Have I told you about the time my dog locked my husband and I out of our car? With the keys still in the ignition? With the motor running?? Ugh. I'll get to that in just a minute. Let me give you a little back story first.
My in-laws live in the Eastern Shore of Virginia and we go visit them once or twice a year, depending on our schedules. LOVE to visit them. The pace is so slow it's almost non-existent. We get to enjoy the creek (I would call it a lake) in their backyard, the weather is usually awesome, my husband gets to completely unwind, relax and fish (which makes me incredibly happy) and we are always treated to fantastic, fresh seafood. Spending time looking at the water and emptying my mind of stress leaves me focused and grounded and usually ready to go back home and create new product - in fact I bought a TON of fun, vintage buttons yesterday that will be made into new product! But I digress. To get to this awesome destination, I do have to endure the journey.
On a good day, the trip is around 12 hours long. We drive because we take our dogs on vacation and my husband actually enjoys being in the car. Me? Well, let's just say 4 hours in the car is about all I can take before I start feeling antsy. In the past we have given our dogs a mild sedative (prescribed by our vet - don't freak out on me) to allow both of our dogs to travel that distance. Our boys love the idea of going for a ride, but after 15-20 minutes the whining and pacing starts. And that's just around town. Imagine how fun it must be after only 1 hour into the trip??? It's NOT. So in the past they were kinda drugged, which I really hated, because I hate the idea of drugging my dogs, but not as much as I hate the idea of being trapped in a SUV for over 12 hours with two frantic, pacing, whining dogs and an ever increasingly frustrated/perturbed/angry husband. You get me on this? (And did I mention that on a good day the trip took 12 hours? This has happened only once. Depending on the number of potty breaks/food stops/gas stops the trip has lasted up to 15 hours.) By the end of the trip, I am trying to figure out how quickly I can get a glass (or gallon) of wine and/or if the dog's sedative is safe for human consumption.
Enter Thundershirt. My very sweet hubby says that he would like to try a Thundershirt on Dyson (our most anxious boy), because he thinks it could help his anxiety in the car, and therefore we would not have to drug him. He tells me that if Dyson is calm, then Wyatt will be calm as well. This suggestion, although appealing to the Mommy in me that does not want her babies drugged, is terrifying to the part of me that loathes an eternally long trip in a car full of anxious critters and husband. Thundershirt also makes a spray, my well meaning hubby tells me, that has pheromones, lavender and chamomile in it that will further increase the sense of well being. He is so adamant about trying this that I relent - I mean, agree to try it. For two days prior to the trip we let Dyson wear the shirt for a short period of time to get him used to it. He really did not seem to appreciate it at first - not a good sign. And for the first few hours of the trip, I drove and the hubby actually sat in the back with the boys to keep them calm. Not impressive.
BUT..... after a while they did much better. There were still a few bouts of whining, but not as bad. They were, however, alert and active whenever we stopped for whatever reason. That's the important part - did you remember the question I asked you at the beginning of this story? We were going to change drivers. Instead of pulling over on the side of the road, I suggested that we stop at a gas station, which we did. When the hubs gets out of the driver's side - keys in ignition, car running, cell phone in the dash - I also get out to move to the driver's side - shutting the car door behind me, of course, so my very excited boys don't decide to hop out and go exploring. As I walk around to the driver's side, my 57lb bundle of love, Dyson, bounds into the front seat to meet me, jumping up and down. I tell him to get back and go to open the door, and LOCKED. What?? Did the hubby lock the door? I try the passenger door. LOCKED. The back door. LOCKED. The other two doors. ALSO LOCKED! WHAT?!?! I look at the ignition, and to my horror, the complete set of keys are in the ignition (my hubby's keys have a separate attachment that allows him to keep the motor running while taking the remainder of the keys with him - so he doesn't get locked out. Irony, no?) The only thing that was a comfort was the air blowing high speed on my doggies as they looked out the window at their Mommy and Daddy trying to figure out a way to get back in the car.
Approximately 40 minutes, a couple of good Samaritans, an a Virginia sheriff later, we were back in the car and on our way. Due to that fun mishap, traffic from an existing wreck on the interstate, ridiculous traffic from construction on the Hampton Road Bridge Tunnel and a crazy rainstorm, we arrived at my in-laws. Total drive time? 16 1/2 hours. I was BEYOND stressed. But thanks to the Thundershirt and lavender spray - the dogs were happy and ready to play when we stopped. Are you serious? Guess that stuff works.
On the way back - Mommy may take the sedative!