Work, Emmi, an incident with Gracie (don’t worry John, she’s fine) were already enough to keep me in non-regular-blog mode. The Cutest Pet Contest we entered Gertie in sucked up the rest of the time.
Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to keep up with sharing contest entries on social media? I even took a foray into Craig’s List, Backpage and a few other less than desirable sites on this! Thank goodness it’s only a 10 day contest!
The result: We’re in the lead by 100, contest ends tomorrow. Gertie just may grace the cover of the May issue of 85086 Magazine and gain publicity for 1,000 Hugs for Gertie yet!
A truly awesome result: The publicity Gertie is getting for her campaign is incredible! Though they don’t count toward Gert’s goal of 1,000 physical hugs, she has received virtual hugs from as far away as Italy, Russia, Spain, and Japan, to name a few. Many of these virtual hugs being accompanied by photos of elder dog family members of the hugger. If Gertie’s mission accomplishes nothing else, it has provided a forum for people to strut their senior dogs. That’s a pretty good accomplishment if you ask me!
Anyway, this week is Arizona Bike Week. Gertie had great luck collecting hugs from bikers in the past, so we decided to try again. It was going to be less than 80 degrees outside, and Cave Creek, a biker hot spot, is very close.
So off we went, at 11:30 am this morning:
Cave Creek is not known for it’s reasonable parking accommodations on a good day. On a day with hundreds, possibly thousands of bikes, we knew it would be especially problematic. The original plan was to park at the Post Office after it closed, then walk to the festivities. The Barkista Mobile was as big a flag as we could wave to Facebook people who went to Cave Creek to hug Gertie. See the car, know we’re here. Want to find us? My phone number is on the front corner panel. Just call me and we’ll find each other. Also, the Waggin’ Wagon isn’t as nimble as the Barkista Mobile. If parking was at a premium we needed nimble!
2 problems with this original plan:
1) Despite living here for 20 years, AND at one time being the Assistant to the Town Engineer of Cave Creek, I was clueless as to the distance from point A to B. It was too far for Gertie to walk.
and, even if Gertie could go the distance
2) There was a sheriff deputy posted nearby to make sure no one interloped on the Post Office Parking lot.
So we went right into the belly of the beast, parking in Gateway Park, with a relatively short walk to the festivities.
And then were were there:
Gertie got her first hug within seconds of walking into the vendor area, then her second, then her 3rd.
By hug 6, minutes after arriving, we realized we had a problem: Too much heat was radiating from the pavement and it was quickly taking it’s toll on Gertie.
So she lay down in the shade of one of the trailers, and the hugs kept coming
In the shade of another trailer came more hugs. Under the shade of a booth, yet more!
At this point only 15 to 20 minutes had passed, and I don’t think we had made it 100 feet since entering the vendor area, but we had to call it quits.
Gertie had no problem with the crowd. Actually, I honestly think she would have preferred we took the leash off so she could mingle more freely.
The motorcycle and other loud noises were not an issue either – keep in mind, Gertie is completely deaf!
The problem was, despite it being less than 80 degrees, so much heat was bouncing off the pavement, Gertie was uncomfortable and not having fun. Remember, the most important part of these expeditions is that Gertie have fun.
So we had to turn around, which is when we met Eric, Hug #60.
The exit was just on the other side of this trailer. We found a tree to sit under for a few minutes to help Gertie cool down a little more, then we did the only rational next move.
Where we met
All told, Gertie collected 19 hugs in, at most, a 1/2 hour at the Bike Week Vendor area. If the heat hadn’t gotten to her so bad and so quickly, I have no doubt we could have collected 100 easily, probably more. But Gertie’s comfort is more important than hug count.
Weather permitting (there’s a storm coming in), I may try to see if I can take her back tomorrow morning when it’s cooler. I don’t have to work, so I can get there earlier.
Both from the experience at The Roadrunner back in December, and the hug collecting expedition of this morning, I can honestly say, bikers by far are the most open and welcoming huggers. Bike week only comes once a year, and it would be very disappointing to lose so many hugging opportunities. Cross fingers conditions tomorrow allow for more hugs.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you who hugged Gertie this morning. You made an old lady very happy.
My personal favorite:
To see all of Gertie’s collected hugs, go to The Photo Album on her Facebook page. I’ve set it to public so non-Facebook users should be able to see them.