White Dog and the Others touched noses with Quinn who had walked them to the door but who clearly was planning on staying home to guard the house. Steve finished locking his bike on the roof rack and opened the sliding door to Pumpkin....and the White Dog Army surged out into the pleasant early morning and hopped into the van.
We stopped to pick up Dragon and Sen-ge, who chatted with Oso as Gregg and Candace loaded gear into the back and bikes onto the roof. And we were off for a Sunday morning adventure to the Nature Center.
Before the riders readied to go, Steve took the White Dog Army in pairs to scout the area, looking for bunnies to chase or better yet, mean road runners to tree, but no luck! We set up a base camp under the huge cottonwood tree. Parked in the shade, I could read and get about in my wheelchair; Steve set up long leashes so the WDA could explore a bit, sit with me, or hop back into Pumpkin for a comfy nap with windows and doors open.
Dragon and Sen-ge ride with their pawrents in baskets on their bikes. They look adorably cute, love being with Gregg and Candace...and the WDA enjoys waving the Little Yippers off with the bike crowd. Here is a video of Dragon as he readies to go...
When the riders returned two hours later, we broke camp, put bicycles back on the roof, and pushed the buton to open the hatch...click....click...We tried the automatic startup system...click...click. Steve put the key in the steering column and turned it...click...click...click...click.click. clickclickclickDEAD!
It was then as he leaned his head back in frustration that Steve realized that leaving the sliding door on Pumpkin open for two hours left the interior lights on for two hours...the battery was dead! White Dog started keening a lowl howl and i felt YoYoMa gearing up to join her. "Not a good idea," I whispered. "Stay calm and quiet. Things will be fine."
Candace found a lovely compassionate woman across from us in the parking lot and explained our situation. She agreed to give us a battery jump as long as we had cables (which Steve does) AND that someone in group knew how to do it (again, had it covered). She pulled HER van tight next to ours and all the pups held their breaths while the resuscitation began. It was iffy at first, refusing to roar to life but finally with a gulp and small whoosh, Pumpkin started humming again and the gauges sprang to activity. We gave thanks and offered compensation but the kind woman shrugged off the fact she had saved our day.
It was now hot and the day was making its demands. We dropped the White Ones at home (with a bribe of duck jerky) and dashed back off to safely return the others and buy a new battery.
We hope all of the fathers with two- and four-legged kids were remembered and feted and given extra special recognition for all of the bazillions ways they make the world safer, more comfortable, wiser, more wondrous, and loving! If no one else said it...or let us add our voices to the multitudes who said it loud in their own way..."Thank you, you make a big difference today and are shaping an incredible future!" Happy Fathers' Day!