Friday, July 1, 2016

Making a Doggy Go-Bag for Home and Away

I take my dogs lots of places all year long.  If I go somewhere, odds are at least one or two of my dogs are with me.  However, I learned long ago about taking my dogs in a vehicle and the myriad of things that can go wrong; as well as how to travel in extreme weather conditions.  One thing I’ve always done is to make up and maintain a “doggy go-bag.”  Like a human go-bag, its contents are necessities for the host of possibilities you may experience when traveling with your dog(s).

I encourage everyone that takes their dog for car rides to make their dog(s) a doggy go-bag.  Moms and dads may better relate by thinking of it as a doggy version of a baby diaper bag - that big bag of stuff you carry/carried for your baby whenever you leave/left home so you'd have everything needed to care for the baby away from home.  The doggy go-bag is essentially the same thing. It should contain spare collars, leashes, water, toys, and a basic doggy first aid kit.  You can add other things depending on what you and your dog do; and where you go.  Just remember to replenish the water and first aid items as you use them so you're never caught without what you need.

Things to consider:  Akin to traveling with kids, making a go-bag for dogs is all about the things you may need and the things your dog will want when you go somewhere.  Things to consider when packing the go-bag include: time of year and temperatures typical of that season; weather types (i.e. snow, rain, heat…); duration of time the dog(s) will be in the vehicle; destination needs (i.e. leashes, toys, food, water, bowls…); duration of travel; and most importantly, doggy first aid and emergency kits. Also, and this is key, think of the potential things that could happen to extend your time in the vehicle; and the things that could happen to cause emergency needs for your dog (vehicle break-down, involved in an accident, detours on your trip, dog gets injured somehow or becomes sick...)  If you plan ahead and prepare for at least the minimum needs, then packing a go-bag with useful items is easy.  

Things I carry in the doggy go-bag:  My go-bag include the following: towels, multiple rags and wash clothes, spare leashes, spare collars, a roll of twine, duct tape, electrical tape, plastic Ziploc baggies, a generic first aid kit AND a four foot length of clear flexible surgical tubing, a multi-tool knife, medical tape, self-adhering roll bandages called, “VetWrap,” gauze pads, non-stick pads, Vaseline, a 25’ lightweight rope, Betadine; six bottles of water or more; spare carabiner clips, a spare blanket; spare dog food, dog toys, spare harnesses; and spare treats.  I’m no “MacGyver” but I can do a lot in an emergency if I need to with everything I have in my doggy go-bag alone.  I can at least stabilize an injured animal and get to the vet.  During the winter, I add dog coats and a couple blankets.

The doggy go-bag may seem silly to you, but if you live or lived on a farm, you understand that stuff happens and when you’re not at your home, even a quick jog to the house can be time-consuming and life-threatening time spent.  If you’ve been stuck on the road during a break-down, you need to be sure your dog can survive the wait for help as well as you and your kids.  If you’ve been in or witnessed an accident, there’s never enough help or stuff on-hand until the emergency units arrive-again, with a dog, it could be critical time spent waiting if you’re not prepared with some basic emergency items.  Obviously, things like rags, towels and blankets are just plain handy when you take dogs somewhere and they make any kind of mess. If they're like mine, they’re active athletes and swimmers that may need to be cleaned off or have something to cover a seat or cargo space to keep it from being wet or dirty.  The toys are of course, things to do with your dog when you go somewhere.  I have spare Frisbees and tennis balls in mine.  The spare treats-you never know when your dog may get frustrated or frightened and getting him/her to do something may be a challenge.  Having treats on hand may get your dogs’ attention.  You also never know when you may happen on a stray dog somewhere so having some things on hand could be helpful in catching and providing emergency care as needed until you can get the animal to a shelter or vet.

