Dog traveling – now I’m talking!

This time Mowgli has the floor:

Dear dog community, I ask so in the round: Is your human also so strange?

A new car bed

“We’re going on a trip,” my boss said. Excitedly, I ran back and forth, already looking forward to new smells, off-leash walks, cozy sleeping in the car, etc., but then: days of hammering, sawing, screwing, drilling…. “What are you doing?” asked my look. “I’m building a bed for the car, with slatted base and drawer, to fold down,” was the answer. Well then…

I really tried my best to help, not just to make it go faster, but because I’m a good dog. But how often did I have to listen to myself: “Go away! Watch out! This is a saw/stapler/hammer…. That’s dangerous!” Sulking, I retreated at some point and watched the spectacle from a distance. The drawer looked quite good, and the folding mechanism also worked. But then: half of the bed should rest on the folded back seat and be supported with retractable supports. The difficulty was to compensate for a slope of 10%.

I thought right away: that’s not going to happen. The boss dragged the heavy thing to the car a few times to measure it again. Then the load test. At this point, the project collapsed. I think the boss was pretty frustrated. But she just shrugged and said, “Design flaw.” I don’t want to say anything, but – maybe too much weight?

Or maybe she was glad she didn’t have to lug the bulky thing around. I liked Plan B better anyway. Because we have a new automatic mattress, which is really comfortable and does not lose air like the stupid sleeping pad. It was also about not having to rebuild so much all the time. So plan B was to leave the part of the back seat behind the driver’s seat folded down even in drive mode (the other part of the back seat has to stay folded up so the shelf is well fixed), put the futon on top of the mattress still, my new car dog blanket on top of that to keep me from crawling forward, and my new squeaky green dog mattress on top of that. And on top of it all, I’m enthroned like the prince on the pea. Here you can see me with this new setup:

Very cozy! The fact that I look a little worried has other reasons. I was completely sleepy when we finally set off. I’ll get to that in a minute.


I was very happy that the problem was finally solved and wanted to leave, but now the packing started! I can tell you that the new setup means we can now fit a lot more into our car. There was no end to the packing and in between I seriously asked myself: are we perhaps going to emigrate and the boss won’t tell me until later? I mean, why do you need eight pairs of shoes? Eight. I don’t need a single one and even the boss often walks barefoot. And then: why does she take the camping heater? In summer? To the South of France? She even packed a scooter – which we actually only needed in Domrémy. Actually, it should be a bicycle, but the boss had not found a bike rack that fits on the trailer hitch of a Kangoo so that the tailgate can still be opened. If you have any tips, please let us know.

Here you can see me taking care of the scooter:

Anyway, the packing lasted into the night and I had trouble keeping my eyes open. After all, I’m not the youngest anymore either, I need my sleep. “Go to sleep already!” suggested the boss. No, better not! I preferred to supervise the work. In the end, she forgets my dog food….

She has not forgotten anything. (Once she left the camping stove at home during a short trip in winter, but – shhh!). We had everything with us – and much more.

When she finished packing, she said, “There, now just clean the aquarium and we’ll be done.” I knew it! But I don’t want to be unfair: our swimming animals need clean water when they are on their own for several weeks.

“Is it going now?”

Because we got to bed late, we didn’t get up early the next day either. And then everything still had to be stowed in the car. I don’t know how many times she went to the Mowglimobile loaded with boxes and bags. Neighbors shouted from afar, “Have a nice vacation!” An older gentleman, who also has a very nice dog, said with a grin, “That’s a nice suitcase!” pointing to the roof box. The roof box! Without help, she can’t lift it onto the car, and without a stepladder, she can’t even reach the antenna. So we also drag along a stepladder. But it’s great for putting the camping stove on.

You know what I find particularly funny? When the roof box is on top of the car, the folding rule comes into play. So that the box is absolutely straight in the middle. “So there’s no turbulence,” she says. Is your human being like that too?

