September 6, 2012
Yo ho from Breckenridge, Colorado. Mountains. Shops and restaurants. Lots of dogs (mostly Huskies and Malamutes -- don't know why). Fair number of foxes. No moose or bears - so far.
So we're on vacation with my Auntie Cate and Uncle Jack. It's been a fun week, but I have to confess that I sent out an SOS earlier in the week, asking someone (anyone!) from the Denver Village to come rescue me. Fortunately, the humans came to their senses and I decided to stay here. But it was touch and go on Monday.
We got here late Friday. Saturday we wandered around downtown and watched duck races. I was pretty jazzed until I realized we were watching fake ducks. Where's the fun in that, I ask you? But it's some kind of big deal annual fundraiser here and the humans seemed amused. Whatever. We didn't win anything -- apparently we put our money on slow fake ducks.
On Sunday we went to an outdoor art show. Marianne sternly reminded me to keep my tail in check around delicate breakable art. HA. Turns out I was the least of her worries. There we were, walking around the booths admiring the art, me and my tail behaving ourselves, when John exclaimed WHOA! and a huge gust of wind came through. All the humans were yelling and a big white tent went flying overhead. I watched in fascination wondering where it would land. Auntie Cate had the presence of mind to take pictures, which she sent to 7News. Click here for the exciting story. Anyhow, the humans were fairly freaked out, but I was cool. I'm not afraid of a little wind, for dogness sake.
But MONDAY, oh Dog, MONDAY. Marianne told me we were going to ride a gondola. Silly me, I though it was the name of a kind of car, but no, it's a glass box that floats above the ground. And get this: you have to get on it WHILE IT'S MOVING.
"Rocket, let's go!" Marianne said as she stepped inside the box which slowly moved sideways.
Nu-uh, nothing doing. I dug in my heels. She tugged on the leash. "Come on, Rocket!" said Auntie Cate, stepping onto the gondola. NOPE. I stayed put, feet firmly planted.
Marianne and Cate got off the gondola. "Rocket, it's like an elevator," Marianne said. "You ride elevators all the time."
"It is NOT like an elevator," I argued. "Even the glass elevator at the mall stands still when we get on. I am not getting on a moving box. You are out of your mind."
Marianne blew out a sigh. "Please? We really want to ride this up the mountain. The views are gorgeous and it will be fun."
"How about a cookie? I might be able to do it if there's a cookie," I grumbled.
Marianne had the grace to look abashed. "Um, I forgot to put any cookies in my pocket this morning. I promise I will give you a cookie when we get back to the lodge, OK? Please try this. It would mean a lot to Cate and Jack."
I love Cate and Jack so she hit my weak spot. "FINE," I said, "But this better be worth it."
"Let's go!" Marianne jumped into the next gondola. As she tugged on my leash John pushed me from behind and whoosh! I was on the gondola! Cate and Jack jumped in and the gondola swayed; I felt the floor fall away. It gave me a very weird feeling in my stomach. I looked out the windows and saw nothing but space and the tops of trees.
"Oh, boy." I lay down and put my paws over my eyes. "You people are nuts."
They were ignoring me, snapping photos and exclaiming over the views.
"Dog down!" I whimpered. "Make the swaying stop."
Marianne reached down and patted my head. "It's OK, Rocket. It's perfectly safe. See how pretty it is? Look hard and maybe we'll see a moose."
"Look hard and maybe you'll see a dog faint," I retorted.
"Come on Rocket, you'll feel better if you sit next to me," Cate said, patting the seat beside her. I half-heartedly wagged my tail and clambered up. Marianne snapped my picture.
I gritted my teeth. "When is this over?"
"In a few minutes we'll get off," Jack promised. Sure enough, I could see solid ground up ahead. When the gondola landed and the doors opened I shot out, dragging Marianne behind me.
"Oh, thank Dog that's over! Whew. I thought we'd die for sure. Boy, solid ground never felt so good!" I babbled.
"Oops, we got off too soon," said Marianne. "Come on Rocket, we are getting on again." She started toward another gondola as it swung past.
I stared at her. "You must be joking. No."
"Hang on, Rocket," said John, and he scooped up my rear end and pushed me into the gondola as Cate and Jack followed. "HEY!" I protested.
"Sorry, Rocket, but we had to keep moving. You're fine," said John.
This time we were even higher in the air and the swaying seemed more pronounced. My stomach did a flip and I lay down. "Not fine," I moaned. "So not fine." The humans ignored me and looked out the windows.
After an eternity (which Marianne insists was about five minutes) we bumped to a landing. Once again I shot out the doors, dragging Marianne along. My stomach immediately felt better. We walked around a bit, then stopped to watch some people zooming down the mountain on sleds. "That looks like fun!" said Marianne.
"NOT," I countered.
Marianne patted my head. "We're not going to do that," she reassured me. I relaxed and enjoyed some attention from passersby. Much to my horror, however, we started walking toward the gondolas again.
"NO." I said. "NO WAY. NO HOW. NO." I dug every single toenail into the concrete. "By Dog, I am NOT getting on that thing again."
Marianne leaned down and whispered in my ear. "Rocket, we don't have any other way to get back down the mountain. I promise we will only get on the gondola one more time. PLEASE get on."
Cate leaned over and whispered in my other ear. "I'll give you a belly rub when we get home."
"A belly rub and TWO cookies?" I figured I might as well go for broke.
They laughed. "Yes, a belly rub and two cookies," Marianne promised.
I took a deep breath and turned to John. "OK, but you may have to push again."
"Here we go!" Marianne dove for the door and John gave me a shove from behind. I knew I was on the gondola because I got that funny feeling in my stomach, but this time I didn't open my eyes until I felt the gondola bump along the ground at the base of the mountain.
As promised I got two cookies and a belly rub when we got back to the lodge.
The rest of the week has been much more relaxing with daily "hikes" (apparently when you're in the mountains "walks" turn into "hikes") and shopping and meals out and rides on the shuttle bus. Much more ordinary stuff. Oh, and here's another cute trick: the humans got to go into the swimming pool but not me. Marianne tried to explain the difference between this pool and the pool I've been to that's just for dogs (something about dog hair; yeah right, like the humans don't shed!) And when I tried to sneak in and save John (He was splashing! I thought he needed saving) I was sharply corrected. Whatever.
But here's something John told me about Breckenridge: it seems that there's a big adaptive sports program here and if I graduate as a CCI service dog, I might be partnered with someone who comes to Breckenridge to ski. Someone, John told me, who might ride the gondolas. Oh, Dear Dog.
Chow for now!
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