06 October 2008

The Last Part of the Trip

I'm sorry that I'm so late finally posting updates. The time and weather changes between the US and DK are hitting me hard, so I've been sleeping a lot and suffering from a lot of pain. I will try to do better in the future, REALLY!

Apparently the DVDs my parents made me of my pictures from the trip won't work on my laptop right now. So all pictures included here are ones they took. I will try to get more online later when I can figure out how to access the DVDs or get new ones...

So we pick up at the Mohican Indian PowWow in Ohio. There were no problems getting Molly in to the powwow with us. She was in her vest, of course, and I was in my chair with my crutches along. The terrain ended up not being too bad for the chair but I used the crutches when checking out the booths and stuff.

Molly behaved beautifully while we checked out the booths. When we went to get settled to watch some dancing, she just lay down under the bleachers and relaxed. She's a good girl. Unfortunately we couldn't stay as long as we wanted because it was horribly hot and no shade for watching dancing.

It wasn't too late then when we hit the road. Molly got to come in to lunch with us. She needed the ice cubes from our drinks badly. I don't remember where or what we ended up eating.
Eventually we got to the hotel in WV, where we spent the night. We got more ice cubes from the ice machine for her.

The next day we headed for the Cass Railroad. If you aren't familiar with it, it is a coal and steam railroad that was originally for logging. It is, of course, in WV and doesn't allow pets. So Molly was in uniform and ready to work.

My parents had arranged reserved seats for us in the Leatherbark Car. So while Dad picked up the tickets, the rest of us got set up and ready to go. I left the wheelchair in the car because I knew I'd mostly be sitting. So we headed up to the platform with me on my crutches and Molly on leash. We then met a man that works there who talked to us for a while--he'd recently been on a special training so he knew about service dogs.

Molly wasn't happy to go up the steps onto the train after it arrived. So DH carried her in. When the conductor made announcements before we departed, he mentioned that pets were not allowed on the train but that there was a service dog along that day. So Molly got special notice for her ride.

She lay down under my seat on the bench and didn't look too happy about things. She kept crawling deeper under the seat, so I had to hold onto her leash so she couldn't crawl into the seat behind me. Despite her worries, she behaved perfectly. I got her out at both stops on the ride. When it was time to get back in, she climbed in eagerly on her own--no more lifting. I think she accepted it as a necessary part of the crazy adventure even though she didn't like it too much. We can't blame her for not loving it--it smelled, was noisy, and was rather bumpy.

To reward her afterwards and just give her a chance to relax, DH and I took her down to the Leatherbark Creek as soon as we got back into the station. She played in the water and drank from several different spots. She tried to dig some int he stones, which we discouraged, and just generally relaxed and enjoyed herself before it was time to hit the road again.

Our next stop was a cabin for two nights. The renter hadn't been too happy about us bringing a service dog, but my dad stood up for my right to have her. The renter was concerned about what others in the area renting from her would say about us having a dog with us when they couldn't bring theirs, so Molly was in uniform whenever around the cabin, including night time potty walks. We thought it best to make the reason for her presence clear.

On the 22nd, DH and I took a horseback ride as an anniversary present from my parents. Molly couldn't come, so she spent that time with my parents. We had a good play with her later to make up for it.

The next day was our final day on the road. We drove north to Pennsylvania and stopped in New Bedford at a coverlet museum. Molly spent part of the time in the car but then came in to meet the people and show off. They were suitably impressed with her working skills. On the drive from there back to my parents', we stopped to eat and Molly came in. I was on crutches and the place was crowded, but she did really well.

The next day was a rest and recovery day. Molly mostly spent time trying to work out what exactly my parents' cat was. At least they got as far as somewhat making friends, instead of the earlier hide-upstairs for the cat and lots of chasing. Molly kept taking a ball to the cat to try to get him to play ball with her and at one point was seen licking the cat's ear. I think she misses him now that we're home.

