It was evening, already dark, when Lupe arrived at the cabin on Kabekona Lake in northern Minnesota. Surprisingly, no one seemed to be around. However, the door was unlocked. Presumably everyone would be back soon. Lupe and SPHP went right on in.
Lupe had been here before, way back in June of 2014 – a very long time ago for the Carolina Dog. Did she remember the cabin? Lupe sniffed around curiously. She went up the stairs to the loft she’d loved where she and SPHP had stayed before. The Carolina Dog’s eyes grew wide, but she didn’t jump up on the bed. Did she remember the loft? It was hard to say.
Lupe discovered there were two cats in the basement, but Laddie, the old cat that had been here in 2014, was nowhere to be seen. The two new cats were both curious and rather alarmed to see an American Dingo in possession of the main floor of their cabin. SPHP closed the door to the basement. Even though Lupe likes cats, it was best to keep the cats down there for now.
SPHP crashed on the couch. Lupe was 700 miles from home. It had been a long day’s drive. Best to get a little shuteye, before the gang returned. Lupe sniffed around a little more, then curled up with SPHP.
Suddenly Lupe was barking furiously! She had leapt up to defend the cabin from intruders! Of course, the intruders happened to be John and Joyce, owners of the cabin, returning home from eating out. With them were Claire and Laura, who had arrived yesterday for the same sad reason Lupe was here. Lupe calmed down when she realized SPHP was glad to see these intruders. She most graciously permitted John and Joyce to enter their own cabin.
Service at the restaurant had been extremely slow. It was already after 10 PM. Tomorrow there would be a ceremony after church for Connie. The next day’s schedule was discussed. Then it was time to hit the hay. Everyone retired for the night.
The next morning, Lupe, Sandy and SPHP went down to take a look at Kabekona lake. The lake looked wonderful! It was going to be a beautiful day! Lupe would only have half of the afternoon and this one evening before sunset to enjoy the lake, though. The rest of the day she would be stuck in the G6. Tomorrow she would be headed home again.
It was an amazingly warm day for northern Minnesota in early October. During church, Lupe was confined to the G6 with the windows rolled down as far as possible without allowing her a possible escape route. She had plenty of water to help her stay cool. She would be bored, but fine.
After church, SPHP took Lupe for a short walk to a small lake nearby. Lupe was soon back in the G6, though, until social hour was done. SPHP brought Lupe a pastry from the church meant for social time attendees. Lupe wanted to go back with SPHP into the church, since SPHP had neglected to bring her any coffee, but SPHP wouldn’t hear of it.
A little after noon, social hour ended. Now it was time to go to the cemetery for a short ceremony for Connie. The cemetery wasn’t far away. Fortunately the road went right by a field full of black cows and Canadian geese. Lupe had an exciting, if brief, respite from boredom barking furiously at the cows.
Post ceremony at the cemetery, a luncheon was held back at the church. Lupe was still stuck in the G6. However, she did receive a much appreciated ham and cheese sandwich, plus another pastry, to ease both hunger and the monotony of confinement.
It was after 2 PM by the time Lupe was back at the cabin. Finally, she could go exploring outside. Was she ever ready! The Carolina Dog charged through the N woods, nose to the ground, delighted to be free again.
Lupe bounded around the cabin. She went with SPHP down to the dock for another quick look at Kabekona Lake. She explored the driveway and woods out to County Road No. 37.
After Lupe’s outdoor reconnaissance, it was time to go back to the cabin to pop the big question. SPHP asked John about the possibility of taking the boat out on the lake?
John didn’t say no, but as SPHP expected, the events of the past summer meant John hadn’t had the boat out on the lake even once yet this year himself. There was a long list of tasks to accomplish to get the boat and motor ready for launch. Lupe wouldn’t get to spend much time actually on the lake. Nevertheless, SPHP was prepared to spring into action, when John made another suggestion.
