When “Miss Direction” [my GPS voice] called out a lane change on a messy cloverleaf ripped asunder for repairs, I missed the turn. I was leaving Miami on I-75 for a five-hour drive with an 8-week old pup I thought I had named ‘Zuri.’
Not that she paid me any attention. I had just snatched her from her last two remaining littermates, locked her inside an ominous-looking wire cage, and accelerated to a pace which no matter how reasonable would surely induce carsickness in a stomach still digesting a breakfast of 80% raw meat.
By all rights, Zuri should have been terrified.
She didn’t make a peep. I had rubbed a towel over her mother and father and carefully spread it out on a brand-new doggie bed inside the crate. I like to think that was thoughtful of me. But truth is, she was in mid-morning sleep mode anyway.
With soothing music playing softly on Sirius XM I took the last exit before the Toll Booth to Alligator Alley. Leaving the Everglades I drifted onto US 27 North and started seeing signs for South Bay, Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston, Lake Placid, Sebring, Avon Park, Frostproof – small no-nonsense towns in the skinny midsection of the State of Florida which don’t normally show up as glossy images on the back of postcards. I had dutifully performed a recce the day before along this entire route to locate likely piddle stops. Parks & Recreational areas are few and far between but sugarcane fields are abundant. Even though she never complained I found little hideaways and cul-de-sacs to pull into every hour on the hour. She squatted once on a gravel access road, I piddled twice behind clumps of tall, sweet-smelling green stalks.
Ten blocks from our destination Zuri finally introduced herself to me in no uncertain terms: pitiful whines punctuated by high-pitched squeals rising to yips that fell just short of barks. I pulled into the driveway just in time for her to christen her new backyard.
Hours later when I finally had a moment of quiet and was able to log onto the computer and check her AKC registration, I discovered that her name wasn’t exactly ‘Zuri.’
🙂 🙂 🙂