Thursday, May 3, 2007

Packing List

Well, I was hoping by now we would be all packed up, and the camper collapsed, but as is Godau Family tradition, we have not.

Here are the things I need to pack tomorrow for the dogs:

X-Pens (picture #1): Think of this like a dog run in a box. You use stakes to keep it secure. This is so we don't have to keep the dogs on lead all of the time. I link two Exercise Pens together, since I have two 70# dogs. For a dog that has not been in one before, they may find it frustrating that they can see all around them but not get to anything. So I set this up in the yard of my house and put them in it for meals and for short periods of time, so they can get used to it at home, where it is easier for them to relax. Since my dogs can be whiners, I would put them in and click/treat when they were calm.

Dog Hammock (picture #2):
Last year, after spending the day sleeping on the hard, cool ground, Kharma got a little grumpy. We had dog beds down, but it was still hard on her joints. In the evening, she got growly whenever someone would touch her hips. She is a 9-year-old retired racing greyhound after all... most get arthritis as they get older. And don't tell her (she still acts like a pup) but the vet chart I saw today has her listed as a senior! So to make things more comfy for her, I got a dog hammock (also called a cot). She loves it. Actually they both do, so this year I will get another. This is also great when it is damp outside, as it does not hold the moisture like the ground. It gets two paws up!

Dog Food I put each meal in an individual plastic bag (we recycle the bags our newspapers come in) so we don't have to fumble around with any measuring cups.

Water Yes, I bring water from home. Most campgrounds have well water. My dogs are used to the tap water from home. Just like you shouldn't change foods to quickly, the same goes for water. Once I forgot to bring their water, and didn't think it would be THAT big a deal... and then Sparky had the runs for three days. So now if I forget we get jugs of water from the store.

Chew Treats I bring a ton of chew treats to keep the dogs busy. Chewing also relaxes a dog. So I brig a wide variety.

Coats This does not apply to all breeds. however, greyhounds have thin coats and thin skin. So sudden weather changes are hard on them, so I bring their coats. I learned my lesson on our very first trip with the dogs (which was in an April, two years ago). We were kept up all night with the sound of Kharma's teeth chattering.

Canopy Keep in mind that especially when purchasing a canopy, you get what you pay for!! A few years ago we were placed on a site with no shade. So Mark went to Kmart and got a cheap canopy so the dogs could have some shade. But it kept falling over, the stakes would come out, the canopy fell on the dogs a few times.... they were terrified! So that went in the garbage and we went out and spent a little more money for a much better canopy. After that one scary experience it took some conditioning to get the dogs to ignore that scary piece of material that hovered over them.

Baggies If everyone cleaned up after their dogs, dogs would be allowed in more places. So I aim to be part of the solution by always keeping a steady supply of bags. You can also recycle the bags you brig the food in as clean up baggies.

Clicker and treats It's how I train. And because Sparky has a screw loose I reinforce him whenever he is calm and confident around people. Today we were at the vets office and he actually approached people, something that would never have happened 3 years ago. he would have sat there and barked like a mad dog. I never waste an opportunity to teach my scardy dog that the world is safe, fun and yummy.

Shot Records I went to the vet today to make sure they were up to date on their vaccinations. The campgrounds we use check them each time.

On the agenda for tomorrow: wear the dogs out before we go. A tired dog is a good dog. The more they want to sleep the easier our road trip will be. We have to load four people and two large dogs into a Jeep Cherokee. Even though we're only driving an hour away, I want that hour to be peaceful.

1 comment:

CLJ said...

Great info! We have a St. Bernard/German Shpeherd Mix named Mufasa. We are moving from Sacto CA to Charlotte NC. We are taking the Suburban with a U-Haul wenched to the rear/ What would you advise on hotel/motel stays? I am at a complete loss! We are not a real "camping family" and I so applaud you and your success.