Tag Archives: Infinity pool

You’re In the Jungle, Baby: Costa Rica Pt. IV

Victoria taking me to the edge to throw my into the jungle. KIDDING! She forced me to go swimming which is almost as bad.

Victoria taking me to the edge to throw me into the jungle. KIDDING! She forced me to go swimming which is almost as bad.

It only took about a week for me to feel nice and settled into our new temporary home, which I’ve started calling the Big Jungle House. Although it’s not as cozy as the Wee Blue House back in Venice, it’s sure got its perks! For one thing, I’m free to wander the BJH all day off leash. Here’s a peek at a day in the life of a jungle dog.

5:30 AM: Wake up to Maya wanting to go out to pee. Jason stumbles out the door to deal with the puppy, while I snuggle in closer to Victoria.

6:30 AM: I lose my snuggling companion when Victoria gets up, chase Maya around the house yelling at her for messing up my beauty sleep.

7:00 AM: Wander around the lawn, sniffing flowers and biting at the little flying bugs. Get lucky and chomp one down. Delicious.

7:15 – 10:15 AM: Find a sunny spot, lay in it. Find a different sunny spot. Lay in that one. When necessary, move to the couch. Growl at Maya for wanting to play so early.

10:30 AM: Eat from Maya’s giant doggie dish. She just sits there and watches. Sucker!

10:45 – 11:15 AM: Playtime. Maya may be bigger, but I’m smarter and quicker. Plus, her face is fun to chew on.

Puppy face! Nom nom nom!

Puppy face! Nom nom nom!

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Lay in the sun with Victoria. Try to lick her sunscreen off. Dart away from the pool when Jason tries to lure me in. I may be cute, but I’m not stupid.

1:05 PM: Jockey for treats. Hope for one of the homemade frozen yogurt/peanut butter/banana/honey things but willing to settle for a beggin’ strip. Just don’t leave us hanging!

1:15 – 2:00 PM: Playtime. Eventually tell Maya off because she just… Won’t… Stop!

2:00 PM: Lunch time. I graze between my bowl and Maya’s, taking the choicest morsels. Maya doesn’t seem to notice.

2:00 – 3:00 PM: Nap time. If I’m in a good mood, Maya gets to share the couch with me.

3:00 – 5:00 PM: Wandering the jungle. Maya and I try to see how far we can get away from the patio before Victoria and Jason start screaming. Eat bugs, chase birds, paw at lizards and roll around the yard. Basically the best part of the day.

5:00 – 6:30 PM: Lounge on the patio while My Family watches the sunset. Wonder when they’re going to make dinner.

6:30 – 8:00 PM: My Family makes dinner. Maya and I remain close at hand, to snag anything that gets dropped and make cute eyes to insure a taste.

8:00 – 10:00 PM: Couch time. Growl at Maya when she tries to steal my spot on Victoria’s lap. Jump off the couch to periodically put her in her place. Hope for more treats.

10:00 PM: Bed time. Often preceded by wrestling with Maya. Curl up under the covers to snuggle by Jason. Dream of a mad dash through the jungle.

One of the sunsets My Family loves so much.

One of the sunsets My Family loves so much.

Maya napping in my bed, she doesn't really fit but as long as she doesn't try to join me on the couch I'm okay with her using it.

Maya napping in my bed, she doesn’t really fit but as long as she doesn’t try to join me on the couch I’m okay with her using it.

As you can tell, I’m pretty much living the best dog’s life you could imagine. Every day is pretty similar right now, but I’ve got no complaints. There have been some unique moments over the past couple of weeks, however, both good and bad.

The front yard.  Perfect for having a Daft Half Hour.

The front yard. Perfect for having a Daft Half Hour.

Once I was dragged to the local doctor’s office just after Heather left. It’s amazing that no matter what country we might be in, THAT SMELL is always the same. I can sense the doctor’s office from like a mile away. But as always in these situations, I don’t get a vote. The man who took care of me was very nice, although he did some rather awkward things to my bum. He redeemed himself, however, by giving me the best pedicure ever! Not only did he cut my nails, but he buffed and shaped them too. I felt like I was back in Los Angeles!

