October 29, 2008: "Grandma, why is your dog vibrating?"

I was driving my grandson, Kevin, home one day. He was holding Otter Dawg, who was shivering as he always does in the car. “Grandma, why is your dog vibrating?”, he asked.

This week Otter vibrated all the way to Arizona. Nearly 1200 miles. That’s an awful lot of vibrating!

All in all, both the pups were pretty good travelers. The trip south was uneventful until we were 70 miles from our destination. At Lake Havasu City I asked Mr. H to stop at Wal*Mart so I could pick up some fresh bread, milk, lunchmeat, etc. I needed just a few groceries to tide us over until we could come back into town for a real shopping trip. Of course, Mr. H balked. He said it would take me 5 (expletive deleted) hours to get in and out of the store. I, wanting to prove him wrong, looked at my watch and made a mad dash through the doors and into the store. I flew down the aisles, grabbing only the necessities, and was standing in the checkout line in less than 13 minutes. Just as I was swiping my debit card, in walked Mr. H with a sheepish look on his face. He said he had decided to get the pups some fresh water while we were stopped, so he tossed the pickup keys up on the dash and got out to go to the back of the truck, where we had put a water jug. He no sooner closed the door when Annie jumped on the arm rest and her foot hit the door lock. We were locked out of the Ranger, the dogs were locked in with all the windows rolled up. Luckily the sun was setting, so it wasn't blistering hot.

We have had AAA for quite some time, but have never had to use it. In fact, I had really thought seriously of dropping it this year, but changed my mind and renewed just before we left for Arizona. And, luckily, I had thought to get an extra cell phone from my daughter before we left, just in case I lost Mr. H and had to call him, because our cell phone was locked inside the pickup with the dogs. I called the emergency number for AAA, and told the dispatcher of our predicament. She asked where we were, and I told her Lake Havasu City in front of the new Super Wal*Mart. Not good enough….she needed an actual address. I told her Highway 95 and gave her the street number from the front of the store. Not good enough…she wanted a “cross street”. I said I didn’t know, and wasn’t about to walk down the highway to find out, that it would be the same street that Home Depot was on. Not good enough….she said that was not a “cross street” as it stopped where it entered the highway. This conversation went like this for more than fifteen minutes on my cell phone minutes! At one time she was going to dispatch help to the old Wal*Mart, which had closed six months ago, because that was the only one on her computer map. According to her, the shopping center I was standing in did not exist. It was not on her map. I screamed at her to just tell the tow truck driver to go to Wal*Mart, as he was local and would know where it was. Nope. She still would not dispatch to a place that didn’t exist on her computer maps. Then she hung up on me.

I had two choices. Let Mr. H break out a window, or call 911. I opted for 911. That dispatcher had a tow truck there in minutes, we gained entrance to our pickup, and AAA got the bill. We made it home, two hours late and tired and mad as hell.

Annie adjusted to her new digs immediately, but Otter has been rather traumatized until this afternoon. She has investigated every room of the house and every inch of the property, while he has stayed close by my side or on Mr. H’s lap. Both pups are used to a pet door leading out to a big securely fenced back yard full of cool, green grass on which to pee and poop and play. Here they have a solid screen door that will not be pushed open, and when let out it is to a piece of desert land, with dirt, sand, rocks and cacti. They refuse to piddle on dirt. The nearest thing to grass happens to be the living room carpet. Here we thought we were through with housebreaking them months ago! Last night Annie woke me up at midnight, so I put her on the leash and took her out. She went on an investigation of every dark corner of the property, while I kept yelling “Pee!”. “Pee!”. She never did pee. At 4 a.m. Otter woke me up, so I took him out…good thing, because he had diarrhea!

Mr. H just hollered at me that Otter peed outside. Maybe we are returning to normal.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Plants (for Ribbit):

John, my friend from GardenWeb, said we couldn’t get as much stuff in our Ranger as the list I’d given him. John doesn’t know us, as we have been making this trip, with nothing more than the Ranger to pack it all in, for the past five years. That’s when we got rid of the motor home and bought a residence in this small Arizona town. Not only did we get everything on that list packed, we also loaded a big rabbit cage for Cookie, then stuffed that full of greens and carrots that I had dug out of the garden and put into plastic containers. I was determined to extend my gardening season, even without a garden! Everything made it just fine. Now I just have to keep them alive and hope the lettuces don’t bolt in this heat.

Plenty of room left for bunny cage and garden greens!

I have several containers that I’m considering planting. One large one became the home to some cucumber seeds this morning. They take 56 days to produce, so it will be touch and go whether or not we ever get a cucumber from them. I was really wanting pole beans, but I had used up all those seeds. It was down to cucumbers or zucchini to grow on the hot side of the house.

The greens made the trip just fine.


  1. That's a bummer, granny.....Sometimes people are just ridiculous. That's why i'm glad I can do all of the things that I do, and haven't had to hire anyone to do a job for me yet! I can't break into a vehicle though...never learned how to do that. I'm glad that y'all made it just fine, with vibrating dog and all! Sometimes I feel the same way as Mr. H (nice hand, Mr. H!) because I hate going shopping with my wife...it never ends.....


  2. Dude. We have AAA for me (cause Mike is on the road in his big truck all the time). That worries me greatly, how they treated you so badly. How idiotic!

    I have a cat that can't handle travel well. After a few hundred miles his stomach explodes out the back end, or so it looks like. Just. Awful!

    Glad you're home and posting again. :)

  3. I learned the value of AAA the hard way. I had to use them twice in one day once. First because my battery died. Then five minutes after they left because I locked my keys in the car. That was not a good day.

    Glad to see you all made the trip without too many problems.

  4. WOOHOO!!! I'm so glad you made it and I almost died at your AAA story being that I had an adventure like that three weeks ago. It was raining. I got out of the car, threw my cell back in and the wind blew the door closed. I heard it lock and reached for my keys....in my hand was the cell phone. You can figure out the rest.

    I LOVED the literary reference!

  5. Ahh, serves me right for not checking back often. You've posted more than normal, hehe.

    Glad to see the bunny and food made it alright. And yes, all the call centers train their folks the same. Sorry.