Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Leopold, the Gum, and the Peanut Butter

I guess you could call this "Adventures on the Road, part III", as the beginning of this story takes place during the end of our road trip mentioned in the two previous posts.

As people are wont to do on a road trip, we stopped at many a service station on our day of driving home from Cape Cod.  At each stop, we would assess the car's gas level, our hunger level, and how strongly we needed to visit a rest room.  We would, also, put the dogs in their harnesses and let them hop out of the car to walk around for a bit in order to stretch their legs and take care of business.

Leopold, you have gum on your paw!
As you may know, service stations are not the cleanest places--inside and out.  At one of these not-so-clean service stations, Leopold stepped in gum.

At the time of the gum adhesion, I actually thought the substance I saw on his foot was mud, and didn't worry too much about wiping it off.  A little mud never hurt anyone.

The following day, however, we were out on our walk when I noticed that the "mud" was still on Leopold's foot.  I stopped to investigate ("Why isn't this mud falling off?") only to discover it was actually a hard wad of gum.  It had mushed right into his paw pad, up around his nail, and into his fur.

Once we got home, I looked up home remedies for curing "gum paw".  Just like getting gum out of human hair, many people recommended peanut butter.
So that's what I tried.
I am pleased to report that peanut butter worked like a charm!  I massaged the peanut butter onto the gum wad, and it almost immediately started to release from Leopold's fur, nail, and paw pad.  Leopold's paw was gum-free in no time.

I was happy that the solution to this problem ended up being so easy.
And Leopold was happy that his paw tasted like peanut butter afterwards. 



massaging peanut butter onto the gum on Leopold's paw

the gum is starting to come off!
On a side note, the experience of massaging gum with peanut butter was just down right gross.  (someone had chewed that piece of gum!  as in... it was in some stranger's mouth!  uck!).  But for Leopold, I would touch a thousand pieces of service station gum if it meant he was healthy and happy and gum-foot-free

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Adventures on the Road Part II: Wine Tasting with Dogs

Stopping to enjoy the view while traveling the Cayuga Lake wine trail with our dogs.

After discovering that we were not allowed to leave our dogs unattended in the cabin in which we were staying at Cayuga Lake State Park, Chris and I (especially I) felt defeated.
Now what?
It seemed like spending a day happily gallivanting down the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail had fallen off the table and onto the ground to rot like a forgotten grape: there's no way to get wine out of that.
We had planned to "gallivant" in a car, safely driven by a hired wine trail guide (Finger Lakes Winery Tours & Fitzgerald Brothers).  Chris called up the driver and explained the situation and ended with "We don't know what to do".

In the back seat of our winery-mobile with Halo and Leopold. which the driver responded "Bring them!"

A response we were not expecting! (but maybe hoping for deep deep down)

Our driver showed up with a sedan, introduced himself as Dan, opened the back door and welcomed both our dogs onto his leather seats without a second thought.  He told us later in the day that ours were the first dogs he's ever driven around on a wine tour.  I was impressed with how cool he was about having 125 lbs worth of dog in the back seat of his car.  Halo and Leopold quickly decided that they liked Dan, their newest friend.

As it turns out, there are many wineries along Cayuga Lake that allow dogs in their tasting rooms.  In fact, we learned on the way that there are even some wineries that have their own dogs (or cats!) in residence who lounge about in the tasting rooms.  Dan explained that it was lucky we were already planning on checking out the Cayuga Lake wineries instead of the Seneca Lake wineries (which are not far away) because the Seneca Lake wineries tend not to be so dog-friendly.

Leopold lays down on the floor of the
Goose Watch Winery tasting room for a nap.

It felt very strange at first walking into a winery with dogs, and we did get some looks.  Almost all of those looks were friendly, however, and followed by sought permission to pet our incurably cute dogs.  Leopold and Halo were the open windows through which strangers felt invited to chat with us;  I don't think I've ever interacted with so many strangers while out wine tasting before.

I've always felt that having a dog is like being part of a club.  As soon as another Dog Club member sees you with your dog, they instantly get excited and want to tell you about their own dog or their childhood dog or some dog they met here or there.  We met many other members of the Dog Club while out wine tasting, and other non-members who were intrigued by the sight of the dressed-up couple with dogs hanging off their arms.