Me and Maya love hiding from My Family here, around the corner from the bedroom. It takes them F O R E V E R to find us, ahaha!

Me and Maya love hiding from My Family here, around the corner from the bedroom. It takes them F O R E V E R to find us, ahaha!

One afternoon, Maya and I got to conspiring. She’s still only five months old, so even though she’s a lot of fun and getting much bigger, she’s not much of a conversationalist. I noticed that Jason was busy working and Victoria was inside cleaning the house, so I suggested we should go explore the jungle. Maya doesn’t know what explore means yet, but she was more than happy to bound after me as I tip-toed around the corner and off the patio. We sniffed our way down the driveway, and then stopped at the grassy edge. I looked back up the hill, but My Family was nowhere to be found. Success! We dashed off into the jungle.

All the really good stuff happens down the driveway.

All the really good stuff happens down the driveway.

Suddenly we were surrounded by an amazing amount of smells that we had only sniffed from afar. There were flowers, fruits, trees, plants and dozens of animal smells. The howler monkeys were shouting in the trees somewhere down the mountain, but we were far more excited by what was right in front of us. Yes, right there in the grass… Something had died. I needed to get a closer look. Oh, man, I think it was a bird! I heard My Family yelling for us, but there was no stopping me and Maya from rolling around in that deliciousness. The yelling up the hill got more frantic, so finally I pulled myself together and darted back out onto the driveway. Victoria and Jason were pretty upset. They stormed over, and Maya and I dashed back up the hill and into the house. They grabbed us up for a timeout, and that’s when Jason got a whiff of what we were rolling in. I don’t know why that was such a big deal, but suddenly they were even more angry. We both got baths immediately, a punishment that definitely did not fit the crime in my mind. I don’t like making My Family worry, though. I tried to explain what had happened to Maya, but she was too busy licking the water off her fur to try and understand. I guess I’ll have to set a better example for Maya next time.

A dead bird on one of the patios.  Not the same one we rolled around with in the jungle, but it smelled almost as interesting.

A dead bird on one of the patios. Not the same one we rolled around with in the jungle, but it smelled almost as interesting.

Maya really does follow my lead. Twice a week a nice man called Alvaro comes up to the Big Jungle House to play with the flowers. Even though I know his smell, I bark at him pretty much every time. Maya does too, although I don’t think she knows why she’s barking. Alvaro doesn’t seem to mind. Apparently he has seven dogs of his own! I would like to meet them someday. If they’re as nice as he is, I bet we’d have fun.

Turns out having a little sister is a lot of fun, even if she's twice the size of me! (NOTE: At the time of this blog post Maya is clocking in at 25 pounds while I remain a svelte 12 pounds!)

Turns out having a little sister is a lot of fun, even if she’s twice the size of me! (NOTE: At the time of this blog post Maya is clocking in at 25 pounds while I remain a svelte 12 pounds!)

There’s just so much to bark at up here! We get huge storms, and the thunder rolls through the hills for ever and ever. Also, all sorts of animals come into my territory. Every time a huge toad, a colorful lizard, a long snake, or even a flittery hummingbird get too close I end up having to go inside. Stop cramping my style! One time a huge toad even came into our house. I didn’t know what was going on at first. I just heard Victoria open the front door and start screaming. Jason ran over, and so did me and Maya. Jason saw the toad before I did, and scrambled to get us out into the kitchen. The toad jumped at Victoria again, and she started screaming! Before I knew it I was overcome with a barking fit, and ran around the house. Maya started crying and wailing, scrambling around behind me. She was so scared she peed all over the floor. C’mon, puppy, get it together! Jason and Victoria were able to encourage the toad to leave after a bit more screaming and a lot of laughter. But Maya cowered by my side the rest of the night.

The power also goes out sometimes. It’s usually after a big storm, with the rain pouring and lightning flashing over the ocean. I don’t really mind, though. We’re always comfy, dry and warm, and the flashlights and candles remind me of our time out in the Camper. Thankfully, Maya’s not afraid of thunder. Yet when Victoria uses the blender it sends her scampering across the room. Really? Puppies are so weird.

So much room for running around inside the house!

So much room for running around inside the house!

