Indiana Dunes State Park – Part 1

Unlike today, the weather on Mother’s Day was clear and sunny with ZERO chance of rain. It was a perfect day to pack up the car and head to the Indiana Dunes for a little exploring and some much needed water therapy. I don’t know about you, but every time I’m near a body of water, be it a pond, river, lake or ocean, I feel more relaxed, peaceful and happy. Also, I hadn’t been to the Indiana Dunes since I was a puppy, just barely a year old. Seeing as I was about to turn three, it really seemed like it was past time to go back to the beach!

MaMa and Pops loaded us into the car with all of our gear, which is mostly their gear. Ever notice how many “things” humans need to bring with them everywhere? Phones, sacks, water, snacks, sunscreen, selfie stick, toys (okay, some of it was for us), and on and on. Finally we were ready to go! I slept for most of the ride. There is nothing like a car ride to make me sleepy, and I wanted to rest up for what was sure to be an eventful day! When we arrived, Levi and I immediately checked out the beach and got a good look at Lake Michigan. I love that beautiful view!

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After taking in that amazing view, it was time to get moving. We are adventurers, after all, and don’t visit the beach just to sit around! GiGi is my name, and Adventure is my game!

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It was time to get our climb on, dune climbing that is. The first dune we tackled is near the parking lot, and a good starter dune, especially if you want to have an amazing view of the beach and lake.

dune view

lake view

It took a while for me to get up the top, because I have short legs, and I also had to wait for MaMa. She kept saying she was taking it slow for me because she didn’t want to wear me out, but in my opinion, that was just an excuse for her to take breaks! Levi and Pops made it to the top long before we did, but I’m proud to say that we did make it!

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After climbing all the way to the top, we decided to take a short rest in the shade. MaMa always makes sure I’m not getting too tired and gives me plenty of time to sit and chill. And of course, every explorer knows you need to stay hydrated, so Pops always packs a travel bowl and brings plenty of water for us to drink.

dune shade

After that long climb, Levi still had a ton of energy and decided it was time to make like a sand monster and go wild! He was crawling and spinning and kicking up sand everywhere. His enthusiasm was contagious and I couldn’t help but laugh along with MaMa and Pops at him, especially when he got a face full of sand!

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After some play time, we got to run down the dune, which in my opinion is the best part. A lot more fun than climbing up it, that’s for sure! We had so much more to explore, starting with the lakeshore! But I’ll save the rest of our story for another rainy day…

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My Origin Story – Tobacco Store Beginnings

No known pictures of my puppy months exist, but I probably looked something like this.
No known pictures of my puppy months exist. I probably looked something like this! Cute, huh?

I was born in the great and windy city of Chicago in May of 2013, adopted by a family with a little girl, little boy AND a German Shepherd puppy. Life was great! They called me Chloe. My German Shepherd brother let me play with him and didn’t mind that I’m a little bit cuckoo (I really can’t help it, I have an exuberance for life!). I guess my owners didn’t exactly feel the same way, because after just a few months, the Mom of the family told the Dad that she didn’t want me anymore and kicked me out of the house. Luckily, the Dad owned a Tobacco Shop, so I had a place to go to keep me off the streets.

“…I have an exuberance for life!”

I spent my days tied up to a 20 Foot, red plastic lead, chewing on pillows or my towel/toy (TT). I didn’t have any other toys or bones to keep me busy, so I decided to make a job for myself. I was able to get just close enough to the front door to make a good greeter. People were constantly coming in, and I’d bark, bark, bark my hellos and goodbyes. When I was real lucky, a customer would bend over to pet me and I’d give them sneak-attack licks on their face (to this day, I’m a pro at the sneak-attack face-lick!)

I must have been pretty good at my job, because a lot of people seemed to like me. I enjoyed being so social, even if the hours sucked (I never got to leave) and it got pretty lonely after hours. When the store closed at 10PM, everyone left. Except I didn’t get to leave, or go home, because I no longer had one. Whoever was closing up the smoke shop that day, would put me in my crate with my TT, shut off most of the lights and leave me by myself for 12 hours. From 10PM-10AM, I was locked up in my crate with only TT to keep me company. There were loud noises and things that went bump in the night. I whined and barked at first, but realized acceptance was best. I would fall asleep curled up next to TT, dreaming of a life I didn’t know yet, running through fields and exploring the outdoors, adventures and travels and beautiful places. I dreamt of it all!

“…acceptance was best.”

Every day was a new day and the possible joys of the next day were what kept me from giving up hope during those long, dark hours alone. I had hopes for a new home and a happy family. I didn’t know what was coming, but I knew it wouldn’t always be like that. It couldn’t be! I was too cute, friendly and full of potential to spend my life as a tobacco shop pup!