White Dog and Quinn were pacing impatiently by the time Steve returned home with the rental car (story later in the week). We quickly loaded the gear, spurred their hurrying nosing, and by noon-ish we were on the road headed to Fort Collins for Sunday's 2MillionDogWalk. But White Dog and The Other White Dog had a reason to keep us on schedule...at the end of this day we were going to meet Jake and Fergie and their people!
As we traveled North, we were reminded how fortunate we are to call this part of the country home. We watched hawks circle lazily in the Canyons. We saw a flash of deer in the high country. And late in the afternoon, as we drove across the high plains, we "ran" with several herd of antelope. Neither TOWD nor Michael had ever been in this area and were fascinated with how quickly things changed from the geography of Albuquerque. Every rest break was a new opportunity for the two of them to explore and discover...and for WD to run zoomies.
It was a long drive and it was 8:30pm when we pulled into the brewery north of Denver where we were meeting Jake and Fergie. Steve barely had the car in "park" before White Dog was scratching at the window to get out. Quinn was standing patiently nose against window, but was no less excited. "First, Steve, Michael and I are going inside to eat," I said as I arranged bribe treats and caressed faces. "THEN you get to meet Jake and Fergie!" There was grumbling from the White Ones but they settled for a quick walk and then curled up in the car to wait.
We walked in and instantly were surrounded by the love and friendship that until that marvelous moment had merely been an exchange of typed words and two-dimensional sharing. It was an incredible experience that reinforced how lucky we are to be a part of this community and the wonderful souls that make it up.
After what White Dog told me "was the longest meal we had ever eaten," we returned to the car. Jake and Fergie's mom moved her car closer and the Magical Meeting of White Dogs and Square Dogs commenced! Fergie was a little hesitant at first, so Quinn went over and gently introduced himself...she didn't seem to mind his intrusion. Jake, braver, come right over and took place in the ritual. White Dog liked his long legs and not so wirey hair and his perfect size as she got to know him. Fergie, like a timid fawn, curled into my arms and pressed against me; after a while WD knew it was ok to join in our cuddle. In no time, all were marvelously mingling...but the hour was late and we had a BIG Event tomorrow. Sadly, we exchanged presents and hugs and sniffs and promises of "again, soon." But inside we glowed with the memories of what had just been shared.
Once in our hotel, TOWD buried his face in the gift bag; both, I think, for the aroma of the buffalo jerky as well as for the scent of his new friends. Our friends were most generous and thoughtful, providing fun toys and driving snacks for the long ride back on Sunday. We tumbled into bed after a quick walk (Quinn wants to know why hotels do not have dog doors?) and dreamed of how beautiful life is filled with such a majestic homeland AND loving awesome friends.
TOWD traveled well and the medication seems to be working well. He is practically back to his old self.