Friday, 5:30 a.m.
I wake up Spike, Janie and Bridget and after they have a quick potty break I put them in their harnesses. This means that today is a special day! Everyone gets excited and runs out to the PTV. I hoist Spike up onto the bench seat where he waits patiently. Bridget, with a little boost to her behind, scrambles in. I finish loading the van. Great. I had set 6 o’clock as our departure time and it is now 6 o’clock.
“Janie! Janie! C’mon! Let’s go!”
Janie looks at me and runs. Oh no. Not now. This is not the time for a game of Catch Me If You Can. Finally, 20 minutes and 3 peanut butter crackers later, Janie’s in the co-pilot seat and we pull out of the drive.
Florida, here we come!
The Perfect Tow Vehicle is indeed perfect all the way to my sister’s house in south Florida and all the way back . . . quick starts . . . smooth, comfortable ride . . . and no breakdowns!
The three-canine crew do pretty well on the road, too.
They look out the window or sleep most of the time.
There is the rest stop incident where Spikey wriggles out of his harness and runs toward the highway, but we won’t go into that.
Friday, 6:30 p.m.
We’re finally here! After being buzzed into my sister’s gated apartment complex, we disembark. Such a thrill to see Nancy after so many years! We immediately and very carefully introduce Janie, Spike, and Bridget to Nancy’s adorable West Highland Terrier, Margaret.
Let’s just say, this does not go well.
First of all, four dogs in the enclosed space of an apartment is not a good starting point. And the canine crew – let’s face it — are three country dogs who are a little “rough” around the edges. Apartment manners . . . what’s that? Frankly, we don’t fit in well with the walk-on-a-leash crowd.
Little Miss Mary Margaret, the Pedigreed Princess of Boca Raton, is flabbergasted.
How dare this bunch of ruffians intrude on my territory where they definitely don’t belong, thank you!
A few altercations later the canines establish how it’s all going to go down, and in spite of their cultural differences, detente is reached.
The fact that we are pretty much housebound by four dogs doesn’t matter to Nancy and me. We have a great time talking, looking over family photos, laughing, crying, drinking wine, watching the antics of the dogs . . . .
It’s wonderful just being sisters together.
We all pile into the PTV and go to the dog park. Everyone behaves well. The dogs are exhausted and don’t run around much. I must give Janie, Spike, and Bridget credit. By the time we leave on Monday morning, all three are trotting along on leashes, shoulder to shoulder, without pulling, and are actually making congenial, palm tree-sniffing forays alongside Margaret.
And dear little Margaret, bless her heart, turns out to be a good — if at first unwilling — hostess. (Must be the good breeding.)
Looking back on our first trip, I think we’re going to do just fine when we travel to Texas to pick up our new home on wheels . . . hopefully in just a few weeks. The trip reminded me how adaptable dogs are and what fun it is to be on the road!
Thanks, Nancy, for everything!
Margaret is adorable as are you three. Sounds like it was great fun once everyone adjusted. You are great little travelers. Chancy hates to travel he gets very sick after just a few minutes of riding. Hugs and nose kisses
It was a great trip. And no one got sick.
Poor Chancy. I used to get carsick when I was a kid, so he has my sympathy.
You’re so lucky you don’t get the canine version of “are we there yet” like I do from my Bridgette.
They do kick up an awful fuss when I pull the van off the road, even if only for gas. They figure it’s time to get out and run around. Barking, whining, pawing at me . . .
Now you know I sometimes edit out the unflattering details.
I checked your blog … well done … and your dog really is named Bridgette!
Yup. I know that routine all too well, and it’s gonna be x2 when I get another one (before I hit the road). I named her after my Grandma because they looked the same in the face when she was a puppy.
Thank you for the compliment on the blog and I’m thoroughly enjoying reading yours too!
Cute cousin! It’s amazing how they all seem to work it out amongst themselves.
I tell ya, rvSue, I can’t wait till your trip to Rice. I hope you are excited for you as I am for you!
I know, Kim…. It seems like the day will never come!
Your captions on the pictures just crack me up. LOL
Just click on Bridget’s photos . . . Her face is so comical.
We really had a great time doing nothing and Marg enjoyed her well-behaved weekend guests.
The pics of Bridget are amazing, just don’t take any rear shots!
Love you and the crew,
Nancy and Marg,
Bridget needs back-up sensors, the kind forklifts have. People must be warned.
Yeah, it was fun. So glad we made the trip!
We also had a successful first trip with our newly acquired canine. Roxy was rescued from a kill-shelter in Tennessee and had been at the SPCA in Queensbury since April. She is a Feist mix which, to me, means a Tennessee hound 🙂 We went to our youngest daughter’s and she has a pit bull mix names Missy. She is a wonderful family dog and, although I wouldn’t say the dogs became friends, the overnight went very well. love reading your escapades. Linda L. T.
Dogs tend to take a cue from their owners. They see their owners getting along, so they end up getting along, too. Good luck with Roxy!
Glad you enjoy the blog.
To be able to say “all three are trotting along on leashes” is a fantastic accomplishment and bodes well for the future of your Vagabond life. I’m so glad the PTV proved to be the Perfect Tow Vehicle indeed. This trip will give you lots more confidence when you head to Texas. See you soon.
I think seeing how Margaret behaves on a leash helped my three learn how to walk on a leash. Will they always do well on a leash? Probably not. I at least know they are capable of being good.
This trip did restore my confidence in the PTV. .. one less thing to worry about.
Nice to hear the first trip was a success, except for the blog , which went dead for a week? Still waiting to hear about the shooting lessons. Oh what demanding fans you have!
About not posting . . .Glad you brought it up so I can explain for anyone interested . . .
1) I only got one bar for my Verizon at my sister’s apt. and I would lose connection with no warning
2) I wanted to spend every moment enjoying my sister after so many years apart. It takes a long time for me to write one post and I have to be in my own little world to do so. That would mean shutting my sister out of my mind and I couldn’t do that. Every minute with her was precious! and . . .
3) I couldn’t stop on the road to post because the canines would go beserk and it was HOT and I wanted to get home. Once home I needed a day to debrief, being depressed over having to say goodbye.
I don’t blog about what I had for breakfast or whether my bunions are hurting, if I had bunions. I like to take a small situation in my life that people can relate to and develop it. Sometimes I stare at the monitor and it just doesn’t happen!
Glad you missed me though. Maybe it’s a good thing, Mick. I like to encourage being missed.
As for the shooting lessons . . . The two-hour lesson covered all the basics that I need to know for what I want a firearm for. (See post: “Go Ahead. Make My Day”) There are advanced classes but they go into stuff I don’t need. It’s up to me to practice which I’m doing.
Sorry Sue, I just missed “Make my day” ; must have been on the Moon that day??
How could there be any other explanation for missing one of my blog posts!
So, are all three dogs going with you now? I think it’s great you made the trip to see your sister. My Sissy passed in 2007, we weren’t raised together and didn’t really get to know one another until we were much older. So much was missed out on. The first time we were completely alone was in 1999, when I took her to Florida to see her dad’s second wife. We found out we had a lot in common. It’s a good memory. Love your blog, keep writing often.
I can’t see how I can take all three dogs. It’s one thing to manage a weekend trip, quite another to live in a little trailer with three dogs. It’s going to tear my heart out and I don’t want to think what Janie will feel. I have to hope that Felix and his son will fill her heart with so much love that she won’t pine for us. Janie was a good girl on the trip . .. It really makes me feel awful about leaving her.
So very precious is each moment you spent with your sister. A priceless memory for you. I’m glad you got together and I’m sorry she is no longer with you.
Thanks for your words about the blog.