And as we all know, the agony of making that decision is followed by the emptiness of of no longer hearing that familiar bark, no longer seeing that circle wag. And in this case, that confusing state was immediately followed by our trip to Switzerland.
A stressor for someone who's not a fan of air travel, though fortunately, Switzerland is beautiful. As always, we traveled within Switzerland and France and got to see some truly amazing places.
Like Annecy, France, which is built around the Thiou River and on the edge of Lake Annecy.
Aunt Nancy, my cousin Courtenay, and her daughter Kayleigh had joined us in Geneva, and we all went to Annecy together.
What a lovely place to spend the day with family and friends.
Some gorgeous dogs there too, including one that I think was an Anatolian shepherd. I always used to tell people Lamar was an Anatolian shepherd, when they asked, and they would laugh.
But don't you see the resemblance?
Another of my favorite places to visit is Yvoire, a beautiful little town filled with old stone buildings and flowers.
As it is on the shore of Lake Geneva, my aunt and cousins were able to meet us there by boat
and then we had a lovely time walking around the cobbled streets
and admiring the French knack for decorating with windowboxes.
Not too many dogs there; had to go back to Florian's parents house for a good dose of animal therapy.
The goats are still there, right down the road, and I'd swear that the super-friendly ones
It's a good thing they are so friendly; being anywhere without contact with animals more than a few days is enough to make me go a bit batty. But these goats are really, incredibly friendly. Whenever we went to see them, a couple of them would run up, then just stand by the fence for as long as I would scratch them. Then the eyes would glaze over as I hit all those good spots. It's enough to make you want to kidnap one.
I could happily have stayed by the goats for the whole two weeks, but there were more sights to see. Off to Chamonix, in France, for a trip to the Mer de Glace.
A glacier that's receded rapidly with global warming. We took the trail down the side of the gorge that houses the glacier, and at various points there are plaques indicating the glacier's location at points in the past.
The melting that has occurred over just a few years was astounding.
Our destination was the ice cave, which has been carved into the glacier and decorated with colorful lights.
An incredible experience, and one I'm glad I got to have before the glacier disappears entirely.
Florian and I still had enough time to go on a sweet walk through Geneva,
in which we hiked across the confluence of the Rhone and Arve Rivers in Geneva and visited a small zoo, where we saw another horned creature, more magnificent but less endearing than our little friends.
And we got one last swim in Lake Geneva, which was warm and delightful.
So many beautiful sights and experiences! And still there's no place like home, when home is where the dog is.