|Ruby checking out the accommodations|
Last fall's trip to the Mountain Goat Lodge is something I've wanted to post about, happening as it did in my pre-blog days, and today seemed the perfect time since it coincides with Throwback Thursday.
I planned this trip just a few weeks after adopting Ruby, before her reactivity really became apparent. It was an extension of a work trip, a dinner meeting in a small Colorado town, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to bond and spend some uninterrupted time with my new rescue dog.
|We took many walks in these foothills|
By the time the trip rolled around, we'd decided to discontinue doggie daycare, been politely asked to withdraw from our group obedience class, and I was in full-on panic mode about what I'd gotten myself into with this challenging, high-energy dog. I was nervous about the trip and considered canceling, but thought a change of scenery might do us both some good.
I packed her crate, dishes, all sorts of treats, food for several days, toys, antler chews, and the dog training book I was reading at the time, Control Unleashed. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew our destination was a family-run, dog-friendly bed and breakfast, and was determined to pull off this mini-vacation.
|Wrestling with Sookie|
It was about a 3 1/2 hour drive and Ruby did some barking out the window at cyclists and motorcyclists. We arrived with just enough time to get settled before I had to go into town for my dinner meeting. Our room was homey and comfortable with a view of the Sawatch mountain range. The proprietors also had a goat farm, and we could hear them bleating from their pasture below.
Ruby immediately buddied up to the owner's miniature Australian shepherd, Sookie. They had so much fun chasing each other around the fenced dog run and Sookie would come scratch on our door when she wanted to play. They were the same size and perfectly matched.
I left Ruby in her crate while I was at the meeting, and I could hear her barking and whining as I went downstairs. I was gone for several hours and worried that she would not settle down. I didn't get any complaints when I returned, but as a dog-friendly establishment I think they had a high tolerance for that sort of thing.
Some other guests had arrived, including a couple with a German Shepherd in the neighboring room. The dogs could see each other from our balconies and tended to set each other off. Ruby had trouble settling down that night, and I considered cutting our trip short, but the next morning was so beautiful that I decided to stay on. All things considered, Ruby was doing quite well and seemed to be having some fun.
I got some breakfast downstairs and visited with some of the other guests, then spent the day reading, taking Ruby for walks on the property and letting her play with Sookie and meeting the resident goats. Ruby was afraid of the goats, which is probably why I didn't get any pictures of them.
We made a quick trip into town for some fast food that evening and took a stunning sunset walk. A man with three terriers arrived after dark and Ruby was very upset by them. I remember being discouraged during parts of the trip, thinking how such activities would be limited for us, but in hindsight knowing just how reactive she is, I think she did remarkably well.
|Tuckered out at last|
After another delicious home-cooked breakfast of goat-cheese omelet and fried potatoes, we left the next morning and Ruby said goodbye to her blue-eyed friend Sookie. As I packed up our things, one family was downstairs visiting about Game of Thrones while their teenage son played the piano. Another couple had arrived with a Great Dane and the atmosphere was one of camaraderie and leisure. I was reluctant to leave and wished we could stay a whole week, knowing that Ruby and I were both just starting to relax.
While traveling with a reactive dog is probably not something I will choose to do very often, with careful management and realistic expectations as well as dog-friendly businesses, I am happy to know that it can be done.