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Building Forts With Milo

Traveling with your pets sometimes means you need to get a little more creative. Discovering that your dog gets motion sickness in the car and STILL finding a way to take him with you on vacation puts you in line for an award in my book. Today Nadia Jones, a blogger at online college shares her family’s experience with their car-sick pup, Milo.

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When summertime rolled around, my parents would start to plan the next trip through the beauties of the American landscape. We loved going on road trips across the country, and we loved taking Milo, our miniature schnauzer, with us. My parents were “dog people” for as long as I can remember, imparting the passion for canines on me when I was still very young. Milo was, I think, the best dog our family had ever had: he was quiet and courteous around strangers and friends, never temperamental, and always loving to whoever would pet him.

Image Credit: pamperedpuppy.com

Unlike most miniature schnauzers I’ve come across in my day, Milo never yelped at passing dogs or nipped at unsuspecting people; he just played it cool. My parents had him groomed in such a way that it looked like he had a huge beard growing around his mouth. Combine his beard and his salt and pepper hair, and it’s easy to understand why he was dubbed “The General” amongst our family and friends.

He was a doll … well, a doll that looked like a general.

There was just one problem with Milo: he didn’t travel well. Whenever we’d set out on a road trip to a faraway town or distant camping ground, Milo would do the typical dog thing – look out the window, all excited to get going – and before long was sick.

We’d have to pull over and clean up the mess while trying to stay calm so Milo wouldn’t feel like he’d done something wrong. My parents were always very clear not to make Milo feel like he was being punished for something he couldn’t control. The car sickness came and went sporadically, and sometimes he’d be fine for an entire daylong ride!

When it happened though, I felt bad for Milo and would ask my parents to try to solve the problem. We didn’t want to leave Milo at home while we went on vacation, but we didn’t want to make him sick either. It was a tough situation, and one that could really put a damper on a trip, but we didn’t know what to do to help him.

Pets deserve vacations, too!

Fortunately, it wasn’t long until my mom figured out the problem. She had spoken to a friend about Milo, and the friend had suggested that Milo might be sensitive to motion in the car – especially when he looked out the windows. She suggested covering the windows in backseat so Milo couldn’t see out, and that might reduce his chances of getting sick.

It worked like charm!

Not only did it work, but it gave me an excuse to build little forts in the backseat where Milo and I could pass the time as we drove to our vacation spot. I’d start the fort by covering the two backseat windows with blankets, and then I’d build a little canopy with another blanket. Add in a few pillows, and the two of us had a real piece of work going on! I constructed crazy scenarios for me and Milo in the fort, the kinds of things you can only dream up when you’re a kid. I remember building forts with Milo as some of the happiest moments of summer. Not only did I get to spend some quality time with my favorite mini schnauzer … I also knew he was feeling better than before. Those were the days!

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.

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  • We’re still working on ways to help our newest member of the family, Cache. He’s a small Yorkie who gets car sick. He has older “sisters” Abby & Sunday, who are well-seasoned travelers. I pile their beds & pillows in the rear seat to make a comfy sleeping area and place him between the 2 dogs who don’t get car sick. It’s been helping a lot. And I can see a similarity here. When the dogs lay in the seat they can’t see out the windows which is a lot like Milo hiding in the tent!! I may try a little tent for Cache and see if this works better than just the cushy sleeping area.

  • What a wonderful idea. I’d love to hear from others who have tried it.

  • What an ingenius solution! I am so glad your mother figured it out so that Milo could go on to enjoy many illness-free holidays with you.

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