Posted at 06:32 on Tuesday 17 April 2012
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After a few hours car drive I was expecting to arrive at a house, but not this kind of a house. This was a huge one, with lots of windows, car parking spaces and a motorway outside. I guess this was the new place to live. It all seemed quite posh to me, lots of carpet everywhere and very quiet. Lots of stairs too, although not too good when you've been cooped up like an animal for a while. Anyway the best thing about this place is how spoilt I was. I mean I had a bed! Yes, I said bed, a real human bed, a double one with sheets and bedding and comfiness, AND all to myself. I had arrived in dog heaven. It had all been worth it. I had never ever in my life even been allowed upstairs in the old house but here I was going up lots of stairs and sleeping on a human bed, it can't get better than that. Really?
So here's the deal, sounds like we're not going to be here in dog heaven for long. From what I've heard from the human folk we are moving into another house tomorrow. Well as long as I get a bed like this it will be fine I tell myself. So I make the most of lying in that comfy bed for one more night and then we pack up (again) and have a short ride in the car.
The new house seems very nice, similar to the one that we had before the big bird episode. Same kind of thing although the floors downstairs are very slippery and cold. They could do with a few rugs for me to grip my paws into. Next thing I know there's a truck outside and our belongings from the other house start to be carried in. I recognise our furniture, a couple of my beds appear and my old toys are thrown into the back garden. I run outside to explore and decide it is all a bit much, I'd much rather sleep. I mean what is that big blue rectangle thing spread across the grass? I know it's a giant sun lounger for me, after all I am the most spoilt dog on the earth right now. I'll save lying on that for another day, when the sun's out. I notice other unfamiliar things too, like a wooden post with a box on top at the end of the driveway. Every house has one. Oh, I know I thought, they are dog pee posts, this place seems to be very different.
Posted at 08:51 on Monday 9 April 2012
Noisy, huge metal birds were flying over the car. I had no idea where we were. I knew it was early morning because it hadn't been light for long. After what seemed like ages in 'The Thing' travelling in the car and not being able to see much, we stopped. Manchester Airport – Cargo, I realised I was going on one of those metal birds. I was walked around for a while, not knowing where on earth I was, I peed as much as I could because my senses told me I could be in 'The Thing' for a while. Then off into the office we went and I was gently pushed into 'The Thing'. I guess I had to be pushed because no way would I have got into it on my own. My water bowls were clipped on the bars, weird, the water in them was frozen, oh well, I guess it will last for longer. More forms were handed over by the human folk and then they were all waving and saying byeee, see you soon. I could tell that Human No 1 was just about holding it together for the sake of Little Human No 3. 'The Thing' was carried onto a weird moving truck, I suddenly found myself up in the air and moving, but without moving myself, how bizarre.
It seemed like I was then left in a quiet corner of a huge warehouse type building for quite a while. Occasionally friendly men in luminous jackets came and talked to me, petting me through the bars. Really this wasn't so bad, I was getting A LOT of attention. I was picked up in 'The Thing' and we were weighed, then I was loaded onto a little train which looked like a big cage, I was now enclosed in what could be deemed as two cages. Do these luminous jackets really think I am going to do a runner? I could see there were other boxes on the other parts of the train and they weren't double caged. Off we went, winding down little streets and through tunnels, finally we stopped on a huge open expanse of concrete. It seemed very smelly, fuel smelly. Next to my double cage stood a huge metal bird. There were lots of the friendly luminous jackets around, loading things into the bird and talking to me. I guess I was going to be loaded. It all started to make sense, I was in 'The Thing' because I was going up into the sky in a metal bird.
And so I was loaded onto the bird. It was dark inside, and I decided to have a jolly good sleep after what had been a hectic few weeks. At last, time to rest. It was a bit noisy though.
After what seemed like a lifetime, light appeared at the entrance to the birds stomach where I had been put. People were calling out my name (Good job Human No 1 had taped it to the front of 'The Thing') I was taken off the bird first. First, wow, I must be important. There was a special person there for me, I got a lot of petting and more ice and water poured into my bowls. Really there was no need. I had plenty of water, although I did spill the majority of it once it had melted so my bedding was pretty wet. Probably spilt when the bird decided to go down that slide not long ago. Wow, it was hot, same smell though. What did that sign say? Newark, New York?
No double cage trains here, I was carried off the metal bird into a little air conditioned van by more luminous jackets and whisked away from the bird before anything else had been taken off. I guess I'm a VID (very important dog) The van didn't travel far and I was taken out and loaded onto a kind of trolley with four wheels. Next thing I know I'm in a room with lots of other 'Things' housing dogs, cats and even a bird. Two humans were cutting all the tapes around 'The Things' we were all in and filling our bowls with water and ice. I heard I was going for a walk and was about to get onto the floor when my human folk appeared.
After much excitement, I was put on the lead and we ran to the small dog park just outside the building. Here I met two other dogs from a place called San Fransisco, they were very small and very playful, nice dogs. I had a great sniff around and saw many more dogs in 'Things' being wheeled past on trolleys, there was a sense of urgency once more and the world seemed to be moving quickly. Big metal birds were soaring above us, making a lot of noise.
