Welcome, Dionne, to Las Vegas

Welcome, Dionne, to Las Vegas

For many years, Steve has had a consulting job that takes him to Las Vegas early in December. Usually he goes by himself and flies, but three years ago Brando, our CCI puppy at the time, and I went with him. We drove. And although we had some harrowing moments, I’ve often looked back on that excursion fondly.

This year Steve’s Vegas meeting is taking place at The Venetian, which may be my favorite casino. (I’m not a casino gambler; for me it’s all about the setting.) So I resolved to bring along my computer and work, with Dionne in tow. The drive reminded me of how much traveling with puppy resembles traveling with an infant. We packed two huge kennels, (one for the car and one for the room), bowls for food and water, food, treats, a leash, cape, halter. Toys. That’s a hassle, but Dionne was angelic in her car kennel en route, and she executed a near-flawless Under in the Outback Steakhouse where we dined Monday evening.

Checking into the hotel, she remained calm — a remarkable achievement, I thought, given how strange a place Las Vegas is.

Home’s nice, but it looks nothing like this!

To my horror, we were given a room on the 23rd floor, at the far end of a ridiculously long corridor. Dionne’s used to the trip from her bed to her toileting quarters taking about 30 seconds, so being stuck high up in the inner recesses of a gigantic labyrinth made me nervous. After settling into our room, the three of us did some scouting. We figured out the shortest distance from our room to a place outside where she could pee and poop. Then we went to sleep.

When she began whining around 4:30 a.m., I chalked it up to being an unfamiliar place. I issued a few stern “Quiet”s, and she obeyed me. But when the alarm went off at 6 a.m., I threw on some clothes as fast as possible and all but raced with her down our endless hallway, onto the elevator that took us to the Casino level, down more twisting passages and to the elevators leading further down into the parking garage and — finally, mercifully! — the outside world.

She was good all the way to that last set of elevators. I pushed the button. Told her to sit.

She sat. But after a beat or two, I noticed there was something odd about the way she was “sitting.” Her bottom was lifted off the floor just an inch or two. And under it a veritable LAKE of puppy pee was accumulating. She was trying to fake a sit!  She was hoping I wouldn’t notice that she was also actually peeing in this fancy Vegas casino. (Not for the first time, I thought of her high “Cunning” score on the Dognition test a few months ago.)

I was horrified. All I had in hand was my card key. Nothing else to clean up a urine lake.

“Aw, don’t worry about it,” said the nice man who’d been waiting for an elevator with us. “They got people to clean things up,” he pointed out. And I thought, “Yes. Yes!!! People must spill things sometimes in casinos. A minion will certainly appear to make this disappear.” (Fortunately this little “spill” was on marble or whatever it is that covers 80% of the Venetian’s floor surfaces.)

Indeed, by the time Dionne and I returned from our visit to the dog run 5 minutes later, a young Asian woman was grimly working to mop up the strange yellow liquid. She smiled at us. I wondered if she simply could not imagine what had happened.

The incident freaked me out so much that for the rest of the day, every time Dionne so much as whimpered, I leapt up from my computer, leashed her up, and took her out for a potty run.

No other accidents occurred, but she thought the sights were quite amazing.

A little gondola ride might be interesting….

Dionne says she’s a show girl at heart.

Our adventure should continue through Friday morning. 

New temptations

New temptations

Sunday morning I put up our Christmas decorations. I finished around noon. About 12:05, I heard Dionne racing at top speed through the house.  She’d discovered the corner where I’d stashed our ceremonial family stockings and had snatched one of them.

SUCH fun!

I retrieved the stocking from her pretty easily, but much more creepy is the possibility that she’ll become interested in one of the ornaments on our tree.  It’s huge this year. The cut-your-own lot near the Mexican border that we’ve patronized for years only seemed to have monsters this season. Were Dionne to begin tugging on it… the possibilities are appalling.

But she didn’t have much chance to wreak havoc, as the three of us departed for Las Vegas Monday afternoon. Now THERE’s a place where a girl can really get into trouble.

To be continued.