I know it seems excessive.  I’ve been told that many times by many people. I don’t care because I’m also the one everyone always runs to when there is an emergency or they otherwise need something I have and they don’t.  My point is that you need to have some basics on-hand in your vehicle for your dog.  If you have or had kids, you probably lug/lugged around a diaper bag with spare diapers, clothes, cleaning items and spare food/bottle for the kids – this is your dogs’ diaper bag but calling it a “diaper bag” is silly. During the summer, water tops the list along with a bowl or baggie for them to drink from.  Yes, a folded down baggie can be a great dog water/food bowl in a pinch; and the bottom half of a clean water/soda bottle can be a great bowl too.  Spare leashes and collars never hurt, spare towels and spare toys.  I will always advocate asking your vet for a list of things to include in making your own doggy first aid kit and having that in your doggy go-bag.

Be well and be good to yourself and others!

~ Chris

Cinder's Big Adventure to Visit Wolfie

Cinder's got a half-sister, Wolfie, that lives on a sheep farm in Michigan.  Cinder and Wolfie live very different lives, but share their various adventures and other tidbits on their Facebook pages.  This story is Cinder's telling of going to visit Wolfie on her farm.

June 28, 2016
As told by Cinder on her Facebook page: 
 Part 1: The Trip:  
Hu-mom getted the BCB (Border Collie Bus) all fixeded for us so I beez most comfortable and safe for long, long, long ride.  It beed ‘bout 175 miles (I not know ‘bout miles) away and ‘posed to be only ‘bout 3-4 hours in BCB.  I kinda know hours cuz we gots schedules and I know hours cuz I know when it beez time to do stuffs, like take care of Ebbie horse or eat.  Hu-mom maked everything in BCB night afore we leaved cuz we leaved really early-afore the sun even waked up.  We beed in hurry to see Wolfie and Cookie and Bear and their hu-mom, Emilie-and SHEEPS!  I not never goed for such long ride afore either and Hu-mom not thinked I beed able do long ride and not stop so she thinked we stop sometimes and gets out.  We beed on road ‘bout maybe a while just leave our home area cuz guess why?- ‘STRUKSHUN everywhere!  I not know what that beez but it maked Hu-mom crazy!  Strukshun beez something bout road that maked us go very slow for long ways, LOTS of times.  Then, I heared Hu-mom beez aggervaded and she sayed, “Cinder, we’re gonna take a break afore I start driving through barrels and cones and go off-road and cross-country because it would be faster.”  We taked break then and I getted out and seed we beed somewhere I never beed afore.  We goed little walk and getted drinks; then we drived more. 
Just when we beed going good, guess what? MORE STRUKSHUN and now “detour” too.  I not knowed what “detour” beed, but it maked Hu-mom crazier than strukshun and she sayed, “Jiminy this is crazy and we’re already way later than I wanted.”  Finally, we getted almost to Wolfies and guess what? Yep, MORE strukshun that maked us stop and go and stop and go-just when we almost beed there.  Then, I heared Hu-mom, “Cinder! We’re almost there cuz we’re on Wolfie’s road!”
Just after that, we beed at Wolfie’s house!  Hu-mom beed so glad we finally getted there and me too cuz that beed almost lunch time and that beed way longer trip than it ‘posed to beez.  We thinked it beed better if we goed back whole other way when we goed home cuz we goed back on big, big roads but it beed almost the same cuz strukshen beed every road that way too!  Just to visit at Wolfie’s farm taked a long, long, long time, but it beed okay.  That beez end of first story.  I not like how long it taked cuz I beed bored mostly, but I dood good cuz I sleeped lots.  Next part, I tells you ‘bout seeing Wolfie-sis first time ever and some stuff she showeded me.

Part 2: The Arrival & Meeting:  When we FINALLY getted at Wolfie’s I getted out of BCB and beed glad to see we beez at a farm!  We stopped places that beed in city and I not like them much so I beed glad it beed a farm!  After we dood things (you know what we dood, I not tell that part), I meeted Emilie, Wolfie’s hu-mom.  I LIKE Emilie-mom, she beed really, really, really nice and she loved on me and telled me I beed “sweet” and like that.  Then, I seed…WOLFIE-and Cookie and Bear too.  They beed dooding sheep stuff when we getted there so they not beed so nosey ‘bout me as I beed ‘bout them.  But Emilie-mom getted Wolfie to come see me.  

