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George and Rocky’s Late Night Adventure

April 14, 2011 by · 7 Comments 


September 2009

Rocky decided that he had to go for a walk at 11:30 PM the night we arrived at the Sun ‘N Fun RV Resort in Sarasota, Florida. It was no big deal; I walk him all the time. He gets constipated from sitting in a car all day, just like me. The difference this time was the size of the park and the fact that I forgot to take my cell phone, flashlight and my BRAIN along with me when I set out on his walk. To makes matters worse, I gave Rocky the lead and he decided that he wanted to take a LONG walk.

Rocky The Wonder Dog!

Again, no problem, the streets were named and the sites were numbered, after all, but – remember – I forgot to take my brain along for the walk. 20 minutes after setting out I knew that I was lost. I knew that we were set up on site number 36 and I was standing in front of site 445, but I had no idea which way to go to get “home.” I was also worried about the fact that even though the resort had over 3,000 visitors during its busy season, it was, unfortunately, not its busy season. There wouldn’t be much help to be had in the huge, mostly deserted resort.

About 45 minutes further into our walk, both Rocky and I were very tired and still lost. I began trying to backtrack, looking for familiar streets or homes that we had passed. The problem was that every street had an Indian name that sounded a lot like every other Indian street name and most of the manufactured homes, which make up a good proportion of the sites, looked alike. It was then that I began worrying that I might have to sleep on someone’s front porch that night.

I did walk past a couple of semi-darkened homes during my trek and did consider knocking on the door and asking for help, but several things stopped me from doing so:

1- Embarrassment over my situation.

2- My male genetic conditioning that MEN NEVER ASK DIRECTIONS. And -

3- It was late at night and the owner might be elderly (maybe even more so than me) and knocking on their door might cause a heart attack or result in me getting SHOT.

Days later (not really; it just felt like it) Rocky and I were still lost. The only difference in our situation was that I was now carrying Rocky, who had given up on walking even another step; even after I reminded him that the walk had been HIS idea. (He’s not too good about accepting responsibility for his decisions and usually blames me — as in “Don’t look at me! You’re the HUMAN!”)

Well, we didn’t get eaten by an alligator or die from hunger or thirst, but I did think that I’d die from embarrassment when a car finally drove up and, after I threw myself in front of it to make it stop, I had to sheepishly explain that the pathetic old guy (me, cane and all, carrying his little dog) had gotten lost and needed HELP. At first the guy driving wouldn’t even open his window to talk to me, maybe thinking that I was really a terrorist pretending to be a 64-year old retired guy (with cane and terrier). He just sat in there and stared out at me. After raising my voice and waving my arms about, he finally lowered his window a few inches and no, he didn’t offer me a ride, or even explicit directions, but he did point vaguely off into the distance and suggest I head that way. And then he was gone and I was ready to lie down in the middle of the street with Rocky and wait, whimpering, for either death or the morning, whichever came first.

It was then that I heard a very faint call from way off in the distance: “George! G-E-O-R-G-E! GEORGE!” It was Maureen, my darling wife! After nearly an hour, she had finally torn herself away from a late night movie and had come looking for me. Good wife! I tried returning her call, which she claims she never heard, and then began stumbling in the direction of her voice, totally exhausted from the day’s adventures.

Well, a few minutes later, a vehicle approached and I was rescued by a friendly stranger in an SUV. He informed me that Maureen was looking for me and was going to kill me when she finally got hold of me for forgetting to take my phone along on my walk (She has funny ways of showing her affection for me). It was then that I realized that Maureen was sitting there in the dark, inside the SUV, giggling, next to her new best friend, Henry. We, or they, actually, had a good laugh about her senile husband as they drove me back to our trailer.

And that was that, although if any of you mention this story in the future, I’ve decided to deny it ever happened.

The Traveler

Postscript: The above story, and a good number of others, co-star my little buddy, Rocky, an Australian Terrier. As you’ll learn from an upcoming story, Rocky passed on during our cross-country RV tour during 2010. I just thought that you should know.


7 Responses to “George and Rocky’s Late Night Adventure”
  1. Patti Faustini says:

    Oh Traveler, how much you must miss Rocky. What a team you must have made. I loved your story, and I also got a good head’s up. We need to start assessing our RV spot as carefully as we do mall parking spots, and for the exact same reasons. I just can’t let myself get lost anymore, and a huge RV park would be just the place for that, night or day!

    Happy Tales to you and Maureen,

    ps…I’ve had 5 Springer Spaniels. They always thought long walks were great ideas, and I, too, was dumb enough to believe them. I have a picture somewhere of a friend of mine hauling one of my exhausted doggies down a mountain,,,draped around my friend’s neck.

  2. Traveler says:

    Dear Patti, Oh how I miss Rocky. I rescued him from the “returns counter” at a floridian breeder’s home. He was a real wild dog when we first brought him home. But, after just a couple of weeks at George’s boot camp for wayward dogs, Rocky became the best companion (besides my wife, that is) that you could ever want. That was during the start and worst part of my disabilitiy when my pain was running rampant and I prayed for some relief… or passing.

    Rocky was with me night and day for nearly 11 years. I never taught him any tricks; he was perfect the way he was. We were in Kingman, Arizona when he put his back out for the second time. If his pain didn’t break my heart that night, taking him to a local vet the next morning to send him on his way certainly did. I can still get up a good cry if I think about it.

    Thanks for your message. I’m glad you like my scribblings. As punishment for bringing up Rocky – no, wait, I was the one who did that, wasn’t I? – I’m going to tell that story about Rocky’s last day to get it over with so that my other stories about him can be happy ones…

    Check for my next story, “So Long, Rocky, It Was Good to Know You.” A dog lover’s warning though: get your tissues ready or save this one for another time; it’ll hurt.


  3. Jim says:


    I lost my best buddy suddenly this past January after eleven short years.
    Some friends sent me this poem and it helps.
    Just like to pass it on

    Rainbow Bridge

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

  4. Hans says:

    This is one of my favorite stories. Mom was laughing too after I told her to read your post. See you on the internet.

  5. Traveler8343 says:

    Thanks Hans,

    A lot of people have told me that, out of what I have written for Woodall’s, this is their favorite story. Looking back at what happened is funnier than actually experiencing being lost. I often bragged that I could never get lost; that I had a built-in compass. I have a feeling that my “compass” has gotten a bit rusty.

    Because of this, I downloaded a new app for my Blackberry to help when I can’t find my way back to where I started out from. It’s called “Car Finder.” You tell it to save your location (or your car’s) before you start out and it will lead you back when you are finished. I have yet to try it out and I do have one concern: I know that my GPS can only nail down my location within around 100 yards. This may not be sufficient in an airport parking lot. When it gets me as close as it can I suppose that I could use my car’s key fob to start the car honking at me…

    But, of course, all of this requires me to actually remember to take my Blackberry and keys with me when I set out… lol

    Till Next Time,
    The Traveler

  6. Jim says:

    GREAT STORY, George!
    Our condolences on losing Rocky. We just lost our beloved Shiloh after only 6 years (kidney failiar). The tales about him could fill a books. May you find another to fill the void.

  7. Traveler8343 says:

    Hi Jim, Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad that you enjoyed it. Check back for more of the same.


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