Naughty Dog Road Trip
This weekend, in a heroic act of immense bravery we took BOTH dogs, the boxer shark puppy, Ruby and the old girl, Dita, on a road trip up north to the Mountains of Santa Cruz.
Seems we were spurred on by a false sense of confidence, fueled by hope (and the need to get away, eat and drink too much and the lure of a good party) and by the fact that the couple who’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary we were road tripping to see, are dog lovers and had recently lost their old girl, and needed a dog fix.
Our friends usually have a room in their home with our name on it, except this time, since so many family members were coming into town and they had a full house.
No biggie, we’ve stayed at the local dog friendly hotels in the past, easy peasy – with one dog.
Now one mature dog and a seven month old boxer shark puppy isn’t two dogs; the number multiplies exponentially by the misbehaving, excess energy factor and the general havoc wreaked; making it seem in stress and aggravation as if there are nine wild, howling hounds.
I’d like to file a grievance right here and now with the Canine Powers that be.
I was misled to believe that the old dog would co-parent the puppy; giving us a helping paw with the potty training and pass along all the amazing traits that had made her such a well-behaved joy, and our home such a well oiled machine.
What a fucking lie.
The exact opposite has occurred.
The older girl now eyes with intrigue, all the raucous misbehavior that had never even occurred to her, like jumping up to the kitchen island to eat our dinner while our backs are turned.
She hits her forehead with her paw, like “Doh” and feels she has a lot of catching up to do.
Dita had the training of a service dog…..not anymore.
The puppy’s bad behavior has begun to rub off on her.
Ruby has cajoled my sweet old girl into barking (unheard of) ignoring orders to sit and stay, flipping us off and sticking out her tongue at us behind our backs, making long distance phone calls and smoking behind the garage.
They are both behaving like thirteen year old teenage bitches.
If this trip had a title, it would be called the “what’s the worst case scenario dog and pony show?”
“Well, what’s the worst thing that could happen?” was our default expectation.
Those two could assume the roles of furry terrorists. They could trash the room like a couple of drugged out, over sexed eighties rock stars, they could jump on party guests, muddying white pants, overturning lavishly decked out buffet tables and leave two big poops in the middle of the lawn. That was our worst case scenario speculation. We wanted to steal ourselves for the worst, like soldiers preparing for battle, so we could be prepared.
We have a doggie door at home, which in my opinion is the best invention since sliced bread.
It is better than sliced bread. I will happily slice my own bread, if my dogs can take themselves out to shit in the middle of the night.
When we go away, we are privy to our dog’s bathroom habits, of which we are blissfully otherwise unaware.
In other words, we have to wake up, get dressed, get a leash, walk down a long corridor, traverse stairs, find a patch of grass, and indulge Ruby’s urge to go star-gazing and maybe relieve herself of a thimble full of pee at 3am.
Then, back at the room, the minute you get everyone settled, get undressed and climb back in bed, Dita, who had been feigning coma sleep, yawns loudly, shakes and lets you know in no uncertain terms: now she has to go out.
I know they hatched this plan when we left them alone in the car while we ate lunch on the way up. They are now laughing the uproarious laughter that only the naughtiest of dogs can hear.
I’m certain of it.
I’m telling you, Mean Girls.
The Worst Case Scenario Dog and Pony Show.
I knew I had to stop this madness.
I had to nip this thinking in the bud, or it would become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
As I always say, it’s all in the energy of our expectations.
Why couldn’t we hope for the best instead of expecting the worst?
We had to.
I decided to rename the trip to the BEST Case Scenario Tour, where every thing turns out BETTER than expected, where the girls are well-behaved, everyone sleeps through the night, there’s no crying (Raphael) and everyone has fun.
Once I suggested we change our expectations, the vibe shifted.
Although we were still hyper vigilant at the party, we let them run free without leashes, playing with the kids and even ended up abandoning our plan to put them in the van once the food was served.
Truth be told, they played so hard with all the kids and the other dogs, smiling their big toothy dog smiles, (including a one hundred pound, big lug of a Great Dane puppy) that they were far too exhausted by the time the food was served to cause any trouble.
They fell asleep in the car two seconds after we left to go back to the hotel, slept through the night without a whimper and had sweet dreams of the best dog day EVER.
Did they suddenly become the best behaved dogs in the world? Or did we just chill out and stop expecting mayhem?
Hmmmmmmm, hard to tell.
What was the Best case scenario?
Exactly what happened.
*You can substitute the word dogs with children, co-workers or in-laws, it’s all the same.
Tell me about your dog/kids road trips. I’m sure you’ve got some stories to share.
Remember when you share it helps the tribe!
Sending big, wet, dog kisses,