Anubis and I started traveling together right away. As I mentioned in the last post, 2 of his favorite words were "walkies" and "ride." If I mentioned either of them, he would whip himself into a frenzy of excitement. It was easy to get him into the truck to go on an excursion. I simply had to open the door.
I was still pretty heavy into outdoor activities at this point, so we did a lot of hikes out in the desert as well as heading up into the forests. He had bagged his first mountain summit before he was 6 months old. That tale, however, will be for the next post. I did a lot of cross-country drives from Yuma to my parents' place in Chicago. I became very good at smuggling him into motel rooms for the night. He was a very good dog in that he didn't bark or make a lot of noise. To keep him calm I always invited him into bed with me. Being near me made strange places not so scary for him. Traveling with a dog made me aware of my own limitations when doing marathon driving sessions. I always stopped every couple of hours so that he could stretch his legs and leave his mark. Of course the very first thing on his mind was "stick!" We would play fetch for awhile and then he would proceed to do his business. Sometimes we would walk down a road for a mile or so so that we both could get some exercise. One of the worst times we had was traveling across Iowa in November. It was well below freezing and all that was around was corn stalks. Those were very poor substitutes for real sticks.
Back when I was in high school, I loved the National Park System. I must have visited every park in the West. Later on I discovered our other public lands administered by the BLM and Forest Service. These were much better, IMO, because you could do pretty much whatever you wanted to do on those lands. National Parks were full of rules and regulations. They were especially unfriendly to dogs. Dogs had to be on leashes at all times and were usually not allowed on trails. This made traveling with Anubis a little difficult when I wanted to visit a few parks. I'll write more about this in the next installment, but I should mention a rather funny story when we visited Death Valley.
In a far corner of the park is The Racetrack. This is the place where boulders mysteriously slide across a dry lake bed. On my map it showed a road leading from this area down into the valley to the west. I decided to try it. I knew something was weird when a whole group of souped up Jeeps came popping over the rim at the beginning of the road. I proceeded once everyone had come up. OMG! It was one of the most hair-raising 4x4 roads I had ever driven down. I never had to put the truck into 4-wheel-drive because I had gravity on my side, but it was a slow-going rock-and-gully dodge all the way down. We're talking about a road that was about the width of the truck with a thousand-foot drop off on one side and a rock face on the other. At one point I glanced over at Anubis and his head was down with his ears flat against his head. *LOL* He was as petrified as I was! When we got to the bottom I downed a couple of beers and he went for a romp. What made this trip significant was that as we drove up into a nearby mountain range, we actually found a snow field on a north-facing slope. I ran out onto it with Anubis in pursuit. He ran right onto the snow and then stopped dead in his tracks as he buried his nose into this strange white substance. Of course he immediately fell in love with the stuff because it was just frozen water, and you know how much he loved water!
The most drama we ever had was when I went to AC '03. The incident was recorded in "real time" here and here. Basically I got drunk with my sister at her place in southern Illinois. She blew off some fireworks before I could get Anubis into the house. He ran off and could not be found. I totally freaked. The next morning we searched and searched to no avail. Finally she called Animal Control and they said they had only picked up one dog over the last 24 hours; a black dog with tags that said "Anubis." And so he had spent the night in doggie jail. When he saw me, he almost leaped over the counter at the pound to get to me. The only other incident like this was when I was visiting ursuscal. I had let him out into the backyard to do his business. About 15 minutes later I get a call on my cell phone saying that they had my dog. Huh?!? I asked him for his address and it was Ursus' neighbor! *lol* There was a gap between the house and the fence, and Anubis had found his way out. He was such a friendly dog. He just wanted to say "Hi!" to the neighbor.
For a couple of years Anubis was a con dog. He made 2 appearances at FC. I can't find any pictures of that, however. I remember seeing a pic somewhere of albear taking him for a walk through the hotel while I fursuited. I think Anubis really loved the con. He was such a people-canine that he loved to meet new people. I know many people loved to pet and snuggle with him at room parties. The only thing he despised was the elevators. It became a joke with us. As we got on board I would tell everyone to beware of the sprawling dog. As soon as the elevator started to move, Anubis would sprawl out onto his belly with legs splayed in all directions. He certainly hated slick surfaces. We even bought him doggie booties so that he could navigate the polished stone floor of the Doubletree lobby. FC '07 was probably his last big trip. He was slowing down considerably by that point. I can't find an LJ post as to when I stopped taking him for walkies, but I know I made one. I know by May I was going alone. That's when I found Mesa.
I was blessed to have a dog that liked to travel and traveled well. We went to the highest mountains and the lowest deserts. We slept under the stars and in cheap motel rooms. He found home in both Yuma, AZ and in Albuquerque, NM. All-in-all he was a well-traveled dog.