Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Post-trip Reflections from Our Secretary (OK, Our Mom)

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!!



Patience-please said...

Come back any time!!! We so enjoyed the visit!

Patience and Bill and the whippets who would be happy to sound the Hairy Dog Alarm for their virtual buddies

Unknown said...

You were very brave and understanding humans to make the trip with the boyz. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, and I can just imagine all the enjoyment that your two characters brought to everyone they met! Come see us at the gallery again soon. We want to meet the boyz!

Asta said...

Deaw Jake andJust Harry's Mom
I'm so vewy glad you decided that having the boyz wif you was fun..I knew it would be..and fwom my own twavels I just know they had a gweat time meeting evewyone and being wif pet spa is as good as being neaw youw pawents, even if itseems scaiwy and unfamiliaw sometimes.
Mommi doesn't have any hints about the panting..she's sowwy..I don't do that and neithew did hew thwee pwevious wiwes, xept Charlie used to thwow up evewy five minute on a caw twip..that was tewwible, hehehe..maybe you need mowe twips (to NewYowk????hint hint) and he'll get used to the twavel
pee ess we looove the family pictoowe you all look bootiful

Gus said...

hehehehe.. I love it. We knew that they would be good travellers...Gussie sent them packing tips and suggestions about food (Steak n Shake!)

Our stress remedy is Rescue Remedy, we slip it in the water for Gussie when we are going to leave him for a (relatively) long time. Nothing works for Teka, unless she is completely comatose, which worries us.

Shorter trips - yay. Maybe we can meet up at Spring Training!

gussie and muzzer

Eduardo said...

Sounds like the trip went well! I can only hope my Mommy & Daddy will take me on a trip next time they go on one after reading this!
Hugs & Snugs
Eduardo the Snuggle Puggle

Moose said...

I have heard of the rescue remedy suggested by Gussie but have not tried it yet. I give my Moose they type of calming supplements that have tryptophan (of turkey fame) in it and it does not seem to make him sleepy but he seems less anxious. It helped him over his fear of stairs for example. One thing I have found that worries some bigger dogs is they seem tense about possibly falling off the seat when the car stops and a backseat hammock is great for that. In case you have never sen one here is a pic:
Glad to hear of your exciting travels and quiet nights!

Joe Stains said...

Professor sounds like me, I have t to be up and alert in the car and I pant like crazy. I've never gone on a long trip tho. I think you guys did GREAT!!!!!!!1


I saw shades of Essex & Deacon. Essex won't eat much on the road, curls up and sleeps. Once we arrive at our destination she becomes more like herself. Deacon's appetite seems unaffected, he loves to stand on the center console, especially when I slow down in the big cities. Thus why I got the pet barrieer. When I was doing weekend drills before I retired from the reserves, if I brought the kennel, Essex would stay in her kennel getting out only for walks. She loved having that space from home available.

Dog Dad

Daniella said...

Axel also loves to ride with his two front paws on the console and also pants and drools but we never saw an issue with it as after an hour or so on the road, he'll curl up on my lap or back seat and go to sleep. I'm so glad you had a great time. I'd love to do this with Ax, furtherest we've been to is Mass. where we stayed with dog friends. Come to Philly and NYC next time please - Asta and Ax would love to meet the Barkalots. As would the humans.
PS Can you let me know what harnesses and seatbelt straps you used, nothing we've tried has been tolerated by our Ax.

editordan2002 at yahoo

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your travelogue. It was great - better than the Travel Channel! You guys could write a book "Travels Around Florida With the Barkalot Boyz," with lots of dog-friendly places - I'd read it!

Your friend,

Princess Patches said...

Poppy likes to hump small children too! They don't even have to be REALLY small! When our pawrents have travelled with pets (not US), they have used Acepromazine 25 mg. You have to be careful though...our mom gave it to Poppy so she could cut her toenails and Poppy slept for 8 whole hours! Mom thought she killed her! Now, she gives us only 1/2 tablet. It just calms us down!

We love the family pawtrait!

Poppy, Penny & Patches

Quinvale AstaLaVista Baby said...

G'day Boys,

I enjoyed weading about your woad twip. Mum is pwomising us a woad twip when she comes back, so it's good to get some tips!

