Well .. We’re Here

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If there ever was an opportunity to be culture shocked – this is it. Gone are the big yards and views of the mountains; replaced with more concrete in a short distance from home then there was in the whole of south central Alaska. The only thing walking distance from my house in Anchorage was a walking trail that led to … Well a path to another trail. Now In a 2 block radius I have no less than 10 restaurants including 3 Irish Pubs – and if that wasn’t enough, the subway is right around the corner. One week ago, the pup and I were riding through the Alaskan wilderness to a town so homey that a cat is their mayor. Now we live in a city with more politicians than cats. When Auggie needed to do his business back in Anchorage, I would slide open a patio door and in seconds he was relieved. Now we have to get his harness on, ride the elevator, cross the street, and that’s just if he is happy with gravel – when he feels the need for grass it’s a 10 minute walk … We are learning to hold it more.
Culture shock or not, we are here in Boston. After a stressy week and a hurry up and wait last couple of days, we left Anchorage just after midnight Alaska time and the clock struck 5pm when wheels were on the ground in Boston. I was a stinky mess – over dressed, out of shape, and without a decent shower since Thursday I was as miserable after the flight as I have been in years.
Auggie was a different story.
Ever since I made I decided to fly down I was worried about his experience. He was too big for the human cabin and with a special reservation was set to ride in a crate on the same flights I was on. He was used to a metal kennel, but the crate was more enclosed and smaller than his doggie cave. So we spent two weeks getting used to it. I gave him a vet recommended sedative just before heading to the airport and he looked like a drunk sailor on the terminal’s tiled floors. We had to show a vet certificate of good health, and after a quick inspection of the crate he was cleared at ticketing. One nice thing Alaskan Airlines does is they have tags attached to the pet information so that when he was loaded onto the plane, they tore off that tag and gave it to the flight attendant to give to me, so I knew he was loaded. Other than that tag, I had no idea how he was doing but assumed the best.
So picture baggage claim. The ‘oversized baggage’ came out a large steel garage door and down a wide metal slide. My seat partner was just asking me how I will know where he will come down from. As soon as she said it, the door opened and two people on either side of the crate were lifting him onto the slide. My first view of him – he was wide awake, in his ‘kinda unsteady’ three point linebacker stance, looking straight at me through the door of the cage. Sure he seemed happy to see me, but he also looked genuinely excited by the new surroundings and people. He didn’t seemed anxious or traumatized; just ready for what was next.
Today it’s about watching a Packer game, getting groceries, and a good night sleep. Tomorrow is day 1 on the new job.
But for now we are here .. And we are ready.

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