New Jersey

The first leg of my trip was a short one, landing me eventually in Wayne, NJ for a couple of days. I passed through Connecticut in the afternoon to visit my grandpa in my hometown of Milford, CT. He was sleepy and we chatted for a while, but I hit the road around dinnertime to meet my friends in NY.

Next on my agenda was dinner with the Kliphouse family, in Suffern, NY. We dined at a fancy little Mexican restaurant called Ole Ole! (I had the shrimp salad...predictable, I know)

I stayed with Jeremy, Jen and Zoe for a couple of days in Wayne, where I got to meet their family. From the Saturday evening dinner (the champagne and tuna and wasabi were deeee-lish!) and football with their parents, to learning what Wonder Pets is, it was all so much fun. But the highlight would definitely be helping them adopt a puppy.

We woke early Saturday morning, because Jen heard word of a stray puppy, Nani, that was being put up for adoption at PetSmart at 10:00 a.m. I knew before meeting this dog that it was going to be a good fit (Nani was the nickname I had given my supercool grandmother who passed about two years ago...how could it not be?).

We initially saw Nani as we were pulling into the parking lot, but as it turns out, they were holding her in the backroom for some testing. There was a risk that she was exposed to kennel cough and Parvo, and they wanted to make sure she was all set to go. (She did in fact have a sniffly nose, probably kennel cough, but nothing that some doggie antibiotics couldn't take care of).

I fell in love with this dog right away and I'm not a dog person. Through the hours of waiting for Nani to appear, I was growing fond of another black puppy, Jasmine, who I was seriously considering taking with me on the road. But when Nani appeared, I knew it was the one. I knew if they didn't take this dog, then I was foolishly going to shell out the cash from my roadtrip funds to save this dog and give it a better life. I was already envisioning how I was going to fit a crate in my van and trying to remember where my sewing machine was so I could sew her a big, comfy bed.

But they got it. Driving home, they commented that the name Nani didn't fit the dog. So as we were listening to a Greg Brown & Ani Defranco complication on the stereo, I suggested that they change the name slightly to 'Ani.' It stuck for a bit, but it still wasn't fitting the personality of this super loving adorable dog with one fun black leg.

The verdict: they named her Lucas. :)

Thanks Jen, Jeremy and Zoe for a fun weekend! I hope Lucas isn't chewing your furniture!
I seriously dig this dog!

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