Posted in Bikes, Dog Life, Road Biking, Summer Training

Java Meet The RichieDammit

I finally got to bring home my new road bike–Trek’s Emonda SL7 Disc. I named her RichieDammit, which is a nickname given by my highschool friends. Richie was a nickname that started when I was in Japan prior to highschool and followed me back to the U.S. For the longest time, my friends started their sentences with ‘Richie’ and ended them with ‘Dammit’. For example, “Richie, you need to get to class before Mr. Harrington gives you detention again, dammit.”  Eventually, it just got shortened to “RichieDammit.” And since this bike has some attitude to it, I passed on my old nickname.

So along with the drama of trying to get my puppy from South Dakota to Fairbanks, I was also trying to get my new road bike from Wisconsin.  This was also some drama TNT style (We Know Drama).

  • I order the bike via Trek’s awesome Employee VIP program. They tell me the bike will be shipped at the end of the week.
  • The bike tech at the store I work (Goldstream Sports) tells me that the bike is on back order because customer orders have priority over employee orders. I will now have to wait until the end of the month. Okay, May 30th. I have a Mountain Bike. I can deal.


  • The bike ships on May 28th. Cool.
  • The bike is turned around on May 29th at Kentucky for a shipping violation.  No notice from Trek. My bike tech has no idea. The store owner thinks it has to do with the lithium battery that powers the Di2 shifters.
  • I exchange a lot of emails with Trek. They confirm that it is the lithium battery.  Someone forgot to put a sticker on the box needed for air shipment.  This is after they tell me they don’t think they can ship the bike to Alaska because of the battery, which made no sense because we had two shipped up here for our customers and have e-bikes shipped up here all the time. This was about the time we were having trouble getting Java flown to Alaska too.  There were a lot of tears that week. A LOT.
  • No more information for a week. I exchange emails with Trek again. They tell me it is on the shipping dock and will arrive in Alaska at the end of the week.
  • Minutes later I get this image texted to me from my inside connection at UPS:


  • I check UPS Tracking. Sure enough it had been shipped from Wisconsin last week.
  • The bike is delivered. The store is swamped with repairs, but the bike techs have mercy on me and get it put together quickly. I finally got to take it for a solid test ride. Tomorrow the store owner will do a thorough computerized bike fitting.

Okay summer, we can now begin.

Posted in Dog Life

Java Arrived!

It had to be the longest day of my life.  After two failed attempts to fly her from South Dakota to Alaska, Java showed up at a little after 8pm.  I must have paced up and down the same section of the airport where you pick up oversize and special luggage.  It’s the same place I pace around whenever I’m waiting to pick up my bike after an out-of-state race.

They took FOREVER to get her to the door, which really was no fault of Alaska Airlines.  In fact, of all the air carriers we have ever dealt with they are the best. And the whole week long delay had to do with the United Airlines Pug Mishap, which won’t allow them to ship animals until July.  This forced Top Dog Kennels to use Delta Airlines. And from what I hear, none of the breeders in that area want to use them.

Her powder blue kennel was so tiny and she was super anxious to get out.  Once we got her on the aiport’s pet lawn, she bounded out of that kennel and started licking us and running on our laps.  I almost started crying. She is so beautiful and happy.  Even my husband, who had been rather stoic about the whole delay in getting her, was suddenly a dad of a small being all over again. He was giving her water and food out of his hands, rushing her home, and getting a bigger kennel put up for her while I got her little one clean.  We were wiped out.

She cried a lot last night, as we expected she would.  And while we listened for anything particularly wrong, we withheld responding unless we really had to.  The morning was a big potty mess to clean up, but we expect that.  Phil and I are pretty good about joining forces when it comes to parenting goals, so no doubt we will have her potty trained fairly quickly.  Plus, I’ve been through this with a human child already, so it isn’t too much different.

So the adventure begins.  I think I need a nap!


Posted in Dog Life, Summer Training

Tomorrow She Arrives

dog bowlIt’s been a weekend wait to confirm Java’s flight, but this morning I got the news: She is indeed flying tomorrow morning out of South Dakota.  After a transfer in Minneapolis, she will fly direct to Fairbanks, Alaska.  We will pick her up around 8:30 pm and bring her home for what will probably be a very long night. Or maybe she will adjust just fine. Either way, I have a recovery  day on Friday, so we can have a calm morning getting used to her new home. Thankfully, I only live about a quarter mile from work and will be able to make frequent visits.

New pics when she gets here. I am so excited. I picked out a dog tag today. She will visit the vet on Monday for her vaccinations. Then the fun begins!

Posted in Dog Life

4 Weeks and Things are Getting Serious Now!

4 weeks and dang has this dog gotten big! We were sent a host of pictures from Top Dog Kennels today along with a price quote to fly Java up from South Dakota.  It will be four more weeks before she can make the trip, but we are already talking flight arrangements. That’s a sign that we are almost there!

It woke this sudden awareness in my husband that the house needs to be rearranged and things put more away.  I’ve actually been working on this since we decided to own a dog, but my husband is someone who only notices major sweeping changes while the small things appear on his radar and “something odd.” It cracks me up, but whatever. If he wasn’t ready to quite have a dog in the house he will be soon.

More than that he feels the pressure to listen to the puppy training podcasts and read training literature. That I can appreciate. I have ready one book so far and talked to some facilities around here, as well as gotten recommendations from other owners on vets, gear, and training classes.  It’s like being first time parents all over again!

And so the countdown continues! More pics to come I’m sure.