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Chasing Hopes

Posted by on November 23, 2009

squirrely1 It seems as if every park we enter, we’re encumbered with scores of squirrels. I enjoy them. They are both bucolic and pastoral. However, they prove frantic for Brutus. To the point that I’m going to start referring to him as the “squirrel retard.” He chases them endlessly, oblivious to his surrounding, vehicles traversing down the park streets, golf carts or the occasional bicycle in his path. With his ears pinned back, he runs in earnest in pursuit of the bushy tails. And then with the most profound idiotic look on his face, he stops at a tree, sniffing, and wondering how in the hell they just disappeared into thin air. He has no idea that he needs to look up. I am just amazed at his lack of hunting skills. But what I wouldn’t do for this dog.

Robin wants so bad to fly him north this weekend for our trip to my niece’s wedding. So to be sure he would be able to make the trip we drove to the Tampa airport. tampainternationalairport2 We carried the Sherpa foldable dog carrier that we purchased the night before. I did not want to get to the airport on Saturday morning to find out he didn’t qualify and then we’re stuck. Getting off the elevator we quickly found the Southwest counter. Showing the agent the carrier, we were informed that it was too large. Brutus barely fit his 17 pounds in it. She pleasantly retrieved a Southwest carrier from the back to show us what was acceptable. It could barely fit my Canon SLR. No way would Brutus be a carry-on for this trip. dogcarrier We asked about flying him cargo. Southwest has no pressurized cargo. We’re out of luck and so is Brutus. Heading back to the RV park, I googled pet hotels. I found a Petsmart directly up I-75 no more than a half hour away so we headed in that direction. We found the mother lode. They do have a dog hotel, Virginia. Robin booked her favorite in for the weekend until our Tuesday return. What amazed me the most about the “hotel” was that when you walked in, there was a fake fireplace roaring in the corner.  Something you might see at the “Shady Rest. ” petsmarthotel I listened to another lady book her dog for a stay and refer to him in terms as you would your newborn son. I thought Robin had lost it when she refers to herself as Brutus’ mom. But all these women do it. It must be the need to take care of something-as in in child. Robin listened to the lady with a keen ear and like the idea of doggie day-camp. I feel as if I’m losing my mind. Here’s a multi-million dollar industry for women treating their pets as children. What an idea!  So Brutus ended up with the  “Busy Bundle”,  which includes play time, a snack, and the daily ice cream cone. He was so pleased that Southwest though him too big for their carrier.  Now who’s the retard?  As for me, this trip afforded me a stop at the Stonewood Grille and Tavern stonewood and the best French Dip. That’s a wonderful pot roast sandwich with a cup of au jus sauce for the dipping. All in all, a trip well worth it. french_dip_subs1

6 Responses to Chasing Hopes

  1. Bonnie

    Not only do I refer to myself as Suri and Sebastian’s Mom, I get really irritated when Falyn doesn’t coddle them like I do. I ask her “Why are you being so mean to your brother and sister?” Yes, I’m aware that I sound ridiculous, but they are my babies.

  2. Michael Lockridge

    If you have not yet seen the movie “UP” you do not yet fully know the relationship of dogs to squirrels.

    We have a few doggie day care facilities in our area. I also know humans who have bonded strongly with their dogs. I don’t get it, but I can’t quibble in someone creating and supporting another industry.

    So, maybe time for a doggie friendly airline? Whining kids and yapping dogs would make flying ever so much more interesting.

  3. Debbie

    Ah, Larry, I am yes, a mother of a Cocker Spaniel, and he is treated as one of the kids, with a brother and his sissy’s……goes for ice cream occasionally, or to Gabby’s house to visit…….and after he goes to Brandy’s for his “foo foo” he knows he gets to go to Mickey D’s for his Happy Meal, where he’ll not eat his french fries til he’s had his hamburger! And he has a Christmas Stocking and presents under the Christmas Tree………..and you fella’s know, deep in your heart, even if you won’t admit it, that, a part of you feel the same way….
    it’s the “mama” in us all………and good for the people that are becoming more “pet friendly”, some of our furry kids are more well behaved than others, lol………..

  4. Mike

    I have to say that I was taken aback to read the words “squirrel retard.” As the mom of a child with special needs I’m always shocked to hear people throw that word around. It dehumanizes my child and millions like her. It’s just not okay to take away someone’s dignity with a casual remark. Something to think about before you use the word retard next time.
    I’m not trying to take away your right to use it. Just wondering why you would when you know the hurt you cause.

  5. larry

    Dear Mike (Mom),

    I am sorry you took my words out of context as I can see they have caused you duress. As a former school superintendent and Director of Special Education I understand your feelings. However, the word retard as used in the blog meant to ‘slow’ as in Brutus’ speed once the squirrel climbs the tree and he stops his pursuit. Or the engine brake on my RV known as a “retarder”. In fact, there are signs along the road suggesting “no use of brake retard”. I’m trying to point out the use of the word isn’t necessarily used with malice or to poke fun.
    Hopefully, you will find by reading my blog that my sensitivities would not permit such.
    Thank you for reading.

  6. Donte Schoemaker

    Great to find out you back again. And again with an interesting article.

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