Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Rerun of Lions, Tigers, and Vans, Oh My

First of all, would you believe that this is my 500th post? Yikes! That is a lot of words. Tired of me and my hounds yet?In an effort to help Reagan become more comfortable in the van, I drive like a nun. I already drove gently, but now I drive as gentle as I did when I pulled a loaded horse trailer. I am sure the drivers behind me hate me. I want to put a sign on back of the van that says "I am sorry I am driving so slow. Problem dog on board."

I used to run errands and go to the gym while I had the dogs with me. Now, I make to trips to avoid unnecessary drive time. Although, sometimes I think I should just find a dirt road to California and say "Get used to it!".

Luckily, her red head seems to know that the van is a necessarily evil to all the fun we have. She is always excited to go and eager to load, thank goodness. I now give her a Kong or kibble sprinkled over her bedding as a reward for loading and I try not to leave for a 10 minutes. I want her to associate loading with treats and to have time to relax before we take off.Of course, that was not easy when it was 20 degrees out. Reagan and Riley had to be double fleeced to go enjoy frozen Kongs in below freezing weather.I also have been feeding most of Reagan's meals in the van as I drive by pushing pieces of kibble through the bars. Sometimes she will eat and other times she waits for a stop. I have been working on it for nearly a month now and I don't believe I see a difference. Honestly, my shoulder can't really handle the torque so I have stopped. Right now, I am trying a plastic Vari-Kennel. It is hard to evaluate since I cannot see her as well. I tried a body wrap for awhile, but can't figure out how to make the thing stay on. There appears to be no "baby safe" safety pins for sale in the state of Georgia.

I just hope it does not get any worse. Two years old is a little too young to develop a fear of travel as bad as Katie's. If she started refusing to load, it would halt everything we do. I don't even want to think about it. It does make me wonder about future plans.... do we avoid long trips to Greyhound Specialties and Agility Nationals? I would definitely not ever consider flying her like I did with Travis to the Invitational in California.

Riley thinks the extra treats are a good deal. She is like Travis. Both were/are sound asleep as soon as I start the engine. It makes me wonder if Katie was always slightly uneasy and I just never noticed. I don't think so.
It is definitely a lesson learned. I will not take it for granted in the future. Right now Reagan is okay riding in my new car, but she is still alert and sitting up. She does not relax or fall asleep like Riley does. Couple of bad bumps and Reagan will probably not like the car anymore either.


IHeartDogs said...

Congrats on the 500th post! I love reading your blog. Thank you so much for sharing with us your world with your lovely greyhounds.
Hope Reagan starts to relax and enjoy the van rides.

houndstooth said...

Congrats on five hundred posts!

Blueberry sees car rides as a necessary evil, too, but she's so competitive, she can't stand the idea of Bunny getting to go somewhere and her missing out, so she sucks it up and goes, but she usually curls up and lays down.

Maybe you should throw in a few trips through the drive thru and get her some food she really likes and give that to her. The bank by us always gives out dog treats, too.

BrittBeah said...

I can see where you would be gun shy on this. I know when I got Trixie she was terrified of riding in the car (trimbling, drooling, restless). I made her ride with me everyday to work and on all my erands for years. She is a great rider now and really enjoys it. Too bad that doesn't work on everyone.
Good luck with her. I hope she realizes that the car=good.
Congrats on your 500th post!

gyeong said...

500 posts. Congrats! At my rate, I'll be into retirement first. I do love the drive thru idea. I would jump in the car for that :)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Not so sure about the drive through idea. I'd have to get myself some fries every time :-) and I'm finally 2 lbs from my race weight after the holidays :-). Hmmmmm.... fries sound good.

jcp said...

Congrats on your 500th. Thanks for the dedication! You have a great resource here and it is fantastic that you are willing to share your experience.

Maria Peters said...

How can you be sure that nuns drive slow? LOL.

I love your blog!

Jess said...

Our Sunshine is horrible in the car. So much so that we have her crated. I just tried the Thundershirt, expecting to return it and cash in on their money back guarantee. Darned if it didn't work! She still panted a bit but stayed in one position during the 30 minute drive and even tried to look out the windows.

Might be worth the $40 to try it. ;)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Jess, Hmmmm.... I wonder if it is the actual Thundershirt or is it creating a body wrap effect. Had you tried the body wrap before the Thundershirt?