The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Argos on vaca

Several people have asked me what the dog has been up to this vacation, so I thought that I would include a synopsis. Argos is a very good traveler. In fact, even after a 14-hour trip, I would forget that he is in the van entirely if not for the fact that when we stop he wakes and makes some subtle excited noises. (Also, the gianormous crate that fills almost the entire back of the Odyssey might clue me in to his presence.)

He came with us to Baltimore for Thanksgiving, but stayed in Illinois when we visited Baltimore and New York for Christmas. The main issue is that although Argos is welcome in my grandparents' place in Baltimore, Danny's folks have a passel of tiny elderly dogs that are likely to give themselves an aneurysm trying to defend their turf against Argos.

Last Christmas, we boarded Argos in Illinois and it cost a crazy amount of money--way more than we ever paid in CA. Also, he came home at least 10 lbs overweight, which is impressive given that he started out at least 5 lbs underweight. Given that the other two kennels in Bloomington-Normal are embroiled in legal issues because the owner of one kennel was arrested for poisoning dogs in her competitor's kennel, we were looking for another option. This summer we brought Argos with us. Argos had a great time shmoozing around the house in Baltimore. He was pretty unobtrusive, and eventually decided that the extended family was part of his pack, because he started refusing to come downstairs to sleep with me, Danny and the kids at night.

Highlights from Argos' trip to Charm city include an odd incident in which he kind of ran away at the local park. He is usually exceptionally reliable off leash, so I let him off to play with another dog. However, he must have heard Sam and/or Joseph's voice and he took off for the playground to be with the kids, alarming some innocent bystanders and he raced past them on the track.
My Grandparents' place in Baltimore has a large wooded lot behind it. Argos earns his keep at by scaring away squirrels that attack the birdfeeders. Argos also got to see full-sized deer up close. We startled a trio of young bucks in our neighbors' yard one morning. Argos was so concerned that he made that emergency "buff"-ing noise that Malamutes sometimes make.

In New York, Danny's parents helped us find a boarding kennel for him. It seems like a nice place, so hopefully he is having a decent time there. I am positive that Argos would not enjoy staying at Danny's parents' place with the small angry dogs barking at him all day--Argos is of course a lover not a fighter.
Argos briefly visited the house on his way to the kennel. Here's Argos hiding from the yapping tinies in Staten Island. "Hey Grammy, can I have the squeeky ball?"

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