One of the questions I get a lot (in real life) is how we travel with three large dogs, who are very set in their ways. It has never occurred to me that a lot (most?) people’s dogs don’t travel well, and/or don’t go with them everywhere. We enjoy road tripping, and we opt to take the bears with us pretty much any chance we get. When Scott and I made our last trip to Tennessee, I noticed something in the early hours of our overnight drive- no matter how long the travel, the same pattern occurs. Having properly napped a fair portion of the drive, I was wide awake when he (finally) decided that he was tired and needed to pull over. In that time I formulated a quick timeline of our travel on my phone.
Morning of Travel: Give puppies a big breakfast. They won’t get dinner- dinner equals more potty breaks if we’re lucky, and a disaster in a confined location if we’re not. While they eat, discreetly try to pack your bags. They see bags, they have a collective panic attack.
5:00 PM: Give the dogs ice cubes to distract them. Try to move your luggage from the bedroom to a staging location closer to the door.
8:00 PM: Put puppies in the bedroom and pack up the truck. They’ve already picked up on what’s going on somewhere between the 5 o’clock ice cubes and now. Panic ensues.
9:00 PM: Having made a comfy nest in the back seat for the pups, we’re packed and ready to go. Coffee’s in hand. It’s dark and already past the bears’ bedtime, so they’ll snuggle in and pass out. We can do this.
10:00 PM: Make husband stop to get wife food. Get more coffee. Make an attempt to drive at least 55 mph everywhere (even off the interstate). This constant speed ensures the backseat passengers will stay asleep. Any foot on the break and they’re awake and en guard.
11:00 PM-1:00 AM: Stop for gas and a pee break from all the coffee. Try to get dogs to potty. Realize it’s fruitless, as they’re too ADD and are running around sniffing EVERYTHING. Be thankful they didn’t get dinner, no matter how pathetic they look. Promise lots of cookies at Grandpa’s when they arrive.
2:00-3:00 AM: Female falls asleep. Boy “isn’t tired.”
4:00 AM: Feel the vehicle swerve. Wake up. Cuss husband out. Tell him to pull over for a nap. Doze and wake up every 5-10 minutes telling him to pull over.
5:00-6:00 AM: Husband finally pulls over for a “15 minute” nap. It turns into an hour or more. By this time you are only about an hour away from your destination. And also wide awake, thanks to your naps earlier.
6:15 AM: Contemplate kicking him out of the driver’s seat and drive yourself. Remember the 30ft trailer you’re towing and decide to write notes on your phone for your blog instead.
6:21 AM: Thank God the pups are so tired they’re not paying attention to all the goings on outside. Cuss the husband for skipping every country song on the iPod while he’s SLEEPING. Making you listen to rap.
6:42 AM: Get bored and take a picture. Send it to his dad so he can harass him when we (finally) get there.
7:00 AM: Realize that if Husband sleeps much longer, we’ll hit morning traffic. With 30 foot trailer. Wake him up. Thus waking his partner in crime up. Play “Travel Fetch” until the ball gets knocked onto the floorboard of the truck.
7:45 AM: Get into town. Oldest bear realizes where we are immediately and starts whining. Which sets the other two off. Spend the next 15 minutes or so telling them to be quiet. To no avail.
8:00 AM: Final destination. Let the bears free. Cookies for the bears. Food for the bears. Potty for the bears. Unpack. Plead with Boy to nap. Boy says he’s not tired. Go get breakfast and play
Boy will inevitably lay down for a “power nap” in the afternoon. Turning into an afternoon snooze. Turning into him being up half they night. Pray that his sleep schedule will even out in the next couple of days. If the boy’s awake, the Female is probably also awake, cussing the Boy.
Do you notice how all of these pictures feature one sweet little lady? That’s because the two boys are passed out in the back seat; they don’t have time for her shenanigans.
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