Thursday morning she had a vet appointment for her trip home paperwork. After paying a lot of money for the exam and paperwork, we found out we also had to take them to Harrisburg to get them stamped. That afternoon was another drive to a weaver friend of my family. Molly seemed to consider this routine by then, so had no problems with the car ride. She spent part of the time there in the car and part inside showing off. She wasn't in vest so had some issues settling down (he had inside cats), but did well.

Friday DH and I took my mom's car and ran some errands. We decided to accept her offer to Molly-sit so Molly could just stay in the house and chill out for a day. I'm not sure Molly was too happy with that decision, but we thought she needed the rest before the weekend's plans. She was very happy to see us when we got back. My brother and his girlfriend came over that night for dinner. Molly is totally in love with the girlfriend and had a wonderful evening. She also showed how well she was learning to sit while people touch her.

Saturday we headed for the Shawnee Mountain Rodeo. As we approached the entrance, a man who worked there came up and verified that Molly was a service dog. Those are allowed, he said, but not pets. I told him that Molly was used to horses and that I expected her to be fine with the events, but that we'd take her to the car if she got too excited. He didn't seem too worried, but I wanted to let them know we'd monitor the situation and didn't expect her to be allowed there if creating a disturbance. Molly made my prediction come true with her good behavior. The worst she did was whine a little, but mostly she just watched the animals very intensely.

People were walking by our spot a lot, including little kids. Molly showed how well she has learned her job when she just ignored people and kids walking by even if they made some noise about her. I was really impressed and very proud of her. I think she enjoyed it although she'd rather have moved the cattle herself and wanted to fetch in those bulls after they got rid of the riders...

Sunday we went to a quarter horse show in Harrisburg. It wasn't as good as we'd hoped, but Molly enjoyed watching the horses moving around. She didn't even whine, although she was at the edge of her seat, often with her paws on the row of seats in front of her. Then on the way home we went to an antique shop. She waited in the car for that. She did go to lunch at Friendly's with us though.

Monday was another mad drive to Harrisburg for the stamp on the paperwork then a few antique shops. She came in to lunch with us again at a diner. That evening we went to my grandmother's and Molly and the resident dog ended up doing pretty well together. But Molly had trouble settling down enough (she wanted to go search for the resident dog's balls and play), so she spent part of the evening in the car resting. We think the stress of the long trip was starting to wear on her, so she was getting jumpy and grumpy.

Tuesday we flew home. We didn't get bumped to business, but they kindly reserved us a three seat section for the flight, so Molly had plenty of space and no strangers in her nose. We gave her the window seat to give her more space. She just slept and slept and sometimes moved around. I slept lying down on the seats part of the way, so she had two seats of floor space to herself much of the flight.

The arrival in DK was very stressful. For some reason we had to go through a new security check and ended up going through passport control twice because of a broken elevator. We needed to get Molly outside ASAP to potty before our final flight home. Once we got to an outside door, DH left me right inside with the stuff and took Molly out. I was right there so could go out if he had trouble coming back in to me (he isn't entitled to have her inside anywhere, so could legally have been refused access). Then we had to find a bus to the right terminal. Molly handled it all beautifully.

Finally we got to the final airport and were met by a friend. Molly was overjoyed to see a familiar face and jumped onto him (he usually wants her to) to say hello. Then we had a peaceful drive home. Molly was so happy to be in her fence again when we got home and her familiar bed and kitchen. Like me, she's been spending a lot of time sleeping since our arrival.


Anonymous said...

Glad you got home safe & sound.
Looks like a very eventful holiday
must have been nice to spent some time with your parents.
The Jetlag must have been awful.
take care

Rebecca and Molly the Border Collie said...

Thanks Di! It's great to be home. The jet lg is still pretty bad but it'll pass eventually.

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

Hey it's good to see you guys back home. I hope you can get some more photo's on sometime. It would be great to see some more of your trip.

Molly did extremely well i think, she had to take in so many new experiences all at once. Good girl Molly!

Now you all need a holiday to get over your holiday! LOL

Rebecca and Molly the Border Collie said...

I could sure use a holiday now. My poor DH is back at work and we're both still strugglign with the time difference!

Thanks Sam!