I think you must insist on a pool. Wif me it was a necessity because I tip my water dish over and play wif it.

xxx Asta (Oz)

Molly the Airedale said...

We're so glad the boyz got to go with you on your trip! We know how special it is for them because we feel the same way when our mom and take take us with them to Nantucket for a whole week and share adventures with us! It's wonderful!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

Oh my Boyz!!! Scruff, Stan and I just read ALL your adventures startin' at Day 1...we are so jelly we could barely finish all the popcorn that we had fixed to eat for your journey!!! You got to meet Gussie, Teka and the Whippets face to face?????? CAN WE COME NEXT YEAR...we'll be good in the car, we promise...I mean Stan is almost over throwin' up all over the car...and I still pant and get hysterical if the ride is longer than five minutes, but Scruffy is good but you boyz would have to share the center console with him....that sounded so amazing!!! Isn't it the best meeting other DWBers?????? We're not sure we'll ever see the inside of a hotel with our we better just plan to ride with you next time!

Thanks soooooo much for sharin' ur traveloge...we felt like we were right along with you! Oh..Scruffy does fart sometimes in the car...I'm sure that wouldn't bother ur peeps????

Love and kisses!!!


Dewey Dewster said...

How nice that ya got ta go with yer Mom and Dogdad on such a nice trip...if anyone thinks that they are insane then they must think Gram and Pap are ready ta be committed cause they rented a place fer the month of March in Florida and we're goin' with 'em...all 3 of if yer Mom and Dad hear of a crazy lady runnin' around in the middle of I95 the end of February( on the way down)'ll know it's Gram and ya can all say a little prayer that we 3 survive.

Glad yer trip was a success and ya could spend the holidays together as a family....

Dewey Dewster here....

Bogart H. Devil said...

That's so cool - it sounds like EVERYBODY had a great time :)

Love & here's to a GREAT 2009!


Snowball said...

I enjoy reading about your trip. Its pawsome. Jie jie will never be able to experience what you had enjoyed with Jake and Just Harry cos Singapore is too small and I can't leave the country without being confined in the quarantine station for at least 30 days. Sigh... Its definitely feels good to be able to go on a trip with your beloved pets. They sure will enjoy being there with you than to be boarded at some other places.


Life With Dogs said...

No good dog trip goes off without someone getting the leg hump!

Homer said...

Just finished reading your adventures and now I feel like asking my humans to take me for a trip too? Maybe a drive down to Paris to see the 'woof' (Lourve)?


Agatha and Archie said...

We are so gald it all went well!! Pl2 shudders to think how we would be...( a deifinte yeas on the non stop barking in the hotle and Archie can't sleep anywhere but his HIS room!!! Love A+A

Molly the Airedale said...

Mom's felted purses are made from 100% wool! Have you ever accidentally washed a wool sweater in the washing machine and it shrunk? *horrors* Well, this is intentional! The purse is knit on size 10 needles and it shrinks when you toss it in the washing machine! They're are a lot of fun to make!
Hope this helps!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

We've traveled a lot with dogs and have always found them to adjust and adapt very long as they are with their humans and have their own stuff with them. Our dogs always had their own suitcases and they were the first in car and the first unpacked in the motel. We also carried water from home because sometimes the changes from places to place can cause trouble.

Glad your trip went well. Hope you find a suggestion for the panting that works.

Levi's mom

Simba and Jazzi said...

Sounds like alot of fun and hard work all rolled into one.

Simba x

Jackson's J1 and J2 said...

Sounds like a great trip! Have you tried making some kind of covered den in the car so that Jake can't see outside? That sometimes helps. Otherwise try rescue remedy or spraying DAP in the car before the journey. J x

Stanley said...

Sweet Mama de Barkie Boys!

We are stinkin' glad you took the boys with you for your holiday roadtrip! It sounds like everyone had a better time by being all together. It's fun to hear a hooman's POV.

About the panting, I wish we had some advice, but we've never dealt with that. Isn't it funny that it was Jake who seemed the most nervous & Just Harry took it all in stride? You just never know.

My girl says that if you can travel with someone and have a good time, then that is someone with whom you can have a very meaningful relationship. I think she's right!

Goober love & smooches,

Moco said...

What a wonderful trip you were able to take with the boys. It was great fun to relive it with you. Thanks for great pictures of the country.