Monday, May 10, 2004

Hmm. Maybe it was jet-lag, but Mojo seems to be fine now. He's excreting in the appropriate spots, and is playing games with us. We did a bunch of hide-and-seek this evening, and did a whole lot of fetching. One thing someone online said was to get a good 'drop it', it's better to play fetch. You throw one item (in this case a sock), he brings it back, then you tell him to drop it. If he drops it then you throw it (or something else). If not, then the game stops. The problem with Mojo's 'drop it' has been that he doesn't drop it quickly; he kind of waits for you to take it out of his mouth, then lets you remove it...eventually. This method is much better at getting a quick drop.

Also, I discovered that anal glands really do contribute to the odor of dog poop. Mojo's poo really stank, much more than usual. When his anal glands aren't "expressing", his poo doesn't have a lot of odor. When they are, well, phew!

Updates from the trip follow:

Mojo travels well. He went right into the sherpa bag, and slept during the flight out and back. We were paranoid about him doing something exciting in the bag (barking, whining, pee, poo), but...he just slept. We armed ourselves with lots of stuff: dingos, a lamb bone, chew toys, those edibly nylabones, but in the end he just fell asleep. Go figure. We did bring a whole bunch of the pee pads, which was a wise move.

We discovered you can use travel vouchers for your pet's fare, which was a nice surprise. The ticket agent checked, and discovered that yes indeed, it would work. Then he spent the next 30 minutes trying to reissue a $20 credit from the $100 voucher. Apparently we discovered a bug in the American system: there's no refund ability on that screen. So he did a bunch of stuff, and the $100 voucher became an $80 voucher, and he gave us a $20 voucher in return. Whatever.

Anyhow, Ela discovered that if you're discreet, you can let your pet out of the Sherpa in the airport. On the way there, we let him out in the admirals' a secluded corner. On the way back, we went to their cube farm and took over the back row of cubes. Also, the family bathrooms are great places to pull out the pads and get Mojo to go potty.

So...about the trip. It was fun! Mojo was a real hit, as expected. The resort didn't allow pets, so we had to sneak Mojo in and pray that his barks weren't -that- loud. And they weren't. How about that? Judicious usage of bags kept his presence relatively unknown, and his lack of barking helped too. As always, if you annoy your neighbors you're doomed, but if you keep a low profile you can get away with anything.

So...what did Mojo do? Everything! He got to meet everyone, and got to play all day long. We took him out on the beach and ran back and forth. He trotted into the surf and jumped into tide pools, getting soaked in the process. He learned to dig in the sand, something he's never really been able to do. The best thing was he was surrounded by people almost all day long, and there was almost always someone to play with.

At first, when Ela & I left him with everyone he'd just sleep. But by the 2nd or 3rd day everyone had gotten used to him (or maybe he'd gotten used to everyone) and he was playing with them a lot. Our nephews learned how to walk him, and even our nieces learned the basics. Everyone got to meet the dog they'd been reading about for weeks.

For our last night there we had beef ribs for dinner, so as a big treat we gave him a beef rib. Wow, he really, really, really liked it. It's amazing that a dog could know how good something is even when they've never had anything like it. When Mojo smelled the rib coming down he was so excited. Excited like a big yummy treat was coming down from the sky with his name on it. Amazing. He stripped the rest of the meat off the bone in around 20 minutes, and he was chewing the bone like crazy. He was in dog heaven.

He got bigger...twice. He had lots of baths, and we discovered that if we just wash him off with water his coat feels pretty OK. Not as nice as a shampoo/conditioner, but nice.

Pictures are coming, and I'll post stuff about the week as I remember it.

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