Dogs Are Perfect, Even When They Aren’t
As many of you already know, I have two wonderful pups named Apollo and Luna. They have changed my life for the better, for sure, and despite how different they are, they love each other just as much. Luna is a rambunctious, athletic, and intimidating little spitfire. She doesn’t like to cuddle, but she’ll ask for a pet every once in a while. Apollo, on the other hand, doesn’t know what personal space means. He wants love from everyone, and he especially loves cuddling up on the couch to laze around. Needless to say, every day with them is an adventure.
I thought it wasn’t possible to make everything more chaotic than it already was. Little did I know what traveling with those two would be like. Of course, I’ve driven with them before. The moment we’re out the front door, they bolt to the car, ready to hop in, but the farthest we’ve ever gone is the vet’s office, which isn’t far at all. The trip we were going to go on was much longer.
To the lake, an impromptu vacation
My partner’s family owns a piece of property on a lake. It’s about a two-hour drive up there, and it’s pretty much a straight shot. They invited my partner and me up there for a holiday weekend, which we both needed desperately. However, there was a question neither of us had an answer to:
What do we do with the dogs?
The struggle of packing for us and dogs
At the time, we had never boarded them, and I wasn’t keen on going on vacation and leaving my dogs with strangers. With that, it was decided, we were taking the dogs with us. It seemed simple enough until we realized both of our cars are slightly bigger than smart cars. Since my dogs are at different stages of life and are different sizes, they have separate food. They also have their crates that they sleep in, not to mention treats, toys, them, all of our luggage, and us humans.
Thankfully, my partner’s parents came through and picked up the crates, which caused the most problems. It was still a tight fit, but we got ourselves, the dogs, and all of our collective luggage in one car. The dogs were able to lay down comfortably together, and that was all I needed to make sure they were going to be set for the journey. Unfortunately, it didn’t matter if they could lay down. They did very little of that on the way up there.
The first hour of travel
The trip started deceptively well. We fed and played with the dogs, so they were worn out, we got them to potty before we even got on the road, and we were right on time to get to the lake before sundown. That first hour of travel was ideal. Luna did a lot of trotting up and down the back end of the car, following cars as long as she could until she had to start over with a new car. Apollo was resting, uninterested in anything that was going on. At the end of that hour, when the dogs were crying to potty again, I quickly realized this was not going to be smooth sailing.
We got them leashed and opened the back end so they could hop on out. Unfortunately, while getting them leashed, they were so excited to get out that they had inadvertently tied themselves up trying to race out of the car. That nearly caused us to lose both of them on a random stretch of highway, in the middle of nowhere, by a random Baptist church. Thankfully, while Luna was more than happy to go on her own adventure, she was tied up to Apollo, who was so terrified that he was attached to my hip the entire time he was out of the car. With the crisis averted, everyone did their business, and we were back on the road.
The last hour, the struggle hour
Just as a short aside, it’s worth noting that we got Luna when she was already two years old, and what information we had from her previous owner and the local animal shelter was very little. She had been a stray that was picked up and brought into the shelter. Then the individual we adopted her from adopted her, but only had her a few months before she started trying to re-home her. All that to say, we had no clue how she would be while traveling.
We quickly learned that Luna has horrible motion/car sickness. We were about an hour away from our destination when Luna started hovering over the center console. After a few minutes of her hovering, I noticed she was drooling quite a bit on my arm and shoulder. If it had been Apollo, that wouldn’t have been surprising. He drools constantly, but Luna? That was unusual. I just started alerting my partner to it when I heard the telltale sound of heaving.
Not long after, dog vomit covered the floorboard. We had to drive the remaining hour with her getting sick. After we got there, we could get her water, and she was all fine and dandy, but the first day of our vacation was mostly spent cleaning out the car. Unfortunately, at the end of the vacation, we then had to experience it again.
Was it worth it?
Yes. It was totally worth all the trouble. The dogs had so much fun running and running on that open land. For them, I definitely think it was worth it. Will I do it again? Probably, but not without getting Luna some medicine from her vet beforehand.
What about you? Do you have any dog travel horror stories? Let me know, and comment below.