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46. Traveling

Sir Oliver's Granny

We had to travel to visit family and we decided that it was a great moment to introduce a different home to sir Oliver. So far he only has been in our home and only a few people came over to see him, therefore it was time to expand his world, and see how easy he is with traveling.

The day we took him home things were quite confusing for him. All of a sudden he was with strangers and in a car. Then we travelled a bit by car with sir Oliver all within a 10 to 15 minute travel time. We really didn’t know how he is on longer car trips.

Last week at the vet’s we bought some car sickness pills. So an hour before traveling we gave him the pill with a bit of food. I took him for his afternoon walk while the rest of my family packed the car. It’s almost like traveling with a baby. We took his dog bed, blanket, toys, food bowls and food, his leash and harness. My daughter was already joking that she needed a diaper bag for all sir Oliver’s stuff.

After exactly an hour that sir Oliver had taken the pill we left for an hour and 15 minute drive. On the way there he wasn’t able to sit in a comfortable way and he was panting and trembling a lot. Even though he did decide to lay down after a while. I knew he wasn’t car sick, but he isn’t used to long car drives either. He’s never trained as a pup to be in a car and to learn to enjoy it.

When we arrived we let him out on a lawn next to the parking lot, to make sure he would not pee in the house out of anxiety or being overly excited. Just to be sure he would not do any thing on the wooden floor of my family. The first time I brought my first kitten home, he climbed the lace curtains and basically destroyed them. So that memory had come up, now I was bringing home my daughter’s dog. Even though I knew nothing bad could really happen.

Sir Oliver was really relaxed in this new environment, he already knew the smell of the family that lives there, maybe that helped. After exploring the entire penthouse he slept on his dog bed and ate his dinner like normal. We took him for his evening walk in this unknown city, sir Oliver was really excited to be able to sniff new scents, following new trails and he was pulling the leash as never before.

I did not do the stop and stare to the sky method, he is doing very well on it at home, now he was just so overwhelmed with new things and excited that I didn’t want to stop after each few steps we did.

An hour before we thought we would leave we gave sir Oliver his car sickness pill, to make sure his car drive back home would be as nice or nicer than on the way there. With again a bit of food he had no problems taking the pill. And it almost seemed that he got a picture of what was going to happen. He jumped into the elevator and didn’t seem surprised about the feeling of going down. He almost jumped into the car as if he new what the drill was, but the car is a bit too high for a Beagle.

On the way back he didn’t pant and almost no trembling, he slept in between my daughter and I in the back seat. I really would love it if traveling by car would not be a problem and be able to take him to places.

After coming home we went straight onto his night walk. When finally home, he went to bed in his own dog bed with my daughter and he slept through the entire night and was even a bit sleepy the next morning. Although he had been having fun, it was as well a lot of new experiences he had gone through. I really enjoyed bringing him along and gradually expose him to more and more things. Sir Oliver is quite a social dog, so he deserves it to expand his world step by step. And we expand with him on his and our journey to life.

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41. The First Law Of The Beagle’s Constitution

Sir Oliver's Granny

The first law of the Beagle’s constitution is: eat whatever seems edible.

The moment we got sir Oliver, we were prepared for an eating machine, and almost the opposite was true. He had to be encouraged to eat. Only over the weeks he is getting more and more back in his Beagle expression. Which obviously means that he is now following us either with his eyes or physically when we go into the kitchen. At certain sounds of certain packages/bags he points his ears.

Now with sir Oliver having diarrhea over the last 3 days, his appetite was lessened as well. Knowing that he really likes chicken we used that to get him some nutrients. This morning, the fourth day of him being sick, he was far more dynamic than the last couple of days. So we gave him his breakfast before his walk, since he was a bit shaky. He didn’t care about the food at all, which I found odd. Yesterday evening he had started to eat a bit more and drank water instead of only broth.

I took sir Oliver on a walk to see if he liked some fresh air and some movement. The moment we were outside he pulled extremely on the leash. Every bit of green between the paving stones he investigated and sniffed. Then when we walked by a public lawn, I wasn’t able to get him to move on. Sir Oliver started biting the long grasses and eating it as well. I did not feel confident and comfortable to let him continue eating the grasses, and I decided to pul him away. Since I had no idea if eating grass is okay for a dog, and he was so obsessive about it.

Thoughts went through my mind of maybe sir Oliver’s body is telling him what is good for him, and maybe he is self-medicating himself. I had no idea at that time, if my mind was justifying whether it was okay he had already eaten some grass. I also had read that dogs eat as well rotten food, so that didn’t give me the impression that dogs really know what is best for their body. Which I found weird, since I like to believe that nature has everything in order and animals are self-directive and act upon what is best for them and their species. In the meanwhile sir Oliver seemed to calm down a bit, after eating the grasses.

We went into the park, while I was holding my breath, and hoping he was not going to eat the grass there as well. The very grass where all other dogs pee and poop on, the grass that probably is full of bacteria. So I was a bit paranoia about him eating more grasses. To my surprise sir Oliver had no intentions anymore to eat grass in the park and we walked our walk  like we always do. He defecated as well and his poo was normal again. That I found really great, after 3 days of watery poop.

When we came home sir Oliver’s stomach/intestines started to make bubbly sounds and he indicated that he wanted to go into the back yard. I let him and he started to eat from the grass the cats eat as well from. This to me was less dangerous, yet I felt really uncomfortable with not yet taking my full responsibility. I could Google it and know if it is okay for a dog to eat grass and when they do it. It almost seemed for a few minutes that I rather stayed in fear and not knowing than moving myself, still believing that there was a reason to why sir Oliver did this.

I took sir Oliver inside and Googled my grass question and found out that dogs do this for several reasons. One of them is calming down nausea and bubbly intestines. So that was why sir Oliver had not yet eaten his breakfast, he had been nauseous! After eating some more grass the bubbling sounds stopped as well and some time later he ate his food.

So there was some truth in my self-medicating theory. Yet my fear that it would be bad for sir Oliver, without being able to back it up with proof/applied information from others, was quite big and in my face. I usually look things up right away and now it took me a bit longer fearing I had let him do something that possibly would make him even sicker. I was in fact for moments already living out, in my mind, a scenario that was not yet here, built on guilt and ignorance.

Next time I will trust my common sense and work with what is here. Bring my smart phone with me, which I mostly not do, so I can Google it on the fly. That way there is no need and no room for guilt and fear. I would simply know and act upon it.