Road Trip with Cooper (our family dog) to College Parent Visiting Weekend

It was parent visiting day and I was meeting my husband in the City before we drove up to school.  The appointed time had arrived and there was my husband in the car with my 120 pound Golden Retriever!  This is no ordinary Golden.  He is huge and hairy.  A little like my husband. I was shocked and wanted to know what Cooper, my Golden, was doing in the backseat.  My husband sheepishly told me it was my idea.  He explained that I had mentioned that my son would love to see him at school and show him to his friends.  I had also mentioned that Cooper was getting old and he has an impending operation which may profoundly change him.  It was too late to bring him back to Long Island, so off we went.  Dog hair flying from every window of our car, as I not so merrily consented to proceed. We were taking my car which normally is kept quite clean and which Cooper rarely if ever travels in.  Despite covering the backseat of the sedan with towels, I felt the car would never be the same (and it is not). While I was somewhat disturbed that my orderly life and clean car were now a disorderly mess, I was happy and knew that Cooper, my son and the whole family had deserved this road trip together for parents weekend.

The trip, which normally takes 4 hours took 6. We stopped for walks, bathroom breaks, water and food.  The delay caused us to reach school slightly ahead of a monsoon style storm.  Tornado warnings had issued.  Through it all Cooper was calm and complacent knowing that we were together and he was going to school to see his brother at a frat party to play pong. When we arrived at the block where my son had relocated with 20 of his frat buddies, the GPS had broken and the storms made it difficult to see the street numbers.  There in the distance, like a beacon, was a bunch of kids on the front porch listening to loud music.  We had arrived. When we opened the door to alight with Cooper, his somewhat arthritic joints gave him pause.  However, when he saw our son his puppy happiness and our son’s puppy happiness was a sight to behold. I needed a shower!

Cooper met all of his frat buddies accompanied by our son.  They were all so happy and agreed to watch Cooper while we went for dinner.  Cooper was getting settled in and we knew he would enjoy this evening and the activities with the boys.  After all, home life is now pretty boring without our sons home to play with.

The morning started early as we checked out of our motel room and went to Walmart. I bought the rubber gloves, disinfectant, soap cleanser and got ready for the  ritual “cleaning of the house.”  When we arrived at the house, the boys and Cooper were sleeping. They obviously had a long night. But I woke my son up and told him that I was cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. After an hour of cleaning the kitchen on hands and knees with rubber gloves, I was dizzy.  Next I decided to clean my son’s bathroom right across the hall from his room.  This is a big house with many bedrooms and bathrooms.  When I brought my son in to see his nice clean bathroom, he informed me that his bathroom was down the hall!  “Are you  kidding,” I exclaimed?  I was too tired to clean another bathroom.  I am therefore proud to say I cleaned someone’s bathroom at college; but not my son’s.  We all had a good laugh.

The moral of the story: leave the cleaning gloves at home, spend quality time with your kid during college visiting weekend.

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