I was going through some old photos tonight and came across photos I took of Tyler during our first full day together. We had a very early start that day, flying from Phoenix to Dayton with a layover in Atlanta.
I was lucky that Tyler was so small–he was able to fly in a pet carrier underneath the seat in front of me. I was able to walk him before we got on the plane in Phoenix. When we got to Atlanta, we had a little over an hour until we would board our next plane. And because we were in the gate area, I was not permitted to take Tyler out of his carrier.
Here’s the tip: We found a “family restroom” and locked ourselves in for about 45 minutes! If you don’t know, a “family restroom” is a single potty, unisex bathroom containing a diaper changing table where a mom or dad traveling with children can more easily “take care of business” than in the regular stalls in the larger restrooms.
In Atlanta, there was a family restroom in between each men’s/women’s room.
Behind the locked door of the family restroom, I was able to let Tyler out of his bag so he could stretch his legs, eat some lunch, and pee on the pee pads I brought with us. We had a lovely time playing with his toy and having a few cuddles. When we were done, the pee pad went into the trash, and Tyler went back in his bag.
The family restroom was an absolute lifesaver!
Last week, we traveled from Dayton Ohio to Madison Wisconsin because of some family business. Of course Mr. Tyler came with us! Tyler already has some experience traveling–he flew with me from Phoenix when I adopted him. But we had not yet taken him on a long trip by car.
TRAINING FOR CAR TRAVEL
We knew this trip was going to happen, but we didn’t know the timing. So for the past couple of weeks–since Tyler joined our family–we’ve taken him in the car with us on errands when the opportunity presented itself. Tyler is a puppy, with a puppy’s energy and curiosity, and we knew he would need to be somehow confined to ride safely. If we had more time, we might have tried training him to one of the many varieties of doggie seat belts. But we knew that for a long trip (8 hours) on short notice we would have better luck if we crated him.
Our training consisted of short trips with Tyler in Bailey’s old Sherpa bag–it’s the biggest size so he had lots of room. The bag has a strap along the side that can be hooked over the extended handle of a rolling suitcase or through which a car seat belt can pass to secure the bag to the seat of the car. The weather has been hot, so when we did our errands with Tyler one of us always remained in the car with him to make sure he didn’t get overheated. Tyler objected to being confined by treating us to a puppy song that sounded surprisingly like a kitty cat, but after the first few minutes he quieted down and accepted the fact that he was not in control of his destiny.
And he didn’t get car sick!
WHAT WE PACKED (FOR TYLER)
- Wet wash cloth and towel–to clean paws after going potty at germ-infested roadsides.
- Loaded (with kibble) Kongs®
- Tyler’s favorite toys
- Leash + poop bags
- Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy and Iams Puppy Biscuits–enough for a week
- Food and water dishes
- A “loose” babygate
- Carpet cleaner (in case of accidents)
- Our Sherpa bag (for quick excursions)
- A couple of fabric pee pads
- Some photos of Tyler, in case he got lost
- Updated ID tag on Tyler’s collar that included my cell phone number and information on where we were staying.
- Tyler’s crate, bedding, and favorite pillow
TYLER IN THE CAR
Tyler would be riding on the back seat in his crate. The day we left, I wedged his crate as close as possible to the front seats so that we could easily keep an eye on him and so that he would not feel so isolated. I used our suitcases on the floor to give the crate stability. And I wedged several pillows between the crate and the seat back to keep the crate in place. I was lucky that the middle seat belt doesn’t have a shoulder strap–so it easily secured the crate to the seat. I was also lucky that the opening of the crate was on the passenger’s side, not the driver’s side.
In case I had to pull over on the Interstate to deal with a puppy emergency, I would be using the car door away from the traffic. And (ultimate horror!) if the stinker managed to slip past me and dart out of the car he would not be jumping directly into traffic.
TYLER AS A HOUSEGUEST
Before we hit the road, we double checked with our hostess that it was alright to bring Tyler along. We were very clear that Tyler was not completely housebroken yet.