One day saw a real break from the fun routine, but it turned out to be super special. My Family packed us into the Big Truck and we drove down the hill, south through the town of Palmar Norte. We bounced around on dirt roads and long trails through jungles of palm trees for what seemed like hours. I could smell Jason was getting frustrated. We were looking for something, and having very little luck. Finally, after backtracking half a dozen times we rolled into a parking lot next to a long, open field. A friend was waving to us. It was Lydia, here to visit us all the way from New York City! I hadn’t seen Lydia in years, but I remembered she was super duper nice, and really likes dogs. That makes her a keeper in my book!

I really L O V E Lydia, even if she does like to go in the pool.

I really L O V E Lydia, even if she does like to go in the pool.

Lydia stayed with us for almost a week, and I had some of the best times yet in the Big Jungle House. Lydia spent so much time with me. She let me snuggle up on her lap, or lounge by her feet at the pool. I sat on her lap while they played a people game called Uno, and danced around with Maya while she fed us treats. I even got to spend the night snuggled up with her once! What a cool visit! One day, two more friends came up the mountain, and it turned into a full on pool party! I obviously wasn’t that enthusiastic when they made me go swimming, but it seems to be growing on Maya a bit. Look, her paws are like three times as big as mine so of course she’s a better swimmer. Anyway, it was nice to have the house filled with people laughter, and good meals that I got to taste for the rest of the week. I even got a bone all to myself when My Family made carnitas. Are you kidding me? Amazing!! I was pretty sad when we dropped Lydia off at the airport again. We had a long goodbye, and I might have cried if I had tear ducts.

Lydia said I was her Good Luck Charm so whenever she played UNO with My Family I made sure to get a good spot on her lap.

Lydia said I was her Good Luck Charm so whenever she played UNO with My Family I made sure to get a good spot on her lap.

Maya and her giant paws splashing in the pool.

Maya and her giant paws splashing in the pool.

We’re not seeing as many new places these days, but staying put definitely has its perks. We get to have visitors, I’m allowed to play with Maya all the time without worrying about roads, people or other dogs, and I’ve got all the room in the world to run around in. In fact, I think I’ve lost a bit of weight. I’m looking pretty cute these days, don’t you think? My Family tells me that at some point we’ll be getting back in the camper and continuing on The Big Adventure, but right now, the jungle life is adventure enough!

PS: If you want to see more pictures of the house and Lydia, check them out on Facebook!

08
Jun 2014
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

Costa Rica

DISCUSSION 4 Comments

Our Paws Take A Pause: Costa Rica Pt. III

Me enjoying the view at our new home!

Me enjoying the view at our new home!

Victoria and Jason had promised me that some beach time was ahead, but first we had to finish crossing Cerro de la Muerte. They said the Pacific Ocean and the sandy goodness that I love so much was somewhere close by, but it sure didn’t seem that way. We spent our next morning on my Big Adventure driving down one of the curviest, scariest roads yet. Jason was happy that at least it was paved, but he still smelled a bit anxious. When we woke that morning and said goodbye to Doris and Torsten, it was bright and sunny. Yet as soon as we got back on the road and started our descent, rain and clouds settled in around us, as thick and white as the chunks of cheese Victoria sometimes puts in my food bowl.

It took a couple of hours to get out of that mess, most of which I spent perched on Victoria’s lap, scenting the heavy air. Maya tried to sleep through it, but she’s getting too big for her perch on the arm rest between Victoria and Jason. She kept twisting and turning, trying to find the perfect position. Soon she’s just going to have to go on the floor. She keeps eyeing Victoria’s lap, but that is NOT going to happen.

Our cozy camping spot near the beach, even though we didn't even SEE the beach...

Our cozy camping spot near the beach, even though we didn’t even SEE the beach…

We finally left the mountain behind and found ourselves back on the main highway, just north of a town called Uvita. We had crossed the whole country in two nights! I saw the wide ocean off to our right, and though the rain kept pummeling the Big Truck, we made it into Uvita without any problems. We did some shopping and headed towards the beach, finally pulling up at a campsite called Camping El Chaman. The man who ran the place was super nice, and showed Jason how to use a huge bamboo pole to pull fresh mangoes right out of the trees. We even had a covered spot to park our Big Truck, so when even more rain came we were nice and dry. The sand was super soft, and the camp dogs were all pretty nice. Maya was kind of scared of them, and stayed glued to Jason’s side pretty much the whole time. We only spent one night there, with the rain pelting the roof and the ocean waves breaking just down the dirt road, but I really loved it. I have to say, I’m just a beach dog at heart!

