26 August 2016

Bringing Up Banksy :: Part 3 of 9.

A puppy on the plane

It was a whirlwind trip. All I really remember of Indianapolis was green grass, coffee shops, and the uncrowded airport. Which was good. Because when I shoved my new puppy into her tote bag at the curbside drop-off, the sounds she made may never have been before heard in U.S. airspace. Wild dingo screams. We were both covered in mud, since I figured an airplane puppy was a tired puppy and we had played and played in the garden before boarding. It rains in Indiana.

Flying with my dog Otterpop is fun. She's usually a grouchy curmudgeon, but take her to an airport and she transforms to tireless road warrior, entertaining airport guests with tricks at the gate and never complaining about sitting in a tiny bag, even if we're delayed for hours on end. Flying with a 10 week old border collie puppy met just hours before, a whole different thing. The insane monkey screaming noises are the main difference. Also the fact that there's no tricks, there's no leash walking, there's no sitting quietly on a lap. There's no potty training. There is wild beast shoved into a tote bag and that tote bag is shoved under the seat and that tote bag is thrashing. And the seats are all full and the planes are all late and did I mention all the mud?

Since the only other big event that weekend in Indianapolis besides My Puppy Adventure was the NRA convention, our plane was full of NRA conventioneers flying home. Me and the screamy bag had to climb across two big ranch guys, all hats and boots and flannel and wranglers, great big knees and shoulders and elbows all shoved into their puppyfree seats. A huge bonus though, that besides enjoying his their right to bear arms, they also had working border collies at home on their cattle ranch. So puppy screaming from under the seat wasn't that big of a deal.

"You flew all the way to Indianapolis for, a Puppy?" one of them asked incredulously.

I just nodded a big, muddy, exhausted nod. I opened up the top of the bag just a crack, so he could see the big round laser beam eyes attached to the strangling, feral creature screaming mouth that was trying to claw it's way out.

I didn't know whether to be gloriously happy, or to just start weeping regarding my new reality of I had a 10 week old border collie stuffed into a bag on an airplane. The cowboy reached a great big hand in and petted her.

"That's pretty cool," he might have said. Or maybe I imagined that and really he only looked at me like I was a lunatic.

I'm going with pretty cool. Maybe also completely insane. But she had crazy eyes! This was my future champion! And we were on our way home.

This is how the trip went. Car wait wait wait plane. Walk walk wait wait wait wait plane. Walk walk walk wait wait wait bus. Car. Car far. Poor puppy. Part of the waits I locked ourselves in an airport bathroom and played with my puppy. This puppy would tug with anybody. I don't even think she knew I existed yet, I was just the muddy thing holding the toy. You don't want to know how long it took me to teach my other dogs to play tug. The ones that do play tug. Now I had a puppy who played tug in unsanitary airport bathrooms instead of peeing on the little pee pad I'd set down on the floor.

I texted one of my training pals from the bathroom, late at night in some other time zone. "I'm in an airport bathroom and my puppy just wants to play tug."

"Duh," she texted back. "That's because she's a border collie.

Because she's a border collie. The words that would soon come to rule my life. Like every single second of my life in the near future starting right now. Waiting for an extremely delayed red-eye flight in some gray carpeted stopover airport between Indiana and California, I decided to name my puppy Banksy, after the elusive street artist who's always two steps ahead of everybody else. Who isn't afraid to speak truth to power. And who's very clever. Far more clever than me. Nobody can catch Banksy.

This was my new champion.

To be continued...


Anonymous said...

I love these tales!

Elf said...

"Because she's a border collie." BIG laugh of recognition this morning. Did you, at that moment, picture what you & Banksy would look like on the field like you did this weekend? Awesome. Border Collie.