On Black Friday morning we loaded the car up in preparation for heading to the mountains for a Thanksgiving gathering with Tim's family.
River has grown so big that we don't have a kennel we can use for her that will also fit in our car and leave any room, so we decided to use one of the flattened kennels to keep her from crawling in to the front with us and just leave her loose in the back with all of our things.
Sounds like a fool-proof plan, yes?
We got both Dixie and Bear loaded up in to their travel kennels and settled securely in the back of the caliber beside our luggage and their toys. River was watching with anxious eyes, trying to figure out just what was going on and why she wasn't kenneled.
Tim lays a blanket out in the back for her, then we turn to load up the last few items, when suddenly a golden blur launches itself into the air...and in to the back of the car!
She curled up in front of the other two dogs and hunkered down like she was terrified we were going to kick her out of the car and leave her at the house alone. Doofus.
We made a pit stop at PetSmart to take advantage of their $8.99 38lb jugs of cat litter (I had a $5 coupon, it made it $3.99!)
It was River's first time ever being in a store and she was not a big fan. I had to stop dead when she refused to walk through the sliding doors. A tween boy came up, petted her, then stuck his mouth right at hers so she could give him mouth kisses (totally gross) and after that I was able to coax her inside. From there, we stopped dead a few times, ran in circles and tried to press up against small children because they were around her size and were comforting, I guess. I picked up a few toys for their Christmas stocking and the squeakers really helped distract her. I think she suspected every adult was going to try to beat her, but after the fourth person just had to come pet her, she started to realize that the strangers weren't scary.
We hit the road and stopped again at a PetSmart in Hickory. I was hoping to catch a friend that worked there so she could see how big River has grown. Joni was the first person to see the puppy when we got her, but wouldn't you know we had missed her by about 20 minutes? This trip in to the store went way better, as River had come to expect lovins from people she didn't know. The heart-attack of the trip came when she bee-lined straight for a huge dog outside (he looked like an Anatolian Shepherd mix- huge) and started licking his mouth and wiggling her tail. We thought she was going to be scared of the big dog and instead she treats him like her long lost brother! Thankfully Buckley was a very friendly male who was so nice to a very irritating little puppy.
We made the rest of the trip without incident. River was beautifully behaved in the car and she actually behaved herself at my in-laws house! Could it be- could my little wild child finally be growing up?