So last week, in hopes of chasing the eclipse but not being like every other Seattle-ite who headed to Oregon, we road tripped out to Wyoming. We have family in Wyoming, and they happened to also fall in the path of the eclipse, so it was a win-win.
We left the two oldest at home, to their delight, and left Zoey, aka “big dog”, with them. We took tiny dog Sky with us. Car trips are kind of awesome for her because she gets to lay on people the entire time.
So we road trip – just the girls and the husband and the tiny dog. We found a pet-friendly motel made up of individual cabins for a couple nights, where the owner who owned some tiny dogs of her own cooed and cuddled Sky. We stopped for ice cream, where Sky met another of her kind. We got Arby’s, and Miriam fed Sky some chicken. Sky and Miriam took old fashioned photos together in Virginia City, Montana.
Sky was having a great time.
But Day 3 of the road trip brought us to Wyoming. A place of painted mountains and amazing vistas, and the world’s worst pet area.
We were an hour from our destination when we all had to pee from chugging caffeine for 6 hours. We pull into a rest stop with some trepidation – you don’t road trip through America as often as we have and not know that every rest stop is unique. There’s a beautiful one outside Mt. Vernon, IL. There’s one that I’m certain comes with a man in a hockey mask near Hilo, Hawaii. There’s the ones in Arkansas that are metal toilets and a step up from outhouses that I never use.
This one in Wyoming seemed nice. They made the effort to have lovely lush green grass in the picnic area, there was a nice little playground, it was clean, the bathrooms were individuals, so Maura and I could easily go in together. It was all good.
Except for the pet area.
Now Miriam had started rating pet areas, and realizing they were all kinda crappy (no pun intended). They were all sort of dusty, dry grass areas, to which Princess Sky turned her tiny nose up at. But we’re sticklers for rules, so Miriam dutifully took her tiny dog to the pet areas.
But this one.
Guys, this one looked like Pet Prison. It was two six foot chain link fence areas, with gates. There were boulders and rocks everywhere, with just a couple scrubby bits of grass. They weren’t even that flat.
And there were two birds of prey circling above the pet area.
“This is a bad place.” Miriam stated.
“Here, just spread your arms and look bigger than them.” I suggested, making a wing flap motion of my own. Okay, not the best motherly advice, especially since I was laughing as I said it, but in my defense, I was hopped up on caffeine and needed to pee. “Just keep the leash on Sky so you can tug her back if a hawk gets her.”
I take Maura and we go to the bathroom, admiring the rest of the rest stop along the way. As we come out, I see a look of desperation on Miriam’s face – because now there are three birds of prey circling above her and her snack-size dog.
“We need to leave this place.” Miriam stated as one bird is fighting with the other above her head, trying to be first in line in case Sky broke free. Which wasn’t happening because at this point, Miriam is holding her tiny dog and tiny dog was not about to leap free.
Though her brain be little, it functions better than most. Sky knew she was a potential meal and was going to stick to the human.
Okay, so it doesn’t help that hours before this, we were driving through Yellowstone, talking about bear encounters – as you do – because they had “Be Bear Aware” signs everywhere and I was like “I AM AWARE! Where are the freaking bears?” and Josh was talking about bear spray, and how we had none, and how I’d probably just throw Sky at the bear before running away screaming*, which led to Miriam going “DAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!” and me saying how it’d be fine, the bear would just look at the tiny dog and ask “What is wrong with those humans?” and Sky would be all “Oh, there is SO much to tell.”
Okay, and maybe the day before that, we were joking that we could “fish” for hawks by opening the moon roof of the car, throw Sky through it on her leash, and see if we could reel in a hawk.**
Okay, and maybe because her grandfather would refer to a tiny dog as “hawk bait”.***
We’re really horrible people. But we truly didn’t expect to come upon a pet prison at a rest stop that doubled as a buffet for all the birds of prey in Wyoming. I mean, what are the odds, really?
*I would never actually throw any pet at a bear. I might shove my husband at it before I took off running though. #honesty
**We would never actually throw anything through the moon roof, especially the tiny dog.
***My fil did actually refer to a former tiny dog as “hawk bait”. But he would fight a hawk to protect his granddaughter’s tiny dog from one.
Sky was never in any danger at any point of our road trip, unless you count excessive spoiling and petting “danger”. But she could definitely tell a bear lots of stories about how weird we are.