Home > Dispatches > Trip Preparations > Much adoo

February 1, 2011

Much adoo about Jenna’s new do

I’ve decided not to post any more journal writes about my publication ventures. I’m instead going to leave them in my daybook. Putting up these and my dispatches makes me feel at cross-purposes. I’d much rather have the Trip Preparations section be about just that, trip preparations.

I went to town today, in order to take care of a few odds ‘n ends, some of which were trip related. I first went to the dog groomers, and dropped off Jenna. I feel very middle-class when I do this, but really, I have no choice. This is something that has to be done at least three times a year. Jenna has a thick coat of fine hair that mats up and collects dirt. I can’t keep up with brushing it or cutting it short. I brought her into the shop and she scurried back in the direction of the door. She didn’t understand that this grooming session was for her own good. They never do. There was another Aussie on the grooming table who looked equally unhappy. I thought, today, Misery will love company.

I talked with the shop owner about grooming clippers because we’ll need them when we get down to New Mexico. Icelandic horses get very thick winter coats, and therefore, to take an unclipped one that far south in May is to invite heat stroke. This, at least is what I told the nice lady. She reiterated what the woman at the M Bar D tack shop in Anchorage said, which was to purchase an Oster A-5. I asked her about blades and she said to get a 10 for the horses and a 30 for the dog. I’m going to look on e-bay and see if I can find a set.

I next went to Fence Emporium told the guy there that I was going to do a long trip and wanted to try using a portable corral. I have a charger and braided wire, but needed portable fence poles. I nearly bought these very sturdy metal jobbers, but instead opted for plastic ones because they weigh less. Our pack horse is going to be one lucky animal. I’m thinking that I ought to go back and pick up a ninth pole, just in case one breaks.

I found a copy of the 2010 Milepost at Fireside Books. I mentioned to the clerk that this will help with route planning on the Alaskan North to South portion of our trip. (Diane Sullivan has already given us a listing of places to stay, but this will be a nice addition.) It was discounted, and then he discounted it further. Lucky me.

I next stopped at Animal Food Warehouse where I purchased Millennium Gold, a feed supplement, and dog and horse food. And after that, I went to Three Bears, where I purchased Vitamin E, Glucosamine, Fish Oil, and Biotin. The cashiers looked at me quizzically when I said “There’s no doubt about it. It’s all about the horses.” This prompted me to go into excruciating detail as to what I’d soon be up to.

I suspect that everyone and their brother is soon going to know what I’m up to. Palmer is a small town, and word gets around. But I’m doing this because I finally have something momentous to talk about. When I was visiting my sister in Portland, I tried to imitate her. I went up to a clerk, and in a very conversational tone said, “Hey, what do you think about those Trail Blazers?” This was a conversation opener for Eleanor, but not for me. In return I got a blank look. This horse trip, it’s gotta impress ‘em thinking. Or so I thought.

The last thing on my list of things to do was to return and pick up Jenna. The clerk who’d checked Jenna in earlier was kindly, but obviously bothered by something. I quickly figured out that this something was the prior condition of Jenna’s coat. She indicated, in a very roundabout fashion, that I should spend more time grooming my dog.

“She had a lot of hair,” she said.

“Yeah, that’s why I brought her in here.” I replied.

“I mean, she had a LOT of hair.”

“She doesn’t have much at all now,” I observed.

“You should keep up with her grooming.”

“I don’t have the time. She and I are both outside most of the day. She goes with me when I go riding. She really loves to roll in moose carcasses.”

“Oh,” the groomer said.

With that, I looked at my bill and raised my eyebrows. It was then explained to me that it was high because Jenna also had to be furminated. I own a furminator, which is a metal brush, so I quickly deduced that to furminate means to brush.

“She’s going on your summer trip?” asked the clerk.


Before she could say any more, Jenna and I were out the door. Had Jenna been in on this conversation, she would have told me to not to talk about the trip. She’s right. It’s probably best to lay low until we head south. After all, the dog’s reputation is at stake.