DRESSING THE DOG
Chapter 3 (Part One)
“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
– John Steinbeck
We were back in the car and headed to New York City… the city that never sleeps. After a night of very LITTLE sleep in Boston, we actually NEEDED sleep but Katie seemed to be back to her old self again and we were optimistically hopeful. We made more roadside stops than necessary to let Katie Bug walk around and potty, if necessary. I had been to New York City before so I tried to tell Katie what to expect and she seemed excited. I told her about the lights, the parks, the people and the yummy smells from the street-food vendors. She was down with the whole idea! She was! In no time at all, we found ourselves mired in traffic like we have only experienced during hurricane evacuations back home, but later discovered that this was the NORMAL traffic pattern for the region. It was a trial, let me tell you! Daddy traveled a lot for his job but even HE had rarely seen traffic like this. He said it was worse than TWO Atlantas at rush hour… and it wasn’t rush hour. You could cut the tension in that car with a knife. I offered to sing songs to help mellow the mood but Mummy told me to just lie down and be quiet. Hmmm. After about 3 days in dog years, we arrived at the hotel… and we did not wreck the car either. God moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform. After checking into the room, Mummy said the FIRST thing they needed to do was buy some baby diapers for Katie… just to be on the safe side! We didn’t want a repeat of Boston. Honestly, our family would not survive it. This way, anytime Katie was in the room, she would be diapered up… and not the doggie diapers either with the little hole at the rear end. We needed a BABY DIAPER that covered EVERYTHING so that all accidents were contained within the diaper!!! This would later be the method that we would ALL USE anytime we stayed away from home. It just saved a lot of undue stress and everyone was happy. We had plans to stay here for 2 nights and were going to meet a few friends for dinner. Mummy covered the bed with our doggie blankets and towels (just in case), we diapered up Katie, and we all lay down for a much needed rest.
The nap was what we all needed to feel REJUVINATED and soon, Katie and I were decked out in matching harnesses, strutting our stuff on the streets of Manhattan. Lots of doggies in New York City wear pretty clothes so we didn’t really stand out, but people thought it was cute to see two yorkies dressed alike. When we reached the restaurant, there were heaters on the patio to make things more comfortable since we were not allowed inside. Mummy brought along our fuzzy carrying bag so we could snuggle inside while the grown-ups ate their dinner. All-in-all, it was pretty low key and we enjoyed the extra attention from Mummy’s friends. Katie was back to normal and we were having a great time walking around, seeing the sights. Daddy carried Katie most of the time but I really liked to walk, so that was how we saw the city. Mummy didn’t want to overdo things on the first day so we returned to the hotel to turn in early. We had eaten earlier and Katie was fine. Pooping was back to normal. All was right with the world. The diaper went on and it was time for bed… but Mummy wasn’t convinced that she should sleep in the “big bed” and there wasn’t another place to sleep. Daddy made up a squishy doggie bed in the corner of the room and tried to get Katie to lie down there… but she kept whimpering to get up with everyone else. So they tried making ME sleep with her too… but then we BOTH cried. They tried putting us in the bathroom with the door shut, but we still cried and now we also scratched at the door. Daddy said to just put us both in the “big bed’ and not worry about it, but Mummy said they couldn’t pay for another bedspread and if the diaper FAILED, it would ruin the mattress too. That shut him up, right quick-like. There was only one solution. Someone would have to sleep on the floor with us. They ended up flipping a coin and Daddy lost. You win some… you lose some. Just sayin’.
The next day we spent a lovely afternoon strolling around Central Park. For a little dog in New York City… THIS is the place to go! Once you walk through one of the many entrances, and get into the guts of the park, you will forget that you are even IN one of the greatest cities in the world because you feel so secluded. But lest you decide to venture onto the grass, let me forewarn you… don’t. There are many areas where dogs are not allowed on the grass. Signs are posted hither and yon, but they are easy to miss. If you SHOULD miss one, don’t worry. Someone will let you know. Very sternly. And if you are a little dog who can only “do their business” on the grass, you will have a problem, because in Manhattan… the curb is where you have to do it. This takes some getting used to but fortunately the “smells” that are left behind by a million other dogs give you the encouragement you need to complete the task. Since I had been to Manhattan before, I knew the drill, but Katie didn’t. Going potty was a process for her but she was coming along nicely. We had seen the park, gone to the boat pond, watched the horse-drawn carriages from the safety of a park bench and we were done for the day. As we headed back to the hotel, we made a pit-stop along a curb on a “sort-of” secluded street so that we could make one last potty. I was done in record time. Katie was still trying to get the hang of things but she was doing… sort of OK. Then things went from OK, to something that couldn’t be fixed in a split second. Really, I kid you not, it was THAT FAST. Daddy had glanced up for an instant and Katie wasn’t paying attention and really, neither was I… when she plopped both of her front paws into a moist pile of horse doo-doo. It came up to her arm pits. –SIGH- I could feel myself getting sick.
Since Mummy had been a Girl Scout in her younger days, her survival instincts kicked in. Daddy had done nothing in his youth so he just stood there with his arms raised to the heavens. Mummy told Daddy to find a store and buy several bottles of water. She would wait there with Katie and make sure no one stole her, which honestly, was not going to happen but we waited there with her anyway because she was just a baby and I think it’s against the law to leave a baby alone on the sidewalk, even if they do have doo-doo all over them. When Daddy returned with 6 bottles of water, they proceeded to give Katie a bath… right there on the sidewalk of Manhattan. But what other option was there? I acted like I was a stranger who just “happened upon” this family washing off their dog. I didn’t want anyone to think that I knew them. Never-mind that Katie and I were dressed exactly alike. That was just some WEIRD coincidence!!! Daddy scooped up the water-logged Katie and we hustled on back to the hotel so we could pack up our duds. We were leaving early in the morning and wanted to get a good night’s sleep, but what WERE the sleeping arrangements for tonight? Mummy offered to sleep on the floor with us since Daddy had done it last night. Secretly, she thought that Daddy would decline her HUGELY MAGNANAMOUS OFFER and say that HE would take the floor again, but he took her up on it and that night, Mummy took to the floor with the two of us… but only after Katie had a thorough bath! Did you know that stepping in horse doo-doo will not kill you? It smells like it would, but it won’t. Horse manure is often used in flower beds as a fertilizer to produce the most BEAUTIFUL flowers. Hmmm. The more you know!
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