March 5-6, 2014
Our March trip started a day earlier than usual. Tammy picked me up on Wednesday evening instead of Thursday morning. Our plan was to stay in Grayling for the night so we could get a jump on to Chippewa by 10:30 a.m. Warden Woods wants to expand the puppy-raising program! This meant that we were going to get a tour of a level 2 unit that is up for consideration.
Tammy's jouney started Sunday. That's when she picked up the Leader Dogs for the Blind van filled with dog food and airline crates. And a male GSD (German Shepherd dog) puppy named Dax that we were to deliver to Baraga after our Chippewa session. "He screamed all the way home and all night," Tammy said. Dax settled for the next two nights, letting her sleep in until 5:00 a.m. Lucky for her.
When I threw my gear into the van, Dax squawked a few minutes, but the rhythmic roll of I-75 lulled him quiet. It was after 9:00 p.m. when we pulled into Grayling and not much was open for Tammy to grab a bite of dinner. We circled back to the McDonals on the business loop. Not our first choice (ever) but Tammy was hungry. The place was empty. Empty that is until a bus full of high school kids from my home county rolled up. Coach "Big Mike" and his basketball team rushed the counter before we could put in an order.
"Let's just get to the hotel," Tammy said.
We have a system. First we check in, haul bags and set up Tammy's soft travel crates. Then we get the puppies out of the airline crates. FLD Harper picked his parking spot quickly and he and I headed for the room. About a half hour later, Tammy came in with FLD Dax. No go. "Just when you think, 'okay, he's going to go,' someone would drive in and he's be like, 'what's that?!'" she said.
I volunteered to take him back out. No luck. We let him play with Harper for a while before Tammy tried again. Not long after she returned triumphant. "He pooped!" she said. Only a puppy raiser could understand the joy of a puppy who poops!
Our picky parker wasn't done. In the crate by 11:30 p.m., Dax didn't wail too long but he got me up at 2:00 a.m. to pee. He screamed for 45 minutes. Up again at 4:00 a.m. followed by another 45 minute serenade. As I put Dax back into his crate at 5:45 a.m., Tammy was parking herself.
"Are we up?" I asked. "NO. I am NOT up!" she said.
But Dax decided that we were...