It was Elka's first time at the beach, and she had a blast! More pictures of that will be forthcoming. She didn't swim, but she did splash around some, and enjoyed the new sights and sounds.
It was her first car ride that was quite so long (12 hours!), her first time at the beach, her first time seeing kites, and her first time seeing a pool!
First, in the car. Elka's Ezydog Chest Plate Harness has an attachment to hook to a seatbelt, so that she's secured while the vehicle is moving. That way, she isn't a distraction to the driver, she isn't a flight risk when we open doors, and she can't go anywhere if there is an accident. I started looking for a seatbelt harness as soon as I read the force multiplication of a dog that size, in event of a car crash. Scary stuff.
At a rest stop in Pennsylvania (you can kind of see Elka. I only just realized that I took no pictures of her in the car with her harness):
Second, even on our four-hour jaunts to New Jersey, Elka has gotten car sick. We did not want this happening on our 12 hour trip! She can be stressed and miserable (it's the only time I've seen her truly drool), and that's just a bad scene. So, I called the vet to ask them about this, and they suggested a dose of Dramamine that I will not repeat here, because I'm not a vet, and you should ask your own rather than getting advice on the Interweb. They didn't charge me for the phone call! Happily, the Dramamine worked well, and she snoozed with her head on our friend's lap the entire trip. Additionally, I cut off her food the night before (there and back) to make sure she was fairly empty.
Third, pretty much at all times, Elka was on both her harness and a collar and Liberty's Attachment. I even got a snazzy waterproof gun dog collar, with a plate on it engraved with her name and our phone numbers, should she get loose. I did not want to lose my dog in North Carolina.
Last, I made sure that I had treated her with anti flea/tick junk. It's not Frontline, though I can't remember what the kind I used is called. Pet Armor? It's a green box, and tends to smell like orange essential oil, and I think that's the kind of stuff it's made up of, as opposed to nameless chemicals. I know that some animals have gotten sick from flea and tick junk. I also gave her an anti-heartworm pill, as The South is typically where one worries about heartworm. I also brought a jug of our water from home, so that she didn't have to suddenly adjust to different water. That last detail might have been overkill, and might not. I figured better safe than sorry.
I think she had a good time!