“Are we going now?” I asked every time the front door opened again. But then she’d walk out with trash and more stuff for the car. “Are we going now?” I asked firmly, barking loudly. But what is she doing now? Why is she sitting at the computer now? “I just need to look at the route,” she explained. Do you know what time we left? At 2 o’clock in the afternoon! To the gas station!

When we finally got on the highway, I tried my climbing skills to help the boss drive, but didn’t get far. She had tied me up really well. Well, never mind. As long as I wasn’t upset by hard braking maneuvers, I could at least catch up on my sleep on the comfortable travel bed.

We started late, but we were in Domrémy around 10pm!

Mosquito alarm

Domrémy was beautiful. If I had known what was to come, I probably would have advised staying there and just roaming the woods. But the boss had other plans, she really wanted to go to the Pyrenees.

The ride was long. When we were already completely south and wanted to take a rest, the heat seemed like a wall when we got out of the car. I almost burned my paws on the asphalt!

Once again, we arrived at the campsite later in the evening and the boss immediately set up the tent so we could quickly get comfortable. It was a small site with lots of shade, located by a creek, but separated from the campground by a fence. Therefore, unfortunately, I could not go swimming when I was too warm. But the mosquitoes came through the fence without any problems and visited us often. That was annoying! I mean, I could handle the flies. After all, catching flies is one of my favorite things to do. But we can’t really fight mosquitoes.

The boss was soon all bitten up. And me first! And then there were the ticks. No less than seven of these critters had to be picked out of my hide! In contrast, the fat hornet that visited us twice a day and made a round in our tent was really harmless. Each time, the boss politely asked them to continue their patrol somewhere else. With this animal, peaceful coexistence was not a problem. But all the bloodsuckers were giving me a hard time.

I hope next time the boss thinks twice about us camping by a creek.

A strenuous trip

The real reason we stayed at this campsite was to be close to the castle the boss wanted to visit, called Montségur. Because of the heat, we didn’t set out until the afternoon to climb up to the castle. I think the boss also underestimated how strenuous the trip was going to be. She even had to let me off the leash because the path was getting steeper. Some of the steps we piled up were half a meter high. The sun was burning hot from the sky, although it was already towards evening. We had to take many breaks to drink and take a breath. Saddened, the boss realized that she was no longer the youngest either. But when we were finally at the top – I can tell you: what a view!

And then we had to descend again. The sharp stones on the path maltreated my paws and I wondered if wearing shoes might not be a good idea after all. There should be for dogs, exactly for such hikes. Then 100 meters before our car I went on strike and lay down. I didn’t want to take another step. The boss offered me water, then treats, tried to encourage me, but I remained stubborn. “Do I have a dog or a donkey?” she finally asked. She almost carried me to the car, but I wanted to prove to her that I was a good dog, so I scrambled up for the last few meters.

Up there we were:

The next day we rested thoroughly. I was limping and she had sore muscles. We then only took short walks before continuing on a few days later. Once, when we got to the other side of the creek, I didn’t hesitate long and just jumped in. I also managed to climb back up the almost vertical slope.

I’m down there, can you recognize me?

Finally to the sea!

We had enough of the mosquitoes and therefore continued two days earlier than planned in the direction of Biarritz, for a day along the Pyrenees. In Bidart we got a place on a completely overcrowded campground. We stayed only one night because we wanted to continue to Messanges. In Bidart there were palm trees by the road! We took an evening walk to the sea, where I was allowed to run off leash and bite the sea. You should have seen me jump for joy! I love the sea! That’s why I thanked the boss quite often.

We learned a few days later that the Atlantic also has its rough sides. Anyway, the next day we had a look at Biarritz and then went on to Messanges. Our campsite was in a pine forest. The ground was littered with pine needles, and that eventually became my problem.

It was hot in Messanges, very hot. On one day, the temperature climbed to 42 degrees in the shade. I was lying in the corner of the tent, panting so hard that the boss was afraid I would get heat stroke. She wrapped me in a wet towel and pointed the mini ventilator at it. That helped and soon I felt better.

