As soon as garage sales start slowing down (mid September), it seems like I blink, and it’s snowing here. I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s just one more sign that winter’s on its way. I used to think that Rich and I would spend our winters in the south, but two things have made that almost impossible. The two things are our dogs. They are TERRIFIED of riding in the car. I can’t stress this enough. Several years ago, we took Bella (photo below) and Aggie, who passed away in 2018, to North Carolina for a month. It took us two days to get there, and a lot of anxiety medications for Bella.
We didn’t realize, at the time, but Aggie was also suffering from anxiety. She always appeared so calm, it never occurred to us to medicate her as well. A day after we got to our beach house, we took both dogs to my sister’s house that was maybe twenty minutes away. On our trip back to the beach house, about a minute before we arrived, Aggie started to whine. I knew that meant she had to go to the bathroom, and Rich tried hard to get her there in time…but, as we pulled into the lot, she couldn’t hold it any longer, and had diarrhea all over the backseat (which luckily we’d covered with a sheet) and Bella. I quickly pulled the sheet out of the car, and Rich was stuck with cleaning poor Bella, covered in poop, as well as Aggie, whose backside and tail were also covered. It’s one of those moments that seems to stay with you forever. Unfortunately. Aggie had stomach issues for the next few days, and our vet diagnosed her with stress colitis. We fed her chicken and rice and that really helped. Aggie was 12, and this was her first trip, and first time seeing the ocean, and she loved it. Bella, on the other hand, was terrified of the waves and the noise the ocean makes, so never enjoyed walking on the beach, like Aggie did.
Since now we consider Bella the calm one of our two dogs, I know a trip like this is impossible. Honey (photo below) would probably have the equivalent of a nervous breakdown if we ever tried taking her on a twelve hour road trip. She hates any change in routine, and the car is Satan to her.
It’s funny how we plan things, (in our heads) of how we envision retirement. I know we never thought our dogs would make us snowbound, but that’s just what has happened. I can’t imagine us leaving them for a month, either, as they seem really agitated when we come home from a week long vacation (and they have a dog sitter staying with them at night and my girlfriend spending a lot of time with them during the day.)
I’m sure many of you without dogs or cats find our behavior to be over-the-top, but keep in mind, we don’t have children, so lather as much love as possible on each other and our dogs. It’s just the nature of humans…we want to give the animals we love, the care they deserve, because it’s rare to find humans who give us the attention and love our animals give us.
Our winters are long, but our dogs are more important than spending time in a nicer climate…and let’s face it, in this Covid world we’re living in, what are the odds we could even get to a warmer climate and enjoy our time there, when we’re all thinking about Covid and wearing masks, and social distancing.