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Introducing a New Series

Puppy fever has attacked our household. Last week we tried to cure the fever and brought home Zoey. If you read last week's post, you know that didn't turn out so well. We really wanted to rescue, but with being spoiled by Barney for almost thirteen years, we didn't think we would have that good a luck again.

We had been toying with the idea of getting a puppy from a breeder, but that desire to rescue a surrender canine weighed strong on us. But Zoey helped us to realize we needed a clean slate. So we took the plunge. No, it wasn't a spur of the moment. We had been researching breeds for quite some time. King Shepards are my favorite, but I am not sure they would fare too well on the trail long distance, or, more like, how I would handle having to possibly carry a 100 pound fur ball over a tricky section. Even worse, carry out a large hurt or sick animal.

When hiking the AT, I saw several hikers who had Australian Cattle dogs. They were so well behaved and friendly, not too large and not little nipper biters either. With that knowledge and further research, we decided to get one. What a cutie he is.

Photo courtesy of TLC Australian Cattle Dogs

Adding Ziggy to our family required a trip. Thanks to covid cancelling a flight we had planned for last fall we had Delta miles stored up. We cashed those in for new tickets to Missouri. Saturday morning we left home at 12:30 for a three our drive to Portland to catch our 5:30am flight. I was running on excitement I hoped would fuel me for the marathon trip.

I couldn't wait to see our new family member in person. We had only seen pictures of him, like the one above. Each leg of the trip was like ticking off a check list, closing the distance between us. We tried to get some sleep on the plane to help pass time, but it's hard to sleep sitting up. We did manage a few winks, hoodie sweatshirts are great to hide under and block out the light.

We finally landed in Kansas City, MO at 10:30am, grabbed our luggage and rental, and headed to Chillicothe. First stop in town was the Walmart to stock up for the road trip back home. Snacks and bottled water filled our cart and we were out of there. Only about 20 minutes remained until the greeting.

The long driveway seemed to never end.

What a life Ziggy had with his other siblings, aunts, and uncles. They were born and raised on a farm with cattle, sheep and kids. A doggie paradise. He was about to be taken away from all that. I hope his mere eight-week existence wouldn't leave too much of a memory in his doggie brain. He was trading open fields for acres of woods, mountain top treks, kayak rides, and more.

We were pleasantly surprised by how well he took to riding in the car. Sometimes he snuggled in my lap but most of the time he preferred the security of his travel crate. He never mad a peep. We drove until we didn't think it was safe to do so any longer. After all, we had now been up for over twenty-four hours.

We came prepared. Our luggage included sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and one change of clothes. Oh, and minor toiletries. We also had neck pillows that we flew with to help make things a little more comfy. We had no intention of checking into a hotel, the back of the rental SUV made a nice bed for the night parked at a rest area. To our surprise again, Ziggy seemed to fit in nicely with his new accommodations.

We had slightly more room than in our backpacking tent without the worry of rain possibly soaking through. Lulled by the rain dancing on the metal roof of the car we drifted off to sleep. Waking up fully rested we were ready for another long day, this time by car only, not flights. Portland, Maine was our destination.

To make a long story short, we made it back to the airport where we flew out and where our car was parked. Originally we were going to get a room in Portland, but we decided to rack in our car instead. Why bother spend the money on a room we would be in less than six hours. So, we returned the rental, transformed our Outback to our sleeping quarters and bunked down at the Yarmouth welcome center at 4am Monday.

Ziggy went along with the flow, happy and content with whatever we asked of him. Next stop, LLBean, another puppy paradise. He was the center of attention. It's hard to social distance when you have an adorable puppy hanging out of your bag. It's just too irresistible for patrons not to stop and want to steal a pet.

We made it home at a reasonable hour. All three of us safe and worn out.

Ziggy turned nine weeks old yesterday. It is amazing what he has learned already. The research said Aussie's are super smart, but I had no idea. That brings me to the title of this post: Introducing a new series. Ziggy is going to be the core material for my blog for a while. It's only fitting I start writing about my puppy. Just today when I was looking at updating my blog theme, I noticed I had misspelled one of my tag lines: Trail Tails and more. I was not using a play on words than. It was my stupidity. It should have said, Trail Tales. But now, I think I will leave it that way, thanks Ziggy. My new series will be about adventures with Ziggy, from every day life raising him to our hikes we will go on and everything in between.

So meet Prince Ziggy of Chillicothe aka Ziggy.

Our world is about to be rocked with doggie kisses, tail wags, chewed shoes, and a whole lot of love.

Happy Hiking,

Emily and Ziggy


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