Friday, December 17, 2010

Adventure in Sault Ste Marie

A couple months before I was pregnant, we decided to go on a short little family vacation.  Matt, JR, Magnum and I decided to take a trip up north.  We already live in northern Michigan, so going up north generally means the upper penninsula.  Family trips are usually pretty stressful for me.  I am a planner.  I like to go places with a destination, and even a hotel reservation, in mind.  So when travelling with Matt, all plans went out of the window.  Matt never knew the meaning of plans.... which at times, I will admit, could be fun.  But when travelling with a dog and a small child, no plans usually meant disaster.

Our trip took us three hours north, across the Mackinac Bridge, to Sault Ste Marie.  I was pushing to go to Taquamenon Falls, but Matt had the urge to hit the casino.  At this time in our marriage, I usually would sit and stew in silence.  It was pointless to fight.  If I disagreed or argued, it would usually lead to a fight and name calling.  Not something I wanted to do in car with my three year old son in the back seat.  I did have to ask one question though.  "Does the casino hotel allow dogs?"

"I don't know... it doesn't matter.  We can leave Magnum in the truck,"

"WHAT??"  I may have shrieked that.  I don't really remember.  "How are we going to leave him in the truck all night?"

"He can stay in the back.  I will lock the capper, and crack the windows."

It didn't seem right.  I mean, first of all a small child can't go to the casino.  And the dog can't go to the casino.  So why do we have to go to the casino?  But I didn't want to fight.  I would have to make it work.  

We secured Magnum in the back of the truck.  I left a bowl of food and a bowl of water in the back, as well as made a bed for him with some towels.  Matt cracked the windows.  I gave Mags some kisses, hugged him, and said we would be back in the morning.  It was probably around 8pm.  It was hard to ignore his whining and barking as we walked away from the truck that night.  

Matt and I took turns watching JR in the room, while the other one went to play in the casino that night.  Matt won $1200 on a Lucky 7's machines, and that made things a little better between us.  It was late when I finally fell asleep, with JR curled up in my arms.  Matt was still in the casino.  I was tired, so I didn't care.

The next morning, I woke up with JR.  I had to urge Matt to get out of bed, I assumed he had been drinking but that wasn't my problem.  I needed him to go check on Magnum, it was almost 8am.  Twelve hours in the truck was not going to be a good scene.  After 15 minutes of prodding, he finally got up.  But at that point, I figured I might as well go check on Magnum myself.  I told Matt to take JR, check out of the room, and I would meet him at the truck.  

I walked out to the bright morning sun in the parking lot, hearing a dog barking playfully.  I saw the valet guys outside of their booth, and watched one throw a tennis ball.  Then I watched a beautiful young chocolate lab race after the ball.  That dog looks just like my dog, I thought as I started toward the truck.  Wait?  That was my dog!  I turned around and ran straight to the valet booth.  "Hey, I think that is my dog!" I yelled as I was running.  The three guys turned to look at me.... the lab raced past them and jumped into my arms.  What the hell just happened?  How did he get out of the truck?  Did they let him out?

After talking with the men, they told me that around 4am they found Magnum wandering around the parking lot.  They said he was such a sweet dog, that they figured he wasn't a stray.  They played with him all morning, hoping someone would claim him.  If no one claimed him, they would have had to take him to the pound.  Thank goodness I came out when I did!  From the damage to the inside of the capper on the truck, it appeared that Magnum tore the screen out of the window, pushed it open wider, and then jumped out.  This was after he threw his food and water bowls all over the truck bed.  Magnum was not going to separated from us willingly.... he made that loud and clear on our first vacation.

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