I had just returned from my hair appointment, which is a Happy Day in my book. But because of my hair appointment, I was running late for a very important date. Lucy and Annabelle were booked for a week at the pet lodge, and I had exactly one hour to walk, feed and drive them across the city in time for small dog group play time this afternoon. They needed to check in today, as I was leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning with my mother. We were road tripping back home to Arkansas.
Yes my dogs were a wee bit spoiled, but they were so darn cute was it any wonder? And they couldn’t stay just anywhere. They stayed in the French Quarter suite at the pet lodge which was roomy and bright and airy. Seriously, if there was a House Hunters for Dogs on HGTV, this would be the winning selection every time. Although the location is geographically undesirable, we can’t possibly book them into a new place. They like it at the pet lodge. They know the humans there. They get excited when we drive up. Of course they are always excited…
They knew something was up when I started to pack their blankets and a few favorite toys. I strapped Lucy into her booster seat in the back seat of the car. Yes, she has a booster seat. It allows her to look out the window at people, cars, dogs, etc. I was a bit worried about handling them both at the same time in the car and briefly considered crating Annabelle for the drive. But I dismissed this idea deciding with Lucy in her booster seat, Annabelle would be perfectly fine up front with me in my lap.
|Lucy checking out the view!
One block from the house, Lucy had nearly hung herself. Something was faulty with the strap as the booster seat had practically collapsed leaving Lucy dangling and balancing on her back feet. I quickly pulled to the curb and unhooked her with one hand while holding Annabelle with the other. Lucy was glaring at me, while Annabelle licked my face. As I reached for Lucy, I almost pull a piece of fat in my back but luckily yoga has helped with my overall flexibility. Yoga comes in handy daily. This is the moment I should have turned the car around, retrieved both dog crates, and started again…but I didn’t.
Now both pups were balanced in my lap, draped across my left arm, looking out the window. Please do not let me pass a cop, I thought. I was certain I would be pulled over just to confirm there was in fact a human in the car, as the dogs were almost blocking my view and looked as if they were driving.
Road work ahead. There was a lane closed near Baylor Hospital. I maneuvered through the orange cones with one functioning arm and one schnauzer arm. I hit nearly every red light which was actually a good thing. I used these red light opportunities to shift the dogs and message my numb arm. I drove through downtown Dallas.
I made it to the other side of downtown and took a deep breath. I was almost forced to merge onto the Dallas North Tollway which would not have been a good thing. Fortunately I was able to veer into the correct lane to avoid a side trip to North Dallas. What was that noise?!? The back window was suddenly open. It took me a second to process this. Annabelle had stepped on the button and opened the window. The wind was blowing in and the traffic noise was loud as cars whizzed by us. I rolled up the window at the next light and readjusted. My knuckles were white, and I think I was grinding my teeth. Not too much further. I was comforted by the fact that I passed by no fewer than 5 hospitals on my journey to the pet lodge. I knew if I was somehow ejected through the moonroof, I would be only seconds away from a world class emergency room. The dogs might not fare so well.
Up ahead was a giant flashing road closure/detour sign. OMG. I slowed to assess the situation. Luckily the road was not closed. Instead, the lanes merged from four to one. Why are people so rude and impatient about this? No one wanted to let the schnauzers merge, like this was really going to significantly slow them down on their way to Taco Bell. How often does one see dogs commandeering a vehicle? Obviously these dogs had somewhere to go! Suddenly, while attempting to cue up into this one lane without causing road rage, the passenger window opened. My nerves were totally shot. Was there danger of Annabelle opening the car door too? I left the window down, as I could not possibly free my paralyzed limb to address this.
Finally I saw the pet lodge up ahead! My final maneuver was a U-turn across three lanes to get into the parking lot. As I braced myself I yelled, “Hang on, hang on, hang on!” Lucy and Annabelle shifted in my lap, scratching my legs through my jeans. By the grace of God, we successfully turned into the parking lot with the air whooshing through the back window. The dogs were so thrilled to see the lady at the front desk. In reality, they were probably relieved to be free from their crazed mother who was ready for a cocktail.
Talking Heads, “Wild Wild Life”