Monday, November 4, 2013

Driving Cross Country with Indie

Just a quick update here.  In August of this year [2013] we moved from Santa Barbara, CA to North-East Arkansas.

Indie was about 10 months old when we made this journey and I was worried because it was going to mean 4 days in the car and not much exercise other than stopping to pee.  The good thing about mini's is that they take up very little room in the car and they can really sleep and stretch out comfortably in a small amount of space.  Indie handled it very well.  This is the least amount of exercise he's ever gotten and after 4 days he was ready to run.  In the hotel rooms, he ran around a little crazy and was acting kinda batty by the third day and just wanted to play with us so bad. But, we got through it.  Here's a a few snapshots from the trip:

A spot in the car
Here is Indie and I on the road on two different days:

In the back seat I piled some blankets and pillows so that he would be the level of the center console in my '97 Camry sedan.  I put another think blanket over the console itself so he could alternate between hanging out there or curling up in his seat in the back which is very roomy and comfortable for him. 

This is pretty much what we've done on every long road trip with him (except for the food and water being out all the time part --see below).

Food & Water
To make sure he was hydrated I had a bowl of water out at all times in the front passenger seat next to me.  I got one of those collapsible silicone backpacking bowls from REI.  I wedged in between some other stuff so it was stable and he could reach it from his roost on the center console.  This worked out pretty well.  Indie is already a weird eater and a long confusing car trip upset what was already a vague eating schedule.  So, I kept a bowl of kibble with some pieces of Zukes Mini Naturals in it next to the water, then he could just eat when he needed to.

I tried to play with him indoors at whatever hotel we stayed in.  By the time we got there it was usually to late or dark for a walk and often, there was no where suitable to go anyways.

Rest stops
We stopped at rest stops when possible.  Maybe about two to three times per day so Indie could get some hugs and stretch his legs.  If there was space and it wasn't 1 million degrees we would throw the frisbee or ball for a few minutes...then, back in the car!

To the right is a pic of Indie giving some hugs to my fiance at a gas station outside Flagstaff, AZ.  He was driving separately pulling a trailer with our cat.
Below is Indie in a field behind that same gas station...finally, he could run around a little! Also, the weather was nice and cool...a blessing on a hot summer car trip through the west.

Below is a pic of us at a rest stop when we first crossed the border into Arkansas.  You can see our cat on a leash and Indie with his frisbee.

Was it stressful on the pets?
Yes, it was.  But luckily both Indie and our cat Bittie are cool cucumbers in the car.  I've always been grateful for that.  I tried very hard to make sure Indie was comfortable in cars right from day one.  Bringing friends with me, giving him treats, and taking him to fun places.  Now he hops in the car no problem, just like a true ranch doggie!

In Arky-sas!!
We're starting to get settled in to our new spot and lovin the country life out here.  This week we have some doggie visitors.  We have an old black lab named Cooter and 2 month old chiweenie puppy named Ava.  Below is all the doggies plus Sammie, my neighbors dog, on the front part of our property.

Here's a few photos of Indie, Sammie (Indie's new bff --she's a female, same age 1yr old, border collie heeler mix), and myself goofing around on our lawn.

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