The Squeaky Green Frog
I may live to regret bringing a squeaky green frog for the new puppy. It's lime green and rubbery. It's his first new toy of his very own. He's been finding old dog toys and pulling them out since he came to live with me yesterday evening.
I've had a new puppy before. I am an adult. I thought I knew what I was doing, and I still think that "Johnny Champagne" will be my loyal friend for a long time, once we agree on a few house rules. He's 8 weeks old now, being born May 13, 2012. He's a full-blooded and registered (papers are in the mail) champagne white colored Labrador Retriever. He has a face you can't help but love. What eyes, what a nose, and those floppy ears make him the perfect picture postcard pup.
"Johnny Champagne" is my first registered dog, and I got a male on purpose. He's such a beautiful white-ish color--more than blonde. He's got to weigh more than twenty pounds at this point, he's all muscle, and all dog. I'm exhausted trying to keep up with him. It's only been one day. He's adorable on four feet with a good helping of devilment. We're working on it.
"Johnny" arrived at DFW airport yesterday afternoon, about 2:00 pm, having been dropped off at the Mosinee, Wisconsin airport at 5:00 am. The pup's day had begun in Marshfield, Wisconsin, where he said good-bye to his folks and littermates, and settled into his own new carrying crate (and shipping crate). He left his family and littermates earlier that morning for a drive to the airport at Mosinee, Wisconsin.
I had never participated in a new dog-shipping and receiving situation. I knew someone who had received his Briard In Corpus Christi, and the dog originated somewhere in California. The shippers and airport people involved know what they're doing. When I finally located my dog in the universe known as DFW Airport, he was happy, rested, and in great spirits. There was a man and two little girls waiting in the area, hanging on to dog leashes, and I suspect they were there to pick up the dog they said had been waiting in the cargo area with my pup. From this experience, air/animal cargo is a very good way to handle transportation between long distances. His actual flight time was just over two hours, for the 885 mile trip to Dallas.
The ordeal my friends and I went through was another matter all together. I first left my home to drive to get him at the DFW Airport at 1:40 in the afternoon. I drove my truck to my friend's house so she could drive. I trusted her driving, and she'd been driving in the area since the old Cowboys' Stadium disappered, which I hadn't. I got to sight-see, and later on I was able to use my laptop to try to track down some informational assistance. Lisa's daughter, her boyfriend, and the 13 year old little brother were in the back seat of the truck. I hadn't expected the boyfriend, but it ended up that he had the pair of eyes that finally spotted the Delta cargo area.
Lisa drove directly to the airport from her house, following a few lane and freeway changes along the way, as well as some of those really elevated curvy lanes that send you around another direction after giving you a view of the area. We agreed that those things are scary to drive on.
"Do we want the South entrance or the North entrance?" Lisa inquired as the green signs went by.
I had no idea. The only info I had was flight #4129. Even before I left the house, I had thought that wasn't enough info. That was all the e-mail said about his DFW arrival. I trust in God and he looks out after His foolish ones. He was with us, but we were lost for hour, four hours, making a huge circle through terminal C, then terminal D, around the very south end of the airport, and Lisa turned around for us to start out with a more north starting point, At least she realized some sense of direction, and she wasn't going to give up. I'd given up at least five times.
At 2:45 we were nowhere near finding the place. Lisa had two appointments she needed to make, or call in excuses for, and she didn't have the phone numbers. I started just out of bed, no breakfast, and I hadn't taken my daily meds. My back hurt. So we went back home and started over again. Perhaps it was a hassle, but things worked out on our second DFW airport attack.
Lisa and the kids dropped me off, and ran by their house and the grocery store. I took my meds, drank a soda and stretched out, then I tried to contact Delta Airlines to gey word that I was coming to get my dog, wherever he was.
I called an 800 number to contact Delta Airlines, and I attacked the situation the wrong way the first time. I gave the wrong information first. There was a wait time of 0 - 13 minutes, then a customer service rep came on the phone.
":Yes, could you help me please? Somewhere at DFW Airport O have a new puppy that I can't find . . . Hello. Hello? Is anyone there?" There was no one on the line.
I cussed, then I laughed. She thought I was joking, or she wasn't getting involved. I called back again. I selected option 3 so that my phone would ring when they were ready to talk to me, and I wouldn't lose my place in line. About ten minutes passed and the phone rang.
"Can you tell me where Delta Flight #5635 arrived at DFW this afternoon?" She gave me the terminal and gate number, and then I told her the story. She wished me well.
I fixed my hair and makeup before we left the second time. With a half a sandwich in my belly, I was ready to find my dog.
