I try to take Olive with me wherever I go. Of course, this is somewhat dependent on where dogs are welcome. Since this is not France (or California), we are prevented from dining together. Retail stores don’t like us so much either. Except for the pet stores. On this particular broiling Sunday a week ago, Olive and I picked up our friend Jill and took a long drive along a scenic byway tracking the Delaware River in New York State. Olive reclined in the back seat, taking in the scents along the way and providing some of her own. I didn’t notice, but Jill kept rolling down the passenger side window every 30 minutes or so and taking note of Olive’s fragrant bursts of air. I’d drive a little further looking for a safe spot to pull over and let Olive empty her canisters, but most of the time she’d sniff all around, as though she were reading the 100-year history of the county. And then… nothing. “GET BACK IN THE CAR, NUT. I’M NOT STANDING HERE ALL DAY WHILE YOU TAKE ME FOR A WALK. IT’S TOO HOT.” On one occasion, Olive, the Olympian hole digger and hole finder, jams half of her head through tall tick-infested brittle weeds into a giant hole. “HOLY SHIT OLIVE,” I exclaim as I yank her leash to pull her head above terra firma. “ARE YOU CRAZY? YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MIGHT BE DOWN THAT HOLE.” We get back in the car and continue driving. My ears start popping, so do Jill’s and for all I know, Olive’s too. We end up smack in front of the entrance to the High Point Monument in Montague, New Jersey. It is the highest elevation in New Jersey at 1,803 feet and the highest peak of the Kittatinny Mountains. The monument was built in 1930 to honor war veterans. If you know where you are looking, you can actually see three states from this point: New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. So, to all those who picture New Jersey as a dung hole because you are familiar only with Newark Airport, the Turnpike and those idiots on Jersey Shore, you have no idea how beautiful much of New Jersey is. So, we park and make our way toward the monument. While it’s as hot as the devil’s cojones, there is a very stiff (but warm) breeze at the top. We’ll take it on this blistering hot day. Olive races ahead, always the first to enthusiastically explore anywhere she hasn’t been before. As usual, the people we encounter all want to pet Olive. We are now at the look-out level at the base of the monument. It is beautiful. Olive, runs ahead of me on her flexi-leash. She wants to go inside the door to the monument and presumably up the spiral staircase winding its way up the inside of the structure like the DNA double helix. “No, Olive, I don’t think so. They don’t allow dogs up there sweetie. And there’s no way in hell I’m going up there either.” After we take some pictures and enjoy both the view and the breeze, we start making our way down. While Olive probably isn’t thrilled at being back in the car, I know she’s happy just to be with me. Ditto.