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  • Writer's pictureAnne

Go for a ride?

Our dog Phelan roaming around my in-laws' farm in Maine

I introduced you to our rescue pup Phelan in a previous post. She’s been with us for eight years now, but she’s still haunted by the time that came before us.

One place her anxiety manifests itself is car rides. When we take her outside, she’s all, “let me in the car, the car, the car.” But when we do? She shifts to “let’s go home, let’s go home, home, home.” She can never settle and generally wants to get right back in the car when we get to our destination. Near or far. 

Well, to avoid kenneling her for 10 days, we decided, won’t it be “fun” to have her join us on our trip to New England this January? Phelan, my dear … wouldn’t you like to visit your grandparents? 

Sure, having Phelan tag along meant we had to take two cars. Of the three vehicles we own, none is large enough to hold four adults, a large canine and her crate. Rent a larger car you say? Bah—that’s for amateurs. 

Sure, it’s a 12 hour drive to my in-laws, a 3+ hour drive from there to my parents and another 9 hour drive home. What’s your point?

Sure, my in-laws’ cat Pepper enjoys being the only four-footed child in the house. I’m sure she’d love her four-footed niece.

Sure, my parents’ house is chock fun off objets d’art just waiting to be knocked over by an errant tail swing. Or a clumsy adult … sorry about that statue, Dad.

I mean, what could possibly go wrong? 

Oh, a heck of a lot. We were positive when talking up the visit, but honestly, we weren’t entirely sure how it was going to go. 

But guess what! She. Was. A. DREAM!

We remembered to put her in her Thundershirt for the car ride. And while she didn’t want to explore, she didn’t totally panic when we let her out at pit stops. 

And best of all—she was CALM when we got there! Wait, what? That’s not usually a word I use to describe her. No chasing Pepper around the house. Only a little nosing around Pepper food (which in comparison to how frequently she does it at home, it was like she didn’t touch it. Truly a pleasant surprise. 

Our dog Phelan exploring my in-laws' farm in Maine.

Oh, and she LOVED roaming around Riverside Farm—off leash! She was in her element. I’m sure she’d have been happy to sniff around the barns for hours! 

Though there was less yard to explore, she was even well behaved at my parents’ house. The lack of roam-able land led to her being slightly less settled inside, but other than obsessing with a few of my mom’s plants, she was mostly well behaved.

I think she'll be welcome again!

Such a treat that eight years on, she can still surprise me!

Well done, Phey! 

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