Okay, you might be tired of my travel anxiety stories by now if you’ve been reading our blog for awhile, but I’m afraid I have another adventure to share. As you know by our “We’re On the Road!” post last Friday, we were travelling last week, Friday afternoon. Most of the time, travel anxiety for me amounts to quivering and panting which results in being tired and thirsty when we reach our destination. Now, I’m not sure if it’s what I eat that day, the speed at which we travel, or the type of road we drive but, in addition to the shaking and panting, some days vehicle travel gets my guts churning. Friday was one of those days.
As it turns out, we were almost there, had been on the road for three hours including a dinner stop in Innisfail. I was kind of hoping for a short walk when Teresa and Nollind came back to the truck after dinner (it would have been a smart move on their part), but we were less than an hour away so I guess they thought they’d walk us when we reached our destination. And I was okay with that. A drink of water to cut the thirst and we were on our way, driving toward the sunset.
Again, don’t know just what happens, and usually I have more warning, but, all of a sudden, I needed to go…now. I whined. They interpreted my whine as, “Are we almost there?” I whined a bit more urgently. No response. I really must stop whining for no good reason when we’re driving. The classic boy-who-cried-wolf story. And then, much to my embarrassment and shame, I could hold it no longer. Within seconds, Nollind turned to Teresa and asked, “Did somebody fart?”
It was when Chico frantically tried to climb into the front seat that Teresa knew something was up and turned around to see me doing everything I could to not let my body curve into that comma shape again (if you’ve ever seen a dog defecate you’ll know what I’m talking about). And then she spotted IT…the dark brown pile on the truck seat. There was a horse behind us in the trailer so we didn’t quite screech to a stop, but pretty close to it. We were on the side of the road and out of the truck in two heartbeats.
Teresa took us for a walk down the ditch while Nollind dealt with my “deposit”. Latex gloves, the Soggy Dog seat cover, and some upholstery wet wipes saved the day. The truck (known as Fred) was surprisingly smell-free when we climbed back in and I felt much better after our short walk and a chance to empty the remains of the Mixmaster.
They’ve tried everything they can think of to help me become a better traveller. I was great when I was a young dog. I once travelled from home to Spokane and back in two days when Teresa and Nollind went to pick up a sailboat. I slept almost the entire way, waking just to look out the window periodically or go on a short walk break.
It started when I was around three, the shaking and panting, and has persisted the nine years since. There’s been music therapy, herbal concoctions, pheromone collars, a Thunder Shirt, essential oils, changes in vehicles, and even “magic cheese” (I found out later it was some kind of valium pill). Some have worked a little or for a time, others not at all. I love going places and being with my people but I just can’t seem to relax on the road, and it sure can make for some long days. If you’ve got any suggestions…I’m all ears.