Sunday, November 18, 2018

Maryland Rocks: Part 7- The Dog and the Great Debate

Sometimes I find myself in the strangest of situations, like this one. It started with a bit of a let-down. We had marched into Harper's Ferry for a shower and a resupply. I had imagined an old town, some two-story 1920's hotel with stairs but no elevator, and a nearby tavern where we'd get beer and fish 'n chips...nope it was nothing like that at all, and truthfully, I had been warned by other hikers. My first inkling that things were less-than was when I saw the sign for a bakery shop as we weaved through the well-dressed tourists in the street. It turned out the sign was just a prop, and none of the storefronts were anything except props. I then found that our hotel, which had been highly recommended by our shuttle driver, was far from us, but close to where she worked...leading me to believe that we were helping a relative of hers out more than we doing ourselves a favor. Our hotel, appeared to be just like every other roadside hotel in the world, a free-standing cookie-cutter building, right next to a busy highway, and nowhere near any kind of restaurant...that is not usually a big deal, unless you're walking...and we had already put in over 14 miles that day and 3 of those miles were just to get to the hotel from town.
So it was, that as we were checking in, and asking about food, we met another guest of the hotel that claimed to be an avid backpacker and was willing to drive us to a good place to eat. Little did I know, that was to be one of the more adventurous parts of the trip.
The first thing I learned about our 40-something new friend was that she had this awesome 'service' dog. His job was to smell her food because she had severe food allergies. I cannot say that I saw any evidence of this dog having superior skills at this, but he did have supreme skills at making friends. He was my backseat buddy in our new friend's Prius, and it appeared that no one ever paid enough attention to him, and I was there to make up for it. I missed having a big dog, and the little purse-dogs we have at home now do little for my desire to have an animal that could save me from a bear, or the mean old lady that lives next door.
There is something about a person that loves animals like I do, that when you meet  a dog like my brother-in-law's....a dog that likes everybody but me. No matter how friendly I am, he growls and barks at me like, "You may have everyone else fooled, but not me!". So, it was really special when our new friend had the exact same breed of dog as my brother-in-laws (a Golden Doodle), and I was his new best friend in the world. I had 80 pounds of dog all over me during the car ride through town and back. And I loved it.
At the same time the dog and I were making friends, Paul was in the front seat and they were having an animated conversation, discovering that they had something in common...politics. By 'in common' I mean he is a well-meaning Trumpster and she is a Sierra-Club, Prius-driving, far left winger as you could get. Although it wasn't long before I began to understand just how much she loved to exaggerate, I believed that she had been to a few rallies. If I had know how dinner was going to go...I might have walked to 7-11 for a slice of pizza instead...

No comments:

Post a Comment