Brando does travel right. He’s always super excited to get wherever we’re going. He doesn’t know the itinerary, but he’s pumped. He can’t wait to have his seatbelt unhooked so he can jump out of the car. He will run around, smelling everything possible. He just wants to experience it all. He’s the best at taking it all in. His main source for information is smell, but we will also catch him staring off into the distance, watching a new animal, eyeing the strangers.
When we decided to take this trip, there wasn’t any discussion about whether or not Brando, our 8 year old puppy, would come with us. He’s a part of the family. When figuring out what we’d bring on the trip, we paired down quite a bit because we knew he would take up three quarters of the back seat. He’s the best little companion. We couldn’t leave him behind.
He knows the word “car”. He gets really excited about it. He can’t wait to jump in. He’s content to sit and look out the window, but mostly he gets comfy and snoozes while we drive. If we’re eating something delicious he might open his eyes to see if there’s a taste for him. There usually is.
Along the way he’s been loved on by so many. Some, he could have done without (sorry, Harrison, he was only tolerating your holding his tail hostage). Others he couldn’t get enough of (he whined anytime he was indoors and my dad would walk by). He’s a good little friend.
A few things that we brought to make his travel more enjoyable:
A comfortable bed – The backseat of the car is comfy, but we wanted him to have a semblance of his own space. We wanted him to have something familiar in the midst of all the new places. We bought a new bed for the trip, so we weren’t taking his smelly old bed along to stink up the car. The bed is a bit small for a dog his size, but it fits perfectly in the backseat, and he curls up nicely on it.
Plenty of food – Brando doesn’t eat a lot when he’s in a new situation. We brought along part of a big bag of food. For the first two weeks he ate very little. We were with so many people (and many kiddos) and he was just nervous all the time. Once we settled at my parents’ place for a couple weeks he relaxed and ate like normal.
Personal Care Items – Our dog sheds a lot. All year long. It’s never ending. I can’t count the number of times we’ve apologized to people we stayed with because we knew how much fur Brando would be leaving behind. We brought along a fine tooth brush, to help a bit. And then the rest of his toiletries – poop bags (don’t count on rest areas to have them), flea meds (because we don’t want to bring any critters into anyone’s home, or into our car), and treats and toys (for when he’s finally relaxed enough to enjoy himself).
In L.A. Brando is an indoor dog. We have a small yard that we spend time in, but nowhere he can really run, explore, and play. After spending time in the Ontario countryside, and then the northern woods of Minnesota, he may be ruined forever… Tim and I might be too.