Thursday, January 26, 2012

Running the Gauntlet

This is Ollie's second week of doggie daycare (DDC) and I hope we don't become dropouts.  I would hate to hurt his little doggie self esteem and take him away from his new friends, but the short drive to DDC is beginning to resemble an episode of "American Wipeout".  If you're not familiar with this show, take a look at the clip below.  It's all look out and watch out and be careful you don't hurt yourself trying to get from point A to B.

First mistake - the DDC provides pickup and drop off but that eats into Ollie's time.  This is not a big deal on his full day but definitely a big deal on his half day since he'll spend a window of his 4 hours in transit.  The DDC is located about 2 miles from the house, so when I set it all up I decided I would just drive him to and fro.

The DDC is on a couple acres down a road that is only partially paved.  Once you hit the dirt track, you take your life into your own hands.  The road is a bit elevated and has only enough room for one vehicle.  There are ditches on either side so that if you slide off into one you're gonna need a tow truck with a winch to get you out of there.  And I've noticed that the water running down/standing in the ditches is a brilliant orange color.  I haven't seen a fertilizer plant or sewage treatment facility nearby, so my imagination can only run wild as I contemplate the source.

The dirt track leading to the DDC entrance could really use a good grading because there are some craters that threaten to swallow my little car.  I've hesitated to take the SUV, even though it has four wheel drive and all sorts of offroading bells and whistles for the serious mudder, because that leaves absolutely no room for error in between the ditches.  And the SUV is our newer/nicer vehicle that cost 3x what the little car cost, so I hesitate to let a muddy-footed Ollie jump all over the passenger seat area for fear it will never come clean.  Plus he has this annoying habit of licking the passenger door and gear shift on occasion - go figure.

Being England and all, it rained last week as well as this week.  Therefore, the road began to look as if an overcrowded hogpen full of zealous pineywoods rooters had made a few laps up and down the dirt road.  Clods of mud are sticking to the undercarriage and wheel wells of my car, then falling off here in the driveway after I return home.  It's bad enough that I have poop patrol in the backyard, but now I have mud patrol in the front drive.  

The best part is that on Wednesdays when Ollie attends from 9:00-1:00, the herd of walkers for the local greyhound rescue organization - located on the paved stretch of this road (lucky ducks) - are using the dirt track for exercise when I go back to collect Ollie.  Yesterday I counted 14 of these former racers being led through the mud and muck by folks wearing wellies.  I honestly thought this breed was pretty bright, but the walkers invariably have to push and pull to get them over to the side of the road so I can safely pass.  They're always in their doggie coats since they probably have something like 1.3% bodyfat - wish I could relate.  Maybe I need to tie a plush bunny toy to the back of my car with some string and give those dogs some real exercise by flooring it.  Of course, if I go much over 10 mph my teeth would start rattling in my head with enough force to tear loose a couple fillings and I'm afraid the car engine would get bounced out onto the middle of the road.

I guess I need to call the DDC owner to see about getting Ollie on the drop off and pick up schedule so momma doesn't have to pull him from the program.  He does seem to enjoy the place and always comes home all played out with his little doggie buddies that appear to be regulars - the black lab, pitbull, border terrier, labradoodle, cocker spaniel and chihuahua.    

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