Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cape Coral Trip

T to B: Mom, Dad, Maxie, Willow
John and I just returned from an 8 day, 1800 mile road trip to Cape Coral, FL to help celebrate my dad's 95th, and my mom's 90th birthdays.  4 days on the road (2 there, 2 back), with 2 dogs, covering about 450 miles a day, stopping every few hours at McDonalds or a gas station for coffee and to stretch, pottie ourselves and dogs.  At each stop, I kept with my commitment to sprint 100 yards. 

We found a great halfway point between Baton Rouge and Cape Coral in Tallahassee, where we stayed at a really nice LaQuinta Inn, exit 199, right off of I-10, which included roomy rooms, continental breakfast, WiFi, NOON checkout, and NO PET FEE for only $58.50/night, including tax. There was no microwave or fridge in the room, though.  $4 extra for that.  Rooms 161-167 (odd numbers only) faced on a charming wooded slope the dogs could run in, and there was a designated grassy pet area further down.

5 hours to Houston had been Maxie's longest road trip up til now, and both he and Willow travelled like champions. At the birthday party Maxie did all his parlor tricks, and Dad got the biggest kick out of his "I'm depressed" trick (where I say "When you knock a bar, are you depressed?", and he slumps over and hangs his head and won't straighten up until I say "That's OK". Nobody understood how I use food to train various behaviors, so I got to demo that as well.

Maxie got ill for a few days, throwing up and diahrreah, wouldn't eat.  First time ever for being sick, scared me. We think maybe he ate a berry off the ground around one of the many palm trees in the area.  That's what it looked like came out of him, anyway, or maybe he licked harsh chemicals off the tiles of the Paradise Cove hotel room.  So on the trip I blogged about putting together a Doggie First Aid Kit.  He recovered, but I should have been better prepared.

Willow and Maxie are none too happy about
potential rivals to their thrones (puppies in crate).
Maxie is positioned between me
and the pups, keeping up a low growl. 
Willow keeps licking an empty bowl.
On the way home we stopped in Myakka City, FL where my cousin, Lois, a Papillon breeder, surprised the heck out of us with 2 9 week old AKC Papillon puppies -- to keep, or to sell!  She doesn't have time to fool with this litter, she said.  Since I acquired Maxie when he was 6 months old, and Willow at age 6, I've never been around Papillon puppies.  Oh my, are they ever cute!!!!!  I will keep them another few weeks or so to socialize them before hopefully sending them off to a good home.  Please, God, don't let me get too attached.

Already I can see differences.  The female is slightly more dominant than the male, quicker to figure things out, faster, stronger, and has a more dense body.  When I got home I weighed her on my kitchen scale at 2.5 lbs.  Though they appear the same size, the male only weighs 1.75 lbs. 

Jitsu (sitting) and Roku (lying down).
Roku looks bigger because of his fluffier hair.
We temporarily named him "Racoo" because his face looks like a raccoon's, then we nicknamed her "Jitsu" after a sign we saw posted on a telephone pole for Ju Jitsu lessons.  Then Racoo devolved to Roku for some reason.  So it's Roku and Jitsu.  They eat every few hours, and pee and poo all over the place and often, and they and their shredded paper stunk by the time we got home.  I gave them a bath, blow dry and nail clip, and now they smell sweet and are little soft white fluff balls.  Jitsu loves water. 

We set them up in Lucky's big crate, lined thick with newspaper so I can remove the top layer a few times a day, a tub of kitty litter on one side (which they love to dig in, so that didn't work), a towel to snuggle on, some little tug toys, and a heavy bowl for water (which they scamper through).  Outside, I set up the x-pen in the grass and they tumble around in there several times a day.  They seemed to suffer no ill effects from the long trip home. 

I've got my work cut out for me for the next little while.  Yet another learning curve - crap!  Will I ever know everything about anything?  I'll take some pictures and videos over the next few days to try and capture their markings, expressions, and antics, which will help in advertising them for sale.  They are hearty little things, mighty cute, and such a blast they make John laugh great big belly laughs, which I've never actually heard coming out of my husband before.

Upwards and onward,

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