We knew that traveling with Wilma would completely change the nature of our cross-country excursions. On this trip we would be trading museums for dog parks, national parks for state parks, premium downtown hotels for suburban mid-market pet-friendly accommodations, sleeping in for crack-of-dawn dog walks, and fine dining for outside picnic tables and take-out. And while all of these trade-offs have come to fruition, the one major difference traveling with Wilma that we did not count on, has been the huge increase in our human interactions. We get stopped on every walk and approached in every hotel and restaurant with requests to pet Wilma. I wrote about this phenomenon in a prior post from Pacific Grove, but PG is so dog-friendly that it was somewhat expected. We have now crossed the country and I can proudly say that Wilma’s appeal is pretty universal (OK, I’m sure every Golden Retriever puppy is somewhat irresistible, but just look at this face…).
This morning, while waiting outside Tod’s Tasties Cafe for our food, a gruff looking young man emerged (looked like he hadn’t slept in days), came over to Wilma, gave her a good rubdown, and stated (in a great North Carolina accent), “Why, it’s just like petting a real stuffed animal”, and off he went. I think we have a future therapy dog in the making.
So, there are the people that approach us…………..and the people we approach; enter Dr. Douglas King. Dr. King is a veterinarian in Nashville, Tennessee. His practice happens to be directly next door to our Nashville TownePlace Suites hotel. Since Wilma’s digestive issues have yet to completely resolve, we decided to see if we could get in to see the doctor before our departure Monday morning. Robin called at 7 AM and they agreed to see Wilma right away.
Of course they wanted us to bring a stool sample, so I had the pleasure of digging into the hotel trash can to retrieve Wilma’s most recent poop. And of course another hotel guest happened to walk by while I was elbow deep in the trash. Oh, the indignity! I explained what I was doing and he was nice enough to hold the lid for me. So I guess we also meet people indirectly due to Wilma! Nice.
Dr. King and his staff were wonderful. Wilma (and her poop) got a thorough examination, and we were given some new medicines to try. Thanks to Dr. King and the very friendly staff at the Elm Hill Veterinary Clinic.
Besides that little adventure, we had a great time in Nashville. We found JB’s Pour House for our outside dinning pleasure and met a lot of Nashville Predator (Hockey) fans. They were playing the Blackhawks so we kept quiet, but the crowd was fun and they were all wearing these great yellow cardboard hockey helmets.
Sunday morning we hiked The Trails at Fontanel, stopped at Backyard Burgers for lunch, then hung out in our air-conditioned room to watch the Warriors game.
Before leaving Nashville, we decided to let Wilma get some exercise (post exam), so we found a nice downtown dog park (artificial grass and all) situated on the Cumberland River across from the stadium where the Titans play.
After a quick downtown tour (including chatting with a family from NorCal that stopped us to pet Wilma), we hit the road for Asheville, North Carolina, another one of our favorite stops on the 2014 tour.
We rented the wonderfully renovated 1883 Sallie Lee Cottage, located in the historic Montford district. The neighborhood is very reminiscent of Pacific Grove (sans ocean).
On our last trip to Asheville we hiked an incredible river trail (complete with waterfalls) in the Dupont State Forest, so this trip we were intent on revisiting the park with Wilma.
Our weather has been pretty rainy, so we’ve had take-out from Whole Foods, Pizza, and Thai Food in the comfort of our cozy cottage. Can’t complain!