Sunday, July 6, 2008

Years Past: Part I

Once upon a time not so long ago I owned a Rhodesian Ridgeback, named Ajax. He was my first dog, and he was beautiful. We'll save how I got him and why I don't have him anymore for another time. Today I wish to tell the story of his move from Hawaii to California.

Moving from Hawaii was very hard for me. I had a five month old baby and Joe had died about a month previous, I now needed to pack up my previous life of a wife excitedly preparing for her husbands return, to a new life, a grieving widow and new mother. Honestly I don't remember much of that transition, but Ajax's move broke through the fog and is a pretty clear memory.

Ajax was 2 when Joe died and had never been crated, I had about a week to try to crate train him for the airplane trip he would need to take to California for our move. In that week I was able to get him to reach his head in the crate for a treat -that's it- and even that was done with caution. It was suggested that I have him sedated for the plane ride but when I asked a vet about it they suggested giving benadryl.

The morning of the trip I gave Ajax his benadryl and then encouraged him into the crate while it was in the car, wonder of wonders he didn't give much of a struggle (probably searching for that treat). With him in the crate we were easily able to load the rest of our luggage and proceed to the airport, with a big load off my mind.

However once at the airport when I was checking him in I discovered much to my horror that I would need to take him out while the crate was inspected. Putting a 120lb dog back in was a good 15 minute chore which included myself, my sister Ivanna, and the airport crate inspector guy. Finally we got him in, Mr. Crate Inspector closed the door on the crate and once again I felt a load off, although I was hot, sweaty and covered in dog hair, Ajax was set.

When settled into our seats on the plane I surprised to hear my name being paged, and when I approached one of the Flight Attendants I was told it was about my dog and they needed me. So I was ushered off the plane down some stairs and once on the tarmac I was met with a golf cart type vehicle which sped me away.

Apparently while they were loading Ajax into the plane his door sprung open (I maintain Mr.
Crate Inspector had failed to latch it) he leaped out and began wildly running around on the tarmac while workers where frantically chasing him.

Since planes couldn't land or take off while there was a dog on the loose they called me down to see what I could do. Thankfully he came as soon as he saw me but getting him into the crate was even harder the third time around. By the time he was secured I was in tears and had scratches, bruises, and even more dog hair all over my body. I was emotionally and physically spent and wanted to strangle the vet who failed to mention that there was a small chance
that benadryl instead of being a mild tranquilizer, could have the opposite effect.

5 comments:

Ivanna July 6, 2008 at 8:54 PM  

Ah, I remember this day. I think they got you right after I got off the phone telling the family in California that we'd be half an hour early... of course we weren't. The other half of the plane could see you out the window. I understood what had happened when I saw you coming back to the seat, you were sweaty, covered in dog hair and I knew you must have been doing something with Ajax. On a different note. Providence was really cute when I let her have your seat. She was very proud to have her own seatbelt just like Auntie. Remember how cute she looked when you returned?

MomS/Gram July 6, 2008 at 10:41 PM  

I remember that story. I hope you write at least one book and get it published. You are such a talented writer; reading your stories I can totally picture the event and even feel like I'm there watching it happen.

faithsalutes July 7, 2008 at 1:16 PM  

I feel so bad...but this sounds like my life with Spanky...never a dull moment. Spanky is part ridgeback.

xoxoxo

Love this story even though it is sad...

Momathon July 8, 2008 at 2:54 PM  

That's a great story. And I agree wholeheartedly with Moms/Gram--you must write a book.
Can't wait to hear the rest of it.

Mrs. Schwager July 8, 2008 at 3:36 PM  

You are a good writer, I could see it all, although it was a very sad story. I was expecting you to say something like they had to shoot the dog because he was in the way of the airplanes or something.

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