Our hostess has a Cocker Spaniel, and she was very happy to welcome Tyler as a guest–in spite of his being potty-challenged. And much as I tried to set Tyler up for success, he had some accidents–which we made sure got cleaned up. Before we left, we also made sure that all of Tyler’s poops were cleared from the yard.
As I moved our stuff into the bedroom that Tyler and I would share, I looked closely for things that Tyler might get into–anything chewable on the floor, electrical cables, etc.–and moved them out of reach. I didn’t notice that there was “crawl space” under some of the furniture until I missed Tyler one night at bedtime. I found him nearly asleep under a chest of drawers!
Mealtimes presented a challenge because each dog was on a different food for specific needs. During mealtimes, Tyler and I stayed in our room where I tried to convince Tyler his food was just as good as Buddy’s. Tyler and Buddy had a great time playing, and the babygate came in handy when we needed to control either dog’s access to the other.
Tyler felt right at home–surrounded by dear friends–with his crate handy for an easy escape when he got tired of all the noisy goings-on. Having the Sherpa bag with us allowed us to bring Tyler along if we went anywhere in the car.
Though it was a sad occasion, we had a wonderful visit with our family, and Tyler had a very positive experience.
What do you do when you travel with your pet?
I’ve been trying to keep a running log of what’s happening on the trip. Tonight I found an unexpected source of hi-speed Internet–my cousin Sarah in L’Anse au Clair in Labrador.
We’re spending tonight “on the Labrador.” We spent today driving up the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. At St. Barbe, we got on another ferry to take us back across to the mainland–only 90 minutes to cross up here. The ferry takes us to Quebec, and then we drive a few kilometers to Labrador. The only way to get here by car is to go to Newfoundland first–there are no roads from the south. But that’s another story.
I’ve posted some photos at Bailey’s Photo Album–I can’t seem to get the Blogger photo-insert to work. Here’s the first few days of our travels. I’ll post more as I’m able.
DAY 1– Dayton-Lanthum NY
Up at the crack of dawn, trying to be on the road as early as possible. We nearly made it except I forgot to forward the phone so we had to turn back. Luckily, we were still within a couple of miles of the house.
Nothing but interstate. 12 hours of interstate. I’m desperate for a cup of coffee, but the service area on the toll road is so busy they’re 20 people deep in line for each of the fast food counters. ARGH!! Will the interstate never end??
Bailey is very comfortable on the back seat. Did I mention that we purchased the car just for her? Because the back seat was so big? I specifically packed my clothes in 2 suitcases so that I could put them behind each of the front seats in order to make a larger “floor” for the pooch. She has a couple of pillows for her head, and can stretch right out across the seat if she wants. She seems to prefer putting her head on the arm rest between the 2 front seats and snoozing with her nose either in my arm pit or my mom’s.
The last hour of the drive was the hardest. Will we ever get there??? We’re exhausted by the time we get in the room. I’m so tired I forget to give Bailey her bedtime feeding. She’s so tired she sleeps right through it.
DAY 2– Lantham NY-Bangor ME
Easier drive today–a little interstate and mostly back roads. We decided to go this way on purpose, so that we could have a little “tourist” time.
Found a really wonderful deli in Brattleboro Vermont. They had the most incredible molasses cookies-each one the size of a dinner plate. We got a turkey and a roast beef sandwich and chips and kept driving looking for a park to picnic in. Spent half an hour circling downtown Brattleboro–the traffic was annoyingly heavy and the streets were narrow (maybe that’s why the traffic was so heavy). We finally gave up on finding a park and settled for a shady side street. We sat in the car and ate our sandwiches–of course, the pooch got fed first. The locals must have thought I was nuts–in the middle of a semi-busy street, trunk open, mixing up Bailey’s wet food and water. I had to feed Bailey before we could eat, otherwise she would concentrate on our food instead of her own.
