Scot had an errand to run to Seattle, delivering Petwerks products to Rabbit Meadows, and not enough time to do it. Pick me, me, me I volunteered! This was the perfect opportunity for Solo and I to get away for a bit of adventure.
This adventure provided a few firsts for Solo! He's an accomplished traveler, and a very agreeable travel buddy at that. He's chill for hours in the car. For this trip, the cargo area of the Jeep was packed for the drive up, so I wasn't able to use a crate for safety as usual on a long trip. Last weekend, I'd picked up a "seatbelt" at Mud Bay (a great PNW pet supply chain), and it works perfectly when attached to his harness. Jackson had been the first to try it out, as he buzzed around southern Portland parts and others with me last weekend as I finished up the Snowflakes and Stitches Shop Hop.
The main benefit of this device is to keep him in the seat, and in the carin case of an accident. Heaven forbid that should ever happen. It provides a number of more common benefits, too; it gives him just enough length to get some air time at the window, without any danger of leaping; it also makes for stress free hops in and out of the car, because his seatbelt keeps him tethered to his seat. He's not a dog to cause problems in either situation.
But... you never know. And it's those things that worry me.
This is a trip I've done many, many times over the years. Whether diving, visiting friends, or delivering items, I've run this route at every time of the day and week--and sometimes even in the same day. Ugh. Thankfully, we were doing a leisurely overnight trip this time.
Solo enjoyed walks at every rest area between Salem and Seattle--the first one is always a let down as he clearly is saying, "This is the WORST dog park, ever. Totally not worth the long drive." Our plan was to walk-on the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston. We missed the ferry by about 3 minutes! It was a blessing, though, as the weather was amazing, and we spent a short time walking around the beautiful waterfront, soaking up some sun.
Solo takes to new adventures gladly, as long as Mom is near. When he gets worried, he looks to me, and I assure him that he's got this! The ferry experience was filled with new sights, sounds and smells, but also with lots of people fawning all over him. I'm pretty sure overall, he was a big fan.
His ears are his mood barometer. Ears up, he's relaxed and alert. Ears pulled back a bit and he's pensive, a little worried. We stood on the ferry deck, just after walking on, talking to a worker who was lavishing attention on him. His head turned from side to side on quizical concentration as he watched cars drive under him onto the ferry. He was amazed. And confused. The look on his face as he turned to me as the engines started, and again as the ferry began to shake and move softened as I smiled at him, told him he was a good boy, and that everything was fine. His look always changes to, "Ok, if you say so," and then he went back to watching the world go by.
And there on the walkway off the ferry to meet us were Nancy and Nugget!
So handsome in all the photos I've seen of him online, he's even more so in the flesh. At first meeting, he has a gravitas that Solo did not inherit, but after spending a little time with him that afternoon, I saw a lot of similarities in behavior, including the trouble-making behaviors of eliciting jealousy and grandstanding. So funny to see that. He, and the rest of Nancy's amazing crew, were a wonderful mix of personalities. After initial greetings, I had to laugh as quite unexpectedly, Nugget FLUNG himself up into my arms, and looked down at all the others with a little growl that said, "Haha! Lookit me! I have the special!"
Solo does this all. the. time. "Look at me! I'm being a dick, flaunting that I have whatever it is you all want!" So that's where he gets it!
I loved taking a spot on the couch and rotating through all of them until finally they settled, and it was Drift who laid his head in my lap and hung out with me for a nice long scritch session.
Dinner was an amazing Italian (savory) crepe at J'aime Les Crepes (which I reviewed in 2008). Then a ride back over. Dogs are allowed up on the upper deck, which has basic seating under wind protection. With the sun down it was chilly but we were fine out of the wind. The stairs to the second level are steep, but Solo charged right up them. We were the only people up top, which gave us an uncomplicated descent, which he was much more concerned about. He would only go down in the narrow space between my legs and the railing, and he would stay right even with me. The steps gave ME a bit of vertigo, I can only imagine what that looked like from his perspective. What a brave little guy.
We found some basic lodging nearby. I hadn't made plans, thinking maybe I'd do something fancy downtown, but it was getting late, and I had plans to be up and our early, so there was no point in wasting money on anything fancy. La Quinta has a great pet policy, so we snatched up a room in Lynnewood.
Up the next morning, I Yelp'd for best country fried steak around me, and found Stricker's Cafe almost right next door. Ordered a carry out of their country fried steak (gravy on the side), which came with three eggs and hashbrowns. As I always get eggs over hard, it was easy to share those with Solo. What's a trip without some treats, huh?
When in the Seattle area, I also check in with Solo's breeder, Mark and his partner Léo when possible. Lately my luck has been good, and I've been buzzing through on days when they are having puppy parties or other meetings that make a visit not only easy, but maybe even helpful. I enjoy watching budding corgi enthusiasts play with puppies and ask questions, and never fail to learn something new myself. As they impress upon people that when you buy one of their dogs, you get their "lifetime" commitment for product support, I can be a testament to that!
Solo usually interacts a bit with the other dogs, then heads for higher ground upon the ottoman, or on the back of the chair, either way usually at my shoulder. I want him to be confident and independent, but have to admit it melts my heart when he's a Mama's Boy! And if there are a lot of puppies around, he just can't handle it. LOL.
Again, another dose of lovely corgi chaos, where I marvel at the variety in these wonderful creatures. And, usually fall in love with one or two more. (This time it was Luna. Lovely, sweet Luna. She tugged at my heart for some reason. *sigh*)
None of my pics from there are any good; it's so hard to get a shot of all that fast moving activity.
A little time away is always good. While some would dread the drive up and back so quickly, the road is something I usually welcome. Some time to think, some beautiful things to see in my beloved Oregon and surrounding areas. Boredom is impossible with a never ending stream of podcasts, and along the way there's always opportunity for little adventures, whether it's stopping to check out a new park, or try something tasty.
Now, back to the real world!