Winding down through the mountains, with runaway truck ramps whizzing by I find myself longing for the low country and the promise of 10 days in a small cottage South Carolina, bliss indeed.
Thinking how nice it would be to get unloaded, I knew poor Agatha was ready to trade her cramped spot in the backseat for a chance to stretch her legs and have supper. Siri announces that our pet-friendly hotel is coming up at the next exit and it can’t be soon enough, we’re all starving and in need of dinner and a place to relax for the night after our grueling (read my grueling) trip through the mountains. It had poured torrential rain for part of our journey, we had crossed enormous mountain ranges, all John & I and Agatha too wanted to see was a bed that wasn’t moving and a place to lay our weary heads.
(Note to self: Never use Hotel.com to find “pet-friendly” accommodations.)
Parking close to the entrance and unloading a ridiculous amount of bags and doggie accruements onto the trolly, we staggered road weary and looking a bit the worse for wear into the beautiful lobby and approach check-in with a wagging tailed Agatha in tow. The look of displeasure we received from the official looking person behind the front desk boded that things were rapidly taking a downward turn.
She stared unhappily at our small wagging tailed dog and as John asked if we could check in, stopping him in mid-sentence & crisply informed us that (unnamed dog-hating hotel chain giant) absolutely did not allow pets.
Ever hopeful and ready to make friends, even Agatha wilted in the atmosphere and sat pondering her empty stomach and the perplexities of travel when one has four feet.
My pleas of confirmation numbers and pre-paid bookings had no effect and realizing that further attempts were falling on deaf ears, we loaded a bewildered but hopeful Agatha back into our vehicle. Thus began a fruitless search alternating between looking for a pet-friendly room and trying to wrestle the exorbitant charges off our credit card for the room we’d been promised welcomed dogs but were refused entrance to.
Just to keep things interesting, Siri helpfully led us on a two-hour wild goose chase through the fog filled mountains looking for a hotel that would accept pets. The last straw was when she steered us giddily on 20-mile loop finally depositing us in a remote area that she claimed was the address for a pet-friendly Hampton Inn. Bewildered we sat looking at a mountainside with not even a street lamp to illuminate the hotel-less isolation.
Finally, after turning Siri off and upon reaching civilization once more we headed desperately to the first hotel that appeared within view. My hero goes in to plead our cause and comes out in a few minutes trailed by a cheerful young woman with beautiful auburn hair. He opens the door to the backseat and she peers in at Agatha and announces “Oh she’s adorable! Bring her in and if anyone asks just tell them she’s a service dog!” “Just be sure she’s really quiet so we don’t get into trouble.”
Only narrowly resisting the urge to fall weeping and grateful on her shoulder, I followed the little procession into the lobby with proudly wagging newly promoted service dog Agatha in tow. Disaster was averted moments later when I felt the lead tighten and looked down just in time to realize that ever vigilant for possible situations, Agatha had spied her reflection in the glass doors and was on the verge of a barking fit. Feeling a bit hysterical myself, I pull her abruptly to my side with a frantic whispered SHUSH! Within a few merciful minutes, we wound our way to a rather musty smelling room and collapsed on the rock hard bed for a fitful night’s sleep.
This morning slightly refreshed we had breakfast at a Cracker Barrel, Agatha happily perused the bacon scented air and was overjoyed that I remembered to bring her a bite of pancake. Things were definitely looking up she said.