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Travels with Molly and Ginger...


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The trip from PA to FL was horrendous. Ginger had upchucked over her third of the backseat before we were outside Mansfield city limits. This clean up was followed by two more for her and one for Molly before we reached Harrisonburg. In fact, by noon of the first day, we'd replaced the backseat towels with newspaper, and I resolved to get the car detailed, but definitely, in St Augustine. The motel in Harrisonburg is one we've stayed in before and is very "pet friendly." There is a walking area with a poop bag station, and the rooms where people with pets stay seem to have very good insulation because we heard no other dogs except for the one we awakened at 3a.m. when Molly and Ginger barked their way down the hall from our room to the outside door. I didn't sleep much after that foray into the pooping area. They began militating from their travel crate again at 5 and spent the remainder of the night (one hour) in bed with me.

The second day we abandoned all attempts to get them to do their business in the grassy margins of the gas stations we stopped at and walked them only in rest areas, thus doubling our stopping time. Because we were afraid to leave them in the car for long, our lunches on the trip were hurried affairs taken in Subways and other fast food places. At night, we ordered in and ate in our room while M and G cavorted on the beds. Ginger, of the many upchucks, was the life of the party once she hit the motel room du jour. She could jump up on the high motel beds, but Molly must have slightly shorter legs because she needed assistance. This allowed Ginger to corral all the toys on one of the two beds (the one Molly was not on) by jumping back and forth between the beds and from floor to beds at will. Molly became progressively more morose as the trip continued into the third day.

There had been only one upchucking on day 2, Ginger's, not Molly's, but on day 3 after we had entered St Augustine, Wil said, "Give them a celebratory cookie!" My instincts said no, but I gave out the cookies anyway, and we found ourselves stopping in a parking lot about a mile from home to let Ginger get rid of the cookie. So I guess you could say her gastrointestinal adventures bracketed the trip, from beginning to end. Molly was fine in that respect, but on the second stop, morning of day 3, we found that she had chewed through the strap of her doggy seat belt and had gotten halfway through the car's seatbelt to which hers was attached. Fortunately, she was more or less boxed in, and there were only two hours left of the trip.

A few days later, I saw just what we will need for any further car trips with the dogs: two metal crates with plushy bottoms, side by side in half the backseat of a car next to me at the ACE hardware. I can't wait to hunt for them at petco online.

This has been a relatively bumpy reentry since everything is more complicated with the pups, but they got used to the new digs fairly quickly and we've been working away at the barking problem which was in full force the first week. Everything was an occasion for barking--people/dogs going by, the dogs behind the back fence barking/not barking/just being there, cars, shapes behind the windows, one of us coming from another part of the house, any noise at the door, anything unexpected, noisy, unfamiliar, etc. And this was just when they were in the house. Walks brought a new crop of causa barki which included other houses, other people, other dogs, rabbits, garbage cans, cars in driveways, cars in the streets, palm trees, sprinkler systems, sand, the ocean, and so forth. And wouldn't you know it--we had run out of citrus stuff in the citrus puff collars, and they were of limited use once the pups realized they weren't working.

Now we are all settled in; Molly and Ginger love their beach walks. The citrus puff collars are filled and working again. But when we came home last night from dinner out, we found the girls had chewed a break in the zipper of their canvas indoor-outdoor crate. A wastebasket was upended and several socks chewed. Fortunately, the crate has a side and top entrance in addition to the front one, and by turning the crate around, I was able to seal off the front, and we can now put them in through the top. They do, however, seem to be the type of cairns who will require metal crates in and out of the car!

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well, upchucking aside, that sounds like all my trips with all my dogs since time immemorial. fortunately on most of my routes there are pleasant rest stops where my dog can get some serious business done, i can get some serious meals (yes, eaten in the car of the watchful, hopeful, hungry eye of the dog). stop time does lengthen, but it is probably all to the good, keeps you more alert when driving.

it could be a lack of experience that accounts for their car sickness, but it is also possible that they are not natural riders. some people and some dogs never get over motion sickness without medical aids. or, perhaps the motion sickness is not their problem, but instead they are overcome with anxieties. bad news for you, but the cure could --more riding!

congratulations on making the transfer in the same number of pieces you started out with. hope all goes well!

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WOW what a trip!!

I'm planning a trip for next summer and recently asked about using a Pet Resort". Since my planned trip will involve about 6 days in the car, your experience is an eyeopener. Looks like Renny gets to go to the Pet Resort. I just hope he doesn't fall "in Love" with some cute Poodle or Bichon and not want to come home.

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