Well, what a weekend adventure we had. We had such a great plan for our trip last weekend, unfortunately, that was subject to major changes!
The original plan was for Darryl and David to pack the car and the dogs then bring it over to me at work, where luck would have it, we were getting out early at 2pm due to the office move. Darryl would leave from there to go to work and David and I would leave to go to Chicago. We would get to make a large part of the drive in daylight and get to the hotel in time to get a good nights sleep.
The packing and meeting part went well and we were on the road by 2. We got across the river into Wisconsin and had just decided to stop for gas, when we heard a funny noise coming from the engine. A really funny, scary sounding noise. OK now, we had a noise in the car the week prior and the shop told us it was a loose belt, which they replaced. I thought maybe the new belt had stretched or something, so we ran the car into a shop for a look. An hour later they tell me it’s the transmission. OK, the car is under warranty, so I call the company they say I need to take it to a shop in MN, back across the river in Stillwater. They guys in shop one are telling me that this may be a bad idea as the flywheel that they think is the problem could break at any time and we would be stranded. I call shop 2 and talk to a really nice man there who tells me if it breaks down on the way, call him and he will come get us. I pay my fee there and off we go.
Dav,e the dogs and I drive back across the river and go to shop 2, with the car making its intermittent scream noise as we go. The mechanic there opens it up and listens and says “no f****in way that’s a transmission issue”. He pokes around for a while and tells me he really doesn’t think it’s the transmission, but he really has no idea what it is. He says he KNOWS it’s not the flywheel as the other shop stated, since this is an automatic and they don’t have flywheels.
By now its 5pm. I run over to the Enterprise car rental a block away. First they tell me they don’t have any cars now, but are expecting some in. We wait about 20 minutes, then they say they have too many reservations for what they have, so they won’t have a car for me. I ask them to reserve a car for me at Woodbury and we would try to get there before they close at 6. Call a cab and run back to the transmission shop, because of course the dogs are still there in the car, up on the lift. The taxi says 10 minutes, but takes 25 and now there is no way we will get to the rental place before they close, so we go all the way back to Bloomington via cab. By the way that cost 80 bucks before tip!
However, while in the cab I realized that the place I rented from before was open later so I had the cab take us there. We rented a brand new Kia Soul loaded up the dogs and gear and were back on our way out of town at 7:30 pm. By this time we were starving, and the dogs needed to stretch so we stopped in Woodbury and took a short break-not to mention getting coffee since we were now going to be driving the whole trip at night. Arrived at the hotel at 2:30 and fell into bed.
Saturday morning we left the hotel in what we thought would be plenty of time to get to the show, and would have been had we not gotten lost. But we found the place about 5 minutes before we needed to be in the ring. Magic and I managed to get 2 double Q’s toward his UROG (Rally Grand Ch) just barely squeaking out one of them after I lost us 6 points. That pesky left turn that goes the other way had me so flustered that I did an additional sign by adding in the number 4 sign again right near the end. Magic earned a 98, 99, 96 and another 99, so not too bad and both were over the required 192 combined total to count. 5 down, 10 to go! The trial was small so over by 1 and we had the afternoon to relax.
Sunday morning we had the real reason for our trip to IL. The ORT. For those who are not familiar, this is the Odor Recognition Test that is required in order to test in nosework. I have to say I was pretty nervous about this. I was pretty sure Siren and David were ready, but I was not sure about Magic at all. They had a warm up area set up so we both ran our dogs through one time. Both Magic and Siren did find the right box, which I think calmed both David and I down a bit. David was in first with Siren, and then Magic and I. Both dogs passed the ORT. David doesn’t remember the time for Siren, but Magic was 40 seconds. I do have video that I will load once we can get to the library to do it.
The drive back with the rental was uneventful, although we did stop at Baskin Robbins for a little celebration ice cream. Hopefully David and Siren will get into the trial in May!