going places

Puppy, Hurl, and Mountains

'Cause I need a friend

And my heart is set on you

Today I sit in our living room trying to catch up on my To Do list with a furry creature beside and a little behind me, his head tucked behind my back as though I were the perfect pillow. I feel a great sense of finishing and completeness, our little family has grown to include a furry friend, and I already love him dearly. But it wasn't always this way. We had to embark on a giant road trip for this puppy.

We left Saskatoon a lot later than we had planned, Paul's tackling a lot of work lately and with the work from home status sometimes it means things don't schedule as easily. What this meant was that I got to go Value Village shopping, and I found a cushion for use as a dog bed that fit our needs perfectly, a nice soft blanket that I think will be for me even though I originally bought it for the dog, and a couple of shirts! Finally after all my shopping we took off for Edmonton. When we got there, the screen door to our Edmonton stopover place was frozen shut. (It proceeded to be frozen shut every time we came to their place since, though occasionally enough yanking would pry it loose.) So despite the fact it was really late at night we had to ring the doorbell, which made us feel really bad, and then we got some sleep in prep for Paul's convocation in the morning! 

We just barely made it to his Convocation in time because the traffic was ridiculous and all the extra time we'd left vanished. I got to sit with two of the other OT wives, and I took some grad portraits of my Paul after the ceremony and then we had a date day - or sort of. We went to the West Edmonton Mall and did a few minutes of mall walking. Then we realized we were just too tired to do anything after the hard week we'd had, and so we went back to the Edmonton place and lay down for a nap. Paul slept for 14 hours. I slept for 5, got up for 4 and got some fast food and then spent some time on the computer, and went back to bed for another 5 hours before we took off. I felt fine when I went to bed, just tired.

We took off at about 9am in the morning. I wasn't feeling too well. We drove for a bit and I started feeling worse. Finally, in the middle of nowhere, I started feeling it and looking for a bag - bag unavailable, so I grabbed a hunk of napkins. Suffice it to say that any more would be too much information. I felt better briefly, and then I didn't again. At a rest stop where I spent a good twenty minutes in an ice cold room, we finally decided that a hotel was in order, so we went to the Holiday Inn Express in Hinton. By 9pm that night I was feeling a bit better and by breakfast I was able to eat some real food - and I had some pro-biotic yogurt to work on the issue. One highlight was eating lunch at the "Restaurant" in McBride - it was the Lodge restaurant, but the sign with the name had been broken for what looked like a long time and our choices were slim - my French onion soup was actually very nice. Winter and French Onion Soup go together well, I think.

Finally we were on our way to Prince George and came in just as the light was leaving. We got slightly lost on the way to Taylor's ranch, but we made it and had a lovely late supper with him before getting some sleep. We took off early in the morning to our breeder's place, where I rounded a corner and my little Murphy stuck an eager and expectant nose out towards me. It was a momentous occasion. We were invited in and mobbed by a pack of hounds, which is a lot more fun than it sounds at first look. Finally after signing the paperwork and packing up Felon (Murphy's brother) and our little one, we took off. 

On the way I stopped to take a lovely panoramic of a mountain stream - one of the frames is currently ensconced as my desktop background. Can't have a mountain road trip without it - and when I was feeling well the scenic views were pretty amazing and we enjoyed them a great deal. We spent a lot of time talking about things we're working through and listening to audiobooks and podcasts too.

Our trip was full of animal meetings. We had to nudge our way past the big-horned sheep or mountain goats just inside Jasper National Park - this time it was a little easier and there were only two of them, but it's pretty much traditional by now. I saw an owl on a power line, which is pretty unusual, and moose in the mists, and a cute little white bunny, and many deer and moose in general. The worst, however, was a very scary moment in which a large deer bounded over an embankment and a big girder right at us and if I hadn't have braked and swerved and missed her, I'm not certain we'd have walked away from that one. I know people say you're not supposed to swerve but there's a difference between steering and swerving too. I steered the opposite direction and slowed down quickly - that's a proper assessment of what happened, and at any rate it saved everyone. It's the sort of thing that makes you feel more alive! 

Man, having two pups - even extra specially good travellers like these ones, was a lot of work. I can't imagine dealing with a litter of seven like our breeder did, sheesh! When we got them to Edmonton they were bouncing off the walls with energy - and in the morning before we left we took them out for a good run in the court where we were staying. We arrived safely in Saskatoon on Sunday evening and Felon's new person came to get him. 

We've been pretty exhausted since - and though Murphy is happy here 99.9% of the time, getting him to go to sleep on his own in his crate is a test of wills - the piteous wails and crate shaking are pretty hard to deal with, but they don't last forever, and eventually he calms down to sleep. Tonight I am up late working, and since this is totally normal for our lives, I've just brought him with me downstairs and though he's working on a bone right now, he'll be down for the count soon I'm sure. I can save the traumatic bedtime for later when I go to bed, by which time I'll be tired enough to sleep, too.

We had some photographer friends over tonight and talked for hours - it was really nice! Paul and I also set aside some cuddle time today - and went to get our new Saskatchewan driver's licenses, and a bank deposit, and I'm going to call that a productive day, because my standards need to be low right now until I've recovered and gotten more used to puppy sitting - it was only a few days ago that I was sick after all. Time to go back to work now, even though it's way too late to be awake for any reason...