Halo was so sleepy at the end of the day that
she laid on the floor and rest her head on
the console in the winery-mobile.
We visited six wineries in all:  Swedish HillGoose WatchButtonwood GroveKnappAmericana, and Sheldrake Point.  Along the way we gave treats to a highland cow named Melody, learned why the area is known for its Rieslings, and Leopold met a cat close up and personal (if you're curious, the cat hissed and Leopold spent the rest of our time at that winery with a watchful eye and a low woof for the cat).  For lunch, we ate at a Bistro call the Thirsty Owl, that offered outdoor seating so that we could have our dogs with us.   Dan the driver also brought us to a scenic overlook of the Taughannock Falls, which was absolutely amazing.  By the end of the wine tour Chris and I were feeling light and happy, and the dogs were tuckered out from all their new experiences.

Our day ended up being fantastic.  And what felt at first like a disaster, turned into a unique experience that I would recommend to those who like to find new activities in which to include their dogs.

A scenic overlook of the Taughannock Falls
Halo waits in the car while we give Melody a treat.  Halo does not like this.
Offering Melody a treat

waiting for lunch at the Thirsty Owl
Halo and Leopold enjoy some cold water.

Strolling by the grape vines
Halo and Leopold look out over a vineyard.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Adventures on the road Part I: Learning about Possible Campground Dog Rules

Halo sticks her nose over the dog barrier we constructed in our car.
Chris and I took somewhat of a road trip with the dogs as part of our honeymoon.  The plan was to drive from Madison, Wisconsin to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  On the way we were going to stop in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, spend a day wine tasting, and then be on our way the next day.
We reserved a cabin at Cayuga Lake State Park in Seneca Falls, NY because they fit our criteria: they allowed dogs.  We planned on thoroughly wearing out the dogs in the morning before we left for wine tasting so that they wouldn't be restless in the cabin.  We thought it was a good idea.

It was late at night when we arrived at the Camp Ground; the staff was gone for the day, but they had left us our key and some campground information.  Upon reading through the park information, we discovered that rabies vaccination certificates were required for all dogs staying at the camp ground.  I thought of the rabies certificates that I keep safely in my filing cabinet at home and wondered to myself who in the world carried around their dogs' rabies vaccination certification papers.  The vet gives you a tag to hang on your dog's collar along with the certificate so that you don't have to do that.  I wondered if this was a common requirement for doggy campground patrons.  Regardless, we must have completely missed this piece of information when reserving our cabin online.  

Huddling with Halo and Leopold (there was a fridge, an oven,
but no heat!  Good thing we had warm blankets!)
We settled in for the night (huddled together is more like it, because it was so cold!) deciding that the first thing we would try to do in the morning when registering is beg for mercy and see if they'd let us stay at the campground despite our certificate-less situation.

Luckily, they agreed to letting us and our dogs stay, stating that it was ok only because we were just staying two nights.  Any longer and we'd HAVE to provide the certificates.
We took the dogs for a long walk and then headed back to the cabin to get clean and ready for our romantic day of wine tasting.

Back in the cabin, I took a moment to sit.  My eyes wandered over the humble abode: concrete floor, four small beds, patrons' initials scratched into the log walls, cob-webbed windows, and the occasional laminated sign stating various park rules.  Quiet time was after 10p.  Check out was before 11a.  No Smoking.  Phone number for park police.  And dogs are not allowed to be left in the cabins unattended.
DAMMIT!  The whole reason we chose this place was because they allowed dogs, meaning that we could keep the dogs there while we were out wine tasting.  Again, we must have missed this piece of information when making our cabin reservation online. CRAP!

Upon later investigation, I discovered that we did, indeed, miss a small section about the requirement for all pets to have proof of vaccination in the form of a Veterinarian certificate and that pets must not be left unattended.  I'm inclined to blame our error on the stress of planning a wedding.  Yea, lets go with that. 

But really, this experience taught me something important about traveling with dogs:  make sure you carefully look at all campground rules pertaining to dogs before making a reservation and definitely before arriving.  Chris and I also decided that it would be a good idea to put together a file folder of copies of our dogs' vaccination records to take with us whenever we travel with them again in the future.

Friday, November 1, 2013

On October 5, 2013, I married my best friend--my best human friend, that is! ;-)

I've been a bad blogger and have been neglecting Leopold's Crate.  Sorry!
I have a good reason though: I was preparing for my wedding (making a wedding dress can take a while!)!  I'm happy to say the wedding went well, and now life can get back to normal. :-)

Halo and Leopold dressed in their best for our big day!