Saturday, August 17, 2013

Happy: It's All About Me!

Hi!... I'm Happy... I'm always Happy... Today I'm happy because it's all about me!

Macgellan and I just did a presentation at YTI -- York Technical Institute -- that rocked!

I was a little freaked out by hearing his voice sounding so loud and coming from big black boxes that were everywhere, but a really nice lady was super sweet to me and I got over it.

I still don't do so well with applause, but since I think it means Macgellan has done something good I'll learn to live with it!

Whenever we've done presentations before, Macgellan has talked about dogs but not so much about me in particular.

I've heard him say my name a few times, but all I've ever seen on the screen have been photos of my former SPKennel pack mates.

This time, he talked almost the whole time about me... It really was all about me!

When his talk was over, practically everybody wanted to take a photo with me. (We celebrities call that a "photo-op" in case you didn't know!) We also gave out a bunch of my really cool stuff: My souvenir cards, my collector's postcards and even my official fan wristbands!

I don't want you to think all my celebrity status has gone to my head, because there really isn't room in my head for much besides what little is already there. But, a girl likes to feel special and be the center of attention, right?

Macgellan says we've got more "gigs" coming up soon... So stay tuned!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Pony Express II: Record-Breaking Return!

I pulled out of North Platte, NE, yesterday morning at 8am and arrived back at my camper in PA just before 7pm this evening. Allowing for time zones, that's a total time of only 33 hours!

The actual driving time was about 26 hours, with the remaining 7 hours taken up by five stops for gas/comfort/food and a 3 hour nap. Was I cruising, or what?!?

I've travelled the route so many times now that I wasn't really motivated to take any photos. Except this one, an homage to Happy The Sled Dog who has easily earned the title of "Best Travel Dog Ever!" Honestly, folks, she slept for at least 30 of the 33 hours!

The Pony Express II has been a complete, flawless success. My thanks to Sam and Kelsie for their outstanding partnership on both high-quality expeditions... You rock!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Pony Express II: Second Stint Recap

Our second stint on the Pony Express II was flawless! We left the Missouri horse barn at 3pm yesterday, drove an almost exact 4/1 run/rest schedule, and pulled into Fort Collins, CO, at 7am.

Our first stop was at a service plaza on the Kansas Turnpike where everyone -- equine, canine and human -- had a nice walk about and a big meal. Slammer did extremely well on the road, and Happy was voted best travel dog ever! (The humans performed their roles well, too.)

In FoCo, it was smiles all around as Slammer explored his new home, with much "talking" to his new neighbors. After unloading all the gear, it was time to take the trailer for a power wash!

After all the chores were done, it was time for a celebratory breakfast of champions at Denny's!

Kelsie and Sam headed to their homes and jobs, so I hit the road again to get a jump on my return trip. This afternoon I whacked 250 miles off the 1,650 total, and have stopped for the night in North Platte, NE. I have repositioned Happy to the front passenger seat as is her due, and we will have a couple of long road days together en route back to PA... Stay tuned!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Pony Express II: Horse Barn Overnight

Our plan for the Pony Express includes an overnight stop at about the half-way point, in Wright City just west of St. Louis.

We stay at Rocking E Ranch which offers excellent horse and human accommodations.

The stop is mostly to give Slammer a good night's barn rest and the chance to stretch out and run around in a nice large pasture.

A great night's sleep and hearty breakfast is also very much appreciated by the rest of us!

During our morning walk, I took this team photo... and got a couple of sweet candids!

Slammer is a character, and I'm told he likes to smell a human's breath.

Sam gave Happy some reassurance that she is at least as well-loved as the horse!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Pony Express II: First Stint Recap

Like clockwork, Sam and Kelsie had the horse trailer outfitted and Slammer loaded aboard for our departure last night at exactly the planned time of 9pm.

We pulled into the horse barn B&B west of St. Louis at 3pm today, capping off a perfect 18 hour first stint on the Pony Express II.

In between, our expedition was almost exactly like last year's:

Our basic system was to drive 2-3 hours and stop for human comfort and to check on Slammer, then drive another 2-3 hours and stop to let Slammer out for exercise, put fuel in the truck as well as human purposes.

At every stop, Slammer at least got his door opened so he could look around. He traveled very well, and even seemed to be having a good time being the star of the show!

At our stop this morning, Slammer took the opportunity to decorate the parking lot. As always, Kelsie and Sam were quick to clean up, and we left every stop looking like it did when we arrived.

Happy was a perfect traveling companion as usual, spending almost all the time curled up and asleep. She took care of business during some of our stops, but mostly just partnered up with whoever was in the back seat for sleep. Is this the sweetest photo of the first stint? I think so!