Farmington to Santa Fe - Nia in Albuquerque
After publishing my blog entry last night, I took a walk to the water dispenser and River kept stopping to scratch himself on the way back. He doesn't scratch himself often, so it was really odd that he did it several times in the course of one block.
So when we got back to the motel room, I decided we needed a spa day and gave us both a coconut oil rubdown and vinegar rinse.
I got the lion's share of the coconut oil. I put it all over my skin and in my nose and I ate a spoonful of it and pulled another spoonful through my teeth. I fed River a big blob of it from my hand and then rubbed the residue all on his body, rubbing it down onto his skin as best I could. He doesn't care for being oiled. I love it!
I filled the ice bucket with warm water and dropped a quarter cup of vinegar into it and lifted it by the handful onto River's fur and rubbed it in all over. He doesn't mind that as much as the coconut oil, though I think he'd still prefer I didn't do any of it. I let him drink some of the vinegar water, which he enjoyed until he didn't. I rubbed the vinegar water into my scalp, too.
I dried River gingerly and then hopped in a hot shower to liquify the coconut oil. I was still oily when I got out of the shower, but wiped the rest off with a towel as I dried myself.
In the morning, River woke me up asking for his breakfast, so I fed him and made my coffee and breakfast. And that's when I saw a flea on him! He's never had a flea in his life! I was shocked. I may have seen two, in fact. I saw one, and then I lost it in his fur. And then I saw another one, or that same one again.
I verified it was indeed a flea by squashing it between my fingernail and thumbnail. I'm no expert, but it felt like a flea. The whole rest of the day, I was obsessively looking for another one and never saw one. And he stopped scratching himself, even though I noticed later that his skin was dry and flaky.
It was a three hour drive to Albuquerque and then another hour on to Santa Fe. I got started a little before noon.
River did a weird and unusual thing on our walk. He's usually very aware of a pole or a tree or something coming in between him and me, and he'll know to walk on the same side of the object as me. Or if he forgets, it takes only a wave of my hand in the right direction and he walks around the object and we're free to proceed.
But today, he stood and stared at me as I gestured. He acted like we had never established this routine. He stood dumbfounded and panting, not knowing what to do. I gestured over and over and finally I said, "go around" which prompted him to take a trip the wrong way around the poll. I stopped him with a "NO" and when he looked back at me, I gestured the other way and said to go around, but he stared stupidly at me. I was embarrassed for him, but I wanted to give him the chance to succeed, so I waited it out. We were there at least fifteen minutes. At one point, he was wrapped entirely around the pole with the leash catching his face in the knot. Finally, I had to reach over and give him a nudge in the right direction followed by some gestures and commands and then he was free.
He was fine in the crate during class.
I was having a heck of a time in class for some reason today. I had left my Spotify on shuffle from listening to it as a radio in the car, and it took me a while to figure out how to get it to play straight through.
I kept missing my cues. Not that it mattered that much, but I totally blew both of my trouble songs in this routine, "To Let Myself Go" and "Mi Mujer". But we had fun and I'm sure no one knew I flubbed except me.
During the second to last song, I noticed that I had blown through the crotch in my black and gold rock and roll pants. I could see the bright yellow of my underwear when I squatted down or if I spread my legs in FloorPlay. So I was careful to keep myself facing away from the group or keeping my legs together for the last songs. I only wonder when that crotch blew out. Did I flash anyone? Jeez.
I've only worn those pants maybe four times. I think I might send them back to the manufacturer and let them know they can't handle me.
I somehow went way over time and the students for the next class started piling in the room as we were finishing, so I sort of had to rush the ending of the routine which is designed to be a very meditative and luxurious moment.
The students overall seemed to have a good time and it was really fun to dance with them. I got lots of smiles and good compliments afterward and some of us posed for a picture outside the studio.
River was really impatient as I put him in the car and then went back for the picture. From under the shopping mall parking lot overhang, his barks echoed throughout the whole area. He was being dramatic. And when I did finally get back to the car, he wasn't done. He barked right in my face as I was trying to give him kisses. I got the message and picked up his chew toy which we went at ferociously and loudly.
I let him walk around in Albuquerque for just a little bit in case he had to pee, but then we got in the car and drove to Santa Fe.
After checking in and feeding him, I took River for a long walk down Cerrillos Rd.
He was in one of those moods where he doesn't want to be with me; he wanted to be twenty feet ahead of me. So I allowed it. We have a thirty foot leash.
At one point he stopped and was really interested in this bush. I looked in to see what he was attracted to and thought, 'that looks like jeans... OMG that's a person asleep in the bush!" We moved right along!
River took me quite a way in this manner. For a long time he seemed driven toward something. Usually it means he's got to find the right spot to poo, so I just let him go.
But then he did his third strange thing of the day. After trotting for a good fifteen minutes solid, he came to a sudden stop, froze, and raised his head, his nostrils pulsating. For a few seconds he sniffed, facing across a major, six lane road to something on the other side in the direction of the Goodwill shop.
Then just as suddenly he was back to his determined forward trotting. He was going to head into the Taco Bell parking lot but I put the kibosh on that, so he turned around and found himself again facing the Goodwill 200 yards away. And again he froze and worked his nose. I watched for a while and then tried to urge him to move, but he didn't hear me. He remained transfixed by the thrift store.
After a while he folded himself nearly in half sideways to he could glare at the Taco Bell directly behind him and held that side bend for maybe fifteen seconds before he completely shifted.
He then fell into 'heel' formation at my right side and walked at my side in the direction back toward our motel. I think he would have walked right by my side the whole time except that we saw a person walking several dogs at once. The sight was too much for him to process, so we broke into a run away.
This is something he's been doing lately, which I love. This is the third time that he has spotted a dog and not only just avoided a confrontation by ignoring it, but actively ran in the opposite direction to get away from it. He's learning to handle his fear in a different way. Flight over fight; a way I fully support! So we ran the rest of the way to our front door.