The Dog Days of Summer

Little did our dog know she would be accompanying us to drive four hours to look at a pebble.

We put Bailey's traveling ability to the test last weekend on our road trip to Nashville, Tenn.

We put Bailey’s traveling ability to the test last weekend on our road trip to Nashville, Tenn.

Last weekend, after failing to acquire the elusive “pebble coffee table” from West Elm online or in its Indianapolis store, we were told it still existed in Nashville, Tenn. Now, this was Thursday night and we knew that meant our options were slim as to who will care for our 4-month-old puppy, Bailey, during our absence (we were less worried about the cat – throw down a big heap of food and he’s fine for the day).

We determined if we could find a cheapie hotel room that allowed pets, we’d set course for Music City the following night, pick up the table and do a little sightseeing Saturday and head back home that afternoon. The crème de la crème of Nashville’s Red Roof Inns – it had recently just completed a massive renovation and, based on its website, looked surprisingly decent – had one room left. The best part? They didn’t charge a pet fee, which can be upwards of $50-$75 a night at some hotels and inns.

We crated the dog, brought lots of treats and food and began our 4.5-hour journey south along I-65 through southern Indiana, Louisville and then Nashville. This was Bailey’s first lengthy journey in the car and she didn’t start off too well. I could only surmise that, based on her whining and the direction we were heading, she thought we were returning her from whence she came. But by the time we got to Kentucky, both she and Caitlyn were ready to fall asleep. If only I could have been so lucky.

Unfortunately, she doesn't have the whole "walking" thing down yet.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the whole “walking” thing down yet.

We made it to Nashville and the Red Roof Inn clerk told me that they love pets – except for the time some guy brought his giant snake and another time someone called about bringing their aquarium with dozens of reptiles. I imagined a boa constrictor hiding in the bushes outside our inn waiting to jump on our puppy. I only saw two people walking outside without shirts on – already classier than my neighborhood back home.

Bailey survived the night with little complaining and was eager to sniff everything, everywhere. We took her into the West Elm store the following morning to get our table, and she sat outside (somewhat impatiently) while we had breakfast at the Whole Foods across the street. After some walking, we took her to a dog park in East Nashville where she thought she would fit in, but I’m guessing the freakishly huge Great Dane, among other large dogs, unnerved her a bit and she made a bee-line for the park exit with her tail between her legs. Well, at least we can say we tried.

She went with dark chocolate and salty caramel. I went with brown butter almond brittle and "buckeye" (with salty grahams on top).

She went with dark chocolate and salty caramel. I went with brown butter almond brittle and “buckeye” (with salty grahams on top).

After scooping some ice cream at Jeni’s (yes, the Columbus, Ohio-based chain has two random locations in Nashville!) and some delicious vegetarian fare at neighbor Wild Cow, we were on our way back to Indy. Bailey, I’m happy to say, slept all the way until we got just south of Indy, proving she is (hopefully) ready for a 7-hour trip to northern Michigan later this month.

Who doesn’t love the dog days of summer? Woof.

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