My job requires some travel, mostly around the state, but on occasion, I attend conferences that cross state lines. This past week, I attended our state association’s annual Fall Conference and while the location of the conference was only an hour away from Santa Fe, I still needed to stay at a hotel for a few nights. My wonderful hubby usually stays home with the dogs on most of my travel trips, saving us a lot of $$$$ in boarding costs and subsequent vet bills from coughs and other ailments the girls pick up at the doggy motel. This trip was a get-away from dog hair and dogs in the bed. It is pure joy being able to stretch across the King-sized bed with crisp, fresh sheets and sink-your-head onto soft downy pillows. As much as I love having the bed to myself, I still miss my girls! (and my husband!). I usually call home frequently thorough out the day checking to see how they are.
It so happened on this trip, we received some rain while I was gone. Those wet drops from heaven are a rare event in our drought stricken state. We live among dirt roads that turn into mud roads with the slightest moisture and as a rule, we don’t usually walk the dogs when it’s raining or if the roads are muddy. Not only because of the mess of the mud, but because of our arid landscape and our many arroyos, flash flooding from the rain’s surface water is common and very dangerous. The torrential flood waters come from the higher ground, usually starting as a trickle and turning into a roaring river in seconds, crashing through junipers, chamiso and cacti. We just don’t take the risk of getting caught in a flash flood. Consequently, Dolce and Amore didn’t get their walk for three days while I was out-of-town.
The first day gone, I called Malcolm, checking to see how the girls were doing. Malcolm reported that from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. they waited by the window, looking for my car to pull into the drive way from work. Up until 10:00 p.m. they went tearing through the house every time they heard a car drive by, thinking it might be me returning home from my conference. Day two was much the same but with more edge. It had been 36 hours since their last walk, mom’s not home and the peanut butter Kongs are outside in the rain. Dolce is bored and Amore has way too much energy bundled inside her 100 lb. frame. Malcolm is starting to go nuts from dealing with the dogs, wet dog smell is permeating the house from the dogs racing back and forth from the dog pen, tracking in mud and dirt and Malcolm still has 24 hours to live through. Amore wants company and to be entertained by day three. She whacks her tail by the headboard at 3:30 a.m. to wake Malcolm up, barks at every car headed into town starting at 5:30 a.m. and resorted to jumping on and off the bed wanting Malcolm to get up. There is no rest for the wicked, Malcolm still has til’ the evening before I’ll be home.
While the rain has abated to a slight sprinkle – the roads are still muddy. This will be the third day in a row without a walk. Malcolm hasn’t talked to an adult in 72 hours and wants only to drink his Coca-Cola with pure cane sugar and read the newspaper in peace. Still in my business attire, I arrive home early evening…
The girls hear my car come down the driveway and immediately start to bark, alerting Malcolm to the possibility of my return. Malcolm becomes the stereotyped housewife who hands the baby over to dad as he walks into the house from a hard day’s work. He clicks open the garage door, letting two one hundred pound super-charged and super-hyper canines out to greet me. I call it the welcome attack! Dolce has literally jumped in my arms – mud and wet dog hair attaching to my once clean trousers and suit jacket. Amore has pawed her way between Dolce and myself, inserting her body between, over, and under any arm that could and would pet her. Nylons are shredded, purse is dumped into a shallow puddle of left over rain water, briefcase now has a muddy paw print on the left side, my eyeglasses are a skewed from being bumped by Dolce and Malcolm has barricaded himself in the den, armed with the newspaper and a glass full of shaved ice and Coca-Cola – door locked with a “do not disturb” card stolen from a hotel on the door knob. It takes me 10 minutes to make a path inside the house, dogs in tow and another 45 minutes to calm down the heathens. Welcome home!
Malcolm didn’t surface for an appearance for three hours.