We've loved reading all your comments about Jake's travelogue. Jakey, the Professor, is a very insightful dog, so I respect his interpretations. Were Just Harry to have written about the journey, I suspect it would have been a bit different. But now, it's my turn.
First off, I learned a lot about our two boyz from traveling with them. One happy surprise was how very well behaved they were. Our fears of their barking in the middle of the night at unfamiliar noises in motels never materialized. Strangely, while at home they wander all over the bedroom during the night, sleeping in each other's beds, on the floor, on the rocking chair by the bed, anywhere they please. Throughout the trip, however, even the whole week upstairs at Jack's Mom's townhouse, they each stayed in their own bed throughout the night. With barely a bark or even a slight growl.
The biggest surprise, however, was that Just Harry, who we typically call "the nervous one," never got upset at anything. We have straps for the boyz that link to their harnesses and to the seatbelt in the back seat of the car, and we had placed their beds next to each other on the back seat to make it more comfortable for them. Just Harry immediately curled up and went to sleep. He stayed asleep for most of the travel time every day -- popping his head up every once in a while to see what was going on.
Jakey, on the other paw, never stayed in the back seat. He's always liked standing on the console -- which he could even with the strap. And he's always panted a bit from excitement. But on the trip, his panting became excessive, even frightening, and the only way I could control it was having him on my lap with his head down, so he could snooze a bit. Every so often, he'd want to stand up and see what was happening, and he'd start to pant again.
We tried a bit of dramamine on one day, at Patience's suggestion. And we tried 25 mg of Benedryl another day. Neither had the desired result, although he did sleep a bit longer with the Benedryl. I've read a lot now about calming medication for dogs with valerian root and camomile, and I wonder if anyone has tried them. We're assuming, since it's not the motion that gets to Jake, as he is OK with his head down, that when he looks out, his brain is overwhelmed with all the stimuli of the passing cars, landscape, etc., creating anxiety. Any thoughts?
Then there were the bowl scenarios. Again, Mr. Allegedly the Nervous One, couldn't wait to eat, regardless of where I put his bowl. The Professor, however, was much fussier. "Why isn't my bowl where it always is?" he kept asking. "I recognize that it's my bowl, but I'm not sure what to do with it." The first morning, after he snubbed the food in his bowl in the corner on the floor where I had put it, I had to trick him into eating, first by moving the bowl to the desk. As he likes to jump on chairs, he jumped up, sniffed the bowl, and lookd at me rather quizzically. Then I put the bowl on the chair, and he stood on his hind legs to eat. Finally. As the trip wore on he got more used to eating in new corners -- but often I had to sit with him to reassure him that all was OK.
Interesting difference between our two guys!! Very unexpected.
When we were in St. Louis, we made a few choices as to how much excitement -- big people, little people, little dogs (two tiny aging chihuahuas at one of Jack's brother's that we were afraid would look too much like lunch) -- we would expose them too. But generally, other than Jakey's wrapping his paws around one of our nephews and humping him for all he was worth, and Just Harry's jumping on the laps of anyone who looked inviting -- we were fine. (I've chosen to ignore Jake's low crawl into the whippet room....) And we had lots of fun observing their antics and watching their reactions to new people and places.
Would we do it again? As Jack says, perhaps not such a long trip tomorrow. But having the barkies with us rather than missing them over the holidays, as we've done in the past, was definitely a delight. And we will do it again -- hopefully when it is not below freezing!!
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