New Hampshire and Vermont are really beautiful states–so many picturesque, cute little shops and boutiques along the way. Lots of pottery (ummmm pottery! I love pottery!). All kinds of bed & breakfasts. And everything looks so quaint-like-a-post-card.
OK, I thought it was an easier drive. Once again, we got to that last hour of the day and I couldn’t drive fast enough. FINALLY we reach Bangor. Nice big room right off the lobby (pluses and minuses in that). We eat the last of the deli sandwiches and conk out.
DAY 3– Bangor ME-Truro NS
Another “easy” drive day–we’re going to play tourist in the Bay of Fundy only the weather is not cooperating. The day starts out good, worked our way through the outskirts of Bangor. Got to the border in about two hours. Up here, the name of the border town is pronounced CAL-iss instead of the French pronunciation of Cal-LAY (Calais).
Had a bad moment at the border–they nearly confiscated Bailey’s Eukanuba pouches!! Seems the Canadian border patrol are on guard against mad cow disease being imported from the States and Bailey’s food has suspicious “meat by-products” which the guard says MIGHT be beef even after I assured her it’s pork. She looked at me like I was Ossama and told me she couldn’t just take my word for it, but that JUST THIS TIME she would let us cross the border with our nasty food. Which leads me to believe that she was only yanking my chain anyway–if this stuff was forbidden then she should have taken it away. Never mind that you can BUY this food at pet food stores in Canada. Who would have thought that Canadian customs would be so officious?
On to the Bay of Fundy! Only it’s raining and foggy!!
The Bay of Fundy is this place where when the tides go out THEY REALLY GO OUT! We had visited once before and we’re looking forward to this visit, but it was so foggy we sometimes had trouble navigating the road. So we canned the tourist visit to Fundy. Instead, we found a very nice restaurant in St John NB and had a sit-down dinner.
The lady at the information booth recommended a place called The Falls–so named because it overlooks a view of the Reversing Falls of St. John. The falls reverse when the tide comes in (this is the Bay of Fundy after all), and the entire river delta is forced to flow in the opposite direction away from the ocean. We were there when it was tide-neutral, so were unable to witness this phenomenon; however, we had a really excellent meal–Duckie had lobster (DUH! she’s been whining for lobster since February) and I had a very nice fish casserole. For dessert we took 2 rice puddings to go.
Back on the road to Truro–as we passed from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia the scenery started to change a little, looking more rugid with pine trees and rocks. The hotel room in Truro was small but–bonus–had a sliding glass patio door so Bailey had instant access to the potty and I had very easy access to the car (right next to our room). My third night with no Internet access. I think I’m starting to suffer withdrawal
DAY 4– Truro NS-North Sydney NS
Definitely an easy drive today–only 3 hours. We make it to North Sydney in time to check in at the ferry terminal and then go find lunch. We find a nice little party house on the water to the side of the ferry terminal. I say party house because the place is as big as a barn and has that stale-beer kind of smell. But the food was good and they let me bring Bailey in–we did the Bichon-in-a-bag thing so the rest of the customers wouldn’t know that my dog was under my table. Bailey was very well behaved.
As we waited for lunch, we were able to watch the ferry come in. We’re going on the M.V. (motor vessel) Caribou.
After we ate, we got in line with the rest of the cars and waited to board–for 2 hours. Bailey and I snuck in some sleep time in the back seat of the car. Finally, it was time to drive aboard. We were in the lower vehicle deck–which I was not too wild about–in with the semis and RVs. We cracked the windows and left Bailey in the back seat. This was not easy for me to do–it felt too warm down there. But the choice was the car or the ship’s kennels which did not look appealing. The deck hand who was positioning the cars assured me that when he travels he leaves his dog in the car, that the deck would soon cool off. OK, so we left her in the car.
I felt better about this decision when I heard the dogs in the kennel–talk about freaked-out dogs! There was a German Shepard mix that I had seen earlier walking beside a guy who looked like he was on a walking tour of Canada. This poor dog was probably REALLY bonded to the guy and was not at all happy about being separated from him. At one point, the dog broke out of the kennel and they had to page the guy to secure his dog. That poor dog did nothing but bark for the entire trip–which made the other dogs in the kennels bark.
