Western States Tour According To River (Guest Blogger)
I wait in the car a lot these days. When we arrive at motels or at studios or sometimes to other people’s homes, the human goes in first with the cage and then comes back to get the luggage and gets me last. Its much better than how we used to do it. When he brought me and the crate in at the same time, we’d often run into logistical problems in doorways or on stairs, or if we ran into someone before we were set up, it was awkward. Also, waiting in the car before classes prevents me from having to busy myself while he sets up the cage and other people are poking at me and trying to grab my head or look into my eyes. Now, I just hop out of the car when everything is all set up for me. I might visit a couple of bushes on the way in, but then I go directly into my crate, curl up and lie down. I can watch the human or fall asleep when I hear him do his routine.
I’ve been in 22 different facilities where the human has done this or some kind of routine with crowds of excited humans and loud music. Twice in a row, the humans gathered inside while I waited in the car.
Mostly the humans left me alone but a couple of times, someone locked on my eyes and slowly approached with an energy I didn’t know what to do with so I barked out of panic and they went away.
I wait in the car when the human retrieves food for himself. I don’t bother asking for any of his food, he never gives me any. I know where my food is, though. Some of if it is in the dark grey box under the darker grey box by my feet. And the other stuff for me is in a tub on the floor of the left rear passenger seat, but it has a lid and you need thumbs to open it.
|In Sedona I was left alone for hours at a time. Once, I pushed out the plastic lining from the bottom and pulled the blanket that was covering the crate through the bars of the cage. Then I climbed on top of the blanket.|
I stayed at 20 Motel 6s and five private homes. I also visited another home but didn’t stay over night. I stayed in and visited homes with cats and dogs and as long as I was kept away from them, we got along fine. In some homes I was kept mostly in the crate or on leash and in other homes, I was given free run. Most were somewhere in between. When I run around and sniff a lot it gets me so excited and I don’t know what to do with myself.
As soon as we got to a place called Texas, I started to itch. Bad. Like all over, turning pink and just can’t get enough of scratching myself kinda itch. It lasted the whole week I was in Texas, but by the time we got to Oklahoma it was starting to clear up. I got to eat a lot of coconut oil and I got one bath that wasn’t pleasant like the usual soap, but seemed really caustic. That sure didn’t help the itching thing much, if you know what I mean.
In Boise, I went on a super long walk near the river. I played in or drank the water a little bit in many different spots. I saw many dogs; most of which I was able to deflect and be OK. But after we had stopped midway through our walk to rest under a shady tree, this one grey Husky just got my goat by the way he was standing and looking at me as they walked by and I just saw red and lunged at him. I was immediately fished out of the frey by my neck and when I whirled around I saw the bite toy and clamped down on in. It wasn’t the one that could absorb a lot of bite, but then the human and I ran together and then he stopped so I pushed the toy into him a few times. Then he grabbed the toy and we tugged on it a few times until he let go and we ran some more together. We did this a few times, and I honestly forgot about the Husky. Until he came BACK again the other way and the whole scenario above repeated. We think that might be why I was limping a bit the next day.
I have learned that when the car says “You Have Reached Your Destination” that the human is going to be getting out of the car soon. I want to come, too.
I like my face out the window at 35 mph and below. Any faster than that, forget it.
OH! And… I fell out of the car in Boise. I was being cool and hanging my big head out the fully open window. I didn’t realize the human was going to make a left turn and the next thing I know I’m paws over tail through the window and out on the pavement. My car was gone and all of these other cars were driving around me. I stood there, looking around, not sure what to do, until I heard “River!” and started off running in that general direction. “River!” I heard again, and this time I was more clear where it came from. I followed the clapping sounds into the open passenger door of the car. Safe. All of this is just my way of saying that I prefer to have the window only half rolled down. Never fully down.
|Near some cactus in Phoenix|
|Me and the human|
|A nice day in Austin. Nice enough to wait outside the studio until the last minute before class.|
|I'm just going to lie down on the filthiest part of the parking lot, mKay?|
I started out the trip cramped in the front seat and held in with a seat belt. After changing the settings on the navigation system once too often, I was given the honor of the back seat to stretch out in. I did have to share it with some ice coolers and luggage but we got along fine. In the beginning I was still wearing the seat belt, but eventually that ritual seemed to die away and no one minded.
|Lots of legroom back here|
|I'm king of the mountain near the Bear River.|
Riding in the back seat...
Playing in the river in Sedona, AZ...
riding in the back seat....
dirt road in Idaho...
river in Evanston, WY...
train in Dallas, TX...
itching in Houston, TX ....