We returned last night after an eight-day trip to visit relatives in another province. All in all, we consider our first “travel with the dog” experiment a success.
True, he didn’t get out enough. He destroyed my sister-in-law’s screen door and sliding door to the porch. (She forgave him.) He got away from one of the children and chased a neighbour’s cat up a tree. (She came down later.) We didn’t even take him to the dog park we visited last winter with Zach. However, I did walk him every day, and a few times we meandered through the nature park not three minutes from my sister-in-law’s house. He loved that; his nose never left the ground, and the temperature was a few degrees cooler under the trees. I loved it too; I love walking through woods and forests, the smell of damp ground and evergreen trees. And as everyone else enjoyed staying up until 2:00 a.m. and rising past 10, I spent that time alone with Our Best Friend. (The Middle Child joined us on one early-evening walk, and she loved the park too– especially as we saw a deer and her fawn.) We even got lost once: a good hour-long stretch of exercise, in 35° heat (95° F).
The trip home was mostly uneventful. At one point the dog began crying and whining and generally indicating a desperate need for out. We pulled off as soon as we could, on a side road barren of dog-friendly places to roam. He raced around in circles, peed a few times, and then we put him back in the car. After that he didn’t make a sound all the way home.
And when we did get home, his relief was unmistakable. He sat in our entrance way, surveying the house with a satisfied “This is my kingdom” look on his face. I hoped that all this new driving experience would make trips to the dog park more peaceful, but no chance; he still barked all the way there this afternoon.
There, too, he was clearly thrilled to be home. Sadly, none of our regular friends were there when we went; in fact, there were only about five dogs hanging about. Still, that gave Our Best Friend the opportunity to chase a stray ball around, something we dare not do in a crowded park. He sniffed, he pooped (yes I cleaned up after him), he chased, and then he went home a happy puppy.
It’s good to be back.