Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Holiday Tips for Traveling With Your Dog

Let's face it, if you  know me, you know I'm not super organized. Not a "planner", per se. I pull it together most of the time, but I lack foresight. So sometimes, getting Elka into the car and going to New Jersey for Christmas isn't always as hitch-free as I'd like.

Step 1: If your dog gets carsick, consult with your vet and, if recommended administer Dramamine. It's probably best to check to see if that little travel tube of Dramamine actually has any in it before you're already in the car but, in a pinch, you can always stop by Walgreens and administer it in the parking lot. I'm sure your dog will cooperate.

Step 2: Make sure your dog both poops and pees before you leave. (This, I thought I had covered)

Step 3: When your dog starts whining in the first half hour, beg the dog to stop. Sternly order the dog to stop. Yell, then apologize for yelling. Find a place to stop, and take the dog out to poop. Pick it up with the Walgreens bag from the Dramamine and surreptitiously throw it in a nearby dumpster.

Step 4: Keep an eye out for wildlife, or for tiny dogs not accompanied by humans or wearing a collar, who might stroll across the road in front of your car. If wary, you'll be able to brake in time, though your audio book and jacket and phone and purse and snacks might slide on the floor so you'll have to pull over at the first available rest stop so you can listen to what happens next in For Whom the Bell Tolls, even if you've already read it four times.

Step 5: Try to remind yourself, yet again, to pay attention to the mile markers where your exits and stuff are, so you can mentally gauge how much time you actually spend on one particular haul of highway. Because Route 17 in New York state can't possibly put exits at mile markers, but rather uses every single number so you have no idea if there's just one mile between exit 98 and 99, or thirty miles.

Step 6: Is the dog asleep? No. Does she have to go potty? Doesn't seem to. She also doesn't care about the toy you brought, and is just kind of looking around blankly. She doesn't seem stoned on the Dramamine (at least, not in the way she was stoned on painkillers after her spay), but she's quiet now, anyway. Maybe she too is listening to For Whom the Bell Tolls, mesmerized by Hemingway's tale of the Spanish Civil War.

Step 7: Wow, you're almost to your last exit. Audiobooks are like time travel, why didn't you do this before? Even when there was an accident ahead on the Parkway and everything slowed down to a crawl, you were cool, just chilling with Papa Hemingway.

Step 8: Happy holidays! Hope everybody had a good time. Elka and I did!


  1. Sorry to chuckle at your expense, but it sounds like your trip was off to a really good start. Glad it smoothed out, despite the traffic, thanks to some Hemingway. Happy belated holidays to you too!

  2. Ha ha ha! The best laid plans, eh? I'm glad you both had a great time!

  3. Bahahaha - glad you made it through the trip okay. Blueberry doesn't get car sick - but she does get nervous on long car rides and pants heavily. I wonder if Dramamine would help mellow her out.

  4. Great advice! I'm going to have to try Dramamine for road trips. Sam loves the idea of going anyway in the car but as soon as the key is turned, he turns into Flat Stanley and shakes and pants the entire way. :(

  5. As long as you have Elka with you, the rest will work out ;-)