Sunday, November 18, 2007

Road Tripping with Dogs

Turns out that there is free wi-fi at the Billings, MT Holiday Inn, so I can get at least one more post in. Today we packed up the car and drove with the dogs about 10 hours from Boise to Billings. We saw a number of deer on the way, but at interstate speeds so we didn't get any photos. Montana was pretty, but darkness covered it too early.

The dogs are great travelers. Simon likes the back of the Subaru and never makes a peep. Callie likes the back seat and once in awhile tries for the front. They like rest stops and always seem curious to see where we end up at each stop. They love hotel rooms too. Right now Simon is sprawled across his very own double bed, in doggie heaven. They enjoyed dinner scraps and stretching their legs before settling into their new digs for the night.

There is something great about traveling with dogs, like packing up home and taking it with you, offering both comfort and adventure. I do miss the cats terribly, and the horses, but I know they are in good hands and I try not to worry.

The one disturbing aspect of the trip so far was in Dillon, MT at a convenience store where "Tom Turkey" was in a small wooden cage and there was a guess his weight contest. I'm guessing "Tom" is destined for a Thanksgiving table. In the meantime, he is confined in an unclean wooden crate that is too small for him. In fact, the boards on top cut into his tail so if he moves back and forth he breaks his tail feathers off. He breathes exhaust and gas fumes and people come stare and point at him. He has great difficulty turning around and I did not see food or water in his crate. "Tom" is definitely not in good hands. Peta would be pissed. I was revolted, especially that people seemed to be bringing their kids over to see Tom as though nothing was wrong with the situation. However, I could not see a legal way to free him. Hopefully he will not suffer much longer. Hopefully, at least a few parents pointed out the animal cruelty involved and used this as an opportunity to educate, not to perpetuate the idea that treating animals this way is okay.

In Billings I saw a bumper sticker under a Stop sign that said "Eating Animals." "Stop eating animals" was not a slogan I expected to encounter in Billings and I was pleased that there was or is at least one vegetarian or vegan here trying to spread the word and counteract all the "I love animals, they're delicious" bumper stickers on beat up pickups. Yuk.

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