We recently took a ‘vacation’ to Pennsylvania to attend my little brother’s (I call him Midge, developed from midget when we were kids, this is no longer true- he is nearly a foot taller than I am) graduation from college! We hired a friend to come and stay with all our critters and Marshall, Judah and I packed our things and ourselves into the VW Rabbit and hit the road. In all the hussle of getting ready I never slowed down long enough to realize that Judah had never been on a trip overnight where we were staying in a rented room. We always stay with friends or family and he is almost never without any of the other animals. This would certainly be a test! OH! And did I mention that he had been ‘on leash restricted’ for a week with one more to go from his foot/leg full of stiches? A husky required to ‘keep calm’ and restricted to a leash does not a relaxed dog make, but well, I trust him- he’s a good boy and takes his job seriously.
It was a long drive (plus we never like to go the most direct route, you miss too much that way!) and nearly 9 hours after 2 false starts from the house we arrived in Drums, PA. We were staying in a timeshare my mom rented through her work, a two bedroom place for the two (well three) of us. It was literally about 10 feet from the water- poor Judah, he loves to swim… oh stiches.We had a good time, there were TONS of birds around where we were staying! Orioles, all kinds of sparrows and swallows, geese, ducks, king fishers, hawks, black birds, cow birds, and even a SWAN that hung out each morning right off our patio- it was amazing. Judah was GREAT about all the activity of the critters, he watched but didn’t try to chase and even tried making friends with the swan and a couple geese, they weren’t into it.
We made 2 trips to the local walmart while in Drums. After we left the first time I told Marshall I enjoyed NOT being stared at the whole time I was there. At home we get watched constantly, I understand and I try to be friendly and a good ambassador but I do use a service dog to live a more normal life. While we were in this particular walmart not one person stopped me, not one person pointed and whispered, and not one person touched him- I admit it was refreshing. I enjoyed it I think, it really was vacation! Our second trip to the local walmart was possibly the most humiliating experience I have ever had.
We were trying to make a quick trip to grab some snacks, pizzas and some other odds and ends and we came around the end of an aisle to an entire family (2 parents 3 kids I believe) in the aisle. The youngest child (in the cart) began to point and shout in spanish. I assumed he was yelling something about the dog and I just smiled and we continued past. From then on, ANY TIME that child saw me in the store one of his family members would point us out and he would begin to sound off. It didn’t take long and every spanish speaking person, couple or family would begin to repeat several phrases in spanish, loudly. They didn’t seem upset or offended by his presence there, more excited and curious- but my goodness they we LOUD. I wish they had just asked to pet him instead, or at least turned down the volume. I was so humiliated I actually thought I might cry. Even worse, I couldn’t get away from it. Every where I went someone was pointing and yelling in spanish. Marshall could see my distress and kicked into hyper drive, he scooped up the last few things and we headed to the register. As we made our way through the parking lot and the yelling continued. I admit I DID cry a little when we got back to the car. (I am not going to color this as a race thing at all and I hope no one takes it that way, this would have humiliated me in any language- though NOT knowing what was being said DID make it a little more embarrassing.)
I have so much more to write about from this trip, keep checking back! It was SUCH an adventure!