Monday, July 25, 2016

Pooped and Prepped Pup

Olive, Olivia...Little Ms. O
We are taking Olivia (aka Olive and well, that alias is a whole other blog post!) with us on our U.S.A. trailer trip.  I am a little worried about Ms. O because she can be a barky greeter with hair raised (a golden strip of auburn-colored doggie hair that literally stands up on on high alert about half way down her back) at the sound of a knock or sometimes at the sound of a tree branch cracking/knocking somewhere outside.  It's like Pavlov's dog.  Sound, bark, reaction.  Her hair goes up and as her happy lab tail joyfully wags back and forth, all 58.6 pounds of her (down from a hefty 86 pounds 2 years ago!) charges defensively towards whatever demon (human or otherwise) she believes darkens the doorstep of our peaceful little home in the woods.  Given that our impending adventure launch date is some 5 weeks away,  I am determined I can tame the beast (hey, I used to work with kids who spit, hit, ran away, called the principal, "Mr. Shitty Pants"and/or ran up and down the halls of the elementary school I worked at barefoot....I can do this!) and so am back into being her personalized doggie trainer complete with a clicker, treat pouch, and training sessions.  She's a smart pup and already has re-learned (for we once went to puppy school and she graduated with honors) to, "Come!" when I call or "Leave it!" when I command (yell? scream? try to say with an even tone).  Even in full bark and charge mode, she is just beginning to hear my words, stop, and turn and then walk straight to me for the tiniest piece of chopped salami or cheddar cheese.  I am feeling confident she will learn to be a better greeter before we roll away with Mini literally trailing behind us (husband's not leave the dog tied to the travel trailer before departing).  But just in case we have to continue our training on the road and in Mini, my ever-crafty husband has plans to reinforce the lower portion of our cute little screen door so she doesn't lunge from trailer to the outside world, barking and charging and shredding as she defends us from whatever she believes threatens our very existence.

Traumatized and resting, drooping on the couch
 But, preparing to bring a pooch on a trip in a trailer across the United States has turned out to be quite a job.  Talking with friends who camp, ladies who run campgrounds, and reading anything I can find on the internet (because you can always believe what you read on the internet), I soon realized you need updated puppy papers (kind of like her passport, I guess) to gain admittance at campgrounds and to legally cross the Canadian border.  Once, when I barely knew my husband, we took a road trip in his little red Toyota with his mellow black lab, Cocoa.  We were headed to Quebec.  As we approached the customs station at the border, my husband casually drapped a blanket over Cocoa's head (after he had her sit at my feet on the passenger side of the truck) and said, "Keep her quiet."  I was terrified we'd be arrested and jailed and yet we rolled away from the little shack and men in official looking costumes (oops...uniforms) and right into Canada; repeating the same frightening process on our way back into the states.  Once again, I digress, but I see the need for papers.   And so today we visited the local vet (Dr. Abby H. who looked about 11 years old with baggy pants, pink tennis shoes and several pimples on her face...what happened to the bearded, pipe-smoking, confidence-inspiring Dr. James Herriot? know the guy from All Creatures Great and Small?) where Olivia was poked with several needles (rabies vaccine included), invaded through her nose with a distemper mist, restrained while her ears, teeth, and eyes were examined and weighed.  Along with the 20 questions we answered (I felt like I was in the pediatrician's office with a 2-year old) and the poop sample we left behind not to mention the hefty bill (nearly $300) we were in and out in less than 30 minutes. 

In the end we have a pile of papers for a healthy Ms. O so we can set sail, commence or otherwise embark on our exciting vacation with pup ready to go.  But, first, she needs to recover  from her nerve-wracking visit to the vet:) 

Recovering, snoring pup

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