Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Road Trip With a Dog in a New Car

What do people do on the Fourth of July? We go to Ventura to see our briard friends at the dog show! There are more than 2100 dogs entered. Last time, my Mini Cooper had trouble getting over the mountain. So 3 days ago, I bought a new car, a 2012 Prius C. I don't know  how to operate all of it yet -- the manual is 560 pages! But, off we went.

I bathed and brushed Chou Chou the night before, then packed up all her necessities, and a few of mine. Dog shows are a good opportunity for socialization: lots of very calm, controlled dogs and some briards to play with, too!

I got on I-5 South and kept driving. Chou Chou is always very good in the car. She puts her head down and goes to sleep. But not this time. She sat like a sphinx for 6.5 hours. ("I do not like this new car!") 

There were a few adventures along the way. The first was a fire right at the shoulder of the road. California is 3 years into a drought, and all the grass is dry and very flammable. Chou smelled the fire and jumped up, alarmed, before I saw it. I just kept driving past it, and she went back to her crouch. She will get more comfortable with the new car after a while. ("No, no! I want my old car back!") 

Then came the hail. Hail in July? I was not prepared for that. How do I use the windshield wipers? I got them on, but I couldn't turn them off. I pulled over and looked it up in the manual. 

I stopped for gas. I learned how to open the gas cap the night before. Good thinking! We got back on the freeway. A car passed me; someone was holding a sign out the window: GAS CAP. Oops. I pulled to the shoulder, found the hazard lights, and replaced the gas cap, being very careful not to get run over by passing trucks. ("We never had that problem in the old car! Much better car!")

And so we arrived at the motel. The cars in the parking lot had breed stickers on them: the golden retriever SUV, the poodle SUV, the labrador retriever van ... and my small Prius C with the briard decal. 

I checked in and unpacked the suitcase. Then I called Chou Chou's handler, Keiko, and arranged to meet her in the grooming area, to trim the hair on Chou's paws. It's a huge building with hundreds of dogs on grooming tables or in crates. But we found her and Chou Chou got her trim.

We would need to get to the fairgrounds early the next morning so that Keiko would have time to groom Chou Chou; the briard ring time was 8:40 a.m. 

We went back to the room, and I spread out all of Chou's necessities on a table: her food for three days, nutritional
supplements, treats, a food and water bowl, toothbrush and paste, leashes, dog cleanup bags, chew toy, brush, comb, barrettes, towel, and the bag to carry everything!

She had her dinner, then walked outside with me to the grassy area of the motel. All the dogs were taking potty breaks, so it was hard to find a good spot for Chou Chou.  Then she went back to the room and without being invited, she jumped up on the bed. 

She doesn't sleep on my bed at home, but she slept on the motel bed last year at a dog show and thought she could do that here, too. ("I can sleep on beds with gold bedspreads!") She was soon asleep. ("It's very tiring to crouch in a car for 6 hours! We will get the old car back when we get home!")

I set the alarm on my iPhone, ready for tomorrow's show.

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Noodles said...

What a fun adventure!!! Know what we did for the FOURTH? We went to SACRAMENTO!!!! And you were NOT there!!!!
It was so hot, though. We went to Lake Natoma with our FURiends who live in Gold River and my Mommy threw me into the water. I pretended to not like it - but it cooled me off for quite a while.
Love Noodles

Chou Chou said...

You visited Sacramento and I missed you? Come back! Come back!