Thursday, October 21, 2010
Over the long Columbus Day weekend, Desi, Lucy and I took a short road trip through upstate New York. As much as we love to go on road trips, and despite the many, many pet parents we always encounter at rest stops who travel with unflappable dogs and even cats, Desi and I have always had a strict no-pets policy when it comes to our vacations, not least because there are many dangers to traveling with pets. Cats, for instance, tend to hide away for long periods of time in un-findable places when spooked by strange surroundings, and you run the risk of losing them in whatever place you've traveled to. And for some dogs at least, traveling in a car for long periods of time and then being holed up in a strange hotel room would be a really stressful experience. Opie, for instance, who can never sit still, hates confined spaces and starts getting antsy within minutes of sitting in a car.
Still, this time when we made our plans we wondered if we should include Lucy. For one, Lucy is a fantastic car rider-- the best I've ever known. She will sit in the back seat for hours and you won't even know she's there. Second, she loves being with us at all times-- a trait that seems to have magnified since all her experiences of the last few months, after she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. She will follow Desi and me up and down the stairs (with three legs) each time we move around, and she fights to go with us every time we step out of the door-- something she never did in the past. Also, her chemo medications have to be given to her daily with unfailing regularity and although we know we can completely trust Hallie, who runs the daycare we usually check them into, Desi-- the loving dogfather that he is-- just felt like he had to do the honors himself.
So we called around and found hotels in Albany and Syracuse that accept doggie guests. We deposited Freddie and Opie at Hallie's, and off we took for our first road trip with our tremendous dog.
All said it was a great experience, although not one I'd likely repeat any time soon. For one, we learned a lesson about the solidarity between Opie and Lucy who came to our home just a month apart and who -- despite their very significant differences in behavior and energy levels-- share a strong bond. All through the trip Lucy seemed a little out of sorts without Opie, and he -- according to Hallie-- was miserable without her.
For another, as much as Lucy loves car rides, I think she found out on this trip that you can have too much of a good thing. On our way back home from Syracuse we ran into bottlenecks at several points along the highway and ended up spending three hours longer on the road than we had expected.
Still overall it was lovely having her around and not having to worry about her. She in turn loved all the extra attention and the treats she was showered with, for the three days that she had us all to herself.
And yes, she did love all those walks in all those strange places with wonderful new smells and calling cards left behind by other road-tripping dogs from all around the country!
A piece of not-so-great news from this road trip is that I dropped our camera on the beautiful marble steps of an Albany government building and broke beyond repair the lens Desi uses to click all those yummy pictures. As a result, I've had no pictures to post and I'd rather not post a recipe without showing you the end result. But a replacement lens is on the way and Desi will be clicking, and I writing, again in no time.
Thanks for hanging in there with us!