Road Trip! Part One

Another post in my continuing “Days of Yore” series, catching up on long-overdue photos of Truman’s final days as a puppy-in-training….

July 18-22, 2008 — Road Trip!

Now this was an adventure. I bought a new vehicle…er, old vehicle…and neither the word car nor the word truck truly encapsulates the essence of it. It’s a 1983 Mercedes Galaendewagen (or G-Wagen for short…but I call him “Klaus”), and Wolf and I planned a trip to pick it up. In Colorado.

Since Truman was still in training at that point, and thus allowed to travel in the cabin of an airplane (no dog of mine will ever fly cargo), we decided to take him with us. I made sure to fast him for several hours pre-flight so as not to cause him any “I gotta GO, and we are on a PLANE” discomfort. I relieved him before we left my apartment, and again when we got to the airport. And again after we got to the airport and had already gone inside the terminal, when he indicated that we needed to go back outside the terminal. I told him that if he had his paperwork in order and wasn’t carrying any sharp implements or more-than-three-ounce bottles of liquids, he’d have nothing to worry about, but I think he was still a little nervous.

The plane trip went very well. Truman curled up and fit nicely under the seat in front of me, and slept for the whole flight. He was, indeed, far more well-behaved than the toddler several rows in front of us. Hardly anyone knew he was there, until we disembarked in Denver and began what I now remember as “The Trip Through the World’s Longest Airport Terminal with No Access to the Outside.”

He really, REALLY had to go.

You know how it’s sometimes helpful to make your dog sit when he looks like he’s about to go to the bathroom, in an attempt to prevent an accident and give yourself enough time to regroup and find the quickest exit? We did that a lot. As in, every few feet down the aforementioned World’s Longest Terminal. There was just nowhere to take him. No door to the outside. Nowhere to go.

Have you ever hurriedly tried to get a dog to the nearest restroom so you could quietly encourage him to do his business on the tile floor of the handicap-access stall instead of the carpet in the middle of the airport terminal? Ever tried to command him to “get busy” in hushed tones so the other restroom patrons wouldn’t freak out and yell at you? Ever been frustrated that he just wouldn’t go, no matter how much he clearly had to, in the least objectionable of already-inappropriate places?

I have. I wouldn’t recommend it. Probably the most stressful 20 minutes or so of my life.

Anyway, after that debacle and we finally made it outside (“I don’t have to go anymore! Thanks!” … “Um, WHAT? You will go now, or I’m putting you back on that plane.”), we met with the man who was delivering my new Klaus. He’d had it detailed, and Klaus was a gleaming black beauty. For about five minutes, that is, until the yellow dog hair explosion. Good thing I took this photo, because there’s no chance the interior will ever be this clean again.

With a full tank of gas and an empty tank of Labrador, we hit the road and headed for our next stop: Albuquerque.

To be continued….

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