Monday, June 14, 2010

The Dog Has Learned to Read

Ah the life of a puppy. He drives me insane, is a real pain in the elbow.  But he is entertaining and gets me exercising. Although, I've had a rough few days here, trying to get well again, we managed a good long walk today.  I had to keep taking breaks. The humid heat was just oppressive at times.
Puppy is learning that one bark gets my attention, no need to be yappy about it all.
I don't want to be that mermaid with the yappy dog. Small dogs are stubborn about this, but I am equally stubborn.
He has however, resumed being 100% potty trained to the great outdoors. What a huge relief. While in lake Placid, I was able to walk him nearly every hour until he got the hang of it. So we haven't had anymore accidents inside, and we are both grateful for that.
While driving from Longwood Florida to Brunswick Georgia, he learned to read.
Smart doggy!
We were coming up on sign advertising a Rest Area on the interstate. Part of me wanted to stop and stretch, the other part wanted me to keep moving. 
Puppy dog typically sleeps when I drive even though the stereo is usually playing rock and roll or disco dance, to keep me alive and alert.  He is hooked to his harness and leash, with his puppy bed attached to the passenger seat with a seat belt. This way he is all cozy and comfy, but he can't scurry around causing mayhem while I drive. He can sit up and look out the window or look at me. 
This day he suddenly sat up and saw the sign reading REST AREA, pointing to the right and set up a commotion of alternate barking, whining and pleading.  I was going too fast to make the sudden turn, I hadn't planned on it, so I promised him the very next stop. He continued to fuss while I tried to console him that we were stopping at the very next exit.
There we found a Flying J plaza which is motorhome friendly, pet friendly and so on. We hopped out to visit the thick grass and boy that puppy  relieved himself like he was draining  a bathtub. I showered lavish praise on him for being a big boy now.  We paraded back and forth to see if he needed further business in the grass, and well he did, especially since other dogs had been there before him.
We got back in the motorhome, and he settled back in his car seat, while I changed out my warming bottle of water for a cold one in the fridge. We headed on down the highway again.
The nice thing about traveling in a motorhome, for humans,  is you travel with your own bathroom. This is rather more than convenient at times.
The other day, I went shopping for groceries while en route to this campground. I was feeling rather sleepy at the wheel, so when I saw a large parking lot at a Piggy Wiggly grocery store, I pulled in and took up two end to end spaces, nice and neat.
I turned Harley loose from his car seat, gave him a small bowl of water and told him to "STAY".  His toys were scattered around, and he was already playing with them by the time I set his tiny bowl of water down, complete with an ice cube.
I left for the store, more than relieved, to hear silence, as I retreated. I don't want him setting up a commotion when I leave. He is grasping that "STAY" means he's not going with me, and he needs to be quiet about it too. No yappy protesting.
When I came out to the motorhome, I couldn't hear any yapping and it made me smile. Maybe this dog had some brains after all. He was thrilled to me, and was playing with his toys.  I put the groceries away while pulling out things for lunch.  It was hot in the parking lot.  I fired up the generator, turned on the air conditioning then used the microwave  to steam some fresh veggies for lunch. I made some macaroni and cheese to compliment the veggies.  I  sat at my table, enjoying my break, watching traffic wander by.  I fed the doggy, washed the dishes, used my private bathroom, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and put on some lipstick. 
The dog and I then went for a short walk and stretched our legs while he watered a fire hydrant.  We loaded back up, and drove away, all refreshed. My sleepiness was gone now, so I felt OK to drive. Otherwise, I might have just drawn the shades and taken a short nap before taking off. The parking lot wasn't crowded, I had spent money with my parking benefactor and with a quiet doggy, one can do these sorts of things in a motorhome discreetly.
Speaking of sleepiness, puppy has reminded me it's past my bedtime.

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