26th October 2013 marked the 12 month anniversary of my beautiful boy Corey crossing over to ‘The Rainbow Bridge’. It does not feel like a year has passed. It still feels very raw and I unquestionably did not intend to stay home that weekend. I knew if I did I would sit around the house and ruminate those last heartbreaking moments. Rather I sought to reflect on 18 years I was blessed to love and be loved by my little boy Corey. I made a decision that it was time Amber had her first weekend away and what better place then one of Corey’s most favourite holiday destinations – Peregian Beach!
Unlike Europe or the USA who accept dogs in far greater areas from hotels, cafe’s & public transport; Australian business’ have only really started to grasp the connection people have with their dogs and now allow them into some hotels, B&B’s and a handful of cafe’s in the last 10 or so years. The last few years representing the greatest achievements with a few 5 star hotels in major cities accepting well mannered small dogs.
Whenever I had the chance to get away from the ‘big smoke’ and head to the Sunshine Coast for the weekend it would always be ‘The Lake Weyba Cottages’. A 20 acre property with just 8 cottages scattered amongst the gardens. Looking out from your private veranda you can see the natural fresh water swimming hole, Kangaroos grazing, Parrot, Cockatoo & Kookaburra’s in orchestra and a secret track that winds its way through tall grasses down to edge of Lake Weyba. With native paperbark trees, the sounds of water lapping the banks and whispering breezes through the nettles it is hard not to breathe in the smell and sounds of Lake Weyba and truly feel miles from civilization.
Corey was in the true sense a ‘watcher’ be it at the park, beach or cafe; therefore it goes without saying he loved nothing more than stretching out on the veranda and gazing across at this view. He always reminded me of a little old man in the deepest of thoughts. Corey was fantastic to travel with, never barking or harassing the wildlife and a go with the flow kind of attitude. I think he simply enjoyed a change in routine.
I was keen to see if Miss Amber would also catch the travel bug. I did have some reservations though with the wildlife. Amber has a very keen chase drive. She loves chasing birds, butterflies, ants, Christmas beetles anything that zips around. Thankfully through early training she is not much of a barker. She tends to give off little warning sounds, similar to the ‘buck buck’ sound chickens make a moment before throwing her head back into a full blown ‘yip yip’ holler! If I catch the chicken sound in that momentary second I have a chance to exclaim ‘Amber it’s nothing’! She swings around always with the same expression on her face that says ‘really?’ Confident ‘mission accomplished’, she happily trots away onto the next big thing to investigate.
Two hours later, arriving at our destination I was glad to be out of the car and let Amber explore the cottage that was to be home for the next two nights. She was really excited boldly trotting from room to room and investigating every square centimetre of the veranda. I on the other hand was busy checking out the little gift bag supplied with slippers, wine, local handmade soap, chocolates and a delicious tapas platter to enjoy at sunset.
After a quickly putting everything away, filling up Amber’s water bowl and arranging her bed in the best spot we strolled down through the tall grassed path to Lake Weyba just in time for an afternoon paddle on a canoe. It was quite windy so getting into a canoe with a tiny dog in arms is no easy task. I had hoped she would be tall enough to stand on the floor and see out, but she wasn’t. Instead she remained on my lap. Amber did not seem to mind the canoe though, contentedly looking around as we paddled out further and further. The trip back was not orchestrated quite to plan with the wind almost tipping us over and nearly all thrown into the lake! The lake is quite shallow so the only concern is getting totally drenched.
That night falling asleep and then waking to the unique sounds of the Australian bush is one thing I will never tire of! It is magical, musical and a little bit eerie! After cooking up the BBQ breakfast supplied it was off to Peregian Beach for the day. This would be the first time Amber has been on a true beach. The kind where the sand is white, fluffy, your feet sink into and it squeaks as you walk.
Having just a moment to wrench off my shoes Amber spots the ocean, sand, dogs and people before literally dragging me with all her tiny might down the sand to the ocean edge. Looking around at all the activity she appeared jubilant and animated, mouth open wide and tongue hanging out. Running back and forth from person and dog alike, digging in the sand and attempting to grab washed up dead jelly fish that I am sure if allowed would have carried triumphantly down the beach! After a few hours we were all thirsty and hot and decided to wander over to Peregian Village which is probably the most dog friendly suburb on the Sunshine Coast! Nearly every shop and cafe happily supplies bowls of fresh water for sandy beach dogs big or small. Dog are also permitted in almost every cafe. Amber was in true social heaven!
The next morning it was time to go home. The car all packed up and exhausted Amber curled up in her dog seat. I drove home and reflected on all the past treasured memories I held so tight and imagined all the new ones just waiting to be made possible.Sharing Is Caring!