One set, men’s golf clubs.
Two portable dog crates– or as we call them, winnebagos.
Four dog bowls.
28 ziplock bags of kibble with measured portions, labeled with each pup’s name and meal (breakfast or dinner).
2 pairs of doggles.
4 leashes and 2 extra collars (in case two get wet).
One small suitcase (for human stuff).
One foldable garment bag (for human stuff).
One canvas tote with snacks for the car ride, including dog treats.
One canvas tote with dog toys.
One laptop bag.
One page of driving directions.
Two dogs, harnessed and buckled into their respective spots in the backseat.
Two humans, also buckled into their respective seats.
Bye bye house; see you in a week.
We start the adventure by taking the pups up to the local dog park to burn off some energy before hitting the road. They’re so keyed up about the trip, they’re not interested in playing with any other dogs. MJ spends most of her park time pretending to be shy, and Zozo finds a tennis ball, flops down and starts nomming on it. (Stop #1)
Alright then, back to the car.
We buckle everyone back in, find a playlist on the iPod (a musical, natch), and start on our should-be five hour drive to the Outer Banks. Zozo is a trooper on long road trips. He typically falls asleep as we’re pulling out of the neighborhood and has to be woken up for a pit stop. This is MJ’s first trip that exceeds an hour. Since she sometimes gets carsick, the backseat and floor is covered in puppy pads and towels. Perhaps I’ve over-prepared.
MJ is content to look out the window while sitting on Zozo’s snoring head for the first couple of hours, and then she’s antsy (or bored). We find a rest stop and James goes in to get us food while I leash the furries up for a potty break. We dine al fresco, then hop back in the car. Zozo falls right back to sleep and MJ sighs, flops down and closes one eye. Just. One. (Stop #2)
We’re making tremendous time, and just as we cross the state line into North Carolina, Shifty MaJee gets restless. We pull over for gas, and I run her out. Zozo can’t be bothered to get out of the car. (Stop #3)
We make it forty five more minutes before she’s had enough. No more snout pressed to the window. No more sitting quietly, or as close to quietly as an 7 month old puppy can possibly be. She’s had it. We pull over. (Stop #4)
It’s not optimal. We push the passenger seat back as far as it will possibly go, and then recline it. I settle into the car and throw a towel over my legs. James helps MJ into the car, where she climbs up onto my lap and plops down. He buckles us both into the seat, making sure she’s harnessed back in and engaging the seatbelt lock. Neither of us is going anywhere. She falls asleep. So do my legs.
45 minutes later, 6.5 hours after we left home, we pull into the driveway of the beach house. It’s the dead of night and everyone is drained. We grab what we need immediately– the crates, the dog food for the morning– and climb the stairs into the house. James returns to the car for our suitcase and I wander to the kitchen to get some water. Expecting the clicking stampede of curious furbabies behind me, I’m startled when I realize the house is quiet. No prancing noises. No exploratory sniffs. Just the whir of the airconditioner.
I dreadfully walk back to the bedroom.
I’m so glad we brought the winnebagos.