Why not take the canoes instead of the boat? John had a canoe, and there was another one that could be borrowed at the cabin where Sandy and Lib were staying. That made more sense. It was a calm day with hardly any waves on the lake. The canoes would be fun, and would require almost no prep time at all! The plan was set. John went with Lupe and SPHP to launch the first canoe.
Soon Lupe was in the canoe out on Kabekona Lake! John and SPHP paddled over to the neighbor’s dock. SPHP climbed up a short ladder onto the dock intending to go get the second canoe. SPHP had barely reached the top of the ladder, when suddenly Lupe decided she wasn’t getting left behind. She launched herself out of the canoe!
Of course, Lupe didn’t realize the canoe would tip as she made her leap for the dock. Consequently, she didn’t jump quite high enough. For a fraction of a second, she clung to the edge of the dock trying to dig her claws in and scramble up, but she couldn’t. Lupe plunged back into Kabekona Lake sinking beneath the surface!
Now Carolina Dogs, at least this Carolina Dog, are not water dogs. Although Lupe likes wading in puddles and streams, and even laying down in them, SPHP has almost never seen Lupe swim. Maybe it was because of her first swimming experience.
When Lupe was 3 months old, on her first trip to the park, Lupe had hurled herself for no apparent reason into Rapid Creek. Of course, the tiny puppy sank far below the surface. SPHP was on the verge of wading in to save her. However, Lupe popped back up to the surface and swam against the current for shore, managing to extricate herself all on her own.
That first experience must have been quite a shock, though. Puppy Lupe had had no idea she would sink and start to drown. It was March. There was 6″ of snow on the ground. The water in the creek couldn’t have been much above freezing. Ever since then, Lupe has carefully avoided water that’s over her head.
Did Lupe even remember how to swim? SPHP peered anxiously into Kabekona Lake. Lupe did swim back up to the surface! She was doing the Dingo paddle for all she was worth, but she was confused. She swam around to the wrong side of the canoe where she couldn’t see the near shore.
SPHP called to Lupe and encouraged her to come. She swam back around the canoe again, and headed for shore. When she reached it, she released a great spray of water as she shook herself off. Despite her unexpected baptism in Kabekona Lake, Lupe was fine. She went with SPHP to launch the second canoe.
Before long, Laura and Sandy joined Lupe’s canoe fleet crew as paddlers. Laura went with John, and Sandy with Lupe and SPHP. It was sunny and warm. Lupe dried off quickly. She was quite content to stay in the canoe.
There was no particular goal other than to paddle around lazily enjoying the day. Preacher’s Point along the SE shore of Kabekona Lake became the canoe trip’s destination by default.
After going a bit beyond Preacher’s Point, Lupe’s canoe fleet turned around and headed back for John’s cabin. There was no rush, just a leisurely paddle. Over two hours had gone by on the lake by the time the tiny fleet arrived back at the dock. John, Laura and Sandy were done for the day.
However, Lib hadn’t gotten a chance to be out on the lake yet. She joined Lupe and SPHP for a one canoe sunset cruise back to Preacher’s Point. The water was glassy smooth.
On her second return trip from Preacher Point, Lupe was sailing toward the now setting sun. Her afternoon and evening on Kabekona Lake was almost over. The canoes had been a great idea. Even so, the hours had flown by fast.
Supper was well underway in the cabin by the time Lupe and SPHP appeared. The evening was spent in pleasant conversation, except for a brief altercation between Blackie, the jet black cat, and Lupe.
Apparently Blackie resented Lupe getting too close to his dinner bowl. Blackie let her know it in no uncertain terms. In return, Lupe made it clear that American Dingoes have no intention of being bossed around by mere cats. Fortunately, a truce based on mutual understanding was reached in two seconds.
The next morning, it was already time to say good-bye. Laura had left well before dawn to catch a plane. Sandy and Lib departed right after breakfast. A little while later, it was Lupe and SPHP’s turn to hit the long road home.