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Monday, January 12, 2015

Country Dog in the Big City

Since my brother's destructo cats had gone to kitty heaven, my husband thought it would be fine to bring Bella with us on our visit to New York. This would be the first time she would be taking such a long a road trip. The longest she has ridden in a vehicle was about five minutes on her way to be groomed, or to the vet. Whereas my other dogs have loved to take a ride in the car, any time Bella goes in the car, she shakes uncontrollably. Besides her being a nervous Nelly, I was a little concerned at how she would do her business during the eight hours. Just putting a harness and leash on her puts her into freeze mode so I didn't know if she would understand the purpose of going for a walk. My husband kept telling me she'd be fine, so I relented.

We wouldn't be able to conduct our normal routine of stopping at Cracker Barrel for lunch, so I packed us a couple of sandwiches, a bag of treats for dog and human, and found a water bowl with a top on it for Bella. We took the mini-van and placed her in the back, blocking the front with a large cooler.

Before we even got on the highway, she squeezed her way around  the cooler and tried to get on Frank's lap as he was driving. Yeah, no! Instead of us crashing, I allowed her to sit on my lap, the entire time.

I consoled her by petting her and telling her everything was okay, and when she began looking out the window she finally stopped shaking.

Our first stop was at the West Virginia rest area and lo and behold, Bella actually walked on the leash and even did pee-pee. When we got back in the mini-van she wouldn't stay in the back so back she went on my lap. I knew she had to relieve herself when she started shaking, so we stopped two more times. We made it up to Brooklyn in record time.

When we got to the house she checked everything out and I introduced her to the backyard. She picked up on that's where she had to do her business very quickly. She really is a smart dog. The house is a two story and I was worried about her and the staircase which is steeper than most and has no rug. When I was in my room upstairs, I heard the unmistaken sound of her tumbling down the stairs. I rushed out to find her at the very bottom where my father had fallen and perished, and I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Luckily, unlike dad, she got up and shook it off. She seemed fine, but whenever I went upstairs I took to carrying her.

Although we had brought her bed she didn't stay in it much,

instead, she preferred sleeping with us at night, and during the day lounging on top of the couch.

She found the window, and whenever we left she would sit in it waiting for us. My brother said she would howl the saddest howl he ever heard, and his girlfriend said it sounded like she was calling for Mommy. They said it would go on for an hour before she would stop. Now, if only they would have come downstairs and comforted her like my kids do when she does that, she would have stopped immediately. But they didn't, so she cried and cried and cried. Poor little baby thought we were leaving her in the big city.

It was funny watching her when she was in the yard. Every time a plane would pass overhead she would stop and look at it. Sounds from the neighbors garage door opening would cause her to jump and rush back to the door. She seemed amazed at the buildings all around her. She looked for rocks but found none. She did find a tree stump that she would stand on and look out into the neighbor's backyard. I was worried she would jump the concrete wall so she wasn't allowed outside by herself.

Except for barking at my brother every time he came downstairs or through the door, "Who are you???!!!" she took to the new environment. My brother asked if she ever slept as it seemed like she hadn't since we arrived. Too much excitement I guess. At one point we had friends over and were playing a game, drinking, eating, laughing, etc. Bella decided to jump up on a chair and just sit there with us. She has never done that at home. It was so cute!

When it was time to go home, she was ready, and this time she didn't shake when she went into the mini-van. We rigged the cooler so that she couldn't jump on it or squeeze her way up front. When she discovered the back window she stayed.

Eventually, the dog that barely slept, crept into a gift box that held my husband's fleece shirt and got comfy. She slept most of the way home.

All in all, she seemed to adapt very well to the big city. My husband said we could now take her on vacations. Ummm, no, we can't. If her crying for Mommy for an hour is any indication, I don't think she's the type of dog that could be left alone in a hotel room. However, I have no problem taking her to New York City, as long as my husband is with us. When I go alone, she's staying home!

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