Denver - September 9, 2013
Rocket warned me about this. He said, "Dude, if they take you to Breckenridge, do not, under any circumstances, no matter how good the cookies are, let them take you on a gondola ride."
When he told me this I was a mere pup of 10 weeks, so I wasn't really listening. Plus there were a lot of other things I was learning from Rocket (Hurry outside, don't chase the cats, tilt my head a little to the right and widen my eyes if I want extra attention and treats) so I have to admit I'd kind of forgotten about this bit of advice.
But last week it came back in a rush. Because yes, we were in Breckenridge with my Auntie Cate and Uncle Jack, lovely people: kind, playful, complimentary, good at belly rubs. But they have a fatal flaw: they like riding the gondola up the mountain, as do Marianne and John. They were being sneaky and saying things like "Don't tell Jeb about the g-o-n-d-o-l-a." I admit I wasn't paying a lot of attention because I was so caught up in all the new smells (mountains are SPECTACULAR for smells!) So I was ignoring the chuckling humans, to tell you the truth.
As soon as I saw the contraption I remembered Rocket saying "DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, DO NOT GET ON THE GONDOLA!" and I realized the horror of what was about to happen. I planted my feet and froze.
"Come on, Jeb!" said Marianne. "Look, I have your favorite cookies!" She hopped on the moving box. "Let's go!"
She hopped off.
Soon I had four humans cajoling, sweet-talking, holding out cookies, gently tugging on my leash and telling me how fun this would be.
Other humans were smiling at me as they stepped on the moving boxes, saying laughable things like "Good boy, come on! It's OK!"
IT'S NOT OK. A moving box hanging from a tiny cable swaying in midair is never "OK." Stupid humans.
"Look Jeb, there are other dogs getting on it!" Marianne said. She pointed to a few local dogs who trotted on like it was no big deal. Hmmmm, I thought. Maybe it won't be so bad. Then I watched the gondola as it swayed up the mountain and shuddered. Nope, it was going to be bad.
Of course you know how this ends. But I'm proud to say it took all four of my humans to finally coax me onto the gondola, and I didn't even enjoy the cookies they fed me. Didn't stop me from eating them of course, but I might as well have been eating sand. The ride was every bit as horrible as Rocket said. Flying high above the trees, swaying gently in the breeze, I was overcome with wooziness and lay on the floor with my paws over my eyes.
"Oh Jeb, I'm sorry," Marianne said. "You are usually so relaxed about everything we do together, I thought this would be all right. I promise we will never do this again."
Bet your sweet bippy we won't, I thought grimly to myself. To my vast and utter relief we got off the gondola at the top of the mountain and walked around for a bit. But then they wanted to GET ON THE DRATTED THING AGAIN!
"Jeb, it's the only way back down the mountain," John said. "Come on."
"It is NOT the only way down the mountain," I snapped. "We have feet, we can walk." I planted my bottom firmly on the ground and dug in my toenails. (Fun physics fact: A 75 pound dog can weigh 300 pounds when being made to get on a gondola.)
"It's a very long way down and Jack has a broken foot so he can't walk that far," Marianne wheedled. "Pretty please, Jeb?"
"Fine," I snarled, and let them push me on, but I gritted my teeth the entire way down the mountain. I refused to look at any of them, grudgingly gulped down the proffered cookies, closed my eyes and moaned.
"LetItBeOver LetItBeOver LetItBeOver," I prayed until I felt the bump that meant we had landed. Taking no chances that these foolish people wanted to stay on it for another trip up the mountain, I hurled myself out the open door, dragging Marianne along with me.
Since then I have heard numerous apologies and assurances that we won't do that again. Darned tootin' we won't. And I plan to warn the next puppy, just like Rocket warned me. But this time, I'm gonna make sure he's paying attention.
Chow for now from good old Terra Firma!