Hi Friends –
I have one more story that I wanted to share with you from our recent vacation in Oklahoma. This day was about family and adventure. You know I’m all in with that in mind but I’m a curious pup so I asked where we were headed. Mom said it’s a place called Woolaroc. She said we are meeting family there, like my Aunt Hollie and my cousins, among others, and we’ll spend the day exploring. I said that sounds like fun but what is it? She explained Woolaroc was the ranch retreat of oilman Frank Phillips (as in Phillips 66). The ranch is a 3,700 acre wildlife preserve. You’ll see other animals there. There’s also a museum. We all thought that sounded like fun but I asked, where would we see wooly-rocks? Mom said no, no, it’s called Woolaroc, it came from three words—the woods, lakes and rocks that make up Osage Hills. I said Oh OK, sure? Then there are no wooly-rocks? I exhaled in jowl flapping exasperation and lay down.
We drove from Nanny and Baboo’s to Grandma Patti’s house on the edge of the Osage territory. It was another great place where I felt really free. Dad liked the area too, I could tell.
I had more questions, but Dad’s used to that. I asked dad why her family has so many parents. So far there is Nanny Judy, Nana Mary, and Grandma Patti? This is more confusing than my family tree. Patti is Mom’s birth-mom. He told me that Mom was lucky enough to be adopted and to know her birth Momma as well as other family additions. I understand, I said. It’s like when dogs can’t stay with their families for whatever the reason but we find others to adopt us and our pack expands. It’s very cool because there is so much love on this plane, and it’s nice that we all get to share so much love. It all makes my tail wag.
The day comes for our excursion and we load-up in the truck with the family including Grandma Patti. It was a quick trip to the reserve. When we arrive, the tour started with a drive through the property where we get to enjoy a path guided driving tour where we see all sorts of animals who are resident just a few on the list are American Bison (buffalo), elk (wapiti) and longhorn cattle, which are truly native to this area as well as North European fallow deer, water buffalo, llamas, aoudads, ostriches. There was even a Zebu (zebra/horse)!!! The preserve animals are wild, so we needed to stay in the truck until we could safely park. I really wanted to play with a Buffalo; they look like they’d play a really good game of bitey-face.
We made it to the parking area and then we meet Mom’s Aunt and some cousins. They were all nice and pet me, but there was one tiny baby pup. How exciting right? I know! The baby spent all of its time being carried around by the other humans. They did a great job watching out for him and I made sure he was safe too. There were a few times during the day when I got in a few really good sniffs. I don’t know if you guys know this but human puppies smell really good! I even took the chance to lick the puppy’s toes. The people enjoyed the museum and the lodge. It was OK but I had to work so I just wanted to pull dad through to make sure he was safe. Dad told later that he wished I had slowed down a bit more, especially to see Frank’s collection of Colt guns. He told me later that it includes several of the very first revolving cylinder repeating weapons made in the United States and traces the development of Colt firearms. Colt started in Connecticut where Dad was born and he likes that stuff. Sorry Dad.
The part I wanted to see the most was the petting zoo. I thought there was going to be people lined up there to pet me! Boy was I wrong! They had other animals there in pens that were getting all my pets. There was this one furry there that was really big; a llama, dad said. Let me tell you, that one did not like me. So much so, that when it starred me down Dad and I took a seat inside the door and waited for the others to be done visiting. Dad and Mom thought it was really funny, but the Llama really wanted me out. I minded my manners, sat on Dad’s lap and took my exit as soon as I could. I didn’t even make eye contact with that thing. Trust me, that was one scary llama!
After Woolaroc, we went back to the house and visited with Patti and Stan for a bit until everyone we spent the day with came over for dinner. The best part was that the tiny human puppy came back to with his Daddy so I was able to get more sniffs and licks in. Some people don’t like me close to human puppies but we were all on our best behavior. The puppy’s Dad even asked us to take a picture together. I don’t usually like the pupparazzi but I made an exception for the puppy and his cowboy Dad. Really you guys, a cowboy! He had the hat, boots and real buckle. Mom says that on weekends he does something called the rodeo. It sounds fun! He loved me, of course, I’m almost as big as his horse! I’d like to play with a horse. SDP boards a couple so I bet we’d be friends, but I didn’t get the chance to ask.
The next morning we started our two day trip home but I will have memories to last a lifetime. I really do hope that we will be able to get back there soon. I know it was a long time on the road but with all the love and hospitality of Mom’s family it will be hard to stay away. This really was a great time. I hope you enjoyed me sharing.
written by DFS
Tagged: balance and stability, cerebral palsy, dane, disability, disability awareness, dog, family, great dane, human puppies, mobility, mobility dogs, Oklahoma, puppy, roadtrip, sdp, service dane, service dog, service dog project, vacation, woolaroc