I read through my travel wish list last night and realized that while this may be the Year of the Rabbit per the Chinese calendar, for me it is year of the Dog. Bringing nine dogs into my life (and my house) has really upended my travel plans for the months of January and February. Keeping one or two puppies will really change the way I travel over the course of this year. Leaving Jays in charge of two little Bears and one big Bear is a lot to ask of an ex-husband. And while Jays is pretty chill about taking care of my babies, all of whom he loves and who love him, leaving him with that kind of responsibility every time I take off and travel for work or pleasure is neither fair nor right. And frankly, it may shape my decision to bring a puppy or two into my life. Sure, Jays does not travel like Drue does (and neither of them are anywhere close to the amount of travel I do) but I try not to take advantage of him being at home so much. There is also the additional cost of raising multiple dogs including vet bills, food and boarding. So while I think everyone (except Drue) agrees that A puppy would be good, I’m waffling on the practicality of having two puppies in the house and the HUGE responsibilities that come with having to train them separately, feed them separately and basically ensure they bond to me as their alpha rather than each other. Sure, it can be done. But I require time away for sanity’s sake and my photography assignments are slowly taking me away from the Bay Area so I need to ensure I can travel for fun and for my job and two puppies could make that very difficult. So there you go. That said, we have really bonded with both Marzi (Marsican) and Rascal (Grizzly) and the thought of choosing between the two feels nigh to impossible. So there you go.
Drue decided that we should just take the dogs with us when we travel; you know, like Paris Hilton does. After Googling every image of Paris and her dogs, I reminded Drue that at this point, our eight week old puppies could eat all of Paris’ miniature chihuahuas and still be hungry. When Drue informed me that puppies aren’t cannibals I considered discussing their recent poop eating habits and decided not to go there since she would go into her poop!=other dogs talk and I don’t need to hear that lecture twice. Instead I pointed out that at 4 and 1/2 pounds, Panda is already bigger than one of Paris’ pooches. After some quiet reflection and a half hour watching Nickelodeon, Drue informed me that mini chihuahuas aren’t so much dogs as accessories. I immediately agreed and hope that ends this entire discussion for good because I am having nightmares about lugging a full-sized Rascal through customs in my purse. Make that dragging him in a duffle, through customs, across the floor. That puppy has paws the size of salad plates.
Looking over my wish list, I recognize that travel is out until house training and puppy obedience training is complete, no matter how many puppies we have in the house. This means no snowboarding, no Portland trip, no Spring Break trip and no trip to Canada in May. Since visiting Canada will happen in 2011, I have to rework the travel schedule since China is pretty much a GO for the fall. We’re also tackling the idea of traveling as a family during the Christmas holiday. Short of dragging my Mom out here or us flying east and enduring 2 weeks of misery thanks to our allergies, we are pretty much alone for the holidays. We also are to the point where we purchase almost everything we want or need over the course of the year minus a few really special wants that my family covers during the holidays. This year was our big house purchases Christmas but if you asked me to give you a short list of things I want or need, all that would be on it at the moment is socks. As a family we decided we would prefer purchasing gifts for the family at Christmas and then spending our family Christmas cash on a trip to someplace fun. So we’re researching a Bear/house sitter we can start working with now and are looking through travel magazines, travel websites and the like to determine where we want to go for the Christmas holidays.
So, all I know is we’ll be traveling to San Diego this summer, I’ll be going to China in the fall, to Alabama for Thanksgiving and we’re off someplace fun and hopefully, warm, for Christmas. Somewhere in all of this I am heading to Toronto and Drue and I are going to try to find a weekend a month to head off and have our girl time once I get the dogs trained (so okay… in about 4-5 months). The good news is that, since the puppies require us to be close to home, we’re making a list of all the fun things to see and do in the Bay Area and points within an hour’s drive and trust me, that list is HUGE. Now to decide upon a camera I love in order to completely capture all these fun day trips and the puppies as they continue to grow…