Penny’s Big Adventure

Penny has always been rather conflicted about car trips. She’s happy to get in the car. But as soon as the key turns in the ignition, she begins to bark, whine, squeal, growl, and sometimes even kind of scream. Incessantly. She pants and paces, and doggy spit drips from her lolling tongue. For the entire trip, she worries this way. If you could hear her, you’d think we were beating her. It’s kind of funny. For about the first 30 seconds. Then it’s just irritating and unbearable.

For obvious reasons, she doesn’t get to go on many car trips. Pretty much just to the vet and the dogsitter, and the annual trip to the Blessing of the Animals at our church. (She needs all the blessings she can get.) But for some reason, I really wanted to take her when we went to J.P.’s mom’s house today. It’s about a 90-minute trip, and I couldn’t believe it when J.P. agreed.

We usually put her in her travel crate in the back of our Matrix, but today we decided to throw her blankets in the back seat and let her hang out there. Of course, she always wants to come up to the front seat and get on my lap, where she drips spit on me, covers me in the fur that shoots from her body like arrows when she gets stressed, and scratches the crap out of my legs. Even though we were going to MIL’s to paint and do yard work, I didn’t really want to show up wrinkled, dripping wet, and covered in brown fur.

So we used her leash to tie her to the back seat. It was long enough for her to stick her head out either of the back windows. And it allowed her to stand with her front paws on the console between the front seats so she could see where we were going. She had her moments, but overall she did great! We couldn’t believe it.

All the stress and excitement wore the poor pup out. I expect that she’ll sleep straight through to Tuesday.

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