The twin castles of Weinheim Schlosspark dominated the skyline thus our destination was reached with relative ease and many visitors were enjoying the beautiful April weather upon our arrival. With Erin leashed at my side we set out to explore the botanical gardens town center, and anything else of interest, other dogs were spotted but they were not roaming freely and it quickly became apparent why as the castle grounds came into view. A well maintained lawn stretched for an eternity while blooming flowers of every color drew crowds of admirers, fountains spraying refreshing streams of water tempted children while statues added a sense of nobility to the entire scene; no one would ever permit their pets to deface such a magical place. Wide paved paths provided avenues to stroll around while wooden benches were situated throughout the arboretum if one wished to relax, Erin would nudge me onward if I became too comfortable in one location so our exploration continued at a steady pace.
Foliage from across the globe was flourishing inside greenhouses while protected frogs utilized a designated pond, Erin had an urge to enter the water to investigate but quickly became distracted by a hare sneaking around the outer perimeter wall. Under any other circumstances she would be off-leash acting upon her instincts but a more regal creature was required today thus he remained tethered to me despite the obvious angst. Locals with their dogs often said "Guten Tag" on our journey of discovery and while communication was an issue due to my lack of speaking German, Erin and her fellow canines had no such problems; tail wags and sniffing butts is a universal language across the globe :) Further ahead a mausoleum was discovered hidden amidst vast trees; too well hidden judging by the lack of visitors but that didn't stop us from admiring the ancient structure from a nearby bench. Detailed images of angels, owls, and bats were carved into support columns but unfortunately the entranceway was locked so a peek inside didn't occur.
A gate separated the castle park from a forest arboretum that contains a collection of trees from all over the world and here Erin was released free to run as she desired. Spotting or smelling something of interest produced a dash down a trail or into the underbrush where a minute later she appeared at my side with a toothy smile that declared "almost had it" and our trek continued with her out front. Furry inhabitants ensured her time in the preserve would not be boring, she scampered off after something unseen then repeated the process over and over. There was never any chance of Erin getting lost as she never dared to venture too far from me and I absolutely refused to allow her to that option; we both knew the limit of separation and anything beyond was uncomfortable. An impromptu game of hide and seek took place in that sacred locale, it's a game which we played many times over the years in numerous countries especially inside our home :) Concealed behind a tree a distinctive whistle was emitted in hopes of luring Erin towards my direction while she scanned the area for any subtle sign of movement, racing from tree to tree she attempted to locate my hiding spot. Peeking around the side of a broad tree, a huge smile was plastered upon my face as her tail wag is noticed, finally spotting me she rushes over where she's congratulated with a hug and kind words... “You found Daddy You found Daddy"
Eventually Weinheim's city center was reached but it was much too crowded and hectic for us to maneuver though, seems some type of festival with food, music, and merriment was ongoing so a leisurely stroll back to the castle park took place. Unexpectedly a bird sanctuary was discovered near one of the towers, colorful birds of all sizes were making a racket inside a fenced enclosure, they seemed oblivious to the interested crowd but Erin wasn't impressed so we wandered away from the squawking to find solace upon an isolated bench. All good things must end including this special day thus we headed home and exhaustion hit quickly as sleep overcame her within minutes of leaving the park so I knew she had a great time; sneaking peeks at her in the back seat I could imagine her chasing squirrels in her dream... RIP my Angel In Fur!!!