Traveling with Annie
If you haven’t met her, Annie is our ~8 year old Chihuahua mix rescue dog. We’ve been together for about 3 years.
When we got her she weighed about 8 pounds and was living on the street. We quickly (too quickly) doubled her weight and allowed her to take over the back of our couch. There is now a permanent indention in the couch (and our hearts).
At home Annie is content with sleeping all day, an occasional walk, three meals, and sleeping all night in her crate. On the road, it’s pretty much the same expectations on her part except she gets to sleep in our bed.
When we first bought Wanda (the van) and introduced Annie to it she was very timid. She frankly didn’t like it or the banging, hammering sounds we made while working on it. But today, when you slide that door open, she uses the foot stool to jump in and immediately take her place in the cab. She is always up for a drive.
It has taken practice on our part to determine her needs. She has the ability to make eye contact with you even when you are focused on the road ahead. Then you begin to read her mind for what she needs. It’s typically that she a) needs water b) drank too much water and has to pee c) is hungry or d) wants to lick the driver. She rarely stares into your soul for frivolous reasons.
There are only a few things she won’t allow while traveling. Cars next to us at a stop light are a threat as are cows in the fields or other dogs walking on sidewalks. Mysterious voices at fast-food drive-thru are not tolerated either.
On our trip to Texas she experienced several things for the first time. She rounded up cattle (from her side of the fence) and sniffed the butt of a calf like it was her cousin Ramona, an American Boxer-mix. She went to the beach and stopped dead in her tracks after a couple steps into the sand; after some reassurance she continued on. At the same beach area she got her first experience with grass burrs, goatheads, or stickers. She simply stood there waiting to be rescued; all squatting took place on sand or pavement after that. Oh, and she gave chase to a hairless squirrel (aka armadillo). She didn’t know what to do once she caught up with it since she has never actually caught a squirrel but the armadillo took advantage of her indecision and zig zagged its way to a burrow under an oak tree.
After spending 2-3 days in the ranch house we were giving a tour of Wanda. Annie hopped up on the bed and immediately fell asleep. I would say she is VERY comfortable in the van.
This crazy dog has now been through 19 states in her time with us. She is ALWAYS ready for an adventure—just be sure to feed her at 7, 12, and 6 each day or she will stare a hole into your soul.