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It was our annual Sven Saw Sister trip to Ely, now happening for somewhere around 30 years.  This was Helen’s and Rainie’s 10th trip, Holly’s 2nd and Keltie’s 1st!  And most notably it was Tessie’s first year of absence.  Her presence was felt though and memories of her were strong and continuous.  We were blessed with having Tessie’s sister (Susie) and her two nieces (Katie and Josie) join us for a delicious steak dinner, some rousing conversation and plenty of laughter mixed in with a few tears.  At the end of the night everyone was looking at their calendars in hopes to find another time we could gather, we are scheduled for a visit in August!  Their presence feels so comfortable and as if we have known each other for years, oddly they say the same.  Tess is our common link and it appears the link is magnetic in connecting her family with friends for further friendship and fun times.

All the dogs had a heavenly time at Ely.  We took control of the cabin grounds until other guests arrived on Day 3 of 4.  Holly & Keltie played games of chase, tug and wrestling, with an occasional burst into the lake to cool down or retrieve frisbees. Helen swam.  It is now all she wants to do, which is good and not so good, especially when the campground host has to go into the lake to help catch Helen to get her out of the lake.  Holly was thrilled to have a new lake to swim in and was most interested in retrieving the buoy tied out beyond the dock.  She tugged and pulled, swimming and splashing as she tries to do a grab and go.   DeeAnn couldn’t take it anymore and went into the water after her, walking into a rock and smacking her shin. Holly saw that as a better deal and let go of the buoy to go swim with a splashing and swearing DeeAnn.

The Tiki Lounge in Ely has live music on Tuesday evenings, offered on a pet friendly deck.  Holly, Helen, Rainie and Keltie were all ready for a break from the lake and game for a new adventure.  They all did very well.  There must be a lot of families with golden retrievers in Ely.  I heard muliple times – ‘I have a golden at home, can I pet your dog?’  Holly was proper with all of them, even the little girls who came in at eye height.  She either knew if she got squirrely she would be going to the car or she was too exhausted to get squirrely.  Either way, it gave her an opportunity to shine in public and practice self control.

While in Ely, Keltie turned one year old!  That meant having a birthday party with whip cream sundaes for all the dogs!  And lots of extra treats.

Holly had a great trip but was happy to get home.  She left the car, found her ball and held it in her mouth while checking out her backyard.  She wakes up in the morning not knowing what the new day will bring but fully ready to be a part of it. She knows  –   Seize the Day!