Boone, North Carolina, is a beautiful town along the Blue Ridge Mountains where my family enjoys visiting. We often times will visit Tweetsie Railroad, Dan’l Boone Inn (GREAT food), Mast General Store, and as of 2019 we pick our Christmas Tree here. But, this is less a story of Boone, NC and more a story of Boone in Tennessee.
Wednesday, February 5th, 2020 at 9:41 PM I receive a message on Facebook from the breeder we picked up my son’s dog from, Biscuit. “I have a sweet college student that is needing to rehome her boy she got from me. He is under a year old. He and Biscuit are half brothers. I thought I would ask you guys.” followed by this photo.
I woke up Thursday morning and was immediately interested. I lost Brody, my Cocker Spaniel I never knew I wanted in 2019. He was my sidekick, my best bud, and helped me learn through new marriage ups and downs, two births of children, multiple career highs and lows, and the loss of my mother to cancer. This pup looked like a Buff version of Brody, with his shaggy, less than show-quality appearance. We were young and didn’t know how to properly care and raise a dog, but Brody never minded. Now, after having hurt for so long after losing him, it seemed as though I was going to be offered an opportunity to try again.
After connecting with the owner, Jamie S, I learned that this pup’s name was Boone and he was 6 years old. We talked about his current health, what he needed, and how his personality had formed so far. We made arrangements to drive up on Saturday to Chattanooga, TN where Boone lived, and meet Sunday morning. Boone was behind on his shots at the time, so I called my vet and got their blessing to bring along my sons dog, Biscuit. Biscuit was current on all vaccines, so our vet was comfortable with his meeting Boone. With my awesome vet’s approval, we made arrangements to take Biscuit on his first overnight trip out of North Carolina.
Biscuit traveled amazingly well. Brayden kept him in his lap, and Biscuit was calm and really great in the truck. We stopped every few hours to let him run around and potty, but all in all he was just happy to be with his buddy (Brayden). We arrived in Chattanooga, TN around 6:30 on Saturday night, tired of driving and hungry. We checked in at the Staybridge Suites in Chattanooga near the state line, and had a great experience and room. Hat’s off to Elliot at the front desk for making our check in process so easy and pleasant. We went up to our room and fed Biscuit and walked him so that we could ultimately head off to our own dinner (which would have to be without Biscuit as we just didn’t know if there were any dog friendly venues around).
Let’s be real: no trip to the mountains is complete without a visit to either Mast General Store or REI, so we settled on REI which was near by. I returned a pair of pants that didn’t fit comfortably, and we settled on a Mellow Mushroom nearby to eat dinner. Everyone was giving us strange looks for wearing matching Duke Blue Devils hoodies in the land of Tennessee, but Saturday happened to be the “Battle of the Blues”, where Duke and UNC meet to battle out their long time rivalry. This game was for the history books, as UNC lead the score for the majority of the game at the Dean Dome, only to be met with a tie-matching shot right at the buzzer. Overtime was just as chaotic, as UNC pulled ahead, only to be met with a game winning shot again, right at the buzzer. We were ecstatic! We watched the overtime period as we walked around Academy Sports picking up some Soccer gear for Brayden.
When we got back to the hotel, walked Biscuit, and finished our showers, Biscuit settled in relatively quickly in a new environment and so did we. It was a short night, going to bed around 10:30 or 11pm, and waking around 5:30AM, but we had a big day on Sunday to keep us energized!
Sunday morning, 7am. We arrive at the Cracker Barrel less than a 1/4 mile from our hotel literally at the same time as Jamie and Boone. We let Biscuit and Boone sniff each other out and it was a GREAT first meeting. Both dogs got along great with no aggression and some play. Boone submitted first, laying down in front of Biscuit, allowing Biscuit to be the Alpha. At this point, I was happy that I read a little on dog psychology and could read the cues. Jamie was very friendly. This can’t be an easy thing to go through, and she was comfortable that Boone would have a great life with us back in eastern North Carolina. So, after about 30 minutes of the pups getting to know each other, and Jamie and I chatting, it was time to load the pups in the Tacoma and head east for the land of slightly warmer temperatures.
Biscuit was loaded into his kennel in the back seat this time, as I felt it was too unsafe to have two loose dogs in the vehicle. Boone was next up, going into his kennel as well. As we said our goodbye’s, I assured Jamie that he was in good hands and that I would be happy to keep her in the loop on how he is enjoying life if she wanted me to. We departed from Cracker Barrel and started our early trip home. GPS was showing we should be home at 3pm, but I knew with gas, potty, and food stops it’d likely be closer to 4pm. Boone barked and whimpered for a little bit as we set off on our trip home, but he settled relatively quickly.
Driving was relatively boring. One fun thing to mention is Brayden managed to stay awake both times the entire drive, yet on the way home as we are turning into our area he started to nod off. While we were driving home, I reached out to our groomer and told her we needed an intervention! Our groomer is amazing and had me bring Boone by her place so that she could take her time with him, allowing him to get comfortable with the grooming process. What came back from the groomers was a completely different pup!
Boone settled in his first night with us really quickly – falling asleep just a couple of minutes into being crated. He barked just a bit, but quieted down quickly. While we have had a couple little accidents inside, they’ve been minor and are likely due to the amount of excitement and play time he’s getting. He’s a thirsty boy, and is eating well. His pads are a little sore as they had previously been covered with hair, so he’s ok walking around in our yard, but doesn’t particularly like walking on the road or the driveway. We are working with him on socialization, but all signs currently point to this pup being an amazing side kick and member of our family.