It was with great relief that I was reunited with my human folk, all three of them, they seemed very pleased to see me, and I was fed lots of nice treats, which was just as well because I was starving. Then I saw their luggage, the same cases from home and I was put on another trolley and off we went back into the building, apparently to find the car rental place.
Well I must say that I have never felt so famous in my life. People were coming up to us and peering into my 'Thing'. Asking my name, where had we come from? What airline did we fly with? So many questions. It was great. Older people, younger people, even grumpy airport workers were coming over. I loved the attention and licked so many people, perhaps this place wasn't so bad after all. We found our way to the car rental although it was a bit trickier because we had to find the elevators. When the car was all sorted I was packed in the trunk and off we went. To where who knows? It seemed like my experience of the metal birds was over. Hurray, although really it wasn't that bad.
A Dogs Life - Albany, NY USA
Posted at 10:19 on Thursday 5 April 2012
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At last a place to flop, stretch and soak up the sun, even if it is a hard wooden deck. I finally have time to gather my doggie thoughts and try to relax after what has been a very traumatic 6 – 8 months. I guess I need to delve deep into my memory (Yes, we do have one) and remember what I (and my three human folk) have survived.
It all began happening nearly a year ago in August 2011, people began visiting our house in the beautiful Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire with notepads. They were talking about weights, measurements, time frames, and God forbid, a new word 'relocation'. What was happening? I was told I 'needed' a rabies jab. Rabies, I thought, there is no rabies in England, it is rabies free, why on earth would I need a rabies jab? It was impossible that I had even contracted the disease, unless of course I had got too close to catching that darn bat in the garden. But being a docile, well behaved mutt, I went along to the vets with no fuss and had the rabies jab. I know, I had already had this jab before, but there seemed to be confusion amongst the vets and my human folk so just to be sure, they decided to do another one, this one had the correct date on it ... apparently.
Next thing I know a 'Thing' appeared in the corner of the room. I will call it a 'Thing' because I had no idea what it was. It was shaped like a large box, but made of grey plastic. There were bars at the front and small holes around the sides. It did not look very dog friendly. I could see the front bars were a door because human No 1 kept opening and closing them. It was just left in the room for days on end, I think the idea was for me to explore and sniff it. Well I had a good sniff and explore once they were out but I didn't go 'in' it. That would be crazy, the bars reminded me of the charity place I slept in once I was rescued off the streets. However, much to my horror, treats started to appear right at the back in the corner, I decided the only way to get the treat would be to shove my head inside and stretch my neck all the way without my front legs going in, then grab the treat and retreat quick back to my comfy bed under the stairs. This worked for about a week to the amusement of the human folk. However, the human folk were not really amused by my antics after a couple of weeks. There seemed to be more of a sense of urgency in the air. Then lo and behold my food bowl started to be placed inside 'The Thing'. Looking back, I ate my food quite happily inside 'The Thing' because well, you know you have to. Us dogs aren't living in the times of a quick run around the woods to catch your dinner. (mind you, I have had a taste of chicken when I just couldn't resist my natural instincts and decided to pounce upon poor unsuspecting Wonkybeak. RIP Wonkybeak) Next my bed was moved into 'The Thing', and over time I began to sleep in it because after all, I was the last to admit, it really was quite comfy and the best thing was nobody else could get in. It began to seem like a little haven in a unpredictable world that was changing around me.
You've got to realise by now I was getting quite worried. Boxes had started to appear around the house, there was lots of people visiting, there was a weird sign out the front and to be honest I was quite frightened. Around this time, on a warm day whilst I was doing what us dogs do naturally (sleeping) something in the garden bit me at the top of my tail. Obviously I had to have a good chew to itch it. Unfortunately after a couple of days this itchy patch started to hurt and seemed infected. Once again I was carted off to the vets. This time the top of my tail was shaved, (sooooo embarassing) I had tablets and one of those huge Elizabethan collars was put around my neck, (even more embarassing) cream was applied daily. Aha, I thought now I won't have to go in 'The Thing' anymore, At last, I have outwitted them.
Then the packers arrived.
The whole house, shed and garage were packed into brown boxes. However, strangely, 'The Thing' wasn't packed. My bed, a couple of toys and my food bowls weren't either. I couldn't work out why. Next thing I knew the house was empty. It was strange, it sounded empty and echoey. I can't really tell you anything else about the empty house because I refused to go in it. I stood at the front door and back door and peered in, then I just stood in the garden, looking ridiculous in the collar and feeling very alone and wondering where we were going. Hoping they were going to take me with them. I could see the car packed with cases (I've always hated those things, I know the human folk go away once they come out and I'm packed off to some relative or kennel) even 'The Thing' was in the car.
Well we left the house and arrived at another much smaller one, quite close by. 'The Thing' was set up in the lounge and I was once again being encouraged to sleep in it, which this time I had to as there was no alternative. I had to reverse into 'The Thing' with my collar on, looking a right idiot, but somehow it was all fine because humans one, two and three were at the little house too. Again I was whisked off to the vets, this time it seemed like I needed a huge medical. I was prodded and poked my temperature was taken and letters were handed over. I was soon to learn I had a 'fit to fly' travel certificate, whatever that meant, I had no idea, but the good thing was the collar was taken off, yeahhh. I was beginning to understand and trust that wherever my human folk were going I was going with them. Pheww