Backstory: Ace was in serious need of bath — has been for a couple of months now — so we popped into a self-service dog wash in Winston-Salem. That’s where we met Moses, looking every bit as full of wisdom as his namesake.
Moses weighs 150 pounds, according to his owner, Jennifer. She’d already washed Moses’ sister (though not by birth), a Samoyed, who waited patiently, barking from time to time, as her human completed the far bigger job.
Jennifer, like me, had some trouble with the token machine, which was not taking credit cards, as it usually does. She had to pack both dogs up — the wet one and the dry one — and drive to the bank and come back. I used up all $10 of tokens wetting Ace down and applying shampoo. He waited, all lathered up, while I tried my last $5 bill in the machine. It didn’t like it. So I had to go next door to a dry cleaners to break a $20. Final cost, counting the dryer: $20. Lesson learned: Get all your tokens beforehand.
Ace was cooperative, until I tried the blow dryer on him. He squirmed, but put up with that. It’s a pretty handy way to wash a dog — and with Ace’s recent mystery back and leg issues, I didn’t want to put him in the slippery bathtub at home. At the dog wash, I just walked him up the ramp, into the giant tub with a rubberized bottom, then washed, rinsed, conditioned and rinsed — all with the nozzle provided.
Moses was even more patient than Ace. He seemed a very mellow dog, sitting perfectly still until his owner was done. Then he decided he needed to shake. A wet otterhound, when he shakes, really parts the water, or I guess, technically, the water parts him. It went everywhere.
(Roadside Encounters are a regular feature of Travels with Ace. To see them all, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, bath, breeds, dog wash, dogs, encounters, go dog wash, moses, otterhound, pets, photography, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, travels with ace
Age: Getting up there
Breed: Everyday Christian
Encountered: At a street concert in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C.
He wore sleeveless white t-shirt, white shorts and a white cap.
After petting Ace for a while, Clyde told me he’d recently gotten over prostate cancer, and that he wishes he had a dog.
Only one breed will do, he said, a cocker spaniel. He had one before. He has dropped by the local humane society, but hasn’t had any luck finding one so far.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, concert, dogs, encounters, north carolina, people, pets, photography, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, trade street, travel, travels with ace, winston-salem
Names: Gracie and Chloe
Age: 4 years old
Breed: Golden retrievers
Backstory: Recent transplants from Florida, Gracie and Chloe are getting accustomed to Winston-Salem. They’re shown here walking with their owner, Terry. When he and his wife went to look at them and the rest of the litter, they disagreed on which one they wanted. He liked one of the lighter colored ones, while his wife preferred the darker.
And that’s why Terry walks two dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, breeds, chloe, dogs, encounters, golden retrievers, gracie, north carolina, pets, photography, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, silas creek trail, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, winston-salem
Encountered: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Backstory: Not long after moving into our new place, Ace and I ran into Butch, who lives around the corner.
He’s mostly blind, and mostly deaf, according to his owner, Martha. He has probably had some strokes, too. He tilts to the left when walks.
Martha still talks to Butch, even though he probably can’t hear her, and I did too when I took him for a walk last week, volunteering after I heard Martha had hurt her back.
Martha explained the basics to me — pull up on his leash to support him when he’s going up or down a curb, try not to let him walk into a telephone pole. But if he does, it’s no big deal. He’s a resilient little fellow who has gotten good at absorbing the bumps life brings our way.
Butch doesn’t go that far on his walks, and lets you know when he has had enough by sitting down and refusing to budge. But he didn’t seem to tire out on his walk with Ace, following him through the grass and sometimes winding underneath him through his legs. Ace, who seems to be able to sense old age and fragility in his fellow dogs, didn’t step on him once.
The next day, when we walked by Martha’s house, Ace tried pulling me in the direction of her door, then stopped and stared at it when it became clear we were passing it by, as if to say, “Wait a minute. What about Butch?”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 31st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, breeds, butch, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, encounters, north carolina, pets, pug, pugs, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, travels with ace
Breed: Boston terrier
Age: 14 years
Encountered: At Heart of Gold, a jewelry store in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Backstory: Ace and I were sitting outside a coffee shop when suddenly I felt my seat start moving. I’d looped Ace’s leash over the back of my chair, and he moved it a full inch before I turned around to see what he was trying to get to.
It was a Boston terrier. She did her business in the pine needles and disappeared as quickly as she had appeared.
Despite the situation, she was happy to talk about her greying old dog, Betty, who comes to work with her every day.
She got Betty as a pup in Florida, part of a litter sired by a pedigreed Boston terrier who went by the name Willie B. Cute.
Betty’s owner, who’s moving to Texas after the shop gets packed up, happily agreed to me taking Betty’s picture, but — not wanting to be in any pictures herself — handed the dog off to her employee.
The result was a photo that captured — if I do say so myself — both the quiet dignity of old age and the joyful energy of youth.
