Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dane Train

Please, rest assured. No pedestrians were hurt in the shooting of this photo. The car wasn’t moving yet. This photo is a self-portrait, taken on our maiden “Dane Train” voyage.

The Dane Train is a marvelous, socialist concept. Dog Azure needs to get to place Far North from the Springfield, Missouri area. They toss her in a car with someone who doesn’t mind windshield time, and so begins the train. Someone takes the first couple of hours, and then you find them at a pre-ordained location at the appointed time, looking desperate and somewhat disheveled. They hand the leashes to you, high-tail it into their car, and give themselves whiplash as they lay tire skids in the parking lot in an effort to get beyond cell phone reach before you have a chance to dial them up and say, “As I was pulling into the parking lot, I got an emergency call from my second-cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s brother, and since your car is already pointed in that direction, could you . . .”

You shrug your shoulders, load the crazy kids into the vehicle for their next two-hour leg, and drive like heck to get to the stop where you pass the favor on to the next victim, uh, I mean, driver. I like to think of it as a modern version of the Underground Railroad, but with fur and drool.

And so it goes, until Ms. Azure reaches her final destination. . .

I knew I was in trouble when I was explicitly and profusely thanked for taking Azure for the next 3-hour leg. For the first 40 minutes of my drive through metro Kansas City, Missouri, we treated passers-by to witnessing Azure's special game that she made up for the drive, which consisted of jumping from the front to the back of the vehicle and vice-versa, alternately using the space between the front seats, the space between the passenger seat and the car ceiling, and the space between the front passenger seat and the passenger-side window. After negotiating the construction zones and big-city traffic, I stopped for a much-needed people potty break. Imagine how glad I was to return to the car for this greeting.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

There Were Rules

Note the use of the past tense. There WERE rules. One such rule was “No dogs in the bed.” Enter Trinity. No dogs in the bed became, stealth dog sneaks into the bed after I am so dead asleep I can’t object. Then the rule was, “we will allow this one dog to sleep at the end of the bed to save us from 4:30 a.m. ebullient, leaping, bounding, jumping on the bed, face-licking and chin-flea-biting wake-up calls.” Then I began to wake up with said dog impersonating a quite heavy blanket, her snoring, drooling mouth perched at my shoulder.

Now, each morning our house wakes to either the sound of the alarm, followed by the special grunt that one can only make when one moves one’s head forward quickly, only to be jerked back when one finds that one’s hair is being laid on by a 85 pound dog, or to the pre-alarm sound of my forehead striking the bedside table, as an alarm-anticipating, stretching solitary Dane leg juts forward into the back of my head, propelling my slumbering face into the nightstand.