Over the weekend, I had flashbacks of traveling with my children.  Why you ask? Because I am riding in our car with the family dog as the passenger! Now that the kids are out of the house, we find ourselves with a yellow labrador (as our boys say, “we are a BIG DOG family”), and she doesn’t like to be left behind. 

You know how your young children can sense that you are leaving?  If you are a working mother, you know that at a very early age your child seems to know the difference between your stay at home clothes and your work clothes.  If you have teens they also sense that you are preparing to leave and that text message trail  of “parent’s not home” most likely starts.   

At any rate, our dog is just like that. She knows when it is time for a walk, (she sees me putting on my tennis shoes), She gets confused on a day that I choose the gym over her! She also knows when the suitcases come out that something is up. She will head toward the garage almost as if she knows that there is a car trip ahead. 

So...just like young parents packing for a road trip, I am once again having to remember to pack but for the dog!  Dog food, treats (mum-mums for dogs?), chew sticks for distractions and of course her leash. Oh, can’t forget the favorite pillow either.   

We coax her (just like a 4 year old) to “potty” one last time before we load her into the car.  She gets the whole back seat (folded down for her of course). No car seats!  Too bad they don’t make iPad for dogs. I recently saw an ad for a cable TV station for dogs which will keep them entertained while their owners are out. It can’t be long before I can load a movie for her in the car.  (I may be on to something) 

Now, once in the car all is well for about 30 minutes as she gets used to the ride and then she starts to WHINE!  Do you need to potty? Are you car sick? Are you bored? I swear it is just like a flashback of 25 years ago when I was trying to figure out why my child was crying while strapped in their carseat.   Should we stop?  So, we pull over, but it is also now starting to rain.  We jump out and of course she looks around, doesn’t like the rain and heads straight back to the car without “going potty”! Years ago we had a very similar trip where after 4 different stops our child finally just gave up and threw up the minute we got him back in the car! That is still a vivid memory. 

After another “pit stop” our dog finally went to sleep, but of course we are approaching our destination! I wonder if I can carry her to bed without waking her up. Doubtful.  But I do love a family road trip with kids and/or the dog. It just feels like summer to me.