After our quick photo session, Betty, who’s going deaf, was returned to the floor, where she immediately began scooting her butt across the carpet. She was scolded only mildly and continued scooting. That’s one of the things that comes with the dignity of old age — when you have an itch, you scratch it.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: age, animals, betty, boston terrier, boston terriers, breeds, closing, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, economy, encounters, gold, heart of gold, jewelry, north carolina, pets, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, travels with ace, winston-salem, youth
Breed: German shepherd
Encountered: On I-40, then at a liquor store parking lot in Maumelle, Arkansas.
Backstory: When a pickup truck was passing me on Interstate 40 in Arkansas, I did that quick little sideways look we all do — or at least I do. I’m not sure why I do that. Is it to see if it, against all odds, it might be someone I know? Is it in hopes of making a love connection, or at least some eye contact to break up the interstate monotony? Maybe it’s just to check and see if that person is giving me the sideways look.
In this case, the eyes that looked back at me were those of a German shepherd, sitting in the passenger seat. When the pickup he was in pulled off at the next exit, I followed, all the way to a liquor store, where, in the parking lot, I parked alongside it and asked the driver if I could take a picture of his dog.
Underdog’s owner, who appeared to be on a run to secure some New Year’s Eve essentials, runs his own company, called, according to the side of the trailer his truck pulled, Leaf Removal & More. He used to live in Little Rock, but recently moved to nearby Conway.
“I got me a house by the lake,” he said. “I’m happy there.”
Happy New Year to Underdog, and all underdogs everywhere.
To see all of our Roadside Encounters, click here.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, breeds, cars, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, driver, encounter, encounters, german shepherd, i-40, interstate, look, maumelle, passenger, passing car, pets, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, sideways glance, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, underdog, underdogs
Names: Buddy Holly (named after the performer) and Peggy Sue (the fawn-colored one, named after Holly’s hit song)
Ages: Buddy is 3; pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue is 4
Encountered: At what’s billed as the largest free-standing cross in America, located near Interstate 40 in Groom, Texas.
Backstory: The two pugs, and the couple who owns them, were headed home to Hobart, Oklahoma after a Christmas visit to Arizona.
The owners of the pampered pugs planned a stop at the cross, which is 19 stories tall and, in the flatlands of the Texas panhandle, visible from 20 miles away.
They were big fans of God, Buddy Holly, pugs and, judging from their racing jackets, NASCAR.
Buddy Holly and Peggy Sue enjoyed a long potty stop on the periphery of the property, then jumped back in the car while their owners went to see the church and gift shop.
To see all our Roadside Encounters, click here.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, black, breed, breeds, buddy holly, church, cross, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, encounters, fawn, god, groom, largest, nascar, panhandle, peggy sue, pets, pug, pugs, road trip, roadside, roadside encounter, texas, traveling, traveling with dogs, travels with ace
Breed: Saint Bernard
Encountered: At a rest area in western Montana, just a couple of miles before the Idaho state line.
Backstory: Charlie, a female with a sweet disposition, was headed back home to Seattle from a road trip to Wisconsin. She lumbered out of the car to meet Ace, but Ace was more interested in the treats her owner — a former Baltimore resident — had in her pocket. Ace and Charlie stared at each other, sniffed, and munched some more treats together before doing their business and climbing back into their respective cars and rolling through Idaho.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 8th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, charlie, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, encounter, encounters, idaho, montana, pets, rest area, road trip, roadside, roadside encounters, saint bernard, st. bernard, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace
Breed: Landseer Newfoundland
Age: 19 months
Encountered: Along the pier in Provincetown, Mass.
Backstory: We ran into Finley (and a couple of hundred other dogs) during our weekend in Provincetown. He was lounging on the pier, sitting with his owner next to one of many artist kiosk’s that, along with whale watching charters, line the dock. Finley’s owner says, like most Newfoundlands, Finley loves the water — whether he’s playing in the surf, swimming or on a boat. Finley — lucky dog — lives in Provincetown year-round.
(To see all of our Roadside Encounters, visit “Travels with Ace.”)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 28th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cape cod, dock, dockside, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, encounter, encounters, finley, landseer, large dogs, massachusetts, newfoundland, pets, pier, provincetown, roadside, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, water
Names: Truman and Duke
Breeds: Duke’s a black German shepherd, Truman’s a Rottweiler mix
Ages: Duke is going on 9, Truman’s 3
Encountered: At the Dunes’ Edge Campground in Provincetown, Mass.
Backstory: A woman named Eileen from Tennessee pulled into the campsite adjoining mine in a cute little Coach House motorhome — just like the one I’ve been coveting. I stepped out of my tent, put my RVNV aside and went over to meet the two dogs traveling with her. Truman’s a bundle of energy, Duke (named after the school that Eileen attended) a bit more mature. Both were as friendly as they can be. Eileen was, too, offering me some of the chocolate tart she picked up at a bakery down the road. She bought the motorhome and started traveling after the death of her husband. She was gradually making her way back home to Seiverville, Tenn., after a trip to Canada and other points.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, black german shepherd, campground, camping, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, duke, encounters, german shepherd, mass, mix, pets, provincetown, roadside, roadside encounters, rottweiler, rv, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, truman