Road Trip. Monday is Presidents Day and luckily I donâ€™t have too much to do. I was very tired after celebrating all weekend, but, I was packing for a week in Vancouver, a city I heard was amazing, so I couldnâ€™t complain. Know for Chinese food, A-class strippers and now the Winter Olympics; I was intrigued how this trip would turn out. Natural Balance rented us a stunning lodge style house overlooking Lions Bay just about 30 miles outside of Vancouver proper. It housed 6 bedrooms, a pool table, Jacuzzi, and a big huge open kitchen. I could get used to that, I think, as I remember I had left my tiny Venice cottage that looks like it could blow over in the wind, in shambles.
The morning of departure, Tuesday February 16th was a busy day. I going to be responsible for all four dogs, as it turned out, Ron had some issues to attend to and wouldnâ€™t be driving up to Vancouver with the pups, 2 other guys and myself. A little worried about traveling for 30 hours in an RV with people I didnâ€™t really know, I couldnâ€™t help but feel a little sour. But, I sucked it up and put a big Olympic smile on my face.
We load up the RV, which is actually really nice. I have never been on an RV because my family wasnâ€™t into that kind of thing. We were more the fly by night European vacation types, but, I had secretly always wanted to go on an RV trip. Packed with all the food and drinks you could think of and full utilities: a stove, sink, shower and toilet, this thing is sweet. I have a nice lounge day bed in the mid-section which is covered in plush, zebra pillows and leopard print blankets, it kind of looks like a strip joint in itself. While the dogs have the entire back room of the RV which is decked out with dog beds, toys, treats, water bowls making it the most fun little play room ever! Of course, though, they donâ€™t want to be back there when everyone is up front, so they have taken over my bed too.
Steve, a nice guy that has worked for Natural Balance for 15 years, is driver, and we are pick up the assistant a.k.a â€œroadieâ€ on the way. I am left to my own devices in the back. My main responsibility is to take care of the dogs, which might seem simple, but really it isnâ€™t.
Like I said there are four dogs: Tillman, Rose, Sully, and Lyle. Lyle is easy because I know when he eats, pees, and poops. I know his moods, what he needs and when he needs it, like an afterthought. The other three on the other hand are a bit trickier to figure out.
Tillman, also 4yrs old is one of the sweetest bullies I have ever met. He is very sensitive and has a few moods to keep track of, knowing a few other Geminiâ€™s, I understand him. He is tough as nails when it comes to his sports, especially skateboarding, but, as it turns out he is actually a real softy who loves some good, solid cuddling and attention. He is highly connected to Ron, and when they are apart, I can tell Tillman is sad. Tillman and I have bonded throughout the last few months, and he now follows me around the RV waiting to sit right next to my hip while I cuddle him. If I happen to give one of the others, mostly Lyle, too much attention, Tillman gives me the cold shoulder for a while until; I catch him giving me eyes. Then we make up. He is very expressive â€“ his looks tell you everything â€“ so itâ€™s been a lot of making sure he and I are simpatico.
Lyle and he have been having some issues around who is getting more of my attention, mainly, who gets to best spot on my bed. They are about even, but I feel like giving Tillman a little extra lovinâ€™ because he misses his Dadâ€¦and well, this is his RV! Thus the pendulum sways the other way and Lyle sulks off pissed that I gave Tillman more love than him - for that second. For the most part Lyle and Tillman seem to be helping me with the little guys, Rose and Sully.
Rose is 1 Â½ years old and she pretty much sticks to herself most of the time. Being the only girl, she gets a lot of attention from the boys, which consists of humping from Tillman, rough play and food/toy stealing from Sully, and bouts of wrestling from Lyle. Itâ€™s no wonder she constantly seems tired, but also really nice because she sleeps a lot. She also loves balls like nobodyâ€™s business â€“ who can blame her though - girls.
Itâ€™s been pretty easy getting Rose on the schedule of the 2 boys, but, then there is Puppy. And, I forget sometimes how much work a puppy is. I had it pretty easy with Lyle who slept ALL the time, but puppy Sully, is one of the most rambunctious little critters I have ever taken care of. But, he is amazingly fun and sweet and actually holds his own with most of the other dogs. However, Sully Poops more than any puppy I have ever met, so just when you think all four dogs have shit for the millionth time in one day, Sully takes a big one right in the middle of the RV. Oh well, it doesnâ€™t bother me, but, Steve didnâ€™t seem to please when he stepped in it yesterday and tracked it all around the RV and on his pants.
The four dogs have become like a family, and I their keeper. A mix of a mom and a baby sitter, wouldnâ€™t it be nice if they really were all mine. I have grown so fond of each one, and actually miss them when they arenâ€™t with me. I look out over the RV now and see them all sacked out in their spots, which in fact are my spots. But, once they are down for the count, my job is done and I can chill. Sleep, read, write and do what I love most â€“ get lost in my thoughts.
We are in Oregon now. I have never been here either. Itâ€™s beautiful and I am just being chauffeured, so itâ€™s actually one of the most enjoyable â€œvacationsâ€ I have had in a long time. Iâ€™m reminiscing about my childhood. I grew up in New York City â€“ Upper East Side. My father and mother met in the city and both lived there for 25 years. I am proud of being from NYC, as I listen to Jay-Zâ€™s new Empire State song. And, for some reason the pine trees and forest zipping by, ironically remind me of my city upbringing.
On Fridays at noon our school, The Trevor Day School, would let out early about noon, so that parents could pick up kids early and get a head start to their weekend country houses in Long Island. We also spent summers there, getting out of the hot, mucky city to sit by fabulous pools and beaches. I see small farm houses now, mixed between pines and think how different this version of my childhood would have been.
I think about this amazing conversation I had with my mom last night. We laughed and laughed more and more hysterically over how itâ€™s really no surprise that I now find myself on an RV in the middle of Oregon babysitting and training four bulldogs how to snowboard for the Olympics. Itâ€™s no surprise to my mother because her great grandfather actually started one of the first circuses in the US. In Vaudeville, a lesser off-shoot theater district of Broadway, in the early 1900â€™s. Great Grandfatherâ€™s name was Clemens Belling and he was the ring master. His shtick was an act with four black standard poodles named whisky, gin, rum and some other like that. He had married Luba, a Russian acrobatic, who stole the show. That was actually his second wife, the first had died in childbirth, and Clemens needed to find a new woman not only to be a part of the act (frowned upon if not all members of the family were performing) but also raising his first 5 sons. How funny that centuries later his off springs off spring, me, is still carrying on the showmanship tradition by taking four more dogs to perform in the biggest show of all. I chuckle as I write my Hollywood Pet Mom blog on the way to yet another show.