Seventy-four (74) days into 2016 and I have spent sixty-nine (69 .. yeah, baby) of those nights in a hotel. We aren’t even through the 1st Quarter and I am nearly a third of the way to last year’s insane 210 hotel night year. While I am the one that complains about so much time in a hotel room, the main question I get about this experience is:
“How’s Auggie doing?”
First of all … thanks for you concern … about me. Yes yes, it’s good that you are concerned about my dog, but … yeah … way to be thoughtful about my feelings and not my fuzzy little sidekick.
And people wonder why I call him the worst wingman ever.
To answer your question – he basically is doing alright; could be worse, could be much better, but he’s doing alright.
Auggie’s life is a pretty set routine. We wake up, we go out so he can do his business, we come in, he ignores his breakfast, begs for some cheese, then annoys me while I am in the shower. He’s in his crate in the hotel during the day, and when I get home we go out for a little walkies. Dinner is served, eaten sometimes, but served regardless. If I head out to do something that night, he goes back into the crate. If not, then there is a bunch of other stuff we do — either he and I play a game of ‘how to get daddy to scratch my belly, then how do I make him stop’; or someone gets to chew on a bone for a while; or someone begs for cheese; or we just chillax. Bed time means he crawls in next to me, then hogs the bed.
There’s bonus days, and he gets to know when these are. Tuesdays, the hotel usually grills up something (hamburger, chicken breast, bratwurst, hot dogs, etc), and I always bring one back for him. Weekends when we are at the hotel, I go down to the lobby for breakfast and bring him back some sausage patties — he goes nuts for them (I don’t, because it gives him gas, but what doesn’t). While I don’t take him with me to work, like I did a fair bit of the time on last year’s California project; I do take him with me when I taking a drive or heading somewhere that he won’t be in the car alone for hours at a time.
If anything, the applecart was upset yesterday — due to renovations at our hotel, I had to switch rooms into one of the newly renovated rooms. While it’s nearly the same room, it’s still different, and that means things are different. We are keeping the same routine, but with places to hang moved around, he has to adjust again. But that’s what he has been doing. After spending the first two years of his life in the same house and the same backyard – he hasn’t spent more than a couple days in any one place except for these long run stays at hotels. All we have is each other, our car, and a routine to keep things normal.
Truth is, what he is getting the most of is routine. While for most of us, living in a hotel wouldn’t seem like ‘routine’, but when you see the world through a dog’s eyes you realize that routine is a lot simpler. If he is in the same place doing the same things every day, he is in a routine. When a dog can find a routine, it gets comfortable, it continues on, it abides.
The downside of this is that he doesn’t get a lot of socializing, something I wasn’t the best with him as a pup either. His breed is not good at socializing to begin with, while he is great with other people (if not overly excited around them), he can elevate tempers in other dogs – and he is better at winning fights than most. It’s something I need to address, but is part of the issues this life we lead is something that needs to change. In the meantime, I have to continue on as well, and wait for that chance I can completely abide.
We probably have another three weeks or so left in California, with the end date not set in stone yet. When we do, it will be a slow journey back to the east coast, with expected visits to plants in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and possibly South Carolina. That could be a challenge for him because routines get thrown out the window, and everything is different every day. But its something he has gone through before.
That and I’m there too (in case you forgot about me … again). I try to be his calming influence, the one thing normal. If I do that right, then the little dude abides.