Sunday, May 3, 2015

Slowly the Night Turns

We had some problems at Native Spirits Winery last night where we were spending the night. The woman working at the tasting room left after the winery closed, and we were left alone in the cool of the evening. Or so we thought.
Auggie, our small dog, had not made a good impression on the owner's two large dogs. Now, one of Auggie's great joys in life is meeting other dogs on our travels. He gets along very well with big dogs (I think he remembers his "big brother, Sim," our Golden Retriever with whom he he'd such a close relationship.)  In fact, I would have to say that he has never met a dog he didn't like. 

Unfortunately, the two large dogs here decided that they didn't like Auggie. And with the owner away from the winery (we had only seen Debby, the part time employee because Rick was at a wine festival for the day) the dogs decided that they'd better keep an eye on our dog. Once the humans left the tasting room (the dogs were VERY friendly with people,) we heard them circling the rig, growling at the door and then sitting about twenty feet away barking in our direction every few minutes. We had to watch carefully before taking Auggie out for a piddle break before we retired; even then I had to pick our dog up quickly when one of the aggressive dogs appeared suddenly, head down and forward, tail flagged and stiff, hair raised across the back and shoulders, and steadily staring at Auggie. Classic signs of aggression.

After we went to bed the aggression continued, with growling and barking right under our windowed every couple of minutes. It was impossible to sleep. I tried yelling at them to go home and they slunk about fifteen feet farther, only to return.  At eleven o'clock I called the winery number in the hopes that someone in the house would pick up, but could only leave a message. Finally I called the police. They were unable to get ahold of the owners and suggested we find another place to camp for the night. "Find a campground at this time of night?" I said. He shrugged.  There really wasn't anything he could do since the owners were not at home.

Finally after midnight we heard a car approach, then retreat.  The dogs were gone. We heard them barking off in the distance all night (locked in a garage, perhaps?) but at least they were not under our windows. 

We will have to use a broom to raise branches so that they do not scrape the roof of the motorhome as we leave. The branches did a number on our roof when we arrived, hanging so low. Fortunately our AC units were not damaged that we could see.

The owners need to trim those branches and restrain those dogs after hours. Or else not allow guests with pets and restrict RVs taller than ten feet high. The tasting room experience was a delight, and Debby was wonderful although she had never heard of Harvest Hosts and had been given no heads-up on us or where we should park.  We saw the torn up lawn where another motorhome had gotten stuck trying to turn around. At first we smirked about the driver of that RV who drove across a lawn but now we wonder if it was because of the lack of instruction from staff or owner on where to be.

While I would return to this winery for a tasting and to purchase wine (and it was good wine!) I would not stay here overnight again.

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