In my dream, S and I load the dogs into the doggy bike trailers, set out from Seattle for the east coast and spent a couple of months camping our way from beautiful place to beautiful place. This cross-country bike trip would involve meeting lots of people in small towns and learning there life story while sitting in the sun and sipping lemonade. We would also have a way to safely store our bikes and gear while we went on hikes every other day.
There are a lot of reasons that this will never be more than a dream- the first one being that S won’t ride with me and the dogs anymore.
We bought two little doggy trailers last spring (so S and I could each pull one) and the plan was to set them in the livingroom until they got used to being inside of them. As soon as I had them set up, Gretel made a nest in the blankets I placed inside. It didn’t take Chester long to figure out the trailer made a cool cave either. It was clear they didn’t have a problem being IN the trailers.
The problem is Chester and Gretel “scream” down the road when we pull them behind the bikes. They only barked a little during our first doggy trailer trip but after 3 days of barking down the Oregon Coast, S put on his grumpy pants and exclaimed “That WAS NOT fun!”. I am not going to convince S to go on a bike trip with the dogs and I again until I can figure out what is upsetting them and get them to be quiet….so I am on a mission.
Since Chester and Gretel didn’t mind being in the trailers, I knew it had to do with being in motion. My first thought was that they could have been freaked out by the cars zooming past the trailer only three feet away. A great theory but they continued to bark even when we were on back-roads with no cars in sight. That left “nervousness” because the little trailers bounced around every time they hit a small rock and/or run-of-the-mill motion sickness.
I mostly eliminated the bouncing around by buying the big, heavier doggy bike trailer and putting them both in it. One dog in a small trailer weighed about 35 lbs but two dogs in the larger trailer weight around 50 lbs. It sure is heavier to pull on a bike but it doesn’t bounce around near as much.
That left the possibility of motion sickness. I am hoping the lack of bouncing itself will take care a lot of that. I also thought that taking them on several short trips in the big trailer will get them used to “having a better experience” in the bike trailer. I have already taken them for two short rides this year. The first one was just around the block and for the second one we went about 2 miles. Both times I stopped every few hundred feed to praise them and give them lots of treats.
I am going to do that a few more times and then try taking them on a couple hour ride. If they start to freak out again I am going to try natural supplements that are supposed to help with motion sickness. If that doesn’t work I might just have to give up on my cross-country dream.