Wyoming Bound

Co-pilot is my dog.

Of the six Dublin x Celeste puppies: I kept two, two others stayed in Colorado, and two went to homes out of state.  I had the chance to visit Stella Rose in Monterey California in 2009, and despite getting to meet up with Bella’s family several times while they were in town for hockey tournaments or music concerts, I hadn’t gotten the chance to see her in the flesh since we met her ride home to Daniel in Cheyenne when she was just under 3 months old.  Winter storms had prevented her from going home sooner.

Eager to see how the quiet, reserved, and gorgeous girl was growing up and regretful of missing the event last year, I packed up Mercury and Dublin to attend the 2011 Taylor Ranches cattle branding and barbecue over Memorial Day weekend.

Mercury took the co-pilot’s chair while Dublin decided to work Engineering on the lower deck, and we headed off on the 8 hour drive from Denver to the northwest corner of Wyoming.

I'm giving her all she's got, Captain!

We were several hours outside of Denver before the boys decided that they no longer had to sample the 65mph wind for traces of the dog park or sheep and settled down for the rest of the trip.  They don’t like the windows in my car as much because they can’t roll them down all by themselves like they can in the big Jeep.  Plus, the big Jeep has 4 windows and mine only has two.  I never really appreciated why one would need a child lock on the automatic windows until the dogs discovered the magic black button on the console.

Dublin was the first to teach himself how to open the window and he was also he first to accidentally strangle himself by pushing the button the wrong way while his head was hanging out of the car.  Since then I’ve used the child lock much to the dogs’ frustration. They’ll paw at the button now and then poke me in the back with their nose as if to say “make it work, daddy.”  In my car there’s no magic button so they simply paw at the glass until I oblige.  I also keep the doors locked because Dublin, in an effort to see if any of the things he could paw on the door worked like the magic black button in the other car, found the handle which opens the door and successfully pulled it hard enough to unlatch the door.  He’s either very adventurous or suicidal.  His old favorite trick was to lean out the window so far he’d put both his front feet on the rear view mirror and play superman, blissfully unaware that his harness would prevent him from taking flight.

Our first stop was at the highest point along I-80 at 8,640 feet, which has a nice monument to Abraham Lincoln.  A huge bust sitting atop a rather square pillar like the world’s largest rock PEZ dispenser.  The dogs were unimpressed.

Abraham Lincoln, brought to you by PEZ.

Luckily the rest of our drive up was uneventful, although there were 50-60mph gusts crossing the highway on I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie, one of which overturned a truck carrying a light trailer which blocked up the eastbound lanes for at least 10 miles.  The WHP was out in force, my Whistler radar detector lit up like a volume meter most of I-80.  Once I hit the turn off to US 191 though, the clouds parted, the cops disappeared, and the sun came out.

The Road north to Daniel, Wyoming

After getting the dogs some fried chicken gizzards and liver at some gas station in the middle of nowhere, we finally pulled into Daniel with just enough daylight left for a little Frisbee in the Pinedale city park with Bella’s mom Kara before dinner, an unexpected attendance at the Pinedale 2011 Graduation, and a late night arrival at Taylor Ranch.

8 minutes of Frisbee wasn't enough payment for 8 hours of driving, thought the dogs; but they didn't know all the fun that was in store for them over the weekend.

The dogs were very appreciative of their short Frisbee session, but after all the fun they had over the next few days, they didn’t even notice that the frisbee didn’t make it back into the car with us on the way home.


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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.