It is a 10-hour car ride from Philadelphia to Damariscotta, Maine, for all intents and purposes. It should take around nine, but there is always traffic at some point (I'm talking about you, Hartford, and you, NH tolls, and even you, Wiscasset). I was not really looking forward to the trip, as I didn't know how Dorothy would behave for such a long journey. She'd only been in a car twice since I brought her to Philly, and both trips ended up with Dorothy either car-sick or way too nervous, and therefore regurgitating her dinner.
To try to make sure that there was no nausea on this trip, I gave Dorothy some Cerenia, a miracle car-sick drug that is made for dogs, but that my cats have successfully been taking for a couple of years. It's a drug that takes away the nausea, but does not cause any kind of sleepiness or dopiness. I was nervous as to how Dorothy would respond, but for the most part it all went quite well. About two hours after Dorothy took the meds each time, she drooled a bit. But she didn't get sick, and she also behaved like an angel -- sleeping for the ten hours of the journey each way, while also happily getting out to stretch her legs and do her business each time we stopped.
Here is Dorothy on the trip from Philadelphia to Maine, eyeing what Posy is doing in the top bunk of the carriers, and then snoozing all relaxed:
While in Maine, Dorothy also went on lots of shorter car rides to get to good walking routes and hiking trails. She did well on these trips too, although the minute we got to our destination each time she would basically void her bowels, to be blunt. (Ahem, TMI, I know.) I'm hoping that these many shorter rides that ended in a fun activity did a lot towards making Dorothy realize that Car Rides Are Her Friend. However, her willingness to relax a bit could also be that on these trips she was sitting in the back with her Granny, and with her fellow dog, Aunt Nellie.
Nellie has always been great in the car--she just jumps on the seat or on the floor and curls up and goes to sleep immediately. I'm hoping that Dorothy has learned that a car ride is no big deal from watching the behavior of Nellie.
I also think that on the first car ride we go on now that we are back in the city, I might sit in the back with her and keep her calm company. Sean asked if this meant that he should wear a uniform as he sits alone in the front and drives us, but I said no need. I have a sinking suspicion that once Dorothy is nonchalant about the car in general, she will become quite the backseat driver, barking out commands like a sergeant.