Bronson/Buford, foster dogs, fostering, Gala, heartworms, oph, puppies, Updates

Travel Adventures

Traveling with two puppies took me back to the days of traveling with my toddlers. We had to pack their beds, playpen, toys, food, snacks, extra jackets (it was gonna be cold), stuff to entertain them in the car, and plenty of supplies for cleaning up after them. Once the car was loaded, we buckled Buford and Frankie into the backseat and set off for Virginia to celebrate our anniversary hiking, wine-tasting, and relaxing.

The boys traveled well for the two-hour trip, cuddled together and mostly sleeping. Every time I turned around to check on them, they’d morphed into a new formation.


It wasn’t until we’d literally pulled into the parking lot of our lunch stop that Frankie finally threw up. He gets car sick in the back seat, but I’d hoped he would do better with Buford for company. So close! After cleaning up the car and the pups, we took them inside for a winetasting at one of the very few wineries that allow dogs inside the tasting room (it’s a barn).

It was hard to focus on the server’s descriptions, as both pups were immediately surrounded by adoring fans. When the fuss finally died down, we took the boys upstairs to the loft for our picnic lunch, where they found an entirely new crowd to entertain. We are winery-visiting-pros, but it was a much different experience with puppies in tow.

Soon after, we made our way to our rental house.


I chose it because it was dog-friendly and had a big fenced yard. Buford and Frankie had a blast chasing each other full-steam and wrestling like big dogs. When they did come inside, they konked right out on the sofa together (or on us) for hours.

The next morning after many games of chase-me-around-and-under-the-shed and this-is-my-toy-not-yours, we took the pups for a hike. Buford was not interested in getting out of the warm car to hike in the cold and had to be coaxed. He finally chased after Frankie who led the way.


When we finished our hike, we headed into historic Warrenton to poke around and find some lunch. I’d wanted to take the walking tour and outfitted the pups in hoodies to keep them warm, but once we had them on the sidewalk, I realized even this little town was too much for Buford. After all, the pup hails from the hills of North Carolina, and probably hadn’t seen cars and trucks and sidewalks and so many friendly people at one time. We did manage to see a few sights and read a few historic signs, but ultimately, Buford put his butt down in protest, so I waited with the pups in the warm car while Nick hunted down some lunch to go.


Next stop – Pearmund Winery to pick up our wine club order and have a picnic lunch in the sunshine. The pups met Tug, the dog voted ‘Best Winery Dog’ year after year. Tug was not impressed with them, but he hung close, sensing there might be treats to be had.


Just like traveling with toddlers, traveling with puppies makes it very easy to meet people. They brought smiles to lots of faces and introduced us to new friends everywhere we went. After a tasting at Vint Hill, we stopped at the Vint Hill dog park which was much bigger and much more crowded than our local dog park. Frankie was game to play with the big boys, but Buford was not so sure, preferring to stick close to us. He was just about done with our day on the town. It was a lot to take in for a puppy from rural North Carolina.

We had a nice, quiet evening snuggled in our little cabin with our tired pups. All in all, great trip.


Having the pups along, just like having our kids along, made the experience richer and more exciting. We went places we might not have gone otherwise and talked to people we would have never met without the pups’ introduction. And thankfully, Frankie didn’t get sick at all once we let him ride up front.

This week I am in full-on preparation mode for our upcoming trip across the Atlantic to visit our baby boy who turned 21 this week in Cyprus, where he is studying. I’m excited to see him, but there are so many details to tie up before we can hop on that plane.

I had, perhaps naively, believed that Gala would be adopted by now. And Bronson, how the heck has this adorable pup not gone home yet? Arrangements are being made to get them both safely to new foster homes.

Gala is moving to a home where there are no personal dogs. I’m hopeful she will find that setting less-stressful. I worry she’ll think we’ve deserted her and won’t be surprised if her sensitive soul experiences a little depression. It’ll be a big adjustment, but Pam is ready for her and has a pretty good idea of what’s headed her way. I’m grateful that Gala will have a loving home while we’re gone and curious to see how she will do in a new setting.

When I volunteered to take Bronson three weeks ago, I really thought there was no way he’d still be here now. And then once he moved in and we learned what an all-star pup he is, I figured he’d be gone in a flash, but nope – he’s still here. It’s pretty easy to pawn off such an easy foster pup on other foster homes. We’re all happy to take a pup who is already crate-trained, housebroken, sweet as sugar, and gets along well with other dogs. Buford/Bronson will be moving in with Deb and Scott this weekend unless one of his applications pans out before then. I will be quite shocked if he isn’t adopted before we get back, and I’ll be quite sad, too, that I won’t get to meet his forever family. Those lucky ducks.

Busy, busy week up here. I’m doubtful that I’ll have the chance to post to the blog next week, but if I can, I will.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, with the people who matter most, gathered close! Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday of the year and for the first time that I can remember, we won’t be sharing it with extended family. No housefull of cousins, one hundred homemade crescent rolls, or Turkey Trot. But I’ll still be one happy, grateful clam spending the week with all three of my kids under the same roof, exploring two countries I’ve never seen before, and doing my best not to worry about my creatures at home. Fingers crossed that all goes well, and the polar vortex doesn’t dump any snow on our hillside.

And here’s something to be super grateful for –

Gala had her post-treatment heartworm test (given 7 months after she completed treatment for heartworms) and she was NEGATIVE!! Finally, some good news for my sweet girl!




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13 thoughts on “Travel Adventures”

  1. Sounds like you had a great trip, both in Virginia and in Europe. What is Pam’s home like? Does she have personal dogs and other people living with her? You mentioned how much quieter her home is compared to yours, and how it would be a better setting for Gala. I like how while you love your personal dogs and foster dogs, the humans in your family–Nick and your kids–always come first for you. You’d never choose your dogs over them. With some people I know, I wonder if they’d pick a dog over someone in their family if push came to shove. I’ve had some family do that to my mom and I when we really needed them, and it didn’t feel good. It has changed my relationship with them, and not for the better.


    1. Pam lives with her adult son and their house is on a big piece of property off the beaten track. It was an oasis for Gala in many ways. There are no other animals (except foster cats) and not a lot of people coming and going. When Gala was returned eventually, she went to live with Pam as her foster and has done really well there.


  2. I checked Gala’s profile on the OPH site, and it currently shows her as “adoptable.” Is she still in foster care? Have you been able to keep tabs on her? She certainly had a lot of past baggage.


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