Rugby’s Big Adventure….Part 8….Home at Last

After the flat tire incident, Michael was more determined than ever to power on and just get home. I was ready to be off the road and sleep!  The cool air outside was making me cough incessantly, and Rugby was ready to get out of his travel crate, Thundershirt and harness!  Originally, our estimated time of arrival was 11:30 pm, but we knew that we would be a far cry from getting home that early!  We had lost over two hours in our travel time, so I was less excited about finishing the drive home.

I reclined my car seat, got my pillow all comfy just the way I wanted it, and drifted off to sleep.  Rugby was already all snoozed out in his travel crate, and Michael was fully loaded with coffee and the radio set on oldies.  We headed off down the road again, and hoped that the plug would hold so that we didn’t get stranded in the middle of the night on I-75!

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I’m not sure the exact time that we got home, but the rest of the trip had no incident whatsoever!  It was so wonderful to see the familiar neighborhood again, even if it was the middle of the night!  Rugby had been chirping in the back seat the moment that we got off the highway, which is very typical of him.  He sleeps on the highway, but in stop and go traffic, he gets anxious, and starts to chirp.  I couldn’t wait to surprise him with the sights, sounds, and smells of his beloved familiar home!

I went in ahead, just to check the house and make sure that there weren’t any huge nasty surprises like broken pipes waiting for us!  When it looked like the same house that we had left, I brought Rugby inside.  I honestly wish you could have seen his face!  No words can describe the look in his eyes!  I quickly peeled off his harness and Thundershirt to give him the freedom I knew he wanted, and oh boy did the fun begin!!

He raced around the house like his tail was on fire, barking and barking and barking!!  He jumped up and off the furniture, grabbing one toy and then another!  He found every single one of his favorite piggies, and brought them to us….herding us as we brought things in from the car and tried to walk around the house.

For about an hour and a half, he continued like this, and I didn’t have the heart to stop him!  He just couldn’t believe that he was actually home!   And frankly, neither could I!  I was absolutely exhausted, but the joy in seeing Rugby’s absolute delight over being back in his familiar home that he loved so much made me forget just how tired I was!  His little eyes shown bright, and he grinned from ear to ear!  He didn’t walk anywhere….he raced up and down and back and forth, toting one piggie after another!

After a bit, he settled down on the big bed and grabbed one of his mini piggies and played and played!  He grunted it and grunted it, and rolled on his back with it, holding it in his little front paws while he chewed on it!  This is a common way that he plays with his piggies, and he hadn’t done that since we left home!

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As I watched him play, I realized just how sad and worried he really had been on the trip, and also how very much I had missed watching him play like this!  He was completely undone with joy, and there was no question about how he felt about being back in his home!  I wondered how long it would take him to readjust to being home, but I needn’t have questioned it.  He was home, and that’s all there was to it!

Ten days and over twelve hundred miles….and we were finally home!!  It had been an amazing odyssey with ups and downs and surprises at every turn.  For being a little dog out of his element, Rugby did very well, and coped with the changes as best he could.  I could see progress that resulted from deeper trust in me, and he warmed up to new family members quicker than he has in the past, in part because he was on unfamiliar turf.  At home, he’s a bit more territorial with strangers.

No worse for the wear, happy and tired, Rugby’s big adventure came to a close…as he snuggled in for some much needed deep, restful sleep, surrounded by his beloved piggies!

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