|Posted by bwanasrhodesianridgebacks on June 30, 2011 at 9:04 AM|
Our 2011 Summer Vacation was a 9 day trip in the Dog House ( our RV) with 5 grandkids from 11 to 5 , 3 adults and Zion. It was enough to challenge the humans on board let alone the dog. We traveled from Alabama to Tennessee to Georgia back to Florida before returning home. Zion not only refrained from counter surfing in the rig but actually behaved himself with tremendous restraint when one considers the 5 kids had their meals and snacks either picnic style on the floor or while sprawled about playing games and watching TV.
He also managed to shine in several other ways. On our visit to Rock City in Tennessee, Zion conquered the 200 foot long and 150 foot high Suspension Bridge with casual aplomb. I knew he was crossing because I asked him to, Dogs rarely choose to tackle a swinging bridge that has children bouncing on it and a storm approaching of their own violition. And having a Mom like me, who is terrified of heights, is not a ringing endorsement of this kind of path. Yet he handled it bravely!
Later that evening our 31 year old daughter had a dreadful reaction to her medication causing a Grand Mal seizure. She had taken her evening meds just before walking Zion. That walk took over twice as long as normal and had us concerned. When they returned Zion stayed glued to Crystal's side. She walked towards the back of the RV to speak with her Dad and I , her speech quickly turned to gibberish alerting us there was something terribly wrong. Before we could get to her the seizure began , she was thrown to the floor where the spasms were terrifying. Zion stayed by Crystal very concerned. I have written the story of his care on the Breeder's Tales page. It explains how he checked on her until the danger was passed. And how the next day we learned from another camper that Crystal was brought back to our RV by Zion as the drug interaction had caused her to be confused and lost. These are amazing hounds in more ways than I can say!
Zion's last golden star award on the trip came when his beloved Ceattle, the 50 pound 8 year old, was walking him and he stayed focused on her rather than the squrriels racing about his feet at the KOA park. It would have been easy for him to have injured her had he dashed away to play chase. Even well trained dogs struggle when presented with easy targets. Zi has such an easy and steady temperament it was a joy to allow her to work with him in a new environment.
Please remember to take extra care with your dogs over the 4th of July celebrations this Monday. While we humans may love the noise and smells of fireworks it can be overwhelming to your fur kid. More dogs run away on the 4th than any other day of the year. If your dog has issues with the sound of fireworks there are several things you can do to help them deal with the loud bangs and pops. Crate your dog for the duration of the celebration if you are not going to be right there with them. You might want to drape a sheet or light weight blanket over the crate. Should they need to go outside use a leash. If you are inside with your dogs consider putting a T shirt on them ( just use a rubber band or hair tie to pull it up at the bottom creating a snug fit on their tuck) . If they are very strongly reacive consider giving them a benedryl about an hour before the entertainment begins. It is not uncