While I was off gallivanting in Austin, Tex., and Long Island, Joan declared: "There shall be no hiatus," and put together her own updates for Days 43 and 44. Here's Joan's recap of Day 43... Day 44 will come shortly.
Editor's Note: Some pictures may contain content not suitable for younger children and potentially offensive to some adults. If you aren't sure what I mean, read the title of the post one more time. Slow-ly. So, here's Joan...
The Quality Inn in Anaheim has been a bit up and down. Literally. It took me three trips to get the dogs and all our stuff to the room on the second floor. Once that task was complete, I began to relax. Everyone slept like rocks on Thursday night, but when it was time to go out first thing in the morning, Fred refused to go down the stairs. So I had to figure out how to leave my stuff at the top of the stairs, hold Hank on the leash and carry Fred. Not a pretty site, and since I had no extra hands, there are no photos of this juggling act for the public record.
I checked in with hotel management and they told me to clean everything out of the second-floor room and they would give me a first-floor, king-size bed, non-smoking room when I got back to the hotel. So I left the dogs in car while I packed up the room and lugged the rest of our stuff back to the car.
We returned after a fun-filled day with Julie Hecht Florman (and family) and I picked up the new room key. First floor? Check. Near the front of hotel where it's easy to get to: No. So I got the dogs into the room and then -- once again -- moved all the stuff in from the car. For a few moments, everything was in its right place. Then, the fireworks began at Disneyland, which is six or so long blocks away from the hotel. Of course, the dogs went crazy. So I did the only thing I felt like I could do: I locked myself in the bathroom, covered my ears and hoped that we wouldn't get thrown out of the hotel.
Now back to the fun part of the day: Julie is an old friend of mine from D.C. who moved out west years ago to marry her husband, Marty. I brought Fred and Hank to her house to meet their dog, Baxter, a Coton de Tulear. We were hoping they would get along and we could leave the dogs at Julie's house for a dog-free lunch. In the end, getting along was not an issue.
They started by running around like crazy, with Fred and Hank enjoying the freedom of an off-leash experience in a big fenced-in yard and a big house.
When we first arrived, Baxter, who is still a puppy, wanted to play every minute.
Baxter eventually decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Julie and Marty have a swimming pool which I was a little worried about. But after watching the dogs in the yard, It was clear that Fred and Hank were not interested in the pool. And we should have known that would be the case, considering how much of a fight it is to get Fred in the pool for physical therapy and to get Hank into the pool for any reason. So I felt pretty good that we would be OK leaving the dogs to go in and out of the house freely.
Now, Julie and Marty have two young sons, Adam and Alex -- and also a lovely 13-year-old daughter, Becca, who didn't come over until later. We picked the boys up at school along with three of their friends, and by the time we got back to Julie and Marty's house, we had eight 8-year-olds who were there as part of a Lego kids club. I thought Hank might be a little freaked out by all the kids, but was surprised to find it was Fred who reacted poorly to the din. He went and sat by the door as soon as the kids got there, which is his way of saying he wants to leave. I would have gotten his picture pitifully sitting by the door, but every time I walked over with my camera, he started maniacally scratching the custom-made door, begging to please be taken to the car.
Turns out the "Lego" part of the Lego Kids Club takes about 15 minutes and the rest is boys being boys. They devised a fun game where they throw balls across the pool to each other. Suddenly, Fred was away from the front door and making a beeline for the pool, barking like crazy. Ah, yes, flashbacks to our pool. Back in Virginia, Fred -- in what we assume is an effort to make sure no one gets hurt -- barks maniacally when there are any kids splashing in or standing near the pool. Those of you who have attended any of our summer parties, I'm sure you remember this wonderful experience. Eventually, Fred won the day, and the boys had to be asked to stop playing. Yes, Fred the Buzzkill. Even more sadly, this cessation of play did not stop Fred's barking. For the rest of the visit, any time any child was anywhere in the back yard, Fred went outside and barked like crazy again, just so the adults inside would know there was a kid by the pool.
Later, Julie and I went to dinner, and, this time, we closed the back door so that Fred didn't go over for a drink, fall into the pool and drown while we were out.
Needless to say, we had three tired dogs when the day was done.
Hank takes a load off at Julie and Marty's house, and wonders why Fred is such a pain in the ass.