HAVE YOU READ “Rover Roadster Roadtrip: Part 1”?
If not, start there.
If so, proceed:
I arrived in Dallas, TX at 8am and grabbed a Lyft to Auto Locators of Texas, in Plano. Because I’d negotiated over the phone/put down a deposit/had a cashiers check made out to the dealer, all I needed to do was the final test drive and paperwork. Mike was awesome. 🙂
By Noon, I was on the road to Altus, OK to meet Michele & Buck. I’d brought the basics in my carry-on: Travel Harness + Seatbelt Attachment, 2 Leashes, Car Seat Covers and a Blanket. I planned on stopping at various PetSmart stores along the way for anything else we needed. I thought this was a brilliant idea: It would be fun for him, locations are close to major highways AND dogs and humans are welcome! I highly suggest taking breaks at PetSmart when you’re roadtripping with a dog. 🙂
Meeting Michele, after being friends on FB for so long, was amazing! I tend to feel an instant bond with fellow animal advocates/rescuers, and Michele is working so hard to save as many as she can with S.T.A.R.R (Shelter Transport and Rescue Resources.) We started our daily “Check-ins,” on Auburn Valley Humane Society’s FB page.
Buck was awesome from the first moments. He quickly settled into the car and our adventure together officially started shortly after 3pm Thursday.
We stopped at PetSmart in Amarillo around 6pm for: Food + Treats + Kong/Kong Filling + Squeaky Toy. I’m not sure Buck realized that we JUST started our journey. Luckily, we just drove another 100-ish miles through the post-card-worthy NM sunset and stopped in Dalhart, TX at Best Western 🙂
BIG shout-out to my boyfriend for finding that hotel for me 😉 We hadn’t made it as far as I’d planned, so having a lifeline to browse dog-friendly hotels was ESSENTIAL.
After check-in, we practiced “Sit” for french fries. Our nightly ritual: Drive through dinner for me. Eat in hotel. French fries for “Sit”.
Buck didn’t want to wake up at 5am.
He just wanted to snuggle in bed. Which, was convenient for me. I left him with HIS breakfast in our room while I grabbed mine from the hotel lobby AND stashed a few bananas and muffins for the road. After a 6:30am departure, he snoozed in the passenger seat for hours; woofing, sweetly, in his sleep as his little paws twitched. I hadn’t heard him bark until that point and I MELTED over the cuteness.
He woke up just outside of CO Springs and we stopped there for a long break at PetSmart. There was a dog-friendly patio at nearby Chipotle and one of the staff helped me navigate ordering so we could stay outside together. After another Check-in on Auburn Valley Humane Society’s FB, we were back on the road at 2pm.
We stopped for the night in Rock Springs, Utah at Motel 6. They have a REALLY great pet policy & up to 2 well-behaved pets stay FREE. There were LOTS of other doggies staying there and Buck wanted to meet ALL of them. LOL. He was the belle-of-the-ball everywhere we went.
We left shortly after sunrise and he snuggled into his seat and napped till around 9a. He’d finished his first Squeaky Toy and managed to *CHEW* through one of his leashes, so we stopped at PetSmart in Ogden, Utah for a TOY + Leash.
*Considering he’s BARELY an adult at 18 months, I should have known to ALWAYS have a toy for him. I remember laughing at the leash fragments; wondering how he managed to do it, undetected, from 4 inches away. LOL
Shout-out to my Mom for chatting with me on the phone for hours when I was getting weary and Buck snoozed.
Around 3pm: Another PetSmart stop in Boise, Idaho. We had all the supplies we needed, so this time we just got a gift card (So his new family could take him for his first PNW toy.) We took a long walk, enjoyed treats and sat in the grass to Check-in with Auburn Valley Humane Society’s FB.
An unexpected I-84 closure led us on an epic detour through Wallowa National Park in OR. I WISH I’d captured it on video. I WISH we’d stopped and hiked/camped for days. But the added 2 hours + my growing exhaustion + quickly loosing daylight led me to power through the mountain passes and focus entirely on safely navigating my precious cargo (Buck) back to the highway. Trust me. It was BEAUTIFUL. I look forward to visiting again.
We stopped for the night 284 miles from home in Pendleton, OR at the Motel 6 and fell asleep quickly after my shoes/his harness came off.
Back on the road by 7am on our final day together. This is when I became emotional.
My role in Buck’s journey was to deliver him, tell his story and get potential adoptors excited to meet him. With my own pets at home, he wasn’t mine to keep. However, I didn’t want him to think I was ABANDONING him at the shelter. I cried on and off for those 284 miles. We listened to a lot of Eric Hutchinson’s music to keep our minds happy as the miles passed. Buck knows ALL the songs from EVERY album. LOL.
We pulled in to Auburn Valley Humane Society around 1pm, did our last FB check-in and I said “Goodbye”. He hugged me and happily walked off with one of the Vet Techs. It wasn’t at all traumatic and he LOVED the staff.
I still cried alone in the car.
After a vet-check and neuter, Buck was officially ready for adoption on TUESDAY 8/7. At this point, he had 2 adoption holds. Which meant, we did our job getting him exposure. By THURSDAY 8/9 he was snuggling into his forever HOME. Renamed: Huck, after Huckleberry Finn. His new Mom was inspired by his adventures and said, “He’s a little rough and tumble, raised on the streets with a benevolent heart.”
Here’s the video Highlight Reel: