Yesterday was a bit of an adventure.
After Corporations, I noticed that I had a voicemail – it was from my new landlord. He said that my credit and criminal records came back clean, and I should come down and sign the lease.
I signed the lease after Crimlaw, and then called Harley’s foster parents.1
I bought a leash and dog food at Wal-Mart and then took the road trip up to Pease, Minnesota.
Yes. The name of the town was Pease. There was also a “Rum River” and a town called “Wellthen.” This reminded me of the town names from the Bemidji trip…
Pease is a little country.
Okay, more than a little country. Think horses, cows, dirt roads, massive trucks, pro-life billboards, antique shops, churches that look like sheds, and holes-in-shirts.
And of course I took the wrong dirt road, but two boys got off their horses (I shit you not) and pointed me in the right direction.
The animal rescue was on a huge farm.
There were large dogs (and horses) everywhere. Some dogs caged, some were chained to posts, and others roamed around freely. I got out of the car and had two pit bulls inspect me. Harley was tied in front of the house.
After greeting the two bulls, I saw a little boy getting on a dirt bike. “You guys have a lot of dogs…” I said. “Yep,” he said. “Susan’s inside.”
Susan opened the door as I walked up the house stairs. She unchained Harley and took him inside. There were kennels stacked everywhere inside the house. There was also a bored looking pit bull, and several more excitable pit bulls in cages. Susan’s (husband?) was on the couch watching “What happens in Vegas” and the un-caged pit bull sat at his feet.
After making awkward small talk with the husband, I look over and see Susan nonchalantly pulling out a BIG HONKING needle. She told the husband to hold Harley, and then stabbed Harley’s coat with the needle. “This is his whatsit shot.”
Susan then recited a long list of Harley’s recent shots and treatments – “if he starts pooping out worms that’s perfectly normal. It’s really good actually.”
Oh my goodness.
After twenty minutes I was speeding back down the dirt roads with Harley in the back seat.2
I then drove fifty miles West and visited Phillip in St. Cloud. He introduced me to his cats, housemate, and her rabbits. His housemate owns two rabbits and spins yarn out of their hair, which is just about the most random, and coolest thing ever.
The drive back to Minneapolis was about 80 miles.
We stopped in Monticello where Harley got another potty break and a chicken nugget. Once we got back to civilization Minneapolis, I walked Harley around Dinkytown, picked up a few things from the Gamma house and then drove back to my new apartment.
I planned on sleeping on a self-inflating travel bed that my mother bought for me last summer. But, of course my “convenient self-inflating bed” was not so convenient. The pump requires two huge batteries, not included.
So I spent my first night on an area rug with Harley sleeping nearby.
This morning I took Harley on his first walk in the new neighborhood.
The neighborhood is gorgeous and has an odd mix if old mansions, historic churches, and apartment buildings.
Harley is really calm, so I didn’t have to worry about him lunging at people.
He does however sort of run into me when I’m walking him, like, “Oh, sorry, I want to go to the other side of the sidewalk and I forgot you were there.”
I also need to work on fattening him up:
I’m not too thrilled about the visible ribs.
This means that reinforcing good behavior with treats is completely acceptable for at least the first month.
Although I’m still getting used to the drool (mostly after he drinks water), I think Harley was a good pick.
1 I decided not to get Tula (the pit bull) because I felt that mom’s reaction (OH MY GOD AHH!) was indicative of the general-animus towards pits, and I wasn’t prepared to spend the next 10 years fighting that stereotype.
2 One neat thing that Susan gave me was a dog-seatbelt for the car.