Before long, that first evening at Mom’s house, Lindsay arrived, and Rugby was so very happy! He sure loves his girl! He was excited to see her familiar face, and was so pleased that His pack was together in this strange new house. We spent the evening looking at photos and sharing memories together. It was a fairly quiet, normal night for us, full of laughs and some tears, and Rugby took everything in stride and relaxed nicely.
When it was time to leave, we all agreed that Michael needed to stay at the house with Mom for the night, and Lindsay, Rugby and I headed back to the motel. When we got back to the motel, I was able to take off Rugby’s Thundershirt and harness and let him frisk around, which he happily did. He was so happy that Lindsay was there, and he had such a hard time trying to decide if he should snuggle with her on one bed, or with me on the other bed. He hopped back and forth, not wanting either one of us to be left out of snuggle opportunities! After a couple of tough days traveling with him, it was so nice to see him acting more like himself in this new place.
We hadn’t been in bed with lights out for long, when my cell phone rang, at about 1:00 am. As I answered it, I soon discovered that Michael was on the other end, telling me that his Mom had just been taken to the hospital by ambulance with strong chest pain! So we got up quickly, got dressed, loaded up Rugby, and headed to Mom’s to drop off Rugby and head to the hospital! Fortunately I knew where Rugby could safely stay, and he had already spent several hours in the kitchen already, so I felt pretty comfortable leaving him alone while we had to go to the hospital.
Rugby seemed very relaxed, and I knew he was tired from the trip already, so I guessed that he would settle in and just sleep all night with a quiet home and soft radio! I didn’t see anything to make me worry about him as we left, so I said a quick prayer and we headed out to check on Mom.
At five am, the hospital staff decided to admit Mom for tests and observation, and she was feeling better, so we kissed her good-bye and headed off to pick up Rugby. He was happy to see us, but not frantic by any stretch. I’m sure he had to think that we were nuts with this crazy middle of the night stuff, but he just coped like a trooper, and sure surprised us with his easy-going attitude.
So we loaded him back up, and took him to the motel, where he settled right back into a nap, and didn’t skip a beat. He seemed to recognize his surroundings and his bed, toys and people were there, so he seemed happy and comfortable enough.
We slept in as late as we could, and Rugby is such a snuggler, that he was completely happy! Normally, he’s not allowed to sleep in bed with me, because he gets very grumpy if he is touched in the middle of the night. He’s been known to nip and charge me, so he’s not allowed to sleep in bed with me at home. He’s never broken the skin, but he has bruised my arm, so he means business when he wants to be left alone sleeping!
However, when he’s in a new, scary environment, I put his dog bed (the small one that he loves) in the far corner of the bed nearby, at the foot of the bed, and he is allowed to sleep in that, which he does. I think he needs the extra boost of security knowing I’m right there, and he’s never gotten nasty when we’ve traveled. I think he recognizes that it’s a big privilege to get that sort of perk, and he’s not rude about things like he is at home!
At home, we usually spend some snuggle time together on the “Big Bed”…which is my bed…before lights out every night. Once I’m ready for lights out, I ask Rugby to get off the bed and go to “Rugby’s Bed.” He already understands this routine, so in the motel, when it was time for light’s out, I simply pointed to his little bed, and said, “Rugby’s Bed” and he happily hopped right in. I prayed I would be safe overnight, and that he would sleep well and stay in his bed!
We all were exhausted by this point, and we had no idea what would happen with Mom in the hospital, so we went to bed with one ear listening for a phone call, but so tired, we crashed!