Once again, Thursday morning I went to my doctors’ office in Irvine, California for the fourth time. The drum roll please. Good news, Dr. Chen gave me the green light to travel East. He still would like me to go to a “Walk-In” clinic in a couple of weeks and follow up with him on their findings. I am thankful for the concern and caring of my doctor of many years. Now I need to execute my plan.
The California Exit
After so many “re-schedules” of my final exit plan for this season, it seems to be in place now and on schedule. Tonight however my daughter who is here in California, on a business trip for Mary Kay and socially, asked me to watch her two boys this weekend, so I had to book one more night. Saturday morning I rise early and walk to the Ranger station at the park entrance. We lucked out, I snag the last spot in the park for Saturday night, but the Ranger tells me starting today the daily price goes up to $60 a day. Wow that’s a little steep, but it is the State of California! She was nice and gave it to me for the old price of $45.
At noon Seth, Jagger and I pull the coach out of our campsite and move to the new site after dumping the tanks once again. Later Seth, Jagger and I meet up with my daughter and Aiden, returning to our camp for the night.
Ride East to Arizona
This morning Aiden, Seth, Jagger and I rise up early, close up the Coach and prepare for the drive north to my Son’s house in Costa Mesa. My Son and his wife will be hanging out with Seth today. While Aiden will be riding shotgun as Jagger and I travel back to Arizona.
We exit the freeway at Fair Street and negotiate the narrow streets in front of my Son’s home to drop off Seth. Again more goodbyes and off Aiden, Jagger and I go, destination Lake Pleasant, Arizona.
The Longest Drive
This turns out to be the longest drive I have done to this point pulling the coach. Nine hours to cover a six hour drive. Aiden, Jagger and I made many stops along the way. Our stop for lunch at a Rest Stop was close to an hour. Of course I drove about 55 MPH all the way which adds to the time. Less stress on the Workhorse and the eight tires on the ground. We made several other stops to stretch and we met a few travelers along the way.
At one stop, Jagger attracted the attention of a man and his wife traveling in an “A” Class motorhome. He admired the markings of Jagger and told me a very sad story about his “Aussie”. If you’re sensitive you may want to skip the next paragraph. I almost didn’t put it in writing here, but after asking a few people decided to include it. You meet all kinds of people along the way. I don’t know the whole story, but I know the guy seemed genuine and very sad.
Apparently Jagger looked similar to a dog he recently owned. His dog was about a year and a half old, close to Jaggers age, experiencing similar aggression problems that Jagger has with other dogs, but his Aussie had aggression with people too. He was very protective, too protective. Several times through unusual circumstances the dog bit two of his friends. He called numerous rescues as he could not travel with his friend with the aggression and biting. No one wanted the little “Aussie” as soon as he revealed he had bitten two people. He even called Cesar Millan, but they said wouldn’t be able to train him on their facility. He implied they had too many animals. They did offer a fee training option, but would cost him over a thousand of dollars, which he didn’t have. He had already tried other trainers, but like Jagger the problem persisted. As a last resort he shared with me he was left with no other option but to put his “Aussie” down. He went to the vet and stayed with him as he went to sleep. He said it was the hardest thing he ever did. It made me want to cry.
Hopefully Jagger didn’t understand the conversation. Thankfully my grandson was in the Coach.
I’m so thankful Jagger is doing better now. I’ve lived the frustration of training an aggressive dog. Both Jagger and I, at an older age. I’m also thankful for my friend, Dona, whose home is on ten acres near my home in Montana. She had told me, “if I’m unable to correct Jagger’s aggression issues, she would take him in a heartbeat”. I’ve always had that option on my mind to relieve my stressful days. But Jagger and I have mostly worked through his issues and I am sure he will come full circle as he ages a little more. We both have learned a lot.
I got side tracked on my travels, but it really bothered me hearing this guys sadness about his dog. Especially one so close to my heart and I wanted to share it with you. You would think there would be an alternative, I don’t have an answer, it’s just so sad. I think I met him for a reason.
Counting the Minutes
As we get closer to Lake Pleasant, Aiden being the ten year old that he is, starts to get impatient. It’s a long time to be cooped up in such a small area for anyone, but he did great. Anyway we are now counting the minutes, then we approach the exit for Lake Pleasant. Only fifteen minutes away now Aiden.
As we come over the ridge, the entrance to the Lake was wonderful site to see for both of us. Now to park the Coach in the Dry Camping area for the night and go for a little walk.
Safe Travels, Gary
More Photos: Lake Pleasant, Az