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A few weeks ago we visited my mom for the weekend, and brought along Tessie, our one year old dog. I’m sure she enjoyed being with us, but she was extra hyper the entire visit, never stopped panting, and couldn’t seem to get relaxed. As soon as we got home, she splayed out in the middle of the floor as if to say, “It’s good to be home.”

This past weekend we took a longer trip to visit friends. We were in the car for 7 hours in each direction, and spent 3 nights away. In addition to the 5 kids in their family, our friends also have 2 cats (which Tessie has not had much experience with) and 2 dogs – one about Tessie’s age, and another older dog. They’d all met before, but it’s been nearly 8 months. Tessie and the other dog her age had an absolute blast playing with each other, and she was put in her place a few times by the cats. Good times were had by all, pooch and person alike.

Tessie is a bit of a high maintenance dog. She is still in the throes of puppyhood, which has overstayed its welcome just a bit in my book. I have lost count of the number of socks, underwear, shoes, bathing suits, stuffed animals and books I’ve thrown away since we got her. She is definitely a chewer. I also keep a baby gate at the foot of the stairs to prevent her from going upstairs if we are not with her because of that chewing, and I have yet to leave her uncrated in the house alone. House training is going well…..except for a few notable exceptions. She’s over a year old now, so I’m expecting this to be done. Also, she does not consistently make it through the night without having to go out. Which means I am frequently taking her out at whatever time she starts to whine and scratch.

All that said, we left all the animals with my friends’ teenagers and her mother while we all went to another friend’s house for the night. We came back the next day to reports that Tessie had had diarrhea all over the carpet at 4:00 in the morning (the mother had fed her some different food!).  I got all that as we pulled into the driveway, one eye on the dog who proceeded to poop out liquid in 3 different spots on the yard. And then roll in it. Although I didn’t see her roll in it – I found out when she ran up to me for a pat and my hand stunk afterwards. I am thankful to my friend’s 17 year old son who graciously gave her a bath. And paid for it by Tessie wanting nothing to do with him the rest of the visit!

That evening we all went out to dinner and left the dogs home. It was the first time leaving Tessie uncrated, but I figured since she was with the other dogs maybe she’d be OK. Also, one of my friends’ sons was staying home, but he was pretty much in a computer game trance, and I knew better than to expect much pet care from him. Well, uh, we came back to diarrhea in one of the bedrooms and the living room, and a pee spot next to the couch. I can’t really blame the poor dog for the diarrhea, but the pee has me more than a little frustrated. We really were not gone that long, and I had taken her out just before we left.

We had an all day drive back home yesterday. After throwing up once after we got home (I’ve now determined she gets car sick), Tessie is relaxed.

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She is home.

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