When my husband retired, we sold our home of thirty-five years and moved to Deep Creek, Maryland. Leaving a lifetime of neighborhood friends was too painful to think about. We also couldn’t leave the care of doctors we trusted. Our solution was to buy a small condo not far from our old neighborhood. We travel back and forth as need be, sometimes together and sometimes apart.
I frequently make the trip with my dog, Davy. He’s a people-loving, fourteen-pound Bichon.
The condo is one hundred-fifty miles from our home in Deep Creek. The drive is pleasant and is usually less than three hours–unless there’s bad weather, highway construction, holiday traffic, an accident, or something totally unpredictable.
I’m a woman of a certain age and–to put it delicately–I need to make a nature stop. This is a problem in the summer. I can’t leave Davy in the car. It’s hot. Putting the car windows down while I’m gone is not an option–I won’t risk him being stolen. I won’t tie him to a tree outside the rest room for the same reason.
My solution? I stop at the public rest area on Sideling Hill and take Davy into the rest room with me. He loves it! So many women to charm, new smells to sniff, and cool things to explore. We even go into the stall together, which is no easy task, believe me.
Davy’s a good dog. He’s never used the rest room for his own needs. Only once did he duck under the stall divider to make friends with the woman next door. She laughed and said, “Well, hello!” They became friends at the sink.
All was good. Until yesterday.
My daughter stopped at the Sideling Hill rest stop on the way to visit me. She texted a photograph of the new sign posted on the women’s room door. “They put this sign up because of you…Lol,” wrote my darling daughter.
Oh no! What am I going to do?
I called the Allegany County and Maryland State Highway Administrations. After being passed around a bit, I spoke to Mark. He was sympathetic. “I’ve never heard of that situation before. I’ll look into it.” I’m anxiously awaiting the response of the powers-that-be.
In the meantime, Davy’s going into the restroom with me. Tomorrow. You may see me on a crowdfunding website seeking bail money. This is a quality of life change I don’t plan to make without a fight.