I Can’t Go! The Story Of A Dog Mom Who Came To The Rescue!
Dogs are wonderful travel companions, aren’t they?
When we decided to add to our family, we opted to rescue our next pet — Kevin, a one-year old mix, who came to us from South Carolina where he lived on a farm with 23 dogs and other assorted animals. He was used to running out in the yard to take care of his business from when he was just a pup. When he arrived at our house for the first introductions, we immediately opened the back slider, and he was off to find his forever privy up in the back behind the trees. Success!
One of the traits we were looking for was a dog who traveled well. We do a lot of road trips to our home in Virginia and needed a dog that wouldn’t mind a 5+ hour car ride. I was pleased that he was such a champ when he was asked to ‘load up’ and jumped into the backseat without hesitation. What a great dog!
While Kevin was, in fact, house trained (very well I might add), we had no idea that he was unable to relieve himself of number ‘2’ while on a leash. Unfortunately, it took us by surprise on our first out of town jaunt.
Here’s the story: Naturally, when we were on one of our rides to Virginia, we’d stop for a break, hook Kev up on the leash, and he’d take some time comforting himself on a tree, bush or light pole and then, on command, load back up in the car. It was incredible. In normal fashion, when we arrived at the house, we’d open the back door, and he’d run into the fenced yard to take care of his big business.
The first time we needed to stay in a hotel, we figured Kevin would really enjoy coming along. After all, he was a road warrior. We’d packed his bag, his food, snacks and anything else we thought he might need. We purchased doo-doo bags and were prepared to pick up said doo-doo when appropriate. We checked in, and then gave him his water and dinner. He ate with gusto, had a drink, and then rested, which is his norm.
After about 20 minutes, we decided to take him for a little walk to do his thing. The little walk turned into an hour-plus-plus-long frustrating tour of every blade of grass within walking distance of the hotel. We were at our wits end!
He looked up at us — ‘I can’t go’ was the expression in his sad brown eyes. We tried everything — begging, pressing, cajoling and even commanding. He just looked at us, ‘I can’t go.’
The poor guy. Poor us. We were in a panic. What if he didn’t go? When will he go? How long can he hold it? He was eating and urinating normally. Drinking plenty of water and lined up for his night snack without any problem. He just couldn’t poop.
We thought it might be the leash, so like any good dog-parent, we headed over to the local pet store and bought one of those retractable jobs. We figured since he liked to run free, this may give him that same feeling — not so much.
Back to the pet store, we decided on a long lead – another no-go. We spent most of the time cleaning the mud and pee off of it. It was better than the other, and he seemed to be able to move about more comfortably, but it still wasn’t right. We walked and talked about it, walked and talked some more. We did nothing else during our down time away. We just walked Kevin.
By the time he was due for his third poop on the trip, it happened! Kevin sniffed, circled and got down into his poop crouch. Hooray! And then the damn leash looped under his tail – that was it. He stood up spooked and walked away. Noooooooooo!!!!! Needless to say, we had begun to argue. Our fear and frustration were getting the better of us. It was time for Google to come to the rescue.
We hit the internet and began to read up on what might be going on. We wanted a quick result for us, but certainly more for him. After our search, we deemed all to be normal. One article actually suggested doing something with a match?! Apparently, the sulfur and match action helps. Not happening.
All indications were that unless there is something wrong, they will go. And he did. Eventually, he just couldn’t hold it any longer. He just gave up and went. It wasn’t as robust as we’d hoped considering the delay, but it was something. We finally used our doo-doo bags.
Expert Dog Walkers
We just got back from a 5-day trip with Kevin. Admittedly, we were having leash and pooping issues. We debated letting him loose in a dog park, but Kevin likes his solitude and doesn’t play well with others. So that option was off the table. We were walking again.
We hit the internet for different advice and found exactly the same thing. With nothing new, what do nervous dog parents do? Yup, we headed back to the pet store and looked for yet another option. We decided on trying a harness — trussed Kevin up and headed out the door. We hooked the long-lead to the back, and voila, we had ourselves a road-pooper! The harness seemed to do the trick! Apparently, he did enjoy feeling that leash around his tail and legs.
Let’s face it, when we travel, most of us don’t ‘go’ right at first. We all like our own little spot and have our own little habits, and so do our dogs. We ultimately needed to try and see things from a dog’s perspective like the leash around his legs and tail. We’re happy we were able to give Kevin the help he needed. I can’t say we’re all that ready to ‘load up’ again anytime soon, but at least we now know that when we do, we will definitely get to use those doo-doo bags 😉