I thought this campsite was pretty perfect, so I didn’t understand why we got up so early and packed up to leave. After that crazy mountain, didn’t I deserve a day off? It wasn’t meant to be. We were gone with the sun, bouncing back up the dirt road and further south. We pulled up outside of a big restaurant with funny, frozen cows out front, but we didn’t go in. What’s the deal? Were they going to force me to sit outside smelling the delicious smells with no payoff? A few minutes later a man pulled up on a motorcycle with four huge wheels, and after he spoke with My Family for a few minutes we got back into the Big Truck and followed him across the highway and up a huge hill. What gives?

The road got worse as we drove, leaving town behind and heading deeper into the jungle. At one point we stopped beside a hut with no walls, and this new friend pointed out a house far up the mountain. He said that’s where we were going, and Jason and Victoria got really excited. It sure didn’t look like any campsite I’d seen on the Big Adventure. Another ten minutes of bumping and bouncing up crazy mountain roads and we pulled up outside an amazing house, with the biggest, best lawn I’d seen in as far back as I could remember. I thought we would get to run around the house and all over the lawn but for the next couple of nights we just camped in the driveway.

I have to say, I was a bit confused. Sure, Maya and I had playtime, and we got to sniff around on the side yard, but we mostly just sat around the camper. This didn’t seem particularly adventurous. It sure felt like a strange stop to me. Things got even stranger when the nice man came out of the house one day and handed us over the keys. Wait… What?!?

Yeah, apparently we were going to live here for a while. In. The. House! I couldn’t believe my luck. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of our travels. But the chance to lay on a couch all day? The house has tons of comfy, sunny spots, cool floors, and best of all, no more bumpy roads to drive! Well, that’s not exactly true. The house is way up in the mountains, and I don’t think Victoria and Jason trust me and Maya alone in the house. That means we’re constantly being packed up in the Big Truck and bounced up and down that terrible mountain. First Cerro de la Muerte and now this? It feels like we are back in Guatemala! Strangest yet, there’s a lot more room in the Big Truck now. My Family actually took the Camper off! That means when we drive places I get Victoria’s lap to myself, and Maya gets to stretch out on the back seat. She’s getting so big now that she needs the space.

Sometimes the clouds roll right up to the house and it looks like the world ends at the end of our pool.  YIKES!

Sometimes the clouds roll right up to the house and it looks like the world ends at the end of our pool. YIKES!

I spent a couple of days exploring the house, avoiding My Family’s efforts to make me swim in the pool and spending hour after hour playing with Maya. Okay, I’ll admit it, I love this puppy. We wrestle, we play tug of war, and she really seems to love me a lot. I don’t even mind sharing food with her. It’s pretty cool having a friend, especially one who loves to hang around me and looks to me for advice. She’s still goofy, and gets into all kinds of trouble, but Victoria said that will change as she gets older. Plus, I now have a partner, with eyes just as sad as mine. Very useful when you’re trying to get treats.

Maya keeps stealing my bed, even though she doesn't really fit in it.

Maya keeps stealing my bed, even though she doesn’t really fit in it.

Just as we were getting into a nice routine, something pretty special happened. We drove back to Uvita and waited around for a little bit. Then I smelled someone familiar. Our friend Heather from Venice was here! How cool! She was coming to stay with us and hang out at the house. It was so great to snuggle up with someone I already knew, and Heather liked Maya just as much as everyone else.

Me and Heather at the pool.  I really love her a lot!

Me and Heather at the pool. I really love her a lot!

The day after Heather arrived we finally got to go to the beach! The Pacific here is pretty special. The water is warm, and the jungle comes right up to the sand. Maya and I got to be off leash, and since there weren’t any other dogs around I was able to run to my heart’s content.

