Oh Where, Oh Where Have My Little Dogs Gone?

For any who may not be fully acquainted with my life, I must travel for work from time to time. I work for a great company that knows how much my “kids” mean to me. Among the many things they have done for the kids and me, one is that they allow me to bring them on my road trips to New York.

Girly Girl adn Blue greyhound at the Smithfield Inn in Plattsburgh
Back in the days when Girly Girl was still physically with us and it was Blue, Girly Girl and I, both kids traveled with me. We all spent a week in a great dog friendly hotel. Blue sure does love him some hotel bed. So if I intended to sleep on these trips, there had better be two beds in the room. Otherwise it’s all in on Mumma’s bed and Blue stretches WAY out. Plus he drools and insists on laying his drool-sodden melon on a pillow. I prefer that it not be mine.

When Bettina joined the family, I had my first experience with a greyhound who barks. For any reason. And many times, for no reason. I say she’s “chatty.” With Miss Mouthy aboard I couldn’t risk taking her to the hotel with us and have her bark all day while I was at the office. I had visions of the hotel manager calling me on my cell phone, raucous barking in the background, with a request that I vacate the premises immediately. Thus, every time I have to travel for work, Bettina gets a week at Camp Grammy.

Blue always ends up coming with me on the trip by himself. I figured it would be a great time for Blue and Mumma to do some bonding. Blue might also get a nice break from being bossed around night and day by Miss Mouthy. Bettina has assumed dominion over poor Blue and try as I might, I can’t get him to cowboy up. So a week without Bettina and some quality alone time with Mumma-hound heaven!

Blue greyhound reads about Mao
Except that it turned out Blue was mostly lonely. He got to spend some evenings with Mumma but spent a lot of time in his travel crate with only the TV for company. Blue doesn’t spend much time in a crate at all outside of these business jaunts and here-to-fore he could always look out the window of his travel crate and see Girly Girl across the way, sulking in her crate.

After a number of trips without Bettina I began feeling really guilty about schlepping him along with me. He seemed to be getting sadder with each trip. I determined that on the next trip, I would find a way to give him a break.

Grammy has taken both my kids in the past, but she lives in a small space with two large male greyhounds of her own. To add two more to that mix can be quite overwhelming. Factor in that Bettina is such a fussypants and Mumma is pushing her luck asking Grammy to take them both. Not wanting to wear out our welcome at Grammy’s place, I reserved Blue a spot at Auntie Carol’s house.

Having deposited Bettina with Auntie Carol and Blue with Grammy, I proceeded on my businessy way, secure in the knowledge that my kids would be safe and well cared for. With the added bonus that they’d be in surroundings that made them happy. Both Grammy’s and Auntie Carol’s are similar to home in that someone is around almost every moment of the day.

What I didn’t take into consideration, as I began this journey, was Mumma. I get to spend all of my time with my babies. We are together day and night. When I travel I generally get to take them with me. Most of the time I’m traveling to some function that involves greyhounds. If I run an errand, they come along. If I visit friends, they come to. It s a very rare occasion when I am separated from them.

This particular trip was interminable for Mumma. Though it was great to see colleagues face to face and get some stuff done that is best done when I am onsite, I missed my babies terribly. I was very lonely in the hotel each night. I even started to miss the drool soaked pillows. Auntie Carol was very kind and sent me daily photo updates on what Her Royal Highness had been up to. Even if she wasn’t, Auntie Carol told me that Bettina was being a good girl.

Bettina had taken over the new realm and insinuated herself onto Carol’s couch, on her spare bed and eventually even managed to work her way into Carol’s bed so she could cuddle with Auntie Carol. Each morning there would be photos of her on the couch (where Carol’s hounds are not allowed) or on the spare bed, head on the pillow (Bettina drools as well).

Bettina greyhound stays with Auntie Carols
Blue, for his part, did likewise at Grammy’s house. He drooled happily on Grammy’s pillows and stretched out to his full length and width taking ¾ of the bed. He danced for his dinner. He danced for Fox and Crandall’s dinners as well.

Everyone seemed to be doing quite well at their respective locations with the exception of poor Mumma. I counted down days until I could drive the 6 hours back to pick them up. I looked eagerly every day for emails from Carol and my mother giving me minute details about the kid’s days. In reality they pretty much did the same thing every day, but it didn’t matter. I wanted to read it all.

Finally the day came and I drove back home to pick up my babies. Blue seemed happy to see me but he couldn’t get anywhere near me because Fox and Crandall, Grammy’s hounds, were knocking themselves out to crawl up my legs and say hello. It was such an enthusiastic greeting that you’d have thought they were my missing babies. On the other hand, they may have just been very, very excited to know that Blue was heading back home. Bettina hopped out of Carol’s car and stood facing the other way. We stood there looking at her and she continued to watch down the road as if a parade of dog biscuits would be coming from that direction. Finally I called her name; she looked behind her and gave me an excited welcome home greeting.

We got home and Mumma was feeling like all was well with the world. I thought, surely, this is a special moment for the family now that we were all together again. In a little blissful, familial love cloud I floated inside, hounds trailing behind me. I was preparing to cuddle on the couch with both babies while we all sang Kumbaya (well, I’d sing, they’d roo). I turned to see where they were and faced two hounds staring intently at me, drooling. Ah yes, we’re home. What are you waiting for Mumma? We’re hungry.


  1. I'm giggling because I've been there a few times! There's nothing like coming home to a Greyhound to bring you back to reality. Maybe you ought to give Bettina a shot at traveling with you once and see if she surprises you in a good way.

  2. I think I am totally in love with Bettina. She sounds like a hoot.

    I don't do well either when I am away from the kids.


Bark Back and Let Us Know Whats on Your Mind!