Saturday, November 14, 2009

Adventures in Traveling

I should have known better than to travel on Friday the 13th!! But I am nothing if not an optimist and so off I went -- with Zoey and Cadi -- to Washington on Friday the 13th.

Yes, I checked the weather in the morning and it looked fine and so we left after my last class. The pass between Idaho and Montana was quite bad and stressful but I made it, and had great weather through eastern Washington.

I was within 100 miles of my destination when suddenly it was a blizzard -- I was in a panic. I could barely see and was crawling along at 25 mph, trying to stay calm. I turned the radio to the highway info station and learned that I was in bad driving conditions -- duh. I also learned that chains were required ahead on Snowqualmie Pass -- but chains or not, I was not driving any farther than the next exit, and I wasn't sure I would make it that far!

I have never been so happy to see a rest area in my life. I pulled into Indian John Hill rest area with several other stranded travelers, and hunkered down to wait things out. I was quite happy to see that the rest area had real people (as opposed to pretend ones I guess) giving out free coffee and cookies, and it turned out they were from the Knights of Columbus, which is a Catholic organization for men. I do not drink coffee and did not find the cookies interesting enough to spend the calories/carbs but I was thrilled to see a real live Catholic priest hanging out there, looking out for weary travelers! I took that as a sign that I would be okay :)

Okay is a relative term. I was not prepared to be stranded -- I know I should have been but I wasn't, which is why it happened (in addition to the whole Friday the 13th thing). The back of the van was filled with crates and stuff and so I had to just stay in the driver's seat. I told the girls that I needed their blankets more than they did, seeing how they have fur and are from the mountains, after all. So, with my not-so-clean, stolen dog bed blankets I somehow managed to not freeze for the five hours I had to wait until the road was okay again.

At 2:30 I headed gingerly up the Pass, made it down without mishap (much to my amazement but hey -- it was the 14th by that time and there was the whole priest thing) and found myself at the show sight -- at 4:30 a.m. Sigh. Let me just say that not much is happening at a dog show at 4:30 in the morning! I walked dogs, went to a grocery store, and basically tried to kill time and stay warm.

Zoey won her class (bred-by) but must be getting ready to come into season as she was fidgety and less than a cooperator today. The poor puppy -- this was her first all breed show, she is hormonal, and when we walked into the building she almost literally ran into an Irish Wolfhound the size of a small horse -- I thought Zoey's eyes might just bug out. And then an English Sheepdog went by, and if you have never seen one at a show you will have a hard time appreciating that they do not resemble any dog you have ever seen. I suspect what was running through Zoey's mind was something like, "mom, I don't think we are in Montana anymore."

So Zoey forgot that she is actually a really cute little showdog, and decided that where I wanted her feet was just flat out wrong so she moved them every time. Oh well -- nobody is perfect.

Then it was Cadi's turn for obedience. Now, Cadi is normally a rather lively dog (understatement alert) and consider that the poor dog had spent the better part of 21 hours in a crate -- you can probably see where this is heading. Her on leash heeling and figure 8 were lovely, but I made the mistake of engaging with her excited energy. Now, you want to stay connected to your obedience dog so I am not blaming myself but I should have been more subdued about it all.

Off leash heeling started fine but I could see that Cadi was getting cranked and next thing I know, she has started barking. BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK -- translation: THIS IS FUN WHERE ARE THE COOKIES CAN WE PLAY TUG WHERE ARE THE COOKIES HEY WHOSE COAT IS THIS ON TABLE WHERE ARE THE COOKIES, etc. More barking -- if you have seen Cadi do agility, you know that barking is not out of character for Cadi, but Obedience Cadi needs to exercise more self-control than Agility Cadi. I stopped smiling and tried glaring to no avail -- once a quarter is in Cadi, she is hard to stop!

Lucky for me, the judge was a) nice; and b) hard of hearing. He said that since her barking was "only" excessive (!) and not continuous, she was still qualifying. She wound up losing four points (which is a lot) for barking, but still did a nice job considering this is a GED (Git 'er Done) attempt at a CD and so I do not fuss with precision with her. So, she got her first GED CD leg with a 189.5 -- she would have placed in the class if she had kept her opinions to herself and not lost those four points!

On the positive side, she was the happiest dog -- her tail never stopped wagging :) And she qualified so I cannot complain too much, especially given our adventures in traveling.

All that is to say that Zoey, Cadi, and I are in Washington at a dog show. Dear Husband is also in Washington -- D.C. -- and so we have the coasts covered nicely, and can say we both spent the weekend in Washington.

In the future, I am staying home in bed on Friday the 13th. I hope yours was less traumatic!

1 comment:

  1. My grandfather stocked my VW bug trunk with an Army surplus mummy bag and a wool blanket for such occasions. A bit of food and water is good also, you might not want to share kibble and cookies with Cadi and Zoey. Glad you are home safe. I am eagerly awaiting weekend photos of the girls.