MILLEDGEVILLE — First, let me apologize for falling down on my responsibilities last week. I know, I know — I should have done whatever it took to push out my weekly column, but I gotta tell you that between work, and grandbaby watch, and heading down to Jacksonville to pull the Dawgs through, well, I just couldn’t work it all in.
Speaking of Jacksonville, it must have been 1999 when I last attended the Georgia-Florida classic. I think Trudy and I went with our good friends Wilsie and Rosemary Wright. I might have the year wrong, but I do know the last time we went they were our companions.
I have no idea what the outcome was of the game. After all, that has been — well, you do the math. Thanks to the magic of Google, I discovered that Florida won the 1999 game 30-14. Sorry I looked it up.
Nevertheless, this year was different, although, for a while I had my doubts. Of course, being an old ball coach myself, we have a saying in the business: A win is a win. I’m not sure who coined that phrase, but I figure it was the same guy who opined that tying your opponent is like kissing your sister.
I don’t make ‘em up. I just repeat ‘em.
A special thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for making the trip possible; Trudy and I gave up on season tickets years ago, so we had to rely on my sister’s benevolence. She called me from the game last year, probably at the height of the big Jacksonville Landing party, and insisted on the commitment.
Being one not to disappoint the family, I reluctantly agreed. The rest, as they say, is history.
During the pre-planning phase of our trip, I discovered that our motel was pet-friendly. Trudy and I had been trying to decide what we would do with Otis, and while we both love Dr. Sammy, our veterinarian, my math is good enough to know that I could save enough to pay for at least one night’s motel bill if I could avoid his boarding charge.
You see where this is going, don’t you?
Before I go there, let me say this. The Georgia-Florida trip was just a culminating activity in what turned out to be two weeks of whirlwind trips. First we went to see son No. 1 in Tallahassee. From there we went to a business meeting in Savannah. Then I went to Atlanta to work, and Trudy headed to the lake to look after the house.
All of that away time was going to result in more boarding time for Otis. By the way, in case I forgot to mention, Otis is our 110-pound chocolate lab … oh wait a minute. Trudy has had him on weight control formula, so he is down to a svelte 99 pounds.
Regardless of the number, he is a big boy. Boarding him all of those days is a big number, too, so my sister, perhaps in a moment of weakness, agreed to doggie sit for me.
Now, I have to admit that The Beast, as we all affectionately refer to him, is much less trouble than were either of my children. Be that as it may, Otis spent an entire week being loved, cuddled, and otherwise spoiled by sibling and her family.
I will say this in their defense. He is a snuggle bug!!
So when I discovered the motel was pet-friendly, well, I just couldn’t help myself. So Trudy met my sister, brother-in-law, and Otis at their home, and they all caravanned to J’ville. I left work a little early on Thursday, and we all met in Valdosta to finish our pilgrimage to the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
Otis didn’t make it to the game because they have some really stupid rule about not being able to take pets into the stadium. I tried to pass it off as just humans who don’t get it, but I think his feelings were hurt.
We got through the weekend, pulled the dogs through, and all without incident. Well, there was a little incident on Thursday night, but we won’t go there.
Footnote: We got all of this done while being on Grandson Watch. That’s right. In case you missed it, Daughter-in Law No. 2 is expecting our first grandson. In fact, by the time you read this column, the due date will have passed.
I have to admit that as of this writing, it doesn’t look like Trenton Matthew Rowland is much interested in schedules. Last I heard, we aren’t even close. Of course, if that changes, check my Facebook page. I’m just dying to let the world know.
Just to show you how desperate they are, my daughter-in-law was told that eating a fresh pineapple would speed up the process. She looked it up online — again, the wonders of Google — and discovered that there apparently is some truth to that.
Brian bought one, cut it up, and Morgan ate the whole thing in two days.
Again, I digress.
So Sunday morning after the UGA game, I put Mama on the road to Chesapeake, Va. She made it there safely, and Otis and I headed back to the big city for a week of batching it.
Just so you know, Otis is lying at my feet while I pound the keys on my trusty word processor. He’s been a little weird this week. I think he misses his mama.
But, he and I are on standby for the call to head north. Oh yes. I am taking him with me. After all, every little boy’s dream is to have a dog that will sleep at his feet.
And I intend to fulfill that dream early.