At first, I not beed sure ‘bout it cuz Wolfie beed kind ‘cited to meet me, but I not so sure what she thinked and I beed little on guard at first; but I ‘cided I likeded her-she dood beez my half-sister and stuff so I gots to like her. But other thing I not knowed, I beez bigger than her!  I not never knowed that.  I ‘cided that beez my ‘vantage cuz I might cood make the rules if I not like hers!  I beez ‘bout little bit taller and Hu-mom sayed I gots bigger bones like my real mom.  I also finded something else out that I not sure I like:  I not know MY Hu-mom almost getted Wolfie when she beed a baby cuz Hu-mom seed her and really, really, liked her afore her hu-mom seed her!  You b’lieve that?!  MY Hu-mom almost ‘cided Wolfie beed live at MY house!  But, she not dood that cuz she thinked Wolfie beed happier on real farm.  What? She not think I beez happy on real farm too?  Dood my Hu-mom beez crazy?  Anyway… both our hu-moms beed talk ‘bout us like we not knowed, but we dood know.  When we  maked friendly and I understanded Wolfie beez mostly the boss of the farm, everything beed all good.  Then, we goed where Emilie-mom beed dooding sheep work and I seed really for real sheeps!  They beed very noisy, talking sheeps talk and not never beed quiet at all either. 


Emilie-mom beed in with sheeps cuz she gived them medcines and shots.  Wolfie dood herd work and I beed on long leash to watch cuz I not dood know ‘bout sheeps and herding.  I just beed watch Wolfie and the sheeps.  Wolfie dood mostly good work and sometimes sheeps dart around and I seed Wolfie try maked them mind her.  Sometimes Emilie-mom telled her dood stuff and she dood it.  I getted little bored cuz I beed on leash so Hu-mom letted me off leash.  Guess what I dood then?  I goed and getted in BCB cuz I beed hot, bored, and thirsty.  Hu-mom gived me drink and then she goed back to sheeps so I goed back too. 
I watcheded Wolfie and then, I thinked maybe we cood play little, but Hu-mom called me back cuz I not ‘posed to bother Wolfie on duty.  So, I pretend I knowed what to dood with sheeps and I beed watch  them too.                                    

 But that beez boring after while so I want to see what Emilie-mom dooding to sheeps in really little space called, “chute.”  It not like MY chute for agility at all!  It beez like a outside hallway in sheeps outside place.  Emilie-mom beed dooding shots and medcines but it looky like sheeps wrestling to me!  I thinked she beed sheeps wrestle and it maked me beez nosey.  I getted at end of chute thingy and suddenly, sheeps start coming like they gonna ‘scape or something so I pretend I know herding and I barked at ‘em so they stop.
But then, Hu-mom and I haved to move away cuz I not ‘posed to bark at sheeps in chute cuz it maked ‘em not dood something they ‘posed to do.  Emilie-mom sayed it beed okay cuz sometimes all the dogs dood that, but this not right time to dood that.  I goed to BCB for ‘nother drink and wait for Wolfie to have break from work to play. I goed atween BCB and sheeps ‘til Wolfie beed freed to play.  It beed a while, but that beed okay.  I still not meeted Cookie and Bear cuz they beed looky at sheeps and not care ‘bout me; and cuz I beez new and Emilie-mom not want to overwhelm me.  I seed them sometimes, but I not cood be near them either so nobody dood play with me when Emilie-mom beed work with sheeps.  After sheeps work, both our hu-moms haved lunch.  Wolfie goed in special place outside while I goed with hu-moms in house…cuz I beez a house dog.  They sayed I beez, “a princess.”  I not sure what that means, but I think that not beez nice as it seems!  I think it beez maked fun of me.  I not really care tho’.  I always beez near Hu-mom cuz THAT beez MY job.  I not like it when I not can see my Hu-mom cuz it make my job lots more harder.  My other jobs be boss of my uncles and play flyer; and SWIM!  I not gots sheeps at my farm so I not need to know herding sheeps.  Asides, I thinked I beez a QUEEN cuz I makes the rules at my house!  Anyway, they haved lunch and dood some stuff so I stayed in BCB while they dood some stuff.  That beez all of this story for now.  Next part beez I teached Wolfie about FLYERS! And how I burneded off my paw pads that maked my feets hurted really bad later.

