Traveling Dog Lady: August 2018

Thursday, August 30, 2018

A Southern Dog Returns to His Roots #travelwithdogs

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Hello readers, from hot, sunny South Carolina where Charlie Brown and I have just arrived after a two-day road trip. I'm sorry I have not written in a long time, but since the last time I wrote a blog post, I decided to buy a home in South Carolina, with the intention of eventually moving here. It has been a very hectic process, with lots of traveling back and forth, and complicated technicalities. That kept me from blogging, but I have been posting on Facebook and Instagram, so I hope you've been following along over there! 

Charlie in the Subaru

We left Cooper, Petey, Cali, Tux and Newman in Massachusetts with our trusted pet sitter, extraordinaire, Matt -- along with a few extra people as backup!

The drive through New York City, NJ, PA, MD and VA was pretty uneventful. We had done a drive that long together before, and I wanted to get past those cities during Day One, so we were not stuck in Friday traffic in any of those locations.

From last year's road trip to PA!

Well, unfortunately, our Motel 6 that I had booked ahead of time was not exactly ideal for a woman traveling alone with a dog. First of all, I wanted to get there before dark, and that did not happen. When I finally found the motel (it was not easy to find) it was in a pretty sketchy area all under construction. I had called the day before and specifically asked if the parking lot was lit up, was it safe for a woman traveling alone, and will there be a good area for me to walk my dog? The clerk told me "yes" to all three questions, but that was far from accurate once I got there on the scene and saw for myself.

We arrived to a completely DARK parking lot. Not one light on, and not even a sign to indicate where the entrance to the motel was. In fact, the entrance almost looked like a rehab hospital or something! There were at least half a dozen uniformed security guards (later I found out they were police), and I was totally confused. Since there was nobody else around, in a car, I chose to park in one of the SEVENTEEN handicapped-designated spots, just for the five minutes it would take to check-in to the motel. I left Charlie in the car, and no sooner did I click the lock on my key fob, when some guy who was loitering in the parking lot said, "Hey! [are]You handicapped????!" To which I replied, "No, but it's dark, and I'm just running in for a minute." He said, "You can't park there. That's handicapped."  AYKMRN? As if there are 16 other handicapped drivers lining up to get a space at Deserted Motel Dump? Honestly. I would NEVER take a handicapped space under normal circumstances. These were anything but.

I get into the motel lobby and a woman asks if she can help me. "Yes, I have a reservation. And boy am I glad to see THESE guys!" (and I point to an officer, standing right next to me). I told her there are no lights on outside, it's pitch black, and some guy just yelled at me about parking in handicapped parking. She said, "Oh him. He lives here. Just ignore him."  Oh, great. I am at a motel that people live at. Sigh.

She then proceeds to tell an associate to turn on the outside lights, while explaining to me that they had a power failure during the afternoon, and the police are on site making sure all the rooms, elevators and hallway are safe. I think she could see that this made me more than uncomfortable, because she quickly checked me in, and then walked outside with me. She helped me walk Charlie, then I re-parked my car in what turned out to be a shaded spot (I noticed the next morning), and then helped me unload our luggage. Two police officers rode up to the room in the elevator with me, and after that, I didn't leave my room until daylight. I figured, if Charlie needed to relieve himself, I'd let him do it in the room and I'd clean it up the best I could. Our room was really nice, though. And I was happy for that. Motel 6 is pet-friendly, no weight or breed restrictions, no extra fee for pets, and only $69 a night! I guess I can't complain. Once we walked around in the morning, it seemed safe "enough". Charlie even barked ferociously at a dude who was in the parking lot, so he's good protection. I whispered, "Good dog!" once the guy was out of earshot (after apologizing, on the face of it, but secretly yelling "wooo-hooooo!" in my head). 

This room is ok, Mom!
Charlie, in the Motel 6 room

One thing is for sure, we will not be staying there on the way back to Mass.!! If it were not for that lady, who told me she had 20 years in law enforcement under her belt, I would have high-tailed it out of there and slept in my car that night, or found another pet-friendly hotel!

The next day, from Virginia to SC was pretty boring. It's just one, long road (I-95) with not much happening. I had split the trip into equal portions by number of hours. 7 1/2 hours each day, give or take, including stops for gas, food, and rest.

We found some really pretty service areas in North Carolina, and they have great walking trails for dogs, including poop-bag stations and paths. Very safe, and easy to deal with.

I arrived at the house just as it was getting dark Friday night. My GPS took me through some corn fields which added a good hour to the trip. Really, Siri?! Won't make that mistake again. Honestly, I don't know what she was thinking [wink]. If it had not been broad daylight, I would have been flipping out driving through those areas. It was quite beautiful, and maybe it was one of those "meant to be" things, where you get to see the gorgeous countryside, even though it takes an extra hour. Just trying to see the silver lining in that cloud!

Yes, I am on the new couch.

We've been here almost a week.  It's taken Charlie almost this long to adjust to being an "only". I hadn't thought that he would get depressed, missing the two dogs and three cats that he usually fights with. But I guess that's "kids" for you!

Lemme in!
Not sure I like being an "only". I'll just stay really close by.
Well, all right, maybe it's not THAT bad. Don't have to share the couch.

Matt, my pet sitter, has been sending me texts, photos and videos of the other pets.  Last night we Skyped so I could see them in action! I miss them so much. In hindsight, and I was warned by a good friend, I realize leaving the rest of them at home was not good for either me or Charlie, emotionally. However, Matt takes really good care of them, and they LOVE him so much. He even told me that Cooper sleeps by the door, and Petey curls up with Matt, when they go to bed at night. Places, everybody! That's where they sleep when I'm home. Hey! Wait a minute! So, he's a stand-in, and it doesn't really matter to them WHO it is, as long as a human is there??? LOL!

Cooper and me, Skyping. I'm saying, "Coooop!"

Charlie and I have bonded, and it's been nice for us. However, it's been hard when I have to go out on errands, or to socialize. I feel badly leaving him alone in the house. I bought him two toys, and he runs around the house with them in his mouth. I'll look over and find him "cuddling" with a toy. Awwwww.

Thanks for the hedgehob, Mom!

It's ok, I'll just stare at this wall.

This one has TWO squeakers! 

The week has been insane with maintenance people coming to the house every five minutes, and lots of errands, shopping and appointments, trying to get the house set up. My plan is to move here permanently, eventually... but not immediately.

I know this will sound weird, but it feels like I lived here in a past life or something. I just immediately feel right at home, with a few exceptions. I know how to get to everything. Yes, I will admit it is laid out in such a way that it is easy... but it's something more than that. A feeling like I have been here before (well, I mean, I HAVE been here a few times... but you know what I mean! I think.)

Charlie, himself being from Tennessee originally, seems to not mind the heat and humidity. I feel like he's my southern dog who has returned to his roots, sort of. Tennessee isn't THAT far away.

Did you say Tennessee is not that far away?!

The sand is nice, but don't make me go in the water!

This weekend, I have visitors coming, so that will be fun. We are just a five-minute drive to the beach. And the beach itself is very similar to our "old beach" on Cape Cod. So much so, that I sometimes look around and go, "Oh yeah.... I'm in South Carolina." Like, as if I forgot for a minute. It's so similar. I think I love that part most of all.

Until next time.....