I had been on the computer our first trip, but the kids started saying they thought we weren't where we'd been before. There were a bunch of "I don't recognize that," and I asked Guerto to find my Mapso 2010 in the back pocket of the seat. We overshot. Right road, but we went to Hearst, then Euless, and then almost Bedford before we did a u-turn. We were all out for a drive anyhow, but we spent many hours sitting in the truck. We were almost to Fort Worth, and it was almost 5:00 pm. Traffic was starting to gridlock, for miles, both directions.
Lisa was thinking ahead, or just thinking--I don't think about food if I'm busy. We all had sandwiches and a soda, and the back seat got a good nap until they needed to give their Mom directions. My medicine was kicking in, so when Lisa drove to an entry door, I hopped out and went asking for help. That was the second time somebody nice and helpful tried to help me. This gray headed woman at the info counter was sure she could do something to help me find my puppy. She took me inside a glass office to a man in a tie in front of a computer. He checked out the situation. There was no flight #4129, and that was all the owner had told me.
Another loop around, and I found their cell phone number in one of our many e-mails.
Help...." I don't know how much of the story I got out. He wife who had e-mailed me had answered her cell phone.
"Let me have you speak to my husband," Jodi said as she put the situation together with my name.
"The flight number was #5635 on Delta," Duane said, as if this information were old news. I thanked him, and ended the long distance conversation on the truck phone. It was an emergency use. We didn't even have the flight number right. We never would have found him without more information from them.
We had to leave the terminal area where people arrive and find the cargo area which is a distance away, not direct, and not sufficiently marked. I thought the inside of the truck was going to come to blows over not finding a way to the service road, which we had to get on to enter the direction of the few cargo signs. Cargo was definitely that a way. We couldn't get there using the roads.
When you enter DFW with your vehicle, you show your toll tag, or get a ticket to pay when you leave. The airport is a big, huge, circular driving area with five passenger terminals, parking lots from $8 to $19, and some close-in short term parking that didn't cost anything, a couple of times.
Lisa backed my truck perfectly into a parking space next to a concerete wall. I encouraged her, but I didn't look. A truck with a back seat and a bed is a lot of vehicle to maneuver. She did a fine job. I was glad I had taken my medication for anxiety when I visited back at home that afternoon. My medication makes a difference.
"Just drive over the grass Mom," Alicia encouraged her mother to end exasperation.
"Patti says don't drive over the grass. This truck stays on the road, y'all." I just needed to put my foot down once. We had been driving in these big airport circles for four hours at least by now.
Michael had the opportunity to say, "I told you so," about where Delta cargo pickup actually was. He didn't rub it in, but I was glad for his eyesight. We needed all five sets of eyes. Finally we drove up and parked at the building that said Delta Cargo, in big blue letters
Getting "Johnny" in his crate over the counter was no problem when I went to the right man in the right building at the right counter. I signed some papers, showed my ID, and walked through a door to the back storage area. The doors were open, hangar doors, and a cool breeze swept through. An airplane could've fit in there. There was lots of empty space.
I walked through two doors with "Johnny" in his cage, then Guerto helped me let the cute white bundle of muscles out for an opportunity in the grass. He accepted the opportunity of a drink on the ride home. "Johnny" fell asleep on a towel on Alicia's lap, who also fell asleep. We had a trying afternoon aqnd everyone was tired. We were all out of our usual boring daily routine.
I dropped my able helpers' at their house, and drove home and parked the truck, then"Johnny" took his first steps into my home.
"Shadow," the German Shepherd, just looked at him. She stood neutral. "Johnny" followed me in gingerly.
"Vanilla," the mother of the five kittens in the house, and best friend of "Shadow", took a crouching posture in front of this new white threat (she figured), began to growl, then slapped "Johnny" across the face so hard that I felt it.
He cried, and I picked him up and loved on him until he got over it. It's just the Mama kitty he has to watch out for her five kittens. Around midnight, last night, "Johnny" decided kittens were for barking at. I've always cherished my sleep. Something woke me every hour during the night. Eventually, "Johnny" fell asleep on the cool tile of the bathroom floor, and he pounded of to the land of puppy dreams. I think the sun was beginning to rise then, and I finally got to sleep too.
I didn't wake up until 2:00, and I felt like I'd been run over by a freight train. My body hurt all over, and "Johnny" was all ready to go. Actually, he already went--twice....
When I returned from my first outing away from "Johnny," he seemed to have spent his time sleeping. He didn't destroy anything. I cut off the tag and gifted him his rubber squeaky frog.
It fell on the floor, and he bit it lightly, bringout out a little squeak. Three bites later, he had it squeaking good and loud. Fun, but this toy is getting put up before we go to bed. I want more sleep tonight, and I think "Johnny" needs a good rest too.