Tag Archives: travel

A Vacation and a House-sitter

I didn’t realize it had been so long since we last updated. Life has been pretty busy around here, and after many weeks of going, going, going, B and I are heading out for a long-awaited vacation on Thursday. Unlike last year, Scout will not be going with us. This time, it’s just Mom and Dad.

kiawah

Scout at Kiawah Island, SC, in August 2012

In the meantime, B and I are doing something we’ve never done: arranged for a house-sitter. A friend and co-worker of mine will be staying at our place while we’re away, which will allow Scout and Zoey to remain at home, comfortable, and somewhat in their routines. (This is our hope.) But as we clean the house a little extra in preparation, I find myself with that worrisome parental vibe going on. Please, please behave, I think to myself.

Please do not eat the rest of our books.

books

Please do not pee all over the couch.

couch

Please do not try to steal the jar of flour and devour it in the living room (which I caught Scout doing on Friday morning, just as she was about to rip the lid off the jar and scatter flour all over the newly cleaned room). Please do not eat any of our house-sitter’s belongings (Scout) or throw up in her shoes (Zoey). Please do not get a sudden ear infection or have any other cause to be rushed to the vet’s.

Picture 3

Please be kind to one another, like you were that random day you sat side by side on the couch and made me think hell had finally frozen over.

Do all of this because you love me. And because this house-sitter will probably spoil you rotten if you behave. It’s a good deal for you, girls. I promise!

Advertisements

Scout’s Birthday Adventure

So, we’re back! It’s been a week since we posted, and for good reason. This year, Scout’s birthday fell at a convenient time: our annual vacation to Kiawah Island, SC. If you’ve never been to Kiawah, you should hurry over that’s okay with me. I’m not going to tell you go to. In fact, I’m going to tell you that it’s a horribly ugly place that you’d hate. It’s utterly devoid of things like gentle ocean waves, beautiful dunes upon which you can occasionally spot deer as you walk to the ocean, bike lanes outnumbering car lanes, moss-draped trees overhanging the roads, and a large pod of dolphins who take up residence in the marshes and will do amazing things while you kayak past them. It’s none of those things, and you don’t ever want to go there, because I want it all to myself! ;)

Though it does also have some killer mosquitoes, by the way. One hundred percent honesty there.

Anyway, Scout’s birthday fell during our vacation, and this year we were able to rent a place that was pet-friendly. This meant that Scout and her beloved cousin Edward were able to share in their first ocean-side vacation together. And boy, did they love it. Every moment they were at home together they were playing or cuddling on the couch together.

After seeing the above image, we owe you a confession. We forgot our camera. I know, we’re horrible people. We were kicking ourselves the whole time, but we worked up until the moment we left, so our packing was kind of lacking. We did have our phones, though, so we still snagged pictures, but they’ll all be the same size and carry the same hint of camera-phone graininess that’s been in my photos lately.

All joking aside, Kiawah really is our favorite place in the world. We try to go once a year and unwind, and it was wonderful to get to bring Scout along this time. There’s a portion of the beach that’s off-leash, so Scout got to run free with other dogs and enjoy the waves.

There was a dock on the island where B’s family could fish while we watched. Since Scout had never experienced a dock, we brought her down with us. We wanted to expose her to as many new scenarios as we could. She took to the dock without issue, but we kept her on the leash because she constantly tried to jump into the water. (And because technically she wasn’t allowed on the dock. We cheated. No one saw.) ;)

At one point, a pod of dolphins came by, feeding on shrimp in the shallows, and Scout became confused and protective. While the rest of us tried to video them and snap photos, Scout barked and barked. As much as I was afraid she’d scare the dolphins off, they didn’t care a bit.

A few days into the vacation, B and I noticed something about Scout and her leash. We have a friend who said once that her Labrador is much more protective while on leash than she is when she’s off-leash. This seems to be true of Scout. I suppose we haven’t had many scenarios in the past, so we never thought much about it. But at the beach there were people everywhere, and they always felt free to reach out and pet Scout without asking. She’d start barking at them before they got close enough to touch her, but if she was off-leash it was a whole different thing. Off-leash, Scout would run up to people and greet them herself. We realized that off-leash it’s just like the dog park, only with water. She’s happy and carefree and comfortable. On the leash, though, she feels like she’s in “walk mode.” It’s more serious, and she won’t let just anyone approach us. Anyone else’s dogs do this too?

The shower area was tricky in this respect. We’d try to finagle Scout under the water to rinse the sand off of her (way too similar to bath time for Scout’s enjoyment), all while keeping her on the leash, and suddenly there’d be strange hands on her. She’d whip around and start barking at someone as if they’d just broken into our house. It always left us a mix of embarrassed and stressed. We were obviously busy wrangling our doesn’t-want-a-bath dog under chilly, sandy water, and our dog is obviously uncomfortable, so why pick that time to reach around and pat her on the head? Though it was embarrassing for our sweet dog to react like that, she kinda had a point. Don’t bust in on someone while they’re bathing!

Thankfully by the last two days of the trip we’d found another area that had a dog-washing station—so much easier! We took lots of video we’ll post once we’ve processed them.

In the meantime, I’m happy to report that Zoey didn’t have a single accident while we were away. Now that’s something to celebrate!

Road-trip Recap

In our last post, we showed you what our vacation looked like from Scout’s point of view while staying with her Aunt M. Below is the recounting of our drive to Aunt M, a solid 6.5 to 7 hours away from where we live.

Scout has grown a lot since she took her last road trip over Christmas, so while planning for this vacation we knew that she would no longer fit in her puppy-sized travel crate. After a lot of conversation, we bought a seat cover for our front seat (it was cheaper than the back seat cover, and we needed to pack some things in the back and were worried that Scout, in all her infinite eating ability, would devour whatever we put with her in the back) and a seat belt. Though I was worried that Scout wouldn’t take to the seat belt well (it’s a harness that the seat belt in the car loops through), she actually had no problem at all with it. She let me slip her front legs through it without a complaint.

The car, however, was a different story. She twisted and turned and got herself royally knotted up in the seat belt, and we had to unloop her on a number of occasions. She couldn’t seem to get comfortable. Here she is trying to rest her head on the arm rest between the front seats; she’s had to twist herself into a pretzel to get to this spot.

She’s so sleepy!

What she did like were the cup holders. She quickly learned to use them to balance her bone in, you know, for optimal chewing.

It kind of looks like she’s chewing the gear shift in this photo, but I promise she’s not! We were nervous with her being so close to the shifter, though, so we ended up taking the bone away.

Finally, after about 30 minutes to an hour, Scout got bored, and took a bite of the seat belt. Yes, you read that right, She took one–just one–bite, before B stopped her, and even with one bite, her jaws managed to break right through the belt.

Sigh. So now we have to get the seat belt fixed. (Keep in mind, we’ve only owned this car since January of this year!)

I didn’t do anything, Mom. Remember: Innocent until proven guilty.

Needless to say, Scout wasn’t very comfortable, and after the seat belt munching, neither were we. So on the return trip we stopped and bought a travel crate that was appropriate to her almost-full-grown size, and she snored like a baby all the way home!

Zoey’s Corner 10

Any dog that comes into this house should realize that it’s possessions are subject to a thorough cat inspection. Think airport security, only with claws.

 

Editorial note: Yes, that is Scout’s travel carrier, lying on its side. Zoey had to jump through the top to get inside. :)