Your very first reaction, after reading about Daisy's motion sickness, should be "And these mad people want to live in a MOTORHOME?"
It isn't all that bad, really. We just have to remember to give her a half tablet of children's Gravol® about an hour before we actually begin to move. It doesn't noticeably drug her up, she doesn't get sick, as the single dose wears off she adjusts to the moving vehicle slowly without upchucking her last meal and she's just fine for that day's trip.
Nobody's perfect, however. On the occasion when we forget to give her the Gravol® and she makes a mess... Well, that's what they market ProSolve® carpet cleaner for!
Gravol® appears to be a Canadian trade name but a similar preparation may be sold as Dramamine® (among others) in the USA. Children's Gravol apparently is composed of dimenhydrinate, 15 mg per tablet. The best information we've been able to garner is that dimenhydrinate is actually two other drugs mixed together: diphenhydramine and chlorotheophylline. If you want to try this on your dog you may have to search for a motion sickness medication with a different trade name but with the same basic drug or drugs at the same dose. Look carefully at the "medical ingredients" label and carefully note the difference in spelling between the several drugs you're considering.
DISCLAIMER: Note that we didn't tell you to use this on your dog, we merely said it works on our dog. If you decide to try this on your pet and have problems, it's your choice, not ours; your experiment, not ours; your responsibility, not ours. We except no culpability or liability!
A better plan might have been for us to leave the dogs overnight at Amwythig for just one night, perhaps a week earlier, to give them a chance to get used to being away from us and being in a strange place overnight. Ah, well. Hindsight is always 20/20.
We have two dogs, both shelties: Daisy and Tinker Belle (photo above, Tinker on the left, Daisy on the right). They are very nearly the best dogs on the planet: constant, devoted companions and a source of unending amusement to us as well. Also sometimes a royal pain in the fundament!
It was quite obvious that we couldn't take them along with us on the trip to Texas. Not only would they have presented a logistical nightmare, but Stan simply couldn't have handled the added work and responsibility. Besides, Daisy suffers intensely from motion sickness and Tinker Belle couldn't sit still long enough for an extended trip in a shipping crate. So we either had to find someone to dog-sit for us or board them at a kennel in Calgary. If you ever want to know who your best friends are, just ask them to dog-sit for you for two weeks! We didn't even try.
Stan began calling around and very soon found Amwythig Kennels in southeast Calgary. A quick check with a veterinarian and another, even more intense dog lover indicated that Amwythig had a good reputation. A few quick calls around town proved that their fees weren't out of line. We called them and made reservations.
We dropped the two dogs off at the kennel the morning before we flew out of the city (Saturday, September 27th, 2003). Stan had left several hours early to do the dirty deed and it was a good thing.
At one point in its history, Amwythig was out in the country and their drive opened directly onto Glenmore Trail, then a two lane, blacktopped road. Today, Glenmore Trail is a major east-west artery across south-central Calgary with two or three lanes each way, almost an expressway. In expanding Glenmore Trail, the city was forced to chop off direct access from Amwythig, and getting to them requires making a big circle almost around a full section of land and eventually approaching them on a short, gravel, side road. Stan got lost twice in the process of finding them. Any Calgary residents who read this and wish to use Amwythig should call ahead for specific directions and be prepared for the added delay. Of course, once you find the place, it's a piece of cake to find your way again.
When we did finally arrive, the dogs showed little or no hesitation at walking into the building on their leashes and when they were led out of sight back to their cages, neither even so much as looked over their shoulder at Stan. They could hear and smell the other dogs and were anxious to make new friends. So much for loyalty to their master!
However, two weeks later when Stan came back to pick them up, Tinker Belle (at that time only eighteen months old) took one look at Stan and immediately cowered as though she'd done something wrong. She'd been abandoned by her master and felt terrible about it. After five minutes of petting and reassurances she was back to her normal bubbling-over self, but the initial reaction was still quite a surprise.
Daisy, on the other hand, merely came running out, glanced once at Stan and began sniffing all the bags and cans of dog food on display. We often refer to Daisy as "Chubikins" and for good reason! (You might argue that at least she has her priorities straight!)
Upon arriving home both dogs took only a few minutes to become reacquainted with Marguerite, then after a quick sniff to make sure nothing important had changed, settled down into their typical daily schedules (sleeping for eighteen hours, bouncing off the walls for six hours) as though nothing untoward had happened.
As of March 1st, 2004 neither of the dogs have been introduced to the motorhome. We're saving that for a period when we can take some time to allow them to familiarize themselves with the coach with us both being there for support. Besides, Chubikins has to learn how to jump up the steps into the coach, no mean feat for the fifty pound (22 kg) matriarch.
On the Easter weekend (2004) the two shelties were introduced to the Duchess. For this first episode Stan carried them into the coach and they merely lay in the living room with their eyes half closed, feigning a nap. But they became instantly alert at every little noise. They weren't really happy, but both Marguerite and Stan were there so they were willing to endure the anxiety.
On the second visit they were far more comfortable in the motorhome, following Stan around and generally sniffing everything over in an attempt to gain some familiarity with the premises. There was a major break through as well. Both shelties easily handled climbing the steep steps in and out of the motorhome.
We'd bridged another potential obstacle.
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Copyright © 2004, Stanley A. Schultz and Marguerite J. Schultz.
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This page was initially created on 2004-February-14.
The last revision occurred on 2005-December-19.