In the evening we walked to the sea, which was 800 meters away. It was still very warm and we wanted to cool down. And so we played the game “I save my human”: the boss swam out a bit and I fought my way through the surf towards her, then turned away, swam back to the beach and started again. The boss laughed every time because I always grunt like that when I swim. The game is so much fun! I didn’t even notice that I was getting tired and had also already swallowed a lot of water. Anyway, I ended up feeling pretty sick and throwing up on the beach. Embarrassing! In the end, the boss wanted to shower me off, but I went on strike!

The wild Atlantic

Because the bath in the sea had done us so well, we wanted to go swimming again the next day. The surf was pretty wild and we noticed that there was pretty much no one in the water. I think the boss completely underestimated the power of the surf. Anyway, she went into the sea and I tried to “rescue” her as usual, but was whirled around by the waves so violently that I was glad to be back on solid ground with all four paws. So I gave her the order from the beach to come back immediately.

But that wasn’t so easy, because the surf waves really knocked them down. She scrambled up and tried to swim further to the beach, when the next wave came – and another – and another. I saw that she always had just enough time to catch her breath once, and then she dove under again.

Fortunately, there were people on the beach who saw this, and one man courageously grabbed her by the arm and pulled her out of the water. After thanking her many times, she noticed that her glasses were no longer on her nose, even though they had been fastened with a strap. I tell you, without glasses my boss is blind as a bat!

We stayed on the beach for a while because she hoped the glasses would wash up again. But she remained missing. (Maybe she has some fish on her nose now and sees better now…. 🙂 ) I scolded the boss loudly when she went too close to the water during the search. Finally she gave up and we went back to the campsite. That is, I showed her the way, because now she saw only vegetables. I’m so glad she had a second pair of glasses in the car, or we wouldn’t have been able to drive home at all.

Another drama

We didn’t go swimming for the next few days, not only because of the last remaining goggles, but because I wasn’t feeling well. Something itched terribly on my rear end and pine needles had lodged in the bushy fur of my tail. I was constantly busy tugging and licking at my fur – until I finally had bare spots and my beautiful tail was all matted. The boss kept arriving with the scissors to cut out my knots, trying to stop me from pushing. But when she looked away, I just kept going. I had already licked wounds and cried out every time the boss wanted to disinfect them. When I lay apathetic in bed, there was only the way to the vet.

The doctor was quite upset when she saw me and immediately reached for the razor. I was muzzled and two people held me tightly while my rear end and tail were shaved off completely. The boss kept talking me down, but let me tell you, it was so painful that I tried everything to escape from that treatment table. Not a chance! After it was over, I was sent to the shower and washed off with a special soap in the back. Finally, I got another shot and medication. The doctor gave the boss a spray and a bottle of this soap. Finally, the doctor gave me a neck brace and told the boss that she had to prevent flies from getting into the wounds at all costs, because then I would die.

We were both dazed by the action. As we left the office, I felt a breeze on my rear end and realized that there was no fur there now. All the beauty was gone and I felt very ashamed. I’m not a baboon! But I didn’t have the strength anymore to get really excited. I was happy to be able to snooze on my bed. With this stupid funnel around my head, I bumped into everything anyway. It was all no longer fun.

Because I had a severe infection, the boss decided we should go home. Two days later we were back in Germany, where I could recover in peace. For two and a half weeks, I had to wear the horn and could not eat or drink on my own. At least I pretended to… I was nursed and cared for and got alternately the food and the water bowl held under the nose, depending on which bowl I growled at.

A few weeks later

I can reassure you – I’m fine now. The wounds have healed well and fur has already grown over them again. Only my rod is still very thin. The boss always laughs at the little tassel on the tip and asks, “Who nibbled your little tail?” After all, I know she’s fun because she’s glad I’m still alive. That’s why I’m not angry with her. However, she has already announced to me that she will definitely also pack a neck brace for our next trip so that it never comes to that again. What a beautiful outlook!

All in all, I can say: our adventures are actually great fun, but they are also often punishing. Anyone who also has a person like me knows what I mean! 🙂

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