Once in a while, life can throw a curve ball, and you have to learn how to bend so that you don’t break! When times like that happen at my house….I have to punt. I scrap whatever plans I thought I had in place, and I have to create a Plan B. Late last week was one of those times for me when Michael’s car ended up being in the repair shop for several days!
Typically, my schedule allows me a break in my day here and there where I can run home and look in on Rugby. Most of the time, it’s never an issue at all. If I’m running just a bit late from something like this, I let my clients know, and everyone understands.
However, when I’m working in Chattanooga for the day, those “normal” plans have to come to a screeching halt. I’m ninety minutes away from home in Chattanooga, so I’m gone for the day. There’s no one to get Rugby out for a potty break. So when these things happen, the solution is relatively simple: Take Rugby with me for the day!
Fortunately, the temperatures on Sunday were in the high 50’s to mid 60’s and cloudy, so I knew that the car wouldn’t get too warm for him. He’s crated at home when I’m gone, so being in a crate in my car is not too different for him…although my car crate is a little smaller in order to fit in my car. The trade off, though, is that Rugby gets to go with me, and that just thrills my little dog.
When I ask him if he wants to come to work with me….oh boy!! He “pings” off of me with joy and delight. Normally, Rugby doesn’t jump on me at all, unless he’s wigging out, or if he is over the moon with joy. This would be one of those joyful jumps that just warms my heart from top to bottom.
Yesterday, he went right to his basket that holds his gear, and bumped it with his nose, which is his signal to tell me that he knows his leash and harness are there….just in case I would ever forget! He never enjoys wearing his Thundershirt or his harness, but I get him “dressed” to go, and he grabs his leash and proudly trots to the door, being ever so careful not to step on the leash he’s carrying in his mouth. He really does always look so very proud of himself when he’s carrying his leash.
I always put his bed and a polka dottie piggie in his crate with him so that he’s plenty comfortable. And because I knew we might encounter some stressful situations, I also brought a treat dispensing toy that holds biscuits so that he would have a fun snack to work on while I was out training dogs rather than stressing over being alone in the car.
Times like this can actually be nice socialization for him, because it’s relatively safe. Anytime I get him out of the car, it’s in a remote area, where he’s not too likely to encounter anything too scary. Otherwise, he’s in his safe place…in a safe car, and that’s pretty perfect for him. I can crack the windows a bit to give him new sounds, and of course he always sees new things, which is great.
I always bring big beach towels, so if it’s a sunny day, I can provide shade for him easily. Even if it’s a cloudy day, I come prepared so I’m ready no matter what the weather does. I can clip the towels to his crate with clothes pins so that if there’s a breeze from the open windows, the towels won’t blow off and cause him to lose his shade.
I always bring a water bowl and water from the house, as well as a few snacks that I know he will like. He scored a couple of french fries, which I know he loves, and those are some small things that I can do to make it a special outing and extra fun for him.
I don’t do this very often, so it really stays as a special thing that he and I can share and enjoy. When he gets special outings like this, he really seems to enjoy himself, and then it’s a positive experience for him. And positive experiences are always a good thing for our pups!