Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Our Big Diego Adventure - Part 1

Dean, Tessa, Ben, and I all had quite the weekend, the high point of the adventure being bringing our new puppy home.

It started out after school on Friday when I rushed home and quickly finished packing.  I really wasn't thinking when I signed Tessa up for a Rally trial on the night before we were going to get our puppy, but in the end I am really glad that I did, even though it wasn't exactly a dream trial for us!

Once I had everything ready, Dean and Tessa and I were off!  They were excited because I had packed the car and then packed them up.  First stop - Bella Vista Training Center for two Level 1 World Cynosport Rally runs.

I was mentally spastic, and I know Tessa was reading that even though I tried to stay focused and normal.  In her first run she was just a little sniffy.  She managed to get through it, though.  We had one second cue, and she didn't move with me on a left pivot, so we got dinged for that, but we earned 5 of the 10 points of the bonus, which was the sidestep.  Sidestepping is not Tessa's strong point.  She earned a 197 on her first run and I was extremely happy with that!

We had to wait a bit for her second run, but I was rather excited for it.  It was the exact same course that we had run at Kamp Kitty and Tessa had done so well on it there.  Not this time!  She was completely and utterly fascinated with the judge and she kept stopping to stare at her!  It was not a fearful or nervous thing.  She was clearly in person watching la la land!  Still, she managed to get everything done, and her pivot was beautiful this time!  Her score was 202.

That is her Level 1 Title, and she earned an Award of Excellence for three scores over 190 in the A class!!

I'd like to do some Rally training this summer and do more of this with her.  She really will do better if we actually train it!

We finished up there around 9:00 and we headed out to meet Ben at the truck yard!  I was supposed to be there around 10:00 and was just a bit later than that.

We met up and had to do quite a lot of car-item exchange because we were taking his car on the trip.  He had to remove stuff from his car to make room for the things we would need.  I needed to move what we needed to his car.  He stored his car stuff in my car.  That was . . . time consuming!  The dogs were wonderful, just waiting around for us to do what we needed to do.

We headed north from there.  The plan was to ride up to Scranton.  That was supposed to give us just about a 3 and 1/2 hour trip to Massachusetts.  We could sleep in a bit and take our time and enjoy the ride.

Even though it was late, the ride up was nice.  A bit of a nostalgic jaunt through the coal region.  We stopped at Sonic near Hazleton and the burger was delicious.  It hit the spot at ten minutes to midnight!

We made our way up to Clarks Summit, just above Scranton and stayed over at an Econo Lodge.  It wasn't exactly the Ritz, but it wasn't a bad place.  A little run-down, but it was very interesting.  It had obviously been something else at one time and it looked like it had actually been quite nice.  It was pretty quiet and there was lots of room to walk the dogs right near our room.  Potty breaks were super easy and that isn't always the case at hotels.  In the morning I walked them along the woods at the back of the parking lot and it was really nice.  Ben and I slept pretty well and we were rested and ready to go on Saturday morning.

But the trip didn't go quite as we had planned.

First, Ben realized that he had forgotten two essential items, so we found a Wal-Mart.  The place was HUGE!  I stayed in the car with the dogs, and he was in there for quite a while - probably waiting in line for most of it!  Then we needed to eat, so we went to Dunkin Donuts because Ben loves their coffee!  In the spirit of celebration, we got donut holes to share with the dogs!

Aside from being beside myself with excitement and anticipation over the puppy, I was also looking forward to the trip because we would be taking a road I had never been on before.  We would be taking Interstate 84 from Scranton over to New York, where we would take the New York Thruway up to the Masspike to our destination.

It was a pretty drive and we started off making good time.  And then we came to a stop.  And we sat.  And we sat.  And we sat . . .

There was road construction, but this was something more.  This wasn't creep and crawl - we literally sat and barely moved for over an hour!  It was excruciating!  Our new puppy was waiting and we were just . . . stuck!!!  It seemed so much longer than it really was.  Still, it was plenty long enough!

We talked, and I took a few pictures of the dogs.  Finally I got out the laptop and worked on a lesson video for one of my online classes.  And, at long, long last, we started moving again.  Now a full two hours behind our original arrival time!

Once we got through, it was a pretty drive through an area that had a lot of character.  We stopped in Port Jervis to go to Dunkin Donuts.  More coffee for Ben, sweet tea for me this time.  We had hoped to potty the dogs, but there was really no place for them to go.

Finally, we got to the Thruway and made our way north.  We could see the Catskills and that was interesting.  We stopped at a rest area and were able to potty the dogs.  We had been hoping to not stop again, but we got hungry and stopped just a bit west of the Massachusetts border for sandwiches.  Ah - real New York sandwiches!!  They were extra delicious!!  The dogs got plenty of tidbits off of them.

Then we really were on the last leg of our trip and the excitement was just crazy!  I couldn't believe we were really about to get our puppy.  I felt like I had been waiting for years!

I thought a lot about Speedy, and Ben said he did, too.  This whole thing was incredibly bittersweet.  And up until this moment, it had been far more bitter than sweet.

I had always hoped that after we lost Sammie, I would have at least a couple of years with Speedy, Dean, and Tessa as a trio before it would be Speedy's turn to go.  In a way I had never gotten over mourning the loss of that hope as much as I had mourned the loss of Speedy himself.

Everything was about to change.

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