Part 3 of My Visit with Wolfie:  Wolfie showed me her job dooding sheeps herding.  She beez good at it.  I might cood dood it too if I haved sheeps to herd, but I not gots sheeps.  I haves FLYERS.  Hu-moms taked us to pond place down the lane.  They gots funny pond cuz it gots stuffs in it everywhere!  It gots plants that sticks up around where bank or beach ‘posed to beez; and funny floating plants in the whole pond.  I never seed pond with all that stuffs in it afore.  So, Wolfie not dood swim like me cuz her pond gots too much stuffs in it.  She just goed in and getted wet and getted out again.  I thinked I try swim, but it not work too much so I not cood swim either-just getted wet lots.  Anyway, we goed there and only place to play flyer beed on gravel lane atween pond on both sides.  I beed okay with that-I play flyer everywhere. 

When Hu-mom showed Wolfie the flyer, Wolfie not never seed one afore so she not knowed it beez a fun toy.  So, Wolfie watcheded me a few times.  Then, Wolfie thinked she figgered it out and she tried playing flyer.  She seed Hu-mom throw it and she runned and then jumpy really high and twisty really good, but she not seed where flyer goed and missed it.  Then we dood it again and she beed so bizzee dooding tricky jumps that she not seed where flyer beed and missed it.  I tried tell her she gots to looky and just only jump when she seed it, but she haved to learn it herself. After she stoppeded being trick jumpy queen and just run and jump plain jumps, she catched flyer too!  But she droppeded flyer on road and not take it to hu-moms to throw again. ‘Sted, she just droppeded flyer on road and watch it like it beed a sheeps!  I try show her she gots to take it to a hu-mom to throw for her, but she not dood figger that part out very good.  Mostly, when she catcheded it, she droppeded it and I taked it to Hu-mom for her.  Only problem beed that when we beed on gravel lane, I runned and slide-stoppeded lots of times and that maked my paw pads getted skinned in the gravel; and THAT maked my feets hurted
really bad later.  I not notice my feets beed skinned then cuz I beed have fun; but later, I beed very sore.  I beed limpy whole rest of time there cuz of that.  On way to house, Hu-mom throwed flyer in other places and watched who getted it and stuffs.  I getted it mostly, but sometimes Wolfie dood gooder catches and stuffs too. She gonna beez really good at flyer if Emilie-mom gets her a flyer.   That beez all ‘bout this part. Next part beez ‘bout rest of our visit.

Part 4:  “My Van, My Mom,” Meeting Others & NO Ranger Ride:  When we goed back to house from flyer play, my feets getted sore.  My front foot beed worstest and I beed little limpy.  Hu-mom thinked I need break cuz she not knowed my feets beed skinned yet-she thinked I twisted my leg when I skidded to get flyer.   I beed curious cuz I seed Cookie and Bear and thinked I want to meet them.  Cookie beed okay.  She kinda getted a little in my space and I beed so tired and sore that I beed mean at her ‘bout it.  She not beez very bold and she goed away, but I looky at her and beed growl cuz she beed closer to Hu-mom than I want too.  I getted in trouble cuz I beed mean at Cookie.  I meeted Bear through fence and I beed grumpy at her and her at me.  I just beed too tired and not beed in mood; and I beed hurted but hu-moms not know how much yet cuz I only limp just a little bit cuz I not weak.  I probly beez good friends with Cookie and Bear like Wolfie if I not beez so tired and sore, but not then.  I goed and getted in BCB cuz I gotted in trouble and I not wanna beez with others when I beez in trouble. 
Hu-mom comed to BCB to check on me and Wolfie comed over too.  I beed mean at Wolfie cuz I thinked she gets in my BCB when I beez try to beez alone and thinked ‘bout stuff; and rest my feets.  Wolfie understanded, but I not really need beez so mean.  I getted in little trouble ‘bout that too.  I haved bad time after we played flyer cuz I just beez too tired and too sore.  Hu-mom maked me stay in crate in the house and they goed do other stuffs with other dogs and I beed rest.  I beed so glad I getted some quiet time cuz I needed to rest.

