Tag Archives: Syracuse

Chloë Journeys to the East and Back

On the Kootenai River, Idaho

So, did ya miss me?

I do apologize to my loyal readers for not writing in such a long time, not even a postcard. Sorry, but life on the road turned out to be more time-consuming than I had originally anticipated. As we traveled from place to place,  we usually rode all day in the car, and at night Mike was too busy putting together the next day’s itinerary to sit down for an hour and listen to my prattling. Reluctantly, I deferred. Besides, I was having too good a time.

Mike, Heather and I left Seattle on June 15 and didn’t get back home until Aug. 23 – 10, 939 miles, 20 states and provinces and 69 days later. Quite the journey! While I can’t deny that I endured some minor hardships along the way, I had a blast. I had never dreamed there were so many neat places and people to see and sniff beyond my Magnolia neighborhood.

Although this extended road trip upset my normal routine, I got treated so well that I was able to settle into a new routine after only a day or two.  In the car, I had the back seat all to myself, and from my propped-up perch I could keep track of everything going on inside and outside. I happily report that Heather never fell asleep at the wheel once, while navigator Mike dozed off more times than I did. Good thing he wasn’t driving. In case of a sudden jolt, I was strapped to a harness so I couldn’t fly through a window, but I could still move around as much as I needed to, which wasn’t much. Any time I needed anything, such as a cold drink, a Frozen PBB, a pit stop or a treat, all I had to do was whine a couple of times. It drove Mike and Heather nuts, but it got results. “Stifle!” Heather would bark at me, applying a sternly worded reprimand. It worked – until the next time, that is.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

After a day of driving, every afternoon the three of us  took a long walk, and we visited some incredible locations. We didn’t do a lot of ball-throwing on these walks, because Mike and Heather were afraid of me running off. Right, like I would have the nerve to do something like that so far from the security of home. Not me; the pack was all I had. So I stuck close to the pack when we hiked in forests from Washington to New York and back. I really enjoyed all the places we walked, even when they turned into harrowing experiences. Once Mike got us lost at dusk, deep in a Ohio forest preserve. Another time Heather carried me down and back up several flights of metal-grated stairs to the base of a waterfall on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The steps had a sharp surface that hurt my feet.

While I never had to sleep in a tent, thank god, my travel crate was wedged in next to the air conditioner in many a cheap motel room. And there were other minor tribulations as well, such as navigating my way around a couple of cats (I got along with docile Dinah, faced off with snarling Spanky, who stalked me for my whole time in Syracuse). I sniffed out and chased after wild animals (deer, elk, prairie dogs, chipmunks and buffalo), managed to ignore many dogs, backed away from many children who wanted to pet me, and turned my back on too many strangers who gushed about my cuteness or my breed, usually guessing incorrectly. “Wirehair dachshund, but not a textbook wirehair,” Heather replied every time, often providing further information on the three dachshund coats and apologizing because I wasn’t a better illustration of my breed. Thankfully, no one demanded to see my papers, not even on any of my border crossings into Canada and back.

I also really enjoyed getting to meet so many of my loyal readers, and to finally give them the opportunity to press the fur with me after reading about my exploits all these years. I hope nobody was disappointed. If so, I’ll try to make it up to you next time. I’ve already overheard Heather talking about making the drive East again. Get my throne ready – with improvements, of course.

Until then, enjoy some scenes from my journey, starting with the test run through Washington state in May, followed by the trip to Syracuse and back. It’s kind of like my version of The Red Couch, starring me instead of a red couch. Enjoy it while I get Mike to take me outside to check whether there’s any new entrees on the Wendy Way* buffet table.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Chloë Misses Her Guy

Playing fetch outside Heather's office

Playing fetch outside Heather’s office

Heather and I had a pretty good time while Mike was away visiting his mom and friends in Syracuse. I finally got to go to work at Heather’s new office, which was relatively dull. Everyone there was so busy there that they barely noticed I was around. The days I stayed home were more exciting. One day my best friend Lynn came over in the afternoon to hang out. We went for walks, had treats and went crazy, strewing toys all over the house. It’s always fun when Lynn comes by.

More excitement came on the weekend, when I stared down a raccoon in our neighbor Claire’s backyard. Claire finds great joy in feeding and observing the coons, and one showed up in the middle of the afternoon while I was waiting for Heather on Claire’s patio. When it saw me, it hopped to the top of the fence and stared at me before leaping into the yard next door. It knew better than to mess with this hound.

