We’re leaving on our Winter Dog Trip 2015 really soon …
… but my preparations are stalled because of a couple travel worries.
My biggest dog tripping worry is the dogs will get hurt and/or lost if we’re in a car accident. Big, major Worry Wart.
I don’t expect (or want) to lose my concern for our safety on the road. But I do need to get past the accident worry far enough to take a dog road trip in the first place. So I’m using the Worst Case Scenario Methodology:
- Identify the Fear – Dogs will get hurt in a car accident.
- Make a Plan – Seat belt the dogs. Buy crash-tested seat belt harnesses.
- Practice – Start using seat belts on the dogs.
You’d think I’d be using seat belts by now, being a dog travel worrier and all.
By taking a close look as to why I’ve been procrastinating for so long, I found I was fearful of opening a big, messy can of worms by trying to use seat belts! Dang. It was clear I needed an additional, more detailed plan:
- Identify the Fear –
Putting seat belts on my dogs will be a major hassle, the dogs will be uncomfortable wearing them, and they’ll hate me and road trips because of the belts. I’ll end up preferring to stay home just because of the belts.
- Make a Plan –
- Desensitize the dogs to seat belt harnesses. Put harnesses on them before going out to play or getting treats. And have them wear the harnesses around the house including while sleeping.
- Ease into seat belt use by taking the dogs (one at a time to address their individual needs) on short trips where they get dog biscuits from drive-thru coffee huts and get out at their favorite locations. Be patient, use lots of praise.
- Address any issues, should they arise. Ask for help. Many people have done this before me.
- Practice –
Calmly and consistently start a routine of seat belting, taking both dogs on fun trips, at first short car rides then progressively longer.
I’d prefer to write this story in the past tense so I could tell you what worked for me. But jumping the gun makes me feel accountable (a benefit of being a blogger :->) so I’ll stop procrastinating and start practicing seat belts right away!
I already installed a new seat cover with holes in it for the belts. I have two different kinds of harnesses to try. There are no more excuses.
Wish me luck. I really hope this works out. Best case scenario is that the dogs calmly adjust to feeling secured in restraints, and can sit, stand or lay down as much as they like.
Hints and suggestions are welcome (actually, I’m begging for them.)