Monday, September 14, 2009

My First Travel Purchase

Being new to having a dog, I googled everything I could about traveling with pets. What was missing was honest information about pet products and issues with actually bringing a pet with you when you travel all in one easy to find location. So, I gleaned what I could and am learning the rest through trial and error.

My first "trial" was figuring out how to keep my dog safe in the car on a long trip. I finally bought a doggie car seat. I put it in the front passenger seat, which I now realize was probably not the safest place for it if the air bag went off. But on the other hand, I think having him beside me probably saved his life. I put him in the seat and hooked the short leash-like seat connection to his collar.

As you can see in the picture, he wasn't real sure about this seat or maybe he was thinking I was taking him to get those dreaded fast-growing nails clipped. Within about 15 minutes of leaving the house, he had circled so many times in his seat that I had to pull over and undo the hook so that he didn't choke. I got better at untangling him as I was driving but it wasn't a relaxing trip for either of us. He just couldn't settle down and curl up like a normal dog. I do have to explain that even when he poops he circles for about 3 minutes before his butt finds the exact position to do it's job. So, I guess the circling was to be expected.

That seat lasted only one trip. I know some people whose dogs love those seats - but Seymour isn't one of them. He could care less about looking out the window. Give him a dark small space to curl up and he's content.

Once I got rid of the seat, I decided to let him just find his own comfortable place to ride in the car. Unfortunately, his favorite place to ride was in the small space between my back and my seat. He happily became my lumbar support. This is even less safe than the doggie seat since he weighs about 6 pounds and I weigh - - - more than 6 pounds. I didn't even want to imagine how flat he would be if we had to make a quick stop. But you know that spot on your back that you can't reach no matter how contorted you get? That's where Seymour liked to sleep!

I finally coaxed him up to my shoulder where he thought that playing a mink was the second most comfortable place in the car. After repeatedly moving him from my body and directing him to his blanket, he got the message. And I got the message that good posture behind the wheel meant no doggie behind the back.

I needed to find another way for him to ride safely.

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