Visi-Ball

Purple-and-white ball

Later the same afternoon I pulled a muscle, or maybe threw out a joint, or something. Whatever happened, I limped through the latter part of my walk with Heather. My front right leg didn’t hurt exactly, but it was weak and I couldn’t put my weight on it. Then, as suddenly as it started, I was cured. I immediately wanted to chase rabbits and cats, or at least my purple-and-white ball. Heather wouldn’t let me.

Heather was worried about me until the next day, which worked to my advantage. She let me sleep with her in her bed all night, and on Monday she decided to work at home so she could take me to the vet if necessary. I was fine, however, at least from a health perspective.

Treats for Chloë

Treats for Chloë

In other ways, however, Mike’s absence meant sacrifices for Heather and me. I got no treats for waiting inside the front door to have my harness removed, for example, and no treat each morning for going downstairs to watch Mike exercise. Heather didn’t do much better with Mike gone. Although Mike left plenty of salads and casseroles for her to eat, she had nobody home to put her beer in the freezer so it would be ice-cold but not frozen when she got home from work, which is one of Mike’s more important jobs.  Too bad she doesn’t have an app for that.

Milk Bone Dental

Milk Bone Brushing Chew

Yes, I had fun while Mike was gone, but I also missed Mike badly. So when he walked into the house after coming from the airport,  I jumped him and bit his nose until he finally had to push me off his head, and as soon as he relaxed, I did it again. I think I got my point across,  too, and he’ll think twice before leaving me again. He even brought me souvenirs from his trip, gifts from my aunts Susie and Debby in Syracuse: several Milk Bone Brushing Chews  (“Tastes Like a Treat, Cleans Like a Toothbrush” —free samples from BJ’s Club in East Syracuse) and a dog-friendly cookie, shaped like a baseball, that the aunts got on a  trip to Cooperstown, N.Y.

But what’s going on? Several days have passed, and I’m still waiting for Mike to unwrap the cellophane off that cookie.

Chloë Answers Some FAQs

During a short lull in my social whirl, let me catch up with some of the e-mail and letters piling up in my inbox.

  

Q: I’ve never seen a dachshund with blue eyes before. Why are your eyes so blue?

A:  “Don’t it make my brown eyes blue?” Always loved that tune by Crystal Gayle! But my eyes aren’t really blue, they are brown. It was the flash on the camera made them blue. We don’t know why. Mike explained to me that he knows how to eliminate redeye in a photo, but doesn’t know squat about removing blue eye. That photo peering down at you from atop this page  was one of the first photos of me. Now, of course, there are dozens (maybe hundreds!)  of photos of me to choose from, so we could change that heading photo; that would give my distant readers (and there are many!) a more accurate representation of my regal countenance. But I just don’t know. We’re kind of attached to that surreal, Village of the Damned look. What do you think? 

Q: Are you really bald on the top of your ears? 

    
 
 
 

 

A: Come on, isn’t that silly? My ears are not bald, they’re topped with light brown fur that isn’t nearly as long as the fur around it. Heather thinks it’s starting to grow in, while Mike thinks I’ll have these doofy ears forever. The vet, of course, told me I need ear toupees. Eleven weeks old, and already doomed to the character roles. 

Q: I saw the photos of you and your brothers Frank and Stanley. You three are really all from the same litter? You don’t look anything alike! 

 

 A: That’s what everyone is saying, but it’s true. We’re just a small part of the endless mosaic of wirehaired dachshunddom, I guess. Remember, America is a melting pot, Canada is a mosaic. But I digress. Check out these photos of mom and pop to see where we get the different seeds of our wiredness.

My Mom, Banshee: Happy Mother’s Day!

William, my dear old Dad: A real champion, especially with the ladies.

Q: Are you coming to the East Coast this summer? 

 
 
 
 

 

A: The genorosity of my Eastern fans is overwhelming. Fans in Syracuse, New Jersey, Florida and even international fans in Ontario, Canada, have been clamoring for me to come east with Heather and Mike this summer. I am flattered and honored, but sadly I must decline. While I’m sure these guys don’t want to be away from me for even ONE SECOND, I decided it’s just too much schlepping around (to quote Mike). We would have to change planes, change cars, change where we sleep…just too many ch-ch-ch-changes, as my buddy Dave “Diamond Dog” Bowie would say. I’m into my routine. Maybe some other time, when Mike can drive me across. In the meantime, you’ll just have to come out to Seattle, or settle for this crumby blog.

 

Well, that’s about it for now. As you can see from this photo below, I’ve got some more serious business to attend to. But do keep those questions coming!