I drop Wendy, the little dog, four huge bags of luggage and two carry-ons off at our terminal, then do my best to find the rental return for our car. Even with the GPS, I still get lost once. Meanwhile, Wendy and the little dog are in full sunlight on the hottest day of the year, waiting outside for my return.
The return lot is packed and I am frantic to get back to my wife and child. Finally someone attends to me and then I hop on the bus back to our terminal, which is, of course, the last stop. We load everything onto luggage carts and attempt to check in.
They board the dog without blinking.
There is, honestly, a hilarious story that goes along with this, but if I put it on the web, the terrorists win. That’s not even a joke. See me in person for the story.
Eleven hours later we arrive in Madrid and a half an hour after we get our luggage, Thor is delivered to us. So now it is onward to customs… Oh God... We have everything we need, right? Yes.
Thor is in a green dog crate, the kind with huge air holes that indicate that there is, indeed, a live animal inside. He barks at the customs agents as we roll him past. “Just keep going” Wendy whispers. “If they don’t stop us, just keep going.”
And we do.
And they don’t.
Soon, we are in two taxis heading for our second home. Good thing I drove all over Hell and back to have that paperwork done.
And now my premonitions begin to form into reality. Thor hates the steps and I have to carry him the last three flights. They are wood, circular, slippery, and surround a deep hole that he is terrified of. He refuses to accept that the terrace and the fake grass we brought with us is “outside.” The luggage is heavier than I have ever felt it and it takes me an hour (there is much swearing, panting and resting) to get the four bags and dog crate upstairs.
I take Thor outside to “do his business.” (Tip: Say this when ever your dog goes to the bathroom, give him a treat and he will associate this saying with “It is okay if you “go” here.)
Wendy finds this hilarious, often saying - “Outside Thor! Do your business. File your taxes. Don’t forget to carry the one!”
About two hours later we are finally allowed to go to bed.
I have no idea how to make Thor go on the terrace other than to keep saying “Outside” which he knows means “A place where it is okay to make a mess,” repeating “Do your business” endlessly, and not taking him for a walk. He’ll have to go eventually, right?
And he finally does.
He looks at me like he’s expecting to get hit but instead I praise him and give him a treat, telling him endlessly what a good dog he is. Then I hose down the terrace and his little feet and dry him off.
So far he has been called Thor, Stinker Pinker, The Beast, and now he has his first Native American name- Little Doggie Wetfoot.