Flashback Fur-iday – Your Dog on Drugs

Any of you who have been reading our blog for a time might remember Logan’s drug-induced adventures. He was always a funny guy, but under the influence, he was a riot, especially to those of us who knew him best. Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t a recreational drug user. His usage resulted from a long battle with travel anxiety, a battle originally fought with every form of natural treatment T could come up with. There was the music therapy, the pheromone collar, various herbal and homeopathic elixirs, training tips from experts, aromatherapy, and combinations of the above. A few things seemed to help a little, but nothing turned Logan into an easy traveller.

I’d like to tell you Chico was wrong and I’m doing just fine, but I can’t. I’m just not sure the world explorer shtick is for me. I like being in the truck with my people and new places to walk are fun, but I just can’t stop shaking and panting when we start to roll down the highway. The panting makes me thirsty, the shaking turns my breakfast into purée and I don’t sleep for hours on end. By the time we get to our destination I’m dehydrated, exhausted and I have the runs. You can see why I might be questioning my aptitude for travel.

So, I Guess I’m Not Magellan, January 2015
Contrasting travel experiences.

I think T and Nollind thought he might settle in on a longer journey when we set out on our first big RV adventure in 2011. But that didn’t happen. In fact, the opposite was true. Each subsequent day of travel just ramped up the panting, pacing, and drooling. Speaking of drooling, I was a very patient travel companion to Logan, but looking like a favourite chew toy by the end of a day’s drive did get tiresome. So, when the peeps did a little online research and decided it was time to try a less natural approach, I was on board.

Hitched up in BC and ready to cross the border.

The first trial was Gravol, which would apparently make Logan sleepy. T’s family had used it for a car sick dog when she was a kid and it worked like a charm. Logan seemed untouched. Next was Benadryl, also supposed to induce drowsiness. Logan soldiered on through the medication, unaffected.

By the time we reached Salt Lake City, two weeks into our journey, the towel had been thrown in. It was time for the big guns. A trip to the vet was arranged.

He was such a happy guy once we got somewhere. Here we are walking in Boise, Idaho.

Logan’s first prescribed pharmaceutical was diazepam, often known by its brand name Valium. I couldn’t stop staring at my buddy that first day. It was like some other dog had put on a Logan suit and was sitting beside me in the truck.

I think I’m finally getting a bit more comfortable with truck time. Sa and Nollind think it’s due to the new treat they got for me that they call “magic cheese”, but it just says Havarti on the package, which I’ve had before. There is something special about it though because I feel really mellow about an hour after I eat some, and riding in the truck is pretty cool then, watching the world go by outside the window. I like sticking my head out and getting that rush of a thousand scents at once blasting in. Oddly enough, the cheese also seems to make me more hungry, something my people call “the munchies” and seem quite amused by. It’s usually Chico making them laugh so I’m happy I can entertain now and then.

Murky Water and Magic Cheese, December 2011
By Utah’s red rock country, we were a foursome of happy travellers.

The trouble with the diazepam, was that is often didn’t work on day two of a road trip, and sometimes seemed to add to his anxiety. And the timing of administering had to be just right because if it hadn’t completely set in, his nervous system would override it and the shakes would begin.

And then it stopped working altogether and he and T went back to seeking an herbal or otherwise natural solution with no success.

I thought I was ready. I really did. I’d been practicing my deep breathing and meditation in the days leading up to our trip and I was sure I had it this time. So there we were, on our way, and I was breathing a little faster than my practice sessions but still holding it together. I was enjoying the scenery as it went rushing by the windows— RUSHING BY?! ACK! Must we go this fast?! Does this beast only have one gear? What’s the hurry? Isn’t this supposed to be a vacation?  So much for zen.

Travel Woes, August 2016
Even with T in the back seat beside him, he’d try to hide on the floor of the truck.

When our friends G & S offered up Dixie’s Alprazolam, prescribed to help her through thunderstorms, T and Nollind were happy to give it a try. Oh my. What a difference. It was like that first day with Valium all over again, but this drug worked with a small dose on consecutive days. Logan would get a piece of magic cheese in the morning and then tiny pieces of magic cheese through the travel day every few hours. He slept, for the first time ever in a vehicle. He stared out the window. He didn’t drool all over me and our space. And he told some good stories.

Heeeyyyyy ….. duuuuudes. I’m writing to you from the road as it flashes by my window. Whoa! What was that? S’okay. It’s all good. Just a semi (that’s pronounced semm-eye in these parts) going past us. Man, those things clip along and you would be amazed at how many of them are on the road down here. Hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions! They usually scare the bejeezus out of me, but today, for some reason, they just look kooool as they stream past us. Whoa … there goes a red one! Niiiiice.

They Call Me Buzz, March 2017
Sleeping while underway. We were all in shock.

Food. That was the other thing that happened to Logan on drugs. He ate things he normally wouldn’t touch, and his eyes turned into saucers as soon as a snack opportunity presented itself. In short, he loved food as much as I did!

I think they expected the drugs to make me groggy, but it was more like the pills erased my fears and inhibitions. The truck travel was fun, the leash-less jog around the rest area with Nollind in hot pursuit was definitely a highlight, and food never tasted so good. March 2017

They Call Me Buzz, March 2017
Panting because he’s hot rather than terrified.

And Dixie’s magic meds, and a refill of the same, lasted through two whole trips south, working just as well on the last day as the first. Alprazolam was a game changer for Logan when it came to travel.

Good afternoon. This is your captain speaking. We are flying at an altitude of 6870 feet… wait… I think I’m higher than that. ;o)

We’re in our third state of the day and I’ve been in this state through all three. March 2018

From the Cockpit, March 2018
Cool companion.

I’d take panting, drooling, pacing Logan over no Logan at all on our road trips this past sixteen months, but Logan on drugs, well, he was one cool companion.

6 thoughts on “Flashback Fur-iday – Your Dog on Drugs

  1. That was a great flashback! Our Ms. Magoo also suffers from a bit of travel anxiety but no where near as bad as Logan’s was. At least you found the right medication for him. Our girl gets over herself in a few miles and just hunkers down to “soldier on” as we cruise the highways and by-ways. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ms. Magoo is a lucky gal that she’s able to soldier on through her anxiety. Logan was such a tough guy in most ways, but vehicle travel had him beat. Too bad he didn’t have a chance to meet Ms. Magoo. Maybe she could have given him some pointers!
      Chico 🐾


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