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Tag Archives: roadtrip

Leaving Connecticut – Part Two

Hi Friends –

Getting ready to leave Connecticut was so exhausting, you guys, that I had to give it some time before I told the stories. This time I’ll give you a taste of what it was like to leave my first forever kennel. Dad says this was bitter-sweet for him because the condo was the first home that he bought when he moved from his family kennel. I really don’t see the big deal, but he says most twenty somethings rent their kennel and Dad was proud to be in a position to own his. (Yes, your human twenties is late to be on your own, but we all know Dad is let’s say…”special” Woof.) Let me say this,  it really was a nice home, it had just become too small for our family’s dreams and we needed to stretch out in a big  “Dane – S” sorta way!

This all started pretty much as soon as we decided we needed a change. If you knew the Dane size load of things that had to be thrown in a dumpster you’d be shocked. We didn’t even think we had that much stuff crammed into the kennel. Dad worked really hard getting everything sorted into piles of keep, toss, donate and sell. Dad would go down into the land of the basement monsters and come up with bin after bin that could go to the dumpster. He sorted for hours at a time. When he’d find an item he thought was in good condition and needed to have a new home he would put it on the Internet and hope it found a home for a reasonable price. As time passed many of the items in the keep pile got shifted to the donate and sell piles. Even more time passed and the family settled on moving out west to Oklahoma. Dad knew this meant that once again he’d need to sort; after all, when you move that far it is reasonable to move as little as possible. The cost to ship what you haven’t touched in years, but may use some day does not keep a Dane fed, or in stuffies for that matter. Dad kept saying that he wanted to be done, and if someone would take everything he’d give it all away. I really thought that as the move date came closer and closer my bowls might just end up in the dumpster too. Of course that didn’t happen. (My favorite stuffie did, but that has been atoned for.)

There was a while where I thought Mom had given up and was tired of the place being a constant mess from upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms. She left Dad and I and didn’t come back for DAYS! Dad kept telling me not to worry but I have to watch out for him. She has never been away overnight before!! It turned out he was right; she was just in Oklahoma looking for our new kennel. Mom looked at so many places to find just the right one, and she did find one they made an offer on, but it was already under contract and she didn’t know. She came home only to find our new kennel on the Internet. Lucky for us there is a great contractor in the family who looked at the home for us, this made Dad happy, and  he bought the house sight un-seen (except for Internet pics, and we know how sketchy those can be!).

Around the same time as starting the process of buying the Oklahoma kennel we put the Connecticut one on the market. Things started out amazingly well, and we received two offers to buy on the same day! Mom & Dad thought to themselves that they had perfectly manifested these offers and were very relieved! Of course I advised that they take the higher offer, which was well over their asking price, and wanted to close on the day before we planned to leave. Now, this sounds wonderful, right? Well, it could have been, if the buyer hadn’t wasted two weeks to find personal reasons to rescind. By that time the list offer was no longer interested, and we had to go back on the market.  We did get another offer rather quickly, but it meant we’d have to carry two kennels for a while. I really don’t know how Dad can lift kennels and carry them? They seemed to be pretty solidly attached to the ground, but that is what he kept saying.

Before we left for Oklahoma we had “professional” movers come and they took all of our stuff and put it in a big truck. I’m not real sure about this you guys, but Mom says it is the way to go when you take that much stuff across the country. My biggest concern was they loaded my bed and stuffies into the truck! I guess it’s fair for me to wait with the rest of the family but I don’t like the thought that maybe someone else is playing with MY toys! I wish I could say that the packing of the truck went smoothly, but I can’t. The problem was that we needed to shop price first and Realtor recommendations second. This outfit appears to have farmed out our contract to people who showed up late, understaffed, and apparently dog-gone tired. It took them several hours longer than it should have, even splitting the load-in to two days (Dad gave them his only key so they could finish before dawn and they locked him out by leaving the key inside rather than in under the mat.) and leaving items behind that they were told ahead of time were to be on the truck.

Dad tried very hard to stay on their “good side” by making a gentleman’s agreement with them. He gave them items in the house in trade for them taking a couch and chair out to a dumpster. This seems wonderful, except for the fact that they broke their word in the end, leaving everything right where it was. (This added to our costs by having to pay others to do the haul-away for us; we were already on the road!) I didn’t understand that the truck wouldn’t be there when we arrived almost four days later, but I guess it doesn’t work that way. As we’re writing this the truck still has not arrived (It should be here tomorrow) and the company  does a very bad job at communicating with it’s customer’s. If Dad and I worked this way we wouldn’t be allowed in public, ever! I’m sure I’m putting this much nicer than it needs be, but take my word, it has been a nightmare of an experience. (Editor’s Note: They arrived Monday, the day after this was written. The gentlemen unloading were much more professional. We will tell you all about that to come.)

I wouldn’t want to end on negatives so I’ll change the subject and jump around in time a bit to tell you a little of what it is like to drive 1300 miles, in two cars with human puppies, basement monsters, and Harry Potter movies all the way to our new home. I can’t lie, it was stressful and tiring for Mom & Dad but they have both made the trip before so they were prepared. Being that they’d be in separate cars they did some smart things like taking almost four days to drive rather than two, and they got GMRS radios to talk along the way. This really helped in traffic, or when one car needs a restroom. (It really was a safety item I was glad we had.) Mom did a great job of scheduling rooms to stay in along the way as well as stops to see family who live along the route. Dad says meeting family was great, but Winkie and I loved the hotel beds the most! There was even a day when I didn’t want to leave the bed they slept in, so Dad gave me breakfast in bed! He says it’ll never happen again, but he loves me so much that I would be surprised if one day, maybe on my next “gotcha day” he treats me.

Breakfast in bed

I’m sure Mom (my editor) will fill in a few more details for you but I gotta get out to my new yard for zoomies!

(Editor’s Note: There will be a post all about family visits to come. Next post will be about traveling with animals.)

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Roadtrip: The Final Chapter

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