Archie’s first dog-sitter

Mo and Peanut
We’re heading to Puerto Vallarta this weekend to meet up with relatives. Our destination, a fancy time-share village (theirs not ours), does not allow dogs. You heard that right. DOES NOT ALLOW DOGS.

I’ve been in denial about this since the plan first materialized several months back, but over the past two or three weeks it became clear that this trip was going to happen, and Archie would need to stay behind.

The thing about Archie is this. He’s been a member of our family since he was eight weeks old, fresh from his breeder in Maine, and since that time, the longest we’ve been apart is 12 hours…specifically the half day we spent exploring Rome while he waited patiently in the rig.

Archie and I are particularly close. Did you see/read the Golden Compass? Well Archie’s like my daemon. We are attached in a fundamental way, and he is never far from my side. Leaving him for three days feels like abandoning him.

As nomads, we don’t have a local community to turn to for dog-sitting. And Archie has, er, special needs. In case you don’t know, Jack Russells are sensitive, finely wired dogs, so Archie isn’t suited to go into a kennel, stay in a household with children under 12,  live with cats, or be watched by just anyone. We had a gal lined up to stay in our house, but last week she flaked and we haven’t heard from her since. So by the middle of this week, I wasn’t able to sleep and was seriously considering skipping the trip.

I was out of ideas when fate stepped in. We met new friends, Mo and Steve (that’s Mo at the top), Jack Russell owners whose beloved dog had recently died at 18. They live a few blocks away and when they found out we were stuck, they were kind enough to offer Archie a temporary home. Holy smokes! Miraculously Archie even gets along with their two dogs, Peanut and Garfunkel.


Peanut, a deer Chihuahua

New friend

New friend 2

For the past two days Archie has been practicing being away from us. Yesterday I dropped him off at Mo’s and left him for about 40 minutes. He didn’t want me to leave him and was pretty nervous when I picked him up. Today he did much better. He ran in the house like an old friend and immediately started romping with his new buddies. We left him for two hours, and he did great. He was happy to us when we collected him but he seemed to be having a good time.

Archie & Peanut

Peanut & Garf

There’s Garfunkel, a sweet little baby hippo mixed-breed pup

Archie, Peanut & Garfunkel

Archie & Peanut

You know, this little caper might just work out. This evening I dropped off Archie’s huge Mexican-pillow dog bed so he’ll feel at home while he’s away. Tomorrow is the big day. We’ll drop him off in the morning, give Mo way too many instructions, and then blast off to Puerto Vallarta. Hopefully Archie will enjoy his time away, like being at camp. Fingers crossed.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rhonda @Laugh-Quotes June 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Sounds like it will work out fine. It will be like a mini resort vacation with friends for Archie. Love the photos.


2 Renee June 17, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Rhonda. I think he’ll enjoy having buddies.


3 Kimberly, The Fur Mom June 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm

This is so amazing. Lucky you. And I love the Golden Compass reference.


4 Renee June 17, 2013 at 7:02 pm

He follows me all over the place. I really miss him!!!


5 Clélie June 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Okay … now I’m with it. I missed this blog and I missed FB updates too, so I was feeling confused. I love the thought that Archie is your daemon!


6 Renee June 21, 2013 at 9:50 pm

We’re home now, and he’s cuddled up with me on the bed.He had a wonderful time with his temporary family. All is well. 🙂


7 michael June 23, 2013 at 12:29 am

Were you in Puerto Vallarta (Jal) or in Bucerias or Nuevo Vallarta (Nay)? I don’t know if you have ever traveled on up the Nayarit coast, but if you ever have the opportunity to travel north from PV, be sure to visit La Tovara between Guayabitos and San Blas. (I just googled this and learned that MX has made La Tovara and Natl. Park now. Glad to hear that.) It is a wonderful fresh water spring at the base of the Sierra feeding a stream that flows through the largest mangrove jungle in MX. On my first visit there back in the 70’s, the spring was privately owned, and the owner was bemoaning the fact that his hounds had been killed the night before by a jaguar.


8 michael June 23, 2013 at 1:59 am

One other suggestion before you leave MX, if you have not traveled north from Guadalajara to Nayarit, do so! Don’t imbibe too much of the local product in Tequila, but Ceboruco volcano at Jala (notorious for its brujas) is wonderful, and both the autopista and the libre pass through its absolutely phenomenal lava field where the terrain looks like a moonscape. All of this area is fascinating with several large volcanos and many cinder cones. You can actually travel up to and into the caldera of Volcan Ceboruco.

Just north of Jala is Santa Maria del Oro, and just east of it is La Laguna de Santa Maria del Oro, an incredibly beautiful crater lake (with wonderful camping, by the way.) As a historian, I love looking for pre-Columbian obsidian artifacts, and many years ago I bought a beautiful axe head that an Indian lady selling smoked fish at the lake was using as the tejolote for her molcajete.

Tepic is an underrated city as the capital of Nayarit. It is the birthplace of poet Amado Nervo and contact with “Mexico” for many Cora and Huichol Indians from the Sierra. (It is not unusual at all to see Huicholes in their brightly embroidered white homespun clothing walking single file down the sidewalks of Tepic out of habit from walking mountain trails. The Cora tend to be dressed in bright yellows and pastel blues and greens.) The Cora rebuffed Christianization until the mid-18th century when it was enforced militarily. The Huichol claim to have originated in San Luis Potosi and make an annual pilgrimage back there each year for the peyote harvest. Both tribes’ religions are a fascinating blend of Christianity and Pre-Columbian religions.

Northeast of Tepic is Agualmilpa Dam that forms a huge lake that for years has been acclaimed for the best bass fishing in Mexico and one of the best in the world.

If you are interested in the history, Coronado had traveled from Mexico City through Guadalajara to Compostela (now in Nayarit). There he organized his expedition to find the Golden Cities of Cibolo as reported by De Niza. His expedition essentially traveled up what would become the Pan Am highway, passing through Tepic to Culiacan (now capitol of Sinoloa) where they celebrated their last formal mass before heading off into the unknown. Cool stuff!


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