Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Animals On Vacation

While I spent the past week hoping for above zero temperatures, the dogs got to spend the week at the beach. I’m not exactly sure how I got the worst part of that deal, but I did. When I called to check on them Monday, I was told that they were doing fine, eating normally, and that Duncan was being a wuss. Can’t say I was surprised. By Wednesday, though, Duncan had settled down and was enjoying his stay.

Getting them to the kennel was interesting. The owner of the kennel had originally said he’d pick them up Saturday while he was in Raleigh, but that changed because of scheduling conflicts. Instead, I met his wife in Goldsboro and she drove the dogs back down to Emerald Isle. Donnie would have picked them up in a van with crates. Jessica drove a small car. She walked Reyna around for a few minutes to familiarize her with the idea of a new person, and then led Reyna to the car. Jessica made sure Duncan could see Reyna, and then gave Reyna a series of commands, trying to figure out which one would actually get Reyna in the car. Reyna just stood and looked at her until Jessica finally said “get in the car.” Reyna hopped right in and stretched out full length along the back seat. Duncan didn’t go quite as easily. Donnie had told Jessica that Duncan likes to ride in the front, so she took him around to the passenger side and told him to get in. I had to call Duncan in from the other side of the car before he was willing to get in the seat. I’d warned Jessica about Reyna’s tendency to lunge at passing traffic, but Jessica assured me that she could handle it and that Reyna certainly wouldn’t try that more than once with her. *Snort. Snicker. Um, yeah, okay….* What really tickled me, though, was that it looked like Donnie never mentioned just how big the dogs are. The car Jessica drove was quite a bit smaller than my old Grand Am. Reyna covered the entire back seat without even trying, and Duncan looked like he’d never be able to fold up enough to sit in the front. I’d have loved to see how that trip went, but I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be in the car.

I chatted with Jessica for a few minutes when I checked in on Wednesday, and she said that Duncan spent the ride in the back with Reyna, instead of in the front seat. I have to say, I’m not surprised about that. Between the small seat and the stranger behind the wheel, I’m sure he felt safer next to Reyna. Jessica also said that Reyna behaved just fine for her. I wasn’t inclined to debate why that might have been, but Donnie and I talked about it when he dropped the dogs off Saturday afternoon. Donnie’s an excellent trainer, and we’ve worked with him on and off since Reyna was about six months old, so he is well aware of her…issues. When I mentioned to him that Jessica seemed a bit smug about how nicely Reyna rode in the car, he just grinned and said that he’d expected Reyna to behave better – not because Jessica demanded the better behavior, but because Reyna was in a different vehicle with a stranger (and kids usually do better for others than they do for their parents), Duncan was taking up at least half of the back seat, and Reyna couldn’t bounce around like she can in our truck. Makes sense to me, but I’m still not going to go out and buy a small car for the three of us to ride around in.

After dropping off the dogs, I was sitting on the couch and relaxing, and I realized it was VERY quiet in the house. Even when the dogs are snoozing, its not completely silent. Another thing I realized is that the cats are a lot more annoying than they used to be. Before the dogs, it didn’t bother me when the cats would try and snag food off my plate, or when Belle would reach out and grab my fork. But now…well, its just irksome. And just as annoying is the tendency for at least one cat to lie near my drink, swishing its tail, getting fur stuck to my glass (or slopping its tail completely in my drink). I just don’t have the tolerance for that that I used to. Mikey managed to create some drama Friday by sitting on top of Niko’s cage and nearly knocking it over when I told him to get down. And that night, Mikey was apparently trying to get under Niko’s cover sheet and managed to pull cage and all to the floor. Between the noise of the crash and me yelling at him, Mikey didn’t seem inclined to visit Niko after that. One thing I don’t understand is why the cats will use the catwalk when the dogs aren’t there, but when the dogs are home, the cats want to walk down the hall. I just don’t get it.

John checked on Niko and the cats for me a few times while I was gone (mostly to make sure the bird was still alive). He said he didn’t see much of the cats, just lots of open kitchen cabinets and an open drawer. Again, not exactly surprised….

Its nice to be back home with all of my critters; as aggravating as they can be, I miss them when I travel.


Anonymous said...

I could see Reyna saying "Well, why didn't you just say so!" when Jessica finally said "get in the car". And yes, kids do behave better around other people than with their own parents!!! As for the cats.....there's 6 of them!!!'Nuf said! I know they are all glad their mama is's just rude that the pups got to go to the beach before me....sigh..what can I say....Love you and them!!! Mom

Nana Net said...

So the babies got a vacation first! Wow, way to go fur babies! :-) Before ya know it all of you will go on one!
And yep, they always behave better for others than for us. I know whenever I have to go off and leave them behind, I am constantly checking on them. Guess it is because I leave them at home with the Radio on in one room, and the TV on in the other! Plus family members do check on them all of the time. And I did learn recently that a few of them have even stayed the night at my house! Seems the babies big old eyes get the best of everyone when I am gone!
Now as to asking them to get into the car...All we have to say it the word "Ride" and off they go jumping into the car/truck. :-) Is it not funny how they can pick up on such simple words and know what the meaning of them are? Enjoy having them home. Take care.

Janine said...

Yeah, I say "ride" or "truck" or just open the truck door, and they hop right in. Its nice that the dogs don't respond so quickly to just anybody...