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Happy Tail: On the road again

Peg is back home after a trip to celebrate her son, Chip Rickey's birthday in Connecticut.
Next earlier column: Happy Tail: Tonka, the Pony that could posted 22 Sep 2014

By Peg Schaeffer

Every year in September I go to Connecticut to celebrate my son, Chip's, birthday. I told him I was there for the first one and I plan on being there for all of them. I'm a procrastinator. I always wait until the last minute but I've found I always work better under pressure. My plane was leaving on Wednesday afternoon so on Tuesday I decided it was time to start packing. First I needed to do laundry. So I grabbed the basket of clothes, threw in my checkbook so I could balance it (the computer is downstairs) and a new cartridge of printer ink, slung in on my hip with a Diet Coke in the other hand and went into the basement. I started the washer, put in the detergent and loaded the clothes. As I closed the lid and started to head to the computer it dawned on me - I never took the checkbook and ink cartridge out of the clothes basket. I found them both in the bottom of the washer soaking wet. Off to a good start.

A lot of work before driving to the Louisville airport

I did three loads of wash in between taking care of the dogs, feeding the horses, and writing instructions to Keith who would be home holding down the fort. I put the last load of clothes in the wash and got the suitcases out. I need two suitcases – one for my clothes and the other for items I’ve collected throughout the year at yard sales for my family and friends. I went downstairs to put the last load of clothes in the dryer and the washer had died. I had a load of white clothes soaking in the rinse water. So I wrung out the clothes I needed and put them in the dryer and began packing. I had the suitcases on the kitchen table and had laid out my clothes – five of everything for each day I would be there. As I began to put them in the suitcase I had only four pair of socks. I knew I had laid out five pair and began looking for them. It didn’t take long – two of the puppies had a sock in their mouth. The ironic thing is they were my rescue socks – cute red socks with dog bones and happy dog faces on them. Now they both had gaping holes where my toes should go.

The struggle to take off child-proof Rx caps

I have some prescriptions I need to take so I started packing them. My insurance carrier makes me get 90 day supplies of my medications so I was putting them in a smaller container since I only needed five. I had just gotten the prescription a few days earlier. As I struggled to take off the child proof cap I dropped the bottle and almost 90 tiny pills scattered all over the floor. All the dogs needed to see was things that looked like food bouncing all over the floor and Peg on her hands and knees trying to gather them up before they all got eaten. I’m pretty sure I got most of them although they were covered in dog hair and who knows what else.

Review crises with Keith

Keith came home from work at 11 that night and I told him about my crises. He went to check on the washer and I got the last basket of clothes from the dryer. I put them on the chair in the kitchen and went to the counter for something. I turned around to see that the dogs had knocked the basket of clean clothes on the floor. In that brief second they had them scattered all over the floor and some were playing tug of war with my bras. I gathered them up yelling at the top of my lungs. I couldn’t rewash them because the washer had died so I shook them out and packed them anyway.

Flight in Louisville was to leave at 12:30pm

My flight was scheduled to leave on Wednesday from Louisville at 12:30 pm. Since we’re in the Central Time Zone and Louisville is in the Eastern Time Zone I had to do the time math. Their 12:30 is our 11:30. You have to be at the airport 1 hour early so that’s our 10:30. It takes two hours to get there, so I’d have to leave at 8:30. Allowing time to put dogs in crates I’d need to get out the door around 8:15. For once I got out on time, had clear sailing to Louisville and got to the airport at 11:30. I went to the ticket attendant to pick up my boarding pass and got the good news that my flight was delayed for three hours. Another woman ahead of me was going to Hartford and she too had gotten the bad news.

Hours to kill at terminal in Louisville

So I had three hours to kill. I walked the terminal and saw the woman that was also going to Hartford sitting on a chair reading a book. I introduced myself to her and told her that I was also going to Connecticut. We chatted and it turns out that her husband was a retired veterinarian. What were the chances? We talked for a while, swapping dog and cat stories and then I left her to read her book. I got a shoe shine, window shopped at the different stores, and decided to find a place for lunch. All of the restaurants at the airport are expensive so I went on search for a cheap lunch. As I walked I saw my friend at Chili’s eating alone. I stopped to say “hi” and we ended up eating lunch together. By the time we ate it was time to catch our plane. So I got to Hartford at 7:30 pm Wednesday night. I had contacted Chip earlier to tell him my flight would be late and he was there at the gate waiting for me.

Brutus had been adopted one week earlier

Chip had adopted Brutus, the German Shepherd, from me the previous Friday so on the way home we talked about him. Chip said he had been very well behaved and had settled in to life in his new home. When we got to Chip’s house Brutus greeted us at the door. I thought he would be happy to see me, instead he raced up the stairs with his tail between his legs. He wouldn’t leave Chip’s side and kept glancing at me. He made it quite clear that this was his new home and he wasn’t going back to Kentucky.

Brutus hesitant about resuming friendship

By the next morning Brutus figured it was safe to talk to me. He nuzzled my hand and wagged his tail. But the whole time he kept his eye on Chip. On Friday Chip and I took Brutus to Mansfield Hollow Dam. There are hiking trails and some of them lead to the water. Chip put Brutus on a twenty foot lead so he could go ahead of us and smell all the smells. When we got to the water Brutus never hesitated, he dove right in. We hiked for almost four hours and then took Brutus to McDonald’s for a burger on the way home.

Great visit with Chip

I enjoyed my visit with Chip and it made me so happy to see how he and Brutus were getting along. It was quite obvious that they were smitten with each other. Brutus definitely has a “furever” home and Chip has a new best friend.

Time in Connecticut flew by - and Monday it was back to work

The time flew by and on Monday Chip returned to work and I returned home. This time there was no flight delay, connecting flights were on time and I returned home around midnight. I’m sure the dogs heard me pull into our road because by the time I got to the driveway they were all by the gate, barking and wagging their tails. I didn’t try to carry anything up the driveway. Darryl, my Beagle, was the first one at the gate and Kelsey wasn’t far behind. Thumbelina raced down the driveway as fast as her little legs could carry her. She climbed up my leg and onto my shoulder showering me with kisses. As I walked I got body slammed, dogs walking between my legs, dogs jumping on me, all of them wanting to be petted. It took them quite a while to settle down. When I was finally able to crawl into bed I was reminded of a joke I heard: What do you get when you cross Birth Control with LSD? Answer: A trip without the kids. Maybe next time I’ll just stay home and try that. NOT!

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728 Telephone: home 270-378-4521 or cell 270-634-4675 email:

This story was posted on 2014-09-28 11:24:31
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Happy Tale: Brutus. happy in his new home

2014-09-28 - Shore of Mansfield Hollow Dam, CT - Photo by Peg Schaeffer. Brutus, a handsome German Shepherd who was pushed out of a car and brought to Sugarfoot Farm Rescue by a good Samaritan. He is now in his new home with my son, Chip Rickey, in Connecticut. Here he is relaxing on the shore of the Mansfield Hollow Dam during a hike. He already looks like a happy dog. - Peg Schaeffer
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