Hu-moms ‘cided gets a ride in Ranger and see the farm cuz it beez big.  They also gots sheeps in other place on farm so they needed check on them.  Other Borders gots to dood sheeps check with hu-moms.  They beed gone long time cuz they beed all over farm.  When they getted back, they dood few things and getted supper.  Then they goed back out and I goed too.  When the hu-moms dood more sheeps stuff, I goed to BCB cuz I not dood sheeps. 
  They feeded baby sheeps that beez in baby sheeps special place.  Then hu-moms thinked I cood go with Wolfie to other big, big field and we play (cuz they still not knowed how bad my feets hurted cuz I not limp much yet).  To gets at other field beez a run for Borders and a Ranger ride for hu-moms.  But Hu-mom thinked I not should run with Ranger thingy cuz she thinked I not cood tell difference ‘tween it and a car; and I might beez at home and thinked it beez fun to chase cars cuz I runned with Ranger. 
So they thinked I should ride in Ranger with them cuz other Borders sometimes ride in Ranger.  I not want to ride in Ranger. I thinked it beez a bad thingy and I not like it so I not want to get in and even cheese and cookies not make me gets in.  I runned and getted in BCB and looky at Hu-mom from BCB.  She keeped try gets me come and ride in Ranger but it not ever worked and both hu-moms gived up.  Then both hu-moms shutted me in BCB and we three goed to big field to play.  When we getted there, I finally haved to show them how much my feets hurted.  I beed more limpy and I not want to chase flyer like usual.  Finally, I getted so bad, I not know which feets to hold up cuz they all hurted.  Hu-moms looky at my legs and feet and they both beed surpriseded how my feets beed all red.  So, we goed back to house.  It beed dark then so hu-moms goed in and talked a little and getted ready for bed.  We goed to bed and I beed glad cuz I beed so tired and my feets beed so sore. 

In morning, we getted awake early and beed quiet ‘til Emilie-mom comed down and we knowed she beed wake.  We all eated breakfast and stuff.  I thinked my feets beed more sore than night afore and I not really even want to go potty cuz I not want to walk.  Hu-moms called me “princess” and beed really nice, but I just layed down while they eated and talked.  Then it beed time to go.  I really, really like Emilie-mom and Wolfie; and even Cookie and Bear but I beed so glad when Hu-mom sayed we beed ready for home.  I missed Hu-dad and uncles too so I beed ready for home.

That beez all the stories ‘bout my visit with Wolfie.  I haved big adventure.  Hu-mom sayed I dood mostly good cuz we beed in BCB for long, long ride; I meeted Emilie-mom, Wolfie, and sheeps; we played flyer with Wolfie; we sleeped over in strange place… I dood pretty good mostly.  I just beed little bit mean but I just beed too tired and sore so I not would beez mean if I getted to visit longer or my ride there beed shorter like it ‘posed to beez without strukshun and detours. 

When I getted home, I beed so glad to see Hu-dad and uncles.  Hu-dad huggeded me with lots of big hugs and when he finded out ‘bout my  feets hurted so bad, he maked me feeled gooder.  He carried me back in house when I beed done outside cuz my feets hurted so bad I not want to walk back in house.  I beed rest and now, my feets feel gooder again. 

~The End.