Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Xingxing Hits the Road Again

Our Australian friend Christopher recently paid us a visit.
While he was here, he said he'd like to visit Roswell, Santa Fe and Acoma, all of which are in New Mexico.  So last Saturday we hit the road. Although Xingxing has done one-day car trips -- to Mexico and to San Diego -- he has never actually done a road trip.  And sometimes, he does get car sick.  This is happening less and less as he gets older, but I truly didn't know how he'd handle having to get back into the car and travel for several hours at a stretch, day after day.  I also wondered how he'd feel about having someone else in the car with us, sitting in his seat. However, there was only one way to find out.
Our first day's drive was the longest, from Scottsdale to Las Cruces, New Mexico.  This is a good, solid six-hour drive at the best of times, about the same as amount of driving that it takes to get from here to San Diego. We got a late start and ended up stopping for lunch in Tucson, which made the trip even longer.  Xingxing didn't have lunch (he never does) but he did have a few nibbles of bread and butter, which he absolutely loves.  He also had a drink of water.
This -- I realized after the fact -- probably wasn't the greatest of ideas. But Xingxing was amazingly, incredibly good.  I'd put a little doggy bed in the back seat, and when he wasn't curled up in it he was sitting on Christopher's lap, having a cuddle.  Here in Arizona, it is against the law to drive with a dog sitting on your lap, so simultaneous driving and snuggling was a new experience for him.  He definitely liked it. AndChristopher is a dog person who quite enjoys dog kisses, so everyone was having fun.
Even so, that first day was a long drive.  At dusk, it began to drizzle.  I don't see very well at night, so Christopher took over the driving for the last stretch.  Coming into Las Cruces, there was roadwork, as well.  Really poorly lit roadwork. The last little bit off the exit ramp was like an obstacle course.
By the time we got to the motel it was two hours past Xingxing's usual dinner time -- and he'd missed his afternoon walk.  (It was also an hour later, because Arizona doesn't have Daylight Savings Time and New Mexico does -- but dogs don't have to worry about these human-made technicalities)
Xingxing was unfazed by any of it. He ate his dinner, drank some water, had his walk, did what dogs do, curled up in bed next to me and went happily off to sleep.

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