[caption id="attachment_3494" align="alignnone" width="500"] Scottie Mom, you want us to go where? On top of that white stuff??[/caption]
When I heard snow was coming to Atlanta, I could not have been happier. Until now, Heather and Mr. K never really got to enjoy some play time in the snow together and I just knew some fantastic photos were just waiting to be taken so we could share them with our Scottie Mom friends.
Unfortunately, things didn't go as I had hoped. I wasn't home before the sun set to snap a few photos. In fact, I wasn't home for the evening walk or even for Scottie dinner time (GASP!). Despite the fact I left work around 2 p.m. and the drive is typically about 15 minutes, it took me a grand total of six hours to get home to my pups...that's longer than our trip to Charleston!
Heather and Mr. K did their best to hold their small bladders but a Scottie's gotta go when a Scottie's gotta go. I came home to a few small accidents. Almost as soon as I came through the door, we were heading back out it. Heather made it just outside the garage and onto the driveway before she couldn't hold it anymore. And Mr. K, I swear he peed for a solid five minutes.
What took so long for me to get home, you ask? Well, in a nutshell (and in case you haven't seen it all over national news today), Atlanta - the city Heather and Mr. K reside in - was and probably will always be ill-prepared for events like this. We only got two inches of snow but it was enough to shut the city down and cause a gridlock across the region. Children slept overnight in schools, drivers either slept on the highways or abandoned their vehicles to seek shelter elsewhere and it is reported there were over 1,250 accidents since the snow starting falling yesterday afternoon.
[caption id="attachment_3488" align="alignnone" width="500"] On the highway headed home yesterday at 2 p.m.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_3489" align="alignnone" width="500"] After two hours on the interstate, I spent four hours in this residential neighborhood trying to get home.[/caption]
Friends, I cannot even begin to explain how stressful the past 24 hours have been. The frustration of sitting in traffic that long, the anxiety that comes with knowing you need to be somewhere but there literally is nothing you can do, and the shock and awe of watching inexperienced cold-weather drivers attempt risky and dangerous maneuvers that could put your life in jeopardy took quite the mental and emotional toll on me...hence, why we took the night off last night!
You might remember Lucky the Shih Tzu who comes over to hang out with Heather and Mr. K every once in a while. Unfortunately, his Shih Tzu Mom got stuck on another highway close to the Scottie House and had to sleep in her car under a bridge. When she woke, the people in the cars next to her hadn't moved but a few inches. All she had for dinner was a mint and some water. So, when I woke at 5:30 a.m. and found out she was still out there, I dressed in heavy layers and packed a bag full of provisions and blankets to take to her on foot.
The roads were deserted, completely covered in ice. I nearly lost my footing twice on the way there. I wasn't at all nervous until I came to the interstate ramp and saw just how many cars and trucks were stranded. It was like something out of a bad apocalypse movie. I only had food for Shih Tzu Mom, not all these people! For a brief moment, I thought about how crazy I was for doing this. What if one of these trucks didn't see me walking or a car slid toward me on the ice?
I pushed forward and shuffled my way down the highway ramp, moving between ice patches on the highway itself and snow covered sides of the road. I had to walk around abandoned cars, parked this way and that. Then, I saw the bridge and about another half mile or so later, I arrived at her car and was delivering the goods. I stayed there for a good four hours to keep Shih Tzu Mom company before making the long and slippery trek back. I tweeted a few things about the horrible conditions surrounding us and CNN called to talk to Shih Tzu Mom.
Poor Lucky was home alone all night and even much of the day today. He did have food and water, but no potty breaks or walks for over 24 hours. The amazing part: that little angel held it the whole time. When his Shih Tzu Dad finally got home, he hadn't had an accident yet and, even when he was brought outside, wasn't sure he wanted to go even after all that time because of that chilly, white stuff on the ground! After 21 hours on the road, Shih Tzu Mom finally made it home to snuggle with Lucky and Shih Tzu Dad around 3 p.m. today.
[caption id="attachment_3490" align="alignnone" width="500"] When morning came, I set out on foot to bring relief to Lucky's Shih Tzu Mom. This was the interstate.[/caption]
I left Shih Tzu Mom on the highway around noon. We had made it to the next exit (keep in mind Shih Tzu Mom was already halfway there when I found her - it took us four hours to move a half mile). Again, I walked down the ramp but wasn't so successful in maintaining my footing. As I was on the phone with CNN once more, my feet slipped from underneath me and down I went right there on the ramp. When I got to the end of it, I couldn't believe what I was seeing: so much more ice, so many more abandoned cars and lots of people still spinning tires in place.
When I got to the street my neighborhood is on, I stopped to snap another photo of the road I had to maneuver the night before. Cars abandoned on either side of the road heading up the hill, the Scottie Mobile and I barely had enough room to make our way to the Scottie House but we had experience and good fortune on our side. It looked bad at night but it looked so much worse when I saw those dozens of cars again in the morning - one still running (but no one inside)!
[caption id="attachment_3491" align="alignnone" width="500"] Abandoned cars outside my neighborhood.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_3492" align="alignnone" width="500"] On my walk home, I found these abandoned cars facing every which way.[/caption]
In closing, I wish everyone a safe, warm and comfortable night in the company of your darling pets! Heather and Mr. K really worked their magic and helped me to relax and calm down a bit once I got home last night. Scottie Dad's flight was moved so we hope to be reunited with him tomorrow. As promised, pictures from our Charleston trip will post soon as well as a few from play time in the snow I was able to snap later in the afternoon today. Much love, The Scottie Mom.