this place as much as we do.

Where is your ranch from the town of Peakview?

It’s located about fifteen miles northeast of town. It’s very isolated, which is what guests like. They come to get away from civilization. We still don’t have cell service, and we like it that way. There’s always something going on. Stop by and check us out if you get the chance.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-CYNTHIA WELCH COULTER

I hear you are a newcomer to Peakview. What brought you to this community?

I was practicing law in Chicago. I got burnt out and needed a break between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A partner of mine told me about Peaktop Guest Ranch. Even though they were closed for the winter, the Peytons graciously allowed me to come and stay. I fell in love with the Colorado Rockies. Then there was a certain cowboy, AJ Coulter. By the time the new year rolled around, I’d fallen in love with him, too. We decided to start our lives together here in Peakview County. It’s a magical place.

Do you practice law here in Peakview?

Only part time. AJ and I bought a small ranch. I’ve been spending a lot of my time decorating and remodeling. It’s not something I thought I’d enjoy, but I love it. I’m also working on a romance novel. That’s fun. Peakview’s only attorney, San Phillips, now spends his winters in Wyoming with his new wife. I’ve been covering his practice for him while he’s gone. I enjoy it. Let’s me keep up with my legal skills. I may open my own little office at some point.

What is your favorite thing about Peakview?

I love being in a small town. It’s so different from the big city. Everyone knows each other and looks out for them. It’s like one big family. I didn’t have that before. The people here are great. You never feel alone.

So you think you’ll stay?

Most definitely. This is a great place to call home. Our ranch is perfect. We have horses, a couple dogs, and of course our cat, Smokey. It’s a long story, but we give him credit for bringing the two of us together. AJ has two daughters who love to visit here as well. It’s a forever home