It is no secret that Jenni and I love our little rescue dog Annie.
She has been with us for over four years now. I wouldn’t say that we’ve taught her any new tricks in that time but we helped her remember a few that a previous owner must have taught her. (like fetching a toy, walking on the dashboard of the car, and recognizing that putting on socks is a sign of going outside.) We’re not even sure she understands English but she has a way of communicating to us despite that. She has taught us plenty!
When we travel in Wanda, we take Annie with us and we probably give her more attention than she gets at home (and that’s saying something.) Obviously, we have to be more conscious of her needs and comfort while traveling. We may walk across an entire parking lot just to be able to park under a shady tree for Annie’s comfort. But we lived in Texas, where a shade tree was more valuable than currency, so that wasn’t such a difficult trick to learn. We make sure she has plenty of water, yet we’ve learned that she won’t drink a drop until we return to the van. We always make it possible for her to hop up on the bed while we’re gone. (It takes three different jumps to get there with her short legs.) Like I said, we are just more in tune with anticipating what her needs will be.
Sometimes we go on hikes with her, but we’ve also learned to carry a backpack so she can ride back in comfort. She’s a short girl with bad knees! She doesn’t like to brag about it, but I think she enjoys the attention she gets on the trail when she is in the backpack. 😉
By far, the biggest allowance we make for Annie is her nighttime routine. She still gets that final walk of the night around 9pm. Her head drops in shame as I put the leash on her—she prefers the freedom she gets at home. But things really change when we come back into the van.
Annie knows she gets a dental treat before she goes to bed. And when we travel in Wanda, she gets to sleep in the bed with us as opposed to a crate at home. Once I slide the van door closed she pretty much starts a dance routine on the floor. Visualize Paula Abdul but with FOUR legs. It’s nothing but toenails clicking, panting, and trying to stand up to see the bed. Finally I toss the treat onto her pillow and lift her up to the bed. (Of course, sometimes I like to hide it and watch her root and dig for it. This annoys both Annie AND Jenni.) Eventually she finds the treat and it is devoured in 12-15 seconds. Somehow that is supposed to help her teeth and breath. I don’t know.
On this last trip, Annie would do a lot of dry mouth smacking and panting during the night when we started out. Granted, it was pretty warm those first few nights. To remedy the problem, I started making sure she drank water before I went to bed myself. Putting her on the floor to get to her water was of no use. She just thought it meant another treat or more food. (She knows the word “drink”. In fact, it’s the only first word she plays in Wordle each morning.) I quickly resorted to bringing her water bowl to the bed and placing it in front of her until she drank. I catered to her like this for almost three weeks. Jenni thinks I crossed the line and spoiled her! Maybe. But I was sleeping better!
One of the last nights on the road, I was already in bed, so Jenni was doing the water routine. I sometimes speak for Annie, so this is what transpired:
Jenni: ‘Annie, do you want a drink?’
Annie: ‘I’m already comfortable in bed. Could you bring it to me like the other servant does?’
Jenni puts the water bowl in front of Annie but she ignores it.
Annie: ‘Be a lamb and freshen up the water, would you?’
Jenni: [groans, but complies]
Annie laps up a refreshing amount. Then says: ‘Okay. You can put it away now. And careful you don’t mess up my blankets getting back in bed.’
The first night back home, I gave Annie her nighttime treat and put her in her crate. Thinking the dental treats were making her thirsty I brought her a bowl of water. She tried pushing past me to get out of the crate to watch more television with us. Not going to happen sweetie!
If she’s suffering from a dry mouth now, we don’t hear it from our bedroom.
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