This Thanksgiving we took our two dogs, Hobbes and Trina, with us to our get-together with friends. We have a group of around 40 people who spend Thanksgiving together every year. We have been doing this for 33 years. For the past two years, we have gone to a retreat center with cabins and houses and a lodge, located in the Tubac area. This year, my husband and I got the house with a fenced yard and doggie doors from the house to the porch and from the porch to the yard, so we were able to have our dogs join us. This was a big adventure for them.
Our dogs have never spent the night anywhere but in their own house in their own beds. They rarely go on rides longer than to the vets or to a friend’s house. So getting into the car and driving almost an hour was a big deal. Then we got there and unpacked and showed them around. So many new smells! They were pretty excited. Our house was across an arroyo from the main lodge and most of the other cabins, so we had about a 5 min walk to get to the other people. The dogs went over with us to greet everyone else and to hang out for awhile. Lots of new people to meet, some of them kids (Hobbes loves kids). The dogs were having a great time, until we had to take them back to the house and leave them there, so we could have our Thanksgiving dinner. Now this was not as much fun. Robert checked on them after about an hour, to make sure they were ok and not outside barking. They were very relieved when Robert finally came home for good that evening. I stayed in the lodge longer working on a puzzle, but they were happy to see me too when I got home.
Once we were all together again, they could relax – except that they weren’t sure where to sleep. I took their dog blankets with us and put them on the floor and I covered the couch. At our house in Tucson, Trina usually sleeps on the floor on my side of the bed and Hobbes on a couch in another room. But at the Tubac house, I think the floors were too hard and cold for Trina, even with the blankets, so she ended up sleeping on the couch and Hobbes slept by the bed on Trina’s blankets. But they were disoriented and I heard them walking around the house several times during the night.
As time went on, they got more and more comfortable with being in a different environment. They met the local ranch dog and played with her. They got to go on numerous walks, many more than their usual two a day. They got to see some horses, up close and personal, which was a shock for Hobbes. They got to lounge around with lots of new people and get odds and ends of food slipped to them. Then about the time they seemed ready to settle in for good in their new digs, it was time to pack up and drive back to Tucson. Even though we all had a good time, I think we were happy to be home again in our familiar space. Probably the “being” that was the most relieved and happy that we were home again was the cat, who had to stay home alone. I don’t know if the dogs told her about their adventure or not.