Saturday, May 17, 2014

Driving Miss Abby - Dog Physics

You would think it would be just a simple drive. . . .

After almost two weeks at the crash pad, Partner coming on down last weekend so she could get used to one place a bit before uprooting yet again, it was time to take Abby home to the Range.

One of the traits I looked at, when picking a dog to adopt was "rides well in the car" as, like Barkley, she will commute with me.  The drive is several times a month and it's long, but we often see some really interesting things.  Like today, this "weekend woody" camper. 

I decided to leave in the morning, I was really tired from a long week and there was thunder and hail going strong as I left work.  I also I thought she'd be more relaxed driving in the early morning when she's still a little sleepy. We'd made a few short drives this last week and she took well to the harness system that allows her to sit and lay down in the back, but not move forward or turning into missile dog, in the event of the accident.  Saturday morning dawned with good weather, everything was packed up, this should be a breeze.

Until I got up to find her with her head in the food bowl, not the little one but the BIG one, the plastic container that holds 40 pounds  Apparently Miss Abby figured out that if Mom doesn't latch the top down tight, she can snoot the top up and have herself a little snack.

And she did, on top of her regular food.  There wasn't that much missing, and her belly wasn't hard, so I figured she'd be full but OK.

Until I got out of the shower to find out she'd barfed on the only really expensive rug in the house. swore Barkley was somehow up in doggie heaven giving her pointers.

I got that cleaned up, and took her out to potty, but she really did't have to go, so we loaded up. I knew she was a little nervous as we loaded up, as the last time she made a long trip, she ended up in another strange place with very kind, but new people.  After several months in a shelter being treated for heartworm, that had to have been scary for her.
So I kept  my eye on her. Having owned a couple labs in my life, I know about the effects of overeating, mainly, dogrrhea. But she seemed just fine when we left the crash pad.

But as we hit every pothole on I-65 North, she started to get a little restless (attention State of Indiana, driving the right lane on the stretch between Indy and Lafayette is like driving on a pinball machine, and that first rest stop north of town has fissures in the pavement that have likely swallowed a Smart car).

Abby had been happily sleeping when suddenly she sat up, maneuvered and let loose an explosive spray from her back end that would have done a demolition team proud. 

I didn't think a little dog could hold that much.

We got off the road at a looming rest stop. I didn't scold her, she couldn't help it, but patted her and got her cleaned up as best I could (thank you paper towels and a garbage bag in the emergency road kit).  Then, I wiped down the seat and the floor (most of it hitting the floor and the back of my seat).  I then went into the rest rooms to get cleaned up. One woman wrinkled her nose at the smell (my jacket sleeve got it bad) and I just said "you should have seen the other guy!"

I called Partner and told him I'd be a little late. We took another walk, making sure she was completely empty before getting her some fresh water and a blanket. From there, she was all happy, no further discomfort though for the rest of the drive, though I was seriously tempted to stick my ear plugs up my nose, having left the Vick's in my ready bag.

We made our usual stop at I-65 Exit 240 (Lowell/Hebron) at the clean and friendly Arby's that's next door to a very nice Super 8 (even if I don't want a bite to eat, I'll stop there for a friendly hello and a coffee). By that time the truck had aired out, and she was definitely feeling better.
What is that? I smell cow  I love cow.  You gave me some last weekend.
It is! It's a bag of cow!  And it comes with some Cow Jus to dip the sandwich in.
Has anyone told you that large quantities of cow can restore an electrolyte imbalance caused by dogrrhea?
She didn't buy that line of bull.  I guess I'll just go back to sleep.

We're near the state line, you can tell by the cars.  Do you want to take a bet how good THAT is to drive during lake effect snow up here (don't drive that after Labor Day).
And what is this?  I think it's the "Red Green U-Haul, now with improved Duct Tape!
As I rolled into the drive, I knew Partner would be waiting for me with open arms.

And apparently a whole bunch of cleaning supplies.
 Still it was great to be home.
 Look Abby, Dad made you a paracord slip leash in U of I colors!
How about you two go for a long walk while I take a spray hose to the inside of the truck?

Happily coming up the steps inside, she settled right into the house, probably smelling us both there, and finding her favorite toy on the rug when she came inside to home, tail wagging furiously.

It's good to have a Lab back in the house, trying out every single comfy place to lay.  I can almost hear Barkley up above saying "Way to Go Agent Canine C-4, way to go".



  1. Ouch... That was 'not' a fun trip... Too bad it wasn't a Uhaul you could just go through the wash with...

  2. The next trip will be better. Our animals don't travel well from lack of practice and well they just don't have to as our vet comes to the house. Glad it all turned out fine.

  3. Oh wow....poor Abby. Poor Brigid! Poor Bat truck!!

    They sell some chemicals at Petsmart that should get the odor out. The Nature's Miracle stuff seems highly rated.

    Glad to see Abby is settling in at the Range quickly and so well. I think she understands just how lucky she was in the adopter lottery.

  4. The wheels are probably worth more than the Caddy.

    Get the truck detailed, preferably by a pro who does work for the dealership. In this case, it is worth the expense.

    I have to move a cat from PDX to Texas at the end of June. That should be fun.

  5. I started to say, I'm glad everything came out okay ... let me rephrase: I'm glad things are better now.

  6. See, you get me sold on getting a dog, then you post this. I still think the benefits outweigh the debits though.

  7. The expression, "Shot at and missed; Sh*t at and hit!" comes to mind. If you can't get the smell out, burn a little rope in the cab, then cover the smoke with Febreze. It works for skunk odor.

  8. Glad you got that out of the way, and safely home. New kids just take a little adjustment time.

  9. Awwww...Poor Abby. And Poor Brigid. I can relate, as Murphy did that to me on a flight over Ohio one day. Fastest Cessna descent from 5,000 feet to ground level EVER and half an hour lost at a small airport cleaning the back seat with paper towels and a pail of water borrowed from an amused mechanic at the FBO.

    But at the end of the day, they're still our dog buddies and we love 'em.

  10. Having a dog doesn't mean the journey through life will always be perfect; but it does mean you're not alone, loved without conditions and your patience is honed to an edge fit for shaving.

    I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but I had to write something after your wonderful post led me away.

  11. I admire you sense of humor in this ordeal. Yes, owning a dog, just like having kids, isn't perfect every minute. But I wouldn't trade my dogs, or my kids, for anything. When Molly was younger, I left her for as long as it takes to get a shower and dry off. . . When I came out, there was a totally empty pie plate in the center of my kitchen table, that was full of pecan pie when I went into the shower. On the white table cloth there was undeniable evidence - black Lab hair. I frantically called the vet. They laughed at me and said,"Well, she may have need to go out more often for awhile, but other than that, she should be okay."

  12. C-4, like the explosive?

    Sorry you and she had such a trying time.
    When we ventured to Central Phoenix to pickup Lola, I held her in my arms in a blanket on the return trip - we'd no carrier, yet.
    Almost home and UURRP!
    But not too bad - and all was new to her.
    She gets nervous going to the vet, now, but no further incidents.


  13. I'm sorry, but i couldn't stop laughing. feeling sorry for both of you and having been through that with the kids. Abby sounds and looks right at home with you and partner.

  14. This tale brings a real laugh and tear to the eye. Thanks,


  15. I'm sorry but I giggled. Just a little I swear! That doesn't make me a bad man does it?

    At least the Bat Truck has been Abbified now and it's all smooth sailing from here on out.

  16. Just off the west access road for I-25 somewhere between Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces, a dog bed and an old towel lie buried.

    Archer and I had been staying with a friend who'd found his appetite for people food irresistible. And he always found people food irresistible.

    A few hours after we left, he was been sleeping in my Wagoneer's cargo area. Suddenly he made a weird cry and paced back and forth rapidly a few times, whimpering. About the time I realized what was about to happen and started pulling over, an artesian storm drain opened.

    He seemed downright apologetic afterward, and fortunately showed no other symptoms.

    Through some freakish luck, most of it hit the dog bed, which naturally I didn't even attempt to salvage, and I was able to get most of the rest with the old car towel. Driving with the windows open the rest of the way to Mom's place in Cruces was sufficient.

    It was a bit of luck comparable to the time near Flagstaff when I saw something in the high-beams of my new Chrysler and barely had time to think, "Skunk," before I was upon him. By some freakish happenstance he died nozzle-down and I just drove with the windows open the rest of the way to Vegas.

  17. Neat little camper, though they wasted a fair bit of space by squeezing the living quarters inboard of the wheelwells (I'd speculate that this is a distinction between two levels of sophistication in travel trailers, no doubt reflecting a custom vs. generic chassis underneath).

    If you liked that, you'll love

    I so want that '46 Chevy-based woodie, but so wouldn't want to maintain that acre of varnished brightwork.

    The green Art Deco insectoid owned and probably designed by J. Roy Hunt isn't half bad either! He had a series of such vehicles to suit the workstyle of a location-shooting cinematographer (highlights of a long and prolific career include the first of the many versions of Beau Geste, The Virginian, Last Days of Pompeii, and Mighty Joe Young).

    It's said that he had a hand in building 'em too; and there are even people who credit him with the first working shower built into an RV (

  18. Hahahaha! Oh I'm so sorry to laugh as I'm sure there was nothing funny about it at the time. Poor Abbey - I mean, poor Brigid! Lol! I think Barkley had a hand in this for sure.

  19. Brigid- I didn't know that you're a U of I fan. Pretty sure I still have some U of I ribbon if Abby would like a collar scrunchie.

  20. Everyone - she's been doing fine since getting home, one more "I gotta go now" run run run! then settling down. A lot of new things all at once for her, but yesterday morning, she jumped up on the bed, and gave me a dog kiss, then jumped off, tail wagging, ready to start her day.

    Sarah - Partner got his Bachelors there, and many of our friends went there as well. Good school, good folks.

  21. Okay, I have to confess. I guffawed at what Abby did, for you see I still had that opening schematic in memory. The right side of the equation had confused me, now all was clear. Yes, I did feel bad for you both. After I had stopped laughing. Great story Brigid. (And yeah, I can see Barkley looking down from On High egging Abby on.)

  22. OldAFSarge - the little equation is the principal of the safety valve :-)

  23. never was good enough at math, but i recognized THAT formula right away!

    and it was nice of Barkley, from above, to make sure your day's off without him were sufficiently occupied to keep YOU out of trouble, and smiling : )

    now, about the time my gleeful pooch ate the contents of an aging, full, AND quite fetid baby diaper just before a long (hours!) ride home in the middle of nowhere--and no running water, in the heat of the summer--

    PANT (doggie smile!) PANT PANT (sharing/breathing on occupants) PANT (doggie smile!) LICK'S CHOPS

    ...the contents of his mouth were like an archaeological dig, with striations of strange colors and peculiar textures...

    no doubt, he is STILL smiling down at me from on high for that one! good memories, no less, Dog love 'em!

  24. A most excellent looking paracord leash! :)


I started this blog so the child I gave up for adoption could get to know me, and in turn, her children, as well as share stories for a family that lives too far away. So please keep it friendly and kid safe. Posts that are only a link or include an ad for an unknown business automatically to to SPAM..