Love it or hate it, we are a pet friendly family. Since we are currently working out of our house, our dogs "attend" every business meeting we have, whether it is a meeting by phone or here in our house. Somehow, our cats know just when a meeting is taking place and decide to pace back and forth outside of our wall of windows to get the dogs, who are inside with us, barking and going nuts. Cats enjoy messing with the humans and the canines.
Our first dog was a birthday gift from me to Amy about 6 months before Leigh was born. We lived in DC at the time and decided that having a puppy would be good practice of caring for something before the baby arrived. We named her Mackey after our dear friend and former Congressman James Mackey (may he rest in peace).
Every morning we would put Mackey on an extendable leash and Amy and Mackey would walk with me to my swanky job in the US Capitol. Well one morning we were walking and Amy was turned coaxing Mackey into keeping up. Amy ran into a trash can and accidentally dropped the leash. The extendable leash had a big plastic handle which from the puppy’s perspective crashed to the ground making a loud noise. Mackey, startled as she was, took off running. The problem was, the more she ran, the more the “big plastic handle monster” chased her!
I was standing there in my nice new suit, but I threw my coffee and my arm full of files down and took off after her. This was one of those times where 15 seconds seemed like 15 hours. I remember chasing the plastic handle monster that was chasing Mackey towards Pennsylvania Ave. I was much younger, skinnier and faster then, and I eventually caught up to the plastic handle monster and stepped on it. This in turn snapped Mackey to a halt just before she ran into the morning rush hour and in front of a bus - whew crises averted! Clearly we were now ready to raise a child.
Once the kids got a little bit older, they began asking for any caged animal they could think of. I remember once coming home from a week of consulting to find that Amy had purchased two rabbits from the pet store. Cece was just an infant, and I think Amy thought the rabbits would occupy Leigh and Jack while I was on the road. One small problem, they picked the two “cutest” rabbits with no regard of gender. Instead of occupying Leigh and Jack’s time, we soon had what seemed like hundreds of rabbits occupying our house. The entire extended rabbit family went to live on a nice farm on the outskirts of Atlanta.
One might think Amy had learned from her mistakes, but in another weak moment, while we were waiting for a table at a neighborhood restaurant, Amy and the kids went next door to the pet shop and came out with the two "cutest hamsters" they had ever seen. These little guys ended up several months later going to live with another family with a sucker for a mom. I think enough time has passed that I can safely say, Amy has finally learned that having a caged animal gives the kids about 15 minutes of fun and hours and hours of work for herself.
Mackey went on to live with us for 14 years, and once she passed we decided we needed “his and her” dogs, so we ended up with a Yorkie (Bella) and a Weimaraner (Blake). Last fall our dear cat Boo died and the girls decided we needed 2 new cats (this was done while Jack and I were out of town). So we now have Killer and Tilley as well.
The new cats brought complaints from Jack that everyone had a pet but him, so this summer I called my cousin Teeny (AKA Bill Lesesne) and asked if he had a Boykin puppy for us. Teeny is famous for among other things breading Boykins in Due West, South Carolina. He’s actually mentioned in the book, "The Boykin Spaniel" by Mike Creel and Lynn Kelley. Teeny was more than willing to horse trade a couple of free nights in the new inn for a puppy.
We decided on the Boykin because it is the official state dog of SC. They are also a great breed that usually ends up being calm and easy going. Our next task was to come up with a name.
Amy was pushing hard for Beardsley after the Admiral who owned the Anchorage. Jack was having nothing of it, and wanted to name him Bear (maybe because he kind of looks like a small bear cub). I thought I had the perfect compromise which was Beer!
I mean come on, I really like Beer, come to think of it, who doesn’t like beer! It sounds like it is short for Beardsley, and even Jack likes beer though he’s not old enough to drink it. Well eventually Jack won out and we now have a Boykin named Bear. Amy is still saying it is short for Beardsley and we all have our own personal pet.
We are hoping that Bear eventually hangs out at the inn. In fact we have heard of an inn where the owners have a dog on property that the guest actually sign up for taking on a walk - haha, we should be so lucky!
Having done some traveling ourselves we know how difficult it is to leave the animals at home, so Anchorage 1770 will have some pet friendly rooms. It would be a bit hypocritical not to, given that we now have a pet for each member of our family. However, please leave the rabbits and hamsters at home!