Finally Made It Home

In case you didn’t notice, I haven’t written much lately.  That’s because I was gone on a much needed vacation.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to get away and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but at the same time it’s good to be home again too.  You know what I mean?

The trip wasn’t anything extravagant or exotic, but I did get to visit the beautiful state of Colorado, which had been my home for nearly 20 years.  How I missed the Rocky Mountains!  Those mountains have had a special place in my heart since I was a small child.  The feeling of exhilaration I get get time I see those gorgeous, snow capped peaks is nearly indescribable.  Some people prefer the beach or some exotic getaway to relax in, but for me nothing beats the mountains.

The hard part was driving for nearly 14 hours with two dogs in the car.  While I have mentioned travel tips before, let’s just say it’s much easier said than done to take my own advice when it comes to traveling with my fur kids.  Fortunately on the drive up there from Arizona I had my mom and my sister along.  My sis and I took turns driving.  Chuey is my extremely anxious traveler, and he does much better when he has a familiar lap to sit on when riding.  Even though I advise keeping pets restrained in the car, it just doesn’t work with Chuey.  He’s constantly whining and shaking unless he’s riding on a lap.  I also gave him some Benadryl to help calm him down, although I’m not sure how much good it really did.

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He’s just a rather nervous, high-strung dog sometimes.  That’s probably the Chihuahua in him.  Here he is wishing I would turn off the dishwasher because the noise of it scares him as well.  But don’t get me wrong, I love this little guy to pieces.  I’ve had him since he was a tiny pup that fit in the palm of my hand, and he’s almost nine years old now.  He and I share a strong bond and I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

Cash on the other hand, is usually a good traveler.  He is relaxed and enjoys looking out the window and watching the world go by.  So he did pretty good for the first few hours, but the trip was long, and after awhile he started getting pretty anxious too.  Cash is no dummy, so it wasn’t too long before he figured out that if he started getting really antsy and whining a lot we’d stop and he could get out of the car to take a walk.  That’s because I thought that since he didn’t usually act that way in the car he probably had to go potty pretty bad, which he did…at first.

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It’s so hard to get a good picture of Cash because he’s always in motion, so this is the best I could do (the little devil!).

We Made It!

After a very long day of travel, we made it to Colorado.  Chuey and Cash were so excited to finally get out of the car.  We stayed at my brother’s house.  He has a Doberman, Lady, who is very sweet and gentle, but she really didn’t appreciate having to share her space with these two little brats.  Lady is usually a “grazer.”  My brother can fill her food dish and she nibbles at it all day, or takes pieces of food and “hides” them around the house for later.  She quickly learned that wasn’t going to work with Cash around!  He gobbles up everything in sight in minutes, so she had to eat her food at one sitting to avoid missing out.  Other than that, our dogs all got along together pretty well, except that Cash can be pretty dominant and he tried to bully Lady a couple of times.  She would try to avoid him as much as possible for the first few days, but eventually they worked it out and started playing together sometimes.

The weather was beautiful while we were there and I took Chuey and Cash for long walks around the lake and trails most days, which they thoroughly enjoyed.  It was great to see all of my siblings and my daughter and we all had an awesome time together.

One of the reasons for the trip was to help my mom get home to Nebraska after she had spent the winter here in Arizona.  Mom had flown down here but found that flying was just too much for her any more, her back and hip hurt and she was exhausted, so we needed to figure out a better way to help her get home.  So we did a “mom relay.”  My sister lives in Texas and she flew here to Phoenix to help us drive to Colorado.  I have one brother there and another who lives in Nebraska.  We got mom to Colorado and my Nebraska brother drove out to pick her up. My sister’s son (my nephew) was on spring break from the University of Nebraska, so he came out too.  We  had a family reunion of sorts.  My daughter also lives in Colorado, so it was great to have everyone all together for the first time in a couple of years.

Going Home

After a week everyone went their separate ways.  My sis flew back to Texas, and mom, brother and nephew back to Nebraska.  That meant I had to drive home by myself with my two dogs.  That was the part I was dreading because I was afraid they weren’t going to be good travelers.  Driving by myself, I divided the trip into two days, which meant an overnight motel stay as well.  When it got time to get in the car they balked.  In fact, Cash plopped down on his butt and refused to budge, whereas he used to hop right into the car.  I had to pick him up and put him in the car.  I gave them each some Benadryl to help calm them down.  Surprisingly they didn’t do too bad.  There was much less whining than before.  I had gotten them a nice, soft sheepskin rug from Ikea that I spread out on the back seat and they really liked that.

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Staying in a motel with two dogs though was somewhat of an ordeal.  They both barked at every little sound, and you know there are lots of strange sounds in motels.  I was afraid we were going to get kicked out, so I put Cash’s new bark collar on him.  I have tried different bark collars before, a shock collar, even though I hate them, which didn’t phase him, and one that sprayed citronella, which worked for a little while.  But I just got him a new collar that emits a high-pitched noise that only dogs can hear.  Yeah I thought it sounded too good to be true, and also it was the cheapest bark collar ever, but you know what?  It actually works!  I figured since it cost less than $15 I’d give it a try, and was amazed to find out it works better than those more expensive collars….so far anyway.

On the final day of our trip I again had to struggle with getting them into the car.  I don’t know if either one of them will ever want to go joy riding again.  But they were pretty good on the last leg of our trip and boy, were they ever happy to be home and go pee in their own back yard!  I was happy to be home too.

So that’s my story about our “vacation” trip.  Now I’m ready to get back to regular blogging.  I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

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