The ship had Wi-Fi in the lounge by the Purser’s office–my first opportunity to connect to the net! I posted some photos (see below), downloaded email and Sametimed (instant message) some of my buds at the office. THAT was a hoot!
A few hours out and I had an opportunity to check on Bailey in the car. Poor little sweetheart! It was warm in the car–not dangerously warm, but not comfortable. And I had a small freak-out because the situation in the kennels was just as bad in a different way. The steward who was with me (you’re not allowed down to your car by yourself) suggested I take Bailey to the kennels on the port side of the ship (there’s kennels on the port side?? I thought there was only one set of kennels on the starboard side). He said he thought they were empty. So I grabbed a rug for Bailey to lay on, and we worked our way to the other side of the ship–no easy feat because the cars, RVs, and semis are parked tight together. And we hiked from deck 1 to deck 6.
Blessed quiet in the kennels. And it was cooler. I put the rug on the kennel floor, rented a lock from the Purser (could not find the lock I purchased at home specifically for this possibility), and made my pooch as comfortable as possible. She soon settled in and had some snooze time.
Here is the wisdom I take away from the ferry crossing: deck 1 is far too stuffy for my pooch. On the return trip, I will try to have the car loaded to deck 2. Either way, if it feels too stuffy I’ll put Bailey in her bag and search out the least occupied of the kennels making sure that I can set up a “bed room” for the pooch. The car may be more familiar to her, but I can visit her when I want to in the kennel.
Once again, we were exhausted by the time we reached journey’s end–Port aux Basques. It took FOREVER for the captain to “park” the ship–seriously, they were a good 40 minutes maneuvering at dockside trying to get everything lined up.
DAY 5– Port aux Bas-Twillingate
Bailey is now used to the routine: the alarm goes off around 7am. I dress and then walk her. Feed Bailey, make a cup of tea for the adults. Pack up all of our stuff. Load the car. Bailey now waits patiently on the bed until it’s her turn to be “loaded.” Once she’s in the car, she settles in for her usual morning siesta. It’s all become very routine for her, which is a very good thing.
So we’re finally on The Rock! The scenery is beautiful! Rugged. Desolate. Wilderness. Each hill is a new vista of post-card perfection.
We’re in Deer Lake in time for lunch. We stop at the Irving station–a tradition when passing through Deer Lake. Irvings are gas stations–the best ones have restaurants attached and the Irving in Deer Lake has a very good restaurant. I had (please hold your groans) cod’s tongues! WOO HOO!!! A typical Newfie meal and was it ever good.
On to Lewisport for a quick visit with my cousin Randy and his wife Janice. Had a lovely cup of tea and some blueberry cheesecake–blueberries are in season up here right now. Randy works on a supply boat for the off-coast oil rigs and his home is near the water with a beautiful view of the waterfront. Bailey is exstatic because there’s a yard with grass for her to run in.
Twillingate, where we plan to spend the night, is a little over an hour from Lewisport. It’s on the island of Twillingate and to reach it we cross over a couple of causeways–first to New World Island, then to Twillingate island.
We drive all the way to the end of the road–a very twisty, bumpy, hilly road that winds its way though the communities of Twillingate, Wild Cove, Crow Head out to where it ends at Long Point where the Long Point lighthouse sits. There are signs posted telling about whale and iceberg sightings, but I don’t see either out in Notre Dame Bay.
To be continued………
I am writing this from the Gulf of St Lawrence, on the M.V. Caribou . Only have a few moments because am on battery power and this is the first wi-fi signal I’ve been able to get (also, am sitting with the lap top in my lap–it’s getting very warm). So am gonna post some photos. Will write more later when I can get back on the net.
Bailey telling me I’ve just taken the wrong exit.
To be continued………..