The beach! Finally!

The beach! Finally!

We did have a bit of an adventure that day. My Family was trying to find something called The Whale’s Tail. Apparently there’s a bit of sandy land that is shaped like a whale’s tail, and you can walk right out onto it. I’d much rather stay on shore, but I never get a vote. Unfortunately, it was high tide, and to get to the Whale’s Tail we had to cross a little river. Jason waded through first, and it seemed pretty deep. He wanted us to wait, but once Victoria and Heather waded in I couldn’t help but follow. Suddenly I was swimming, something I definitely DO NOT like to do. Even worse, big waves were coming. Before I knew what was happening I was washed away! I paddled my legs just as fast as I could, but the water was just too strong. Jason started screaming, and suddenly I bounced off of a tree! Heather ran to me and grabbed me out of the water, while Jason stood there holding our bags and a soaking wet Maya dog. I found out later that I was a few seconds away from being washed off into the jungle. You see? Why do humans ever go swimming! It’s just nuts.

Crisis averted, we finally made it to The Whale’s Tail. Of course, we didn’t actually know it at the time. Because the tide was in, the Tail was just totally covered up. Waves were breaking against themselves as Heather and My Family went swimming. Whatever. At that point I was more than content to bounce around on the shore, jumping at the small waves while Maya sat with our bags. That was definitely enough adventure to last me for a while.

I mean, how can you not love this silly face?

I mean, how can you not love this silly face?

A couple days later, our new home in the mountains got even busier. Kenny and Jenn, two friends we had met in Guatemala, came to stay with us too! They were traveling with their friend from home, a nice human named Mike, and all of a sudden our big house was filled with awesome people. Better yet, the house was also filled with amazing smells. Those three love to cook, so each day the humans got together and made incredible meals. Maya and I snagged all sorts of delicious tastes, and got to stay up late while all the friends told stories, swam in the pool, and did an awful lot of laughing.

We went hiking with all our friends to find a waterfall.  It was almost all uphill.  Not cool.

We went hiking with all our friends to find a waterfall. It was almost all uphill. Not cool.

We spent a couple of days together as a new, bigger family, before Kenny, Jenn and Mike had to leave. We said goodbye in the driveway, and Heather went with them, so she could have her own Adventure for a little while. I was sad to see our good friends leave, but it was time to catch up on my naps. We spent another couple of days relaxing in the house, and then jumped into the car to go pick up Heather. Problem was, we weren’t picking up Heather, but dropping off Victoria! I got no notice, and only a moment to say goodbye. What was happening? I stared out the window a bit worried as Jason drove away. I couldn’t remember the last time Victoria had gone away, and I was just hoping that it wouldn’t be for long.

Maya was just as confused as I was when Victoria and Heather left.

Maya was just as confused as I was when Victoria and Heather left.

Thankfully it was only one night. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jason a lot, but things just aren’t the same without Victoria. Jason packed Maya and I back into the Big Truck, and we rejoined Victoria and Heather in a town called Dominical. I guess the girls had been on a horse riding adventure. That’s fine, but why couldn’t I come along? Humans have strange rules sometimes.

I really miss snuggling with Heather :(

I really miss snuggling with Heather :(

We had a nice meal by the beach, and then everyone started saying goodbye to Heather. I was confused because it felt like she had just arrived, but I guess she had to go back home to Venice. I hope she’ll tell all of our friends how much I miss them. It was so great having her come to visit us, and I love sharing our Adventure with such great people, even though Maya gets half of the attention. After Heather went home we went back to the house, where I think we’re going to stay here for a while. I’m not exactly sure what’s happening, if the Big Adventure is over, or if we’ve just taken a pause. It sure is nice to relax and throw my paws up for a little while, though. I do love all of our travels, but for this homebody, laying in a comfy lap and looking out over the ocean, safe from the rain, is a pretty good alternative.

PS: My Family posted some photos about all our friends visiting and moving into the house here.

PPS:  Victoria said to mention that the house we are living in is for sale.  I guess that means we can’t stay forever? Anyway, if you would like more information email me or My Family.

29
May 2014
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

Costa Rica

DISCUSSION 4 Comments