Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Great Western Journey hit a snag.

Things were going swimmingly through Texas, across the width of Oklahoma and the length of Kansas. Nessa is the best of traveling companions; quiet, undemanding and doesn't bitch about what is on the radio. What more could you want? Then came Colorado.

Saturday morning I was up early and on my way to Delta, Colorado to visit a blog friend only to discover that the truck just didn't want to get up the mountain pass. No matter how hard I stepped on the gas pedal the truck just laughed in my face. This was not good. I knew I would never get over the mountain pass.

After many many phone calls (thank heavens for unlimited weekend calls on the old cell plan) I found out that; 1. very few repair shops are open after noon on Saturday, 2. no diesel mechanics work on weekends and 3. a cute dog and a lone woman far from home are not enough to get a mechanic to work late. The one nice thing was the hotel gave me a really sharply discounted rate and didnt charge me a deposit for Nessa. The room has two queen size beds so I dont have to share with Nessa. At this point I have decided that this journey now rates as an adventure.

Being stuck in Pueblo is not so bad. Today Nessa and I went to the Pet Expo at the convention center. Nessa was fussed over by almost everyone there which she took in stride. I saw some very cute dogs, some kitties that didn't seem to enjoy Nessa's company and Nessa got her nails clipped for free. Score! It was reaffirmed that Nessa is a conversation magnet.

I then found out that there was going to be a Dock Dog event.

What is a Dock Dog event? I'm glad you asked. You didn't? Yeah, well I'll tell you anyway. It is exhibition of dogs jumping off a dock into a large pool of water to catch a toy of some sort. This is something that JR and I have watched on TV (because we are exciting like that)but never seen in person. I walked across the street to the Pueblo Riverside park to watch.

After watching for a while they, the trainers from Sit Means Sit, asked if Nessa would like to try. Nessa had never been swimming before and she seemed unimpressed. I wasn't even sure she could swim. It has been something that JR and I have been worried about. She is so fetch obsessed that we have worried that if her ball ended up in a lake, river or pool she would go in after it without thinking then she wouldn't know how to swim. For $15 they would teach her to swim and teach her to jump off the dock. I found it slightly ironic that I was more than willing to spend $15 for a day of swimming lessons for my dog when I would negotiate a deal of 5 swim lessons for $15 for either of my kids. Sort of goes to show the hierarchy at my house.

Nessa wasn't sure about the whole thing but after awhile she got into it. She started out being pushed/pulled, at the same time, to get her off the dock, to just being told by me to "get in the water". And, she would. She also got to be a competent swimmer.

It would be wrong to let you think that Nessa jumped in like a pro. What she did was more of a crawl/slide/flop into the water. Since, by the end it was virtually unaided I'm calling it a win.

By the end of our lesson she was tired and I was proud. She was soaking wet and so was I. She was exhausted and I needed a glass of wine. All in all a good time.

The break in the drive to Oregon was all to the good even though it is an expense that we hadn't count on but such is the way of the world.

Everyone keep your fingers crossed that the truck fix is simple and that we are on our way by noon. That is my hope. I'm keeping a positive attitude.



  1. Sometimes the unexpected stops are the best ones. Although I do hope you don't have any more unexpected stops.

  2. What a brave puppy! I hope she ended up loving the water, and hope your truck is fixed now too.

    1. I think love is too strong of a word but she did seem to like it.

  3. Adventures are ALWAYS better than journeys.
    (btw, adorable outfit!)

  4. Dogs adore water once that get the notion of it in their heads. I should say they love water unless there is a wash involved.

    That's one hell of a journey. And one that very few think of. The Chicago to LA is so cliche, but Houston to Seattle should be marketed far more.

  5. Oh jeez, bad truck karma is the WORST! Make sure those mechanics get that truck healthy enough to scale Monarch Pass, which is one bad assin' pass. At least there's not one of those d*** mountain bicycle races this week. You've had enough travel excitement already. Let us know when you've crossed the Great Divide. And be careful!

  6. Hope you are at the next leg by the time you read this this evening!


  7. Love the dog swimming lessons and photos. hope the next leg is pleasantly uneventful.

    1. Bummer about the truck repair...never fun! Hope it was a relatively cheap fix and you were on your way once again.
      Nessa is quite a brave doggy!

  8. Yay for Nessa! And how cute are you?! :)

    But now I'm haven't posted an update in over a week - of course I haven't stalked you on facebook recently, so maybe I'll have to go do that now... Hope you made it safe and sound!