From the desk of Mr. Pickles, Jedi

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Hi friends!

Bam showed me how to log on to mom’s laptop, he’s super smart.  He knew the password.  He’s a handy big brother, mostly because he can reach the countertop when daddy leaves bacon out.  And with his over bite he’s able to open all kinds of things for me.

I’m considering leaving SWAT training.  It’s really a hard decision because my girlfriend Killer is still in SWAT training.  But mom went to a training and learned about Bomb Detection dogs and it sounds kind of cool.  All I have to do is sit when I smell explosives.  How hard could that be?  And they give you a ball to play with. Um, I don’t know what explosives are though….are they bad? I’m still thinking about it though, I don’t want to leave Killer.

Then the other night mom was winding this big ball of yarn for her work.  I’m not sure what she does or why she needed yarn but whatevs!  I was getting really mad because she wouldn’t let me play with the yarn.  But while she was winding the yarn she was watching some movie on TV called Return of the Jedi.  It was so cool, there were spaceships and fuzzy little bear things and a princess.  Not like my sister Princess but a real princess.  So, I hung out with mom even though I was mad at her and watched the movie.  Popcorn may or may not have been part of my motivation for staying.

I liked the Jedi guy.  I mean how cool is he? And he had a light saber thingy.  I decided that I’d be way better at being a Jedi than being Knight, so I’ve changed from Mr. Pickles, Esq. to Mr. Pickles, Jedi. I need to write the Queen and tell her I’m not longer going to be a knight.  She’ll be very upset.

How cool would it be to be able to use the Force to get bacon off the counter?  Then I could really impress Killer.  So, I’m going to ask mom to go to Jedi school.  It’s a real thing, right?

I forgot to tell you I had to go to the doctor last week.  I had a bad cough.  Teagan and Dawson said I was just faking because I only coughed around mom.  I wasn’t faking!  The doctor said I had a cold and gave me medicine.  It tastes like beef stuff.  I’m not sure what beef stuff is, but I like it.  I was good this time and didn’t try to bite the girl who took my temperature like I did the last time.  Do you know where they stick the thermometer?

We went to the puppy resort a few weeks ago.  I’m not sure why mom calls it a resort especially when she doesn’t get us the rooms with the TV and extra treats.  Stupid snobby rich poodles got the fancy rooms and extra treats.  Bam really liked his girl who took him outside and always convinced her to give him extra snuggles.  It’s not bad there, but I was glad to get home to my own fluffy bed and my cardboard box.  Yes, I have a cardboard box like a cat, don’t judge.

That’s pretty much been my life for the last few weeks.  I live a really exciting life.  Princess said a racoon is living under our mini barn again.  Maybe next time I log on I will tell you about how I used my Jedi skills to catch the racoon.  Ohhh I could catch the squirrels too.  I gotta become a Jedi!

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From the desk of Mr. Pickles, Esq.

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Bam let me borrow mom’s computer but said I couldn’t tell anybody.  So I found this thing called a blog… I’m not sure what it is but I like to talk about myself so I think this is perfect for me.

Some things you should know about me – I’m a two-year old long-haired miniature dachshund who is most famous for being a “good noodle” around the house.  I also speak with a slight nasal inflection so when you’re reading this keep that in mind.  More important information about me….let’s see ….. for a career I’m currently in training to be a SWAT K9 with my girlfriend, Killer, who is a German Shepherd.  Killer broke up with me earlier this year because mom wouldn’t let me keep the baby bunny I caught and killed to show her.  I told mom it was homework for SWAT dog school, but she still took it away from me.  But I’m so irresistible Killer took me back and she’s my girlfriend again.

For fun I chase tree rats….uh squirrels … in our back yard.  Even Princess can’t catch them so I don’t feel bad that I haven’t caught one yet.  And after the scuffle this summer with the raccoon, Bam no longer assists us in ridding the back yard of wildlife.  The raccoon did scratch his ear and he’s not getting any younger so I totally understand.  I recently took up Yoga – I’m awesome at downward facing dog.

Mom had a list thing that was sitting by her computer and it said “Replace New Years Resolutions With This.”  I think I’m going to take a crack at this, but I don’t know what a Resolution is.  Oh well here we go:

A bad habit I’m going to break.  Hmmmm…. I have no bad habits.  I mean sure I grab the dish towel off the stove and carry it around the house, jump up on the dining room table, growl at mom when she hasn’t fed me in a timely fashion, chew on mom’s house shoes and knock the trash over.  But those things aren’t really habits per se.  Nope I’m good on this one.

A new skill I’m going to learn.  Mixed martial arts or French culinary school.  I’d really like to learn how to make Coquilles Saint-Jacques and Baked Camembert.

A person I hope to be more like.  Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, I mean I’m totally like him now, totally buff and athletic and funny.  I just need to be more famous.  Maybe Justin Timberlake, I’d really like to up my singing game.

A good deed I’m going to do.  This one is tough.  Maybe I’ll help Dawson deliver Meals on Wheels one day.  I think I’d be good at that.  I mean after all what could go wrong with me in a van full of food?

A place I’d like to visit.  I’m really bad with locations but I’d be pretty happy with anyplace that has cookies.  Or maybe Canada because I want to see a Moose.

A book I’d like to read.  Uh… I really can’t read.

A letter I’m going to write.  I’m going to write a love letter to Killer.  And then maybe the Queen of England because I want to talk to her about validating the ESQ after my name (in England it means you’re training to be a Knight).

A new food I’m going to try.  Mom always says I can’t eat chocolate…. So that’s out.  But I’m pretty much willing to eat anything.

I’m going to do better at.  SWAT dog training, I still must make up for the missing bunny homework.  And I’m going to be better boyfriend and spoil Killer.

 

Well that’s all mom had listed for her blog so I guess I’ll sign off.

 

Happy New Year!

Mr. Pickles –  out

Scratchy blankets and getting sick on orange juice

I always say I love to travel.  I have a fuzzy memory of what was likely my first vacation.  I was about 4 or 5 years old and we took a train to Florida.  It may have even been to Walt Disney World, but I don’t remember anything about it except:  I got sick on orange juice on the train and the blanket I had was scratchy.  I think that explains a lot about me – I was destined to write about the calamities of travel.

I thought long and hard about how to document the latest travel adventure and I even tried writing a few times while still on vacation.  I’m going to start on day one, but in reverse order:

1:45 AM Prattville, AL

We are all exhausted and finally tucked in our cozy beds at the Hampton Inn so you would think all you would hear is “zzzzz” – however what you heard was Dave laughing hysterically.  Like uncontrollable hysterical laughter which triggered all of us to start laughing.  When he could finally talk and explain what had got him started laughing it was an earlier conversation about a fart – not even a recent fart or even a fart that occurred on this trip.  I vaguely remember Teagan saying something about “smells like regret and shame,” before I fell asleep.

1:01 AM Prattville, AL

Finally arrived at the Hampton Inn – the one that I chose ahead of time so that we would avoid not being able to find a hotel due to a convention, or sporting event, or that fact that it’s Spring Break and thousands of people are travelling.  The sliding doors are locked, not a good sign.  Ring the bell.  Someone lets me in.  The first sign that there was a problem should have been the stacks of paper lining the welcome desk.  Amanda (she had a name tag) looked nervous, second sign of a looming problem.  Good news – she did see our reservation.  Bad news – she had one computer tied up running some report and the other was doing a virus scan.  There was a lot of scurrying between computers, a lot of lamenting because she was new and by herself and unsure what to do with the computer.  I have since figured out what the problem was, she had already counted us as a “no show” and the computer had cancelled our room.  She did call someone to help her and somehow she got us our room back (fast forward:  she did not – she just booked and charged us for another room).  Another gentleman came in he smelled like alcohol or maybe he just recently sprayed AXE cologne, not sure. He looked familiar-ish.  As she was waiting for the computer to perform some miracle to get me my room she helped him on the other computer and in 2 minutes he had a room.  He recognized our car from travelling (Elmo stands out a bit), he was from Indiana too and we both commented on the terrible traffic in Kentucky.  I think I went to high school with him, his name was unique and I went to high school with someone with that name.  He went out got his kids and suitcases and went to his room.  I’m still standing at the desk.  I looked him up on Facebook while I waited, still not sure if it’s the guy I went to high school with.  Back to Amanda and the check-in debacle.  Before the maybe my high school alum came in I had swiped my credit card.  She then explained it didn’t go though and she had to run it again.  NEVER let anyone at a hotel convince you to do this.  She ran it again and explained the rate was wrong; $25 higher than the room I booked but she was leaving a post it note for the manager to change the rate in the morning before we checked out.  Great …. At this point I’m about to scoot two of the breakfast area chairs together to make a bed, can I please have a room key?  I was nice.  Don’t laugh …. I was.  Frankly I was too exhausted to be anything but nice.  Although my son insists you can see the complete level of irritation by my facial expression.  And it’s not my fault that Amanda was a nervous wreck before I walked in the door, I’m guessing she had done several other things wrong that night – I mean there was a ream of paper in 4 or 5 alternating stacks with post it notes everywhere all over the front desk.  Yay!  Keys to room #208… Success and it only took 34 minutes.

Midnight-ish, Clanton, AL

Stopped to get gas….. Again.  $20 fill ups – yay!  12.7 gallon gas tank – not so yay!  We pulled into a Chevron, because it was the easiest access off the interstate.  There was a guy in a tan colored SUV sort of blocking the front door.  The BMW guy next to us seemed to be having some issues and started to walk toward the door; about that time Dave swiped his credit card to get gas.  The guy in the tan colored SUV in some form of a security guard uniform stopped the BMW guy from going inside and told him the pumps are down and the store is closed.  So … maybe block the entrance to the gas station and stop people before they swipe their card.  Helpful Hank did direct us to the Love’s truck stop on the other side of the overpass where we met up with BMW guy again.  But because Dave’s card was still “open” on the other gas pump when he tried to get gas at this pump it locked his card.  Yay, we can’t fix that until Monday.  We took a trip back to the Chevron to make sure that the pump wasn’t still “open” – Helpful Hank was gone though.  I mean who else would stop to get gas after midnight in middle of nowhere Alabama?

Unknown Time – Nashville, TN

Traffic was ok, but you still have to pay attention to the signs because in Nashville you can take 5 different interstates in 5 different directions and you really have to pay attention to stay on I65 southbound.

Unknown Time – Bowling Green, KY

We gained an hour as we crossed into Central Standard Time.  Oddly it doesn’t seem like it helped us!  We hit stop and go traffic all the way to Bowling Green, after Bowling Green the highway split into two divided lanes and we got behind someone who thought 50 mph was a great speed.

6:42 pm – Lebanon Junction, KY

Traffic had started to pick up but then stalled again.  We opted to get off and go to the best truck stop McDonalds ever.  No, that’s not sarcastic, it’s a great McDonalds.  At this point I realized that it was too late to call the pre-determined hotel in Alabama and cancel because it’s after 6pm.  We were still 6 hours away.  The time change didn’t factor into my brain at that time.

6:08 pm – Louisville, just north of the airport

Ring – Ring, hi it’s the kennel (aka all-inclusive puppy dog spa and resort) and Princess has cut her foot and will probably need stitches.  OK.  I knew I checked the health care insurance box for a reason.  They texted me pictures, we decided to bandage her up and wait until the morning to avoid the after hour vet fees.

4:48 pm – Indiana/Kentucky state line

Rush hour in Louisville.  There are no words.  Two lane bumper to bumper traffic, then on the other side of the bridge three lane bumper to bumper traffic.  There was the option of the 264/265 circle around the city but it was backed up too because it’s the way to go around the new Toll bridge.  We were going 2 mph. 

2:48 pm – Plainfield, IN

We’re on the road!  Finally!  Only 2 hours and 18 minutes behind schedule.

2:30 pm – Plainfield, IN

Return from the kennel in Snowbelle and she is completely overheated and leaking antifreeze.  Sigh.  Park her in the garage and deal with it when we get back.

1:15pm – Plainfield, IN

Pack 3 dogs in Snowbelle and pick a child to assist you in taking them to the kennel.  Dawson got the short end of the stick.  At the kennel, I gave him Bam and Pickles and they ran him into a post.  Bam snapped at the girl trying to put his ID tag on.  Not sure why she works at a kennel because she’s not a dog person and turned into a complete bitch and made me put his ID tag on and made Dawson take him back and put him in the kennel and made the other girl that was working do all our paperwork.  He only snaps at mean people he doesn’t like…. OK he just doesn’t like people and snaps at pretty much everyone. Snaps not bites. Pickles escaped briefly but he was contained.  I hesitated, but decided to check the box to agree to pay an extra $10 per dog for insurance in case one of them got injured or sick.

12:30 pm – Plainfield, IN

Elmo’s new roof rack and super expensive luggage cross bars are installed and ready to pack.  Start loading suitcases, and bags and snacks.  All packed up and…. Oh yeah there are three dogs staring at us wondering where they are going to ride.  Crap.

12:00 pm – Plainfield, IN

Officially clocked out and ready to go.  Elmo’s new roof rack was not.  It’s complicated.

10:30 am – Plainfield, IN

Dave went to Westgate Jeep/Chrysler to purchase super expensive Jeep brand luggage rack cross bars that fit Elmo because he’s a Jeep…. And they’re unique.  Of course.

9:30 am – Plainfield, IN

The luggage cross bars that Dave has been struggling with since 8:30 will not fit Elmo.  Begin search to find ones that will fit.  Of course the only thing that fit’s is specially made by Jeep.  Translation $$$$$.

8:00 am – Plainfield, IN

Clock in for 4 hours of work.  Dave purchasing cross bars and roof rack to put on top of Elmo.  And Mickey D’s coffee.  He loves me.

7:30 am – Plainfield, IN

Wake up.  Happy day we’re leaving for vacation!!  Plan for the morning:  Dave is going to purchase and install the cross bars and roof rack needed so we can put luggage on top of Elmo, then take the dogs to the kennel (aka all-inclusive puppy dog resort and spa) in Snowbelle (Dawson renamed her but I don’t remember the name he picked – neither does he).  Pack up and be on the road at 12:30pm and drive 8 hours to Prattville, AL.

 

Here’s to scratchy blankets and getting sick on orange juice.  I love to travel.  I’m almost sure I do.