Blog Post #9 October 3th & 4th 2015 – Meet Lita

Lita:  We had to put Casper (our Bichon Frise) down a few weeks prior to this trek due to kidney failure.  Not wanting to acknowledge that he was no longer with us, for two weeks we left his food and water bowls out and his blanket draped over the living room couch where he used to stand guard for the neighborhood.  It had been a particularly hard time for Jean; with no Casper to accompany her when she fed the fish in the pond or picked up around the gardens.  On top of this, I was spending much of my time off-site on a project and not there in our home office.  Slowly Jean accepted Casper’s passing, broke her vow to “never have another pet”, and became receptive to considering a new 4-legged companion.  I’m sure many of you have been there.

We decided that it was not prudent to consider seeking a new addition until the completion of our long-planned Florida Keys trek.  Well, that almost worked.  While having breakfast at an outdoor café previously on Sanibel Island; Jean observed a fellow diner accompanied by her Havanese canine companion.  Unbeknownst to me (although knowing Jean, I am not at all surprised) she had been researching this particular breed of dog as a potential next pet.  For those sensitive to dog hair and dander, the Havanese as with the Bichon Frise, do not shed and are not prone to triggering allergic reactions.  Jean asked the lady dining at the café where she had acquired her dog, and armed with that information and internet access, proceeded to make contact with a highly respected Havanese expert who coincidentally, happened to reside with her troop of 20 Havanese dogs in a small city roughly along the path that we were planning to take north from Apollo Beach, Florida to North Carolina.  When I asked Jean what her intentions were in visiting the Havanese breeder, she responded with a non -committal “we’ll see”.  No question where this was heading.

Well, as anticipated after previously having been through a similar situation with Jean, after an meeting with the dog owners on Saturday, we were hooked.  After Mass on Sunday October 4th we found ourselves loading 8-month old Lita, short for Toralita (i.e.: turtle dove) into the Jeep along with her carrier, chew toys, dog food, etc. for the trek back to Cary, NC.

10-4-15 Jean with Lita at Lynn’s, Brookville, FL

10-4-15 Jean with Lita during picnic lunch in Williston, Florida

Just as when one’s first child arrives; priorities got turned on their head.  Now, getting this little lady safely home to Cary became the first priority, with “adventures” along the way taking second place.  We plotted a course that would provide good ground coverage first, with the possibility of interesting experiences secondly.  Heading directly up the center of the Florida peninsular, and after a traditional picnic lunch stop in the local park in the small town of Williston, FL, we spent Sunday night in Lake City, FL .  Lita, whom we had selected for her apparent combination of enthusiasm and warmth, made the trip lying alternatively on Jean’s lap or between the two of us on the front seat.  She enjoyed the stops – running off a little energy.  She was somewhat accustom to travel, having made the journey from her birthplace in Columbia, South America to the Florida by plane as a pup.

Blog Post #8 October 2nd & 3rd, 2015 - Sanibel Island
Blog Post #10 October 5, 2015 - Mangled Tire and Other Good News