A bit lighter fare today.
When Phoenix and I went to the seminar in Des Moines last weekend, Jamie stayed home with the Farmer. He usually goes with us wherever we go, even though he's been retired for 3 years, but this time I thought he’d be happier at home, hanging out on the couch and having a male bonding weekend than he would sitting in a crate for three days at the seminar.
I thought wrong.
When I called the Farmer on Saturday night, he said, “Your dog is not happy.”
Jamie had spent Friday evening pacing and barking and watching out the windows. He was in a constant state of distress when I did not come home. Then there was a severe weather outbreak over eastern Iowa that night, which only made things worse. Jamie is a drama king about severe weather. True to form, he spent the night leaping on and off the bed, quivering, vibrating, pacing, panting and having a meltdown. The Farmer did not get much sleep.
Saturday, Jamie wouldn’t eat. This freaked me out and I was seeing an IBD flare-up on the horizon. I was afraid the stress from the storm and being “left behind” was going to have negative effects, even though he was still in his own home and the Farmer was taking care of him.
By the time we got home Sunday night, things had improved. Jamie was eating again. He was very happy to see me. He squeaked and barked and showed me his teeth repeatedly (Jamie is a champion smiler.) The Farmer was very VERY happy to see me although he did not squeak or bark or show his teeth. Apparently, Jamie spent most of Sunday pacing around the house and howling. Not barking. Howling. The Farmer could hear him from outside the house. Which is where he spent most of Sunday because he couldn’t stand to be inside with the Howling Drama King and it was too bloody hot to put the Howling Drama King outside in the kennel.
If I ever left Jamie at home again for another extended weekend with the Farmer, I suspect the former would bite me when I got back and the latter might file for divorce. It’s flattering to be missed that much by one’s dog but I really wish Jamie could chill out about staying home by himself, so to speak.
But Jamie has never been much into “chilling” about anything and at age 12, I don’t expect him to start now. If it distresses him that much to be left behind, it’s totally worth the extra time and effort to take him with. With that in mind, I’m thinking about ways to make hauling gear for two big dogs a little easier, especially when we go camping this fall.
When I bought R2, I did not think having enough room to load up camping gear several times a year was very important on the overall priority list when choosing a vehicle. Now that the reality of fall camping trips is growing closer, I’m rethinking that decision and realizing while I have enough room for dogs, crates, gear bags, coolers and stuff, it’s going to be a tight fit to get a tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, etc. jammed in, too. Okay, the obvious alternative is to get a hotel but I really do enjoy camping and look forward to our annual September outings.
I’m thinking about getting a car-top luggage carrier but the idea of strapping things to the roof (R2 has a luggage rack), only to have something break or come loose and scatter bits and pieces of my life down Interstate 80 is a bit frightening. If anyone has any experience with these things and/or brand recommendations, I would appreciate hearing them.