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My dogs immediately start running and jumping around, and turning in excited circles when you ask them if they want to go for a ride in the car.
A couple of years ago, my wife and I started a new tradition with Max. I work every Saturday morning, but nearly every Sunday morning, we take him for a ride in the car.
Sometimes we drive down the scenic coastal road for awhile. Other times, we take the bridge into the city and then turn around and head home. Still other times, we drive to our local Sam’s Club, and my wife and the dogs stay in the shade while I run in to pick up a few of the staples that we usually buy there.
Max’s “Assistant Co-Pilot “spot is in his little doggy bed, on my wife’s lap — with a little pillowcase covering him if it’s really sunny out.
But, no matter where we drive, our trips almost always involve stopping at the McDonald’s a couple of miles from our home, to get ice cream cones.
Using the edge of the plastic lid from a peanut butter jar that we keep in the car, I cut off the top of my ice cream, to let Max lick it.
Then he waits patiently, while I eat almost all of the rest of my ice cream.
When I get to the last inch of cone, where the little walls of ice cream-filled cone material criss-cross the bottom, I give it to him, and he happily opens his mouth wide several times, to crunch it up.
I use the same peanut butter lid to give him some bottled water when he gets thirsty. And we also keep one of his leashes in the car, in case he starts getting antsy because he needs to stop somewhere and take a bathroom break.
Several months ago, Bud, the newest member of our family, began to join us on our weekly excursions.
Max still lays in his little doggy bed, on my wife’s lap, while Bud sits in the back seat. A couple of weekends ago, the four of us went out at night for our yearly 2-hour tour of the local Christmas lights. It was Bud’s first time, and he eagerly peered out of his side windows, fascinated by all of the lights and colors and moving objects.
Every time I start to get out of the car, to go into a store or to buy the ice cream cones, Bud sticks his head between the top of my car seat and the door, to give me two or three happy kisses.
When I return with the ice cream cones, I use the same lid from a peanut butter jar, and I still give the first scoop of ice cream to Max, but then give a slightly bigger scoop to his brother, Bud.
Then, when I’ve eaten the ice cream down to where it’s level with the top of the wider part of the cone, I break off sections of that wider part and alternately give them to Max and Bud.
Then, of course, when I get to the bottom of the cone, Max still gets that.
I didn’t have to work today, so we just got home from this week’s outing. As we were sitting in a shady corner of the McDonald’s parking lot, my wife and I had a good laugh when I said, “I’ll bet that the guy who abandoned Bud to die in the park would never in a million years imagine that he’s happy and healthy — and sitting in our back seat right now, eating an ice cream cone.”
Here’s a photo of Bud, wearing his brand new Martingale collar that just arrived in the mail yesterday:
Two brothers, resting up after their ride in the car:
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