We got back to Outer Podunk around midday today, after traversing a large portion of the eastern U.P. I'm still readjusting to dial-up Internet (argh!), which is making the upload of more travel photos difficult; but in the meantime I want to tell you about my li'l dog Cody.
Keeping in mind that Cody is 14, which makes him nearly a centegenarian in people years, that he's as neurotic as Woody Allen on an espresso bender, that he has a weak ticker and that his travel experiences have been very limited -- he was a real trouper during this excursion. My travel buddy's golden retrievers, who can be a handful, are staying with a relative, but we felt that because of Cody's special needs he should come along. And so he did.
And he loved it. He loved the car rides, which were spent alternately snoozing, sighteseeing out the window and begging for treats. He loved our motel room, and the "snausages" we saved him from the complimentary breakfast. We took him everywhere he was allowed (and even in a few places where he wasn't); he gamely walked boardwalks, sidewalks and shorelines with us, waited (although not always patiently) in our vehicle for us, rubbernecked sites of interest and put up with solicitous fellow tourists without attempting to bite them. (Although he did have thoughts about going after a huge, doofy and I'm suspecting utterly harmless German shepherd mix at the Tahquamenon Falls: "Let me at him! I know I can take him! Let me at him, I say!")
Dogs, especially fluffy little ones, make great conversation starters with strangers; that happened a lot. And I think that the rigors of traveling with a pet, which I think are analogous to traveling with a very small child, provide a combination school for character and means of learning more about your fellow human traveler. I mean, not every couple can handle sharing "poop patrol" with a dog 24/7, and not only that but also wind up having meaningful and mutually concerned conversations about said dog's bowel and bladder habits.
I think the thing that tickled me the most about The Codeman during our travels was his obvious delight in exploration. He's a dog who does not hesitate to put on the brakes, so to speak, walking around our neighborhood on his leash. But this past week, whether we were on city sidewalks, exploring beaches or taking a rest stop break along the freeway, he scampered along full-tilt boogie, on his little bowed legs, his tongue lolling in a big lopsided grin. He had the time of his long doggie life. He was a very good dog as well. And now he's a very sleepy dog, back at home on his sofa in Outer Podunk.
Cody, aka Adventure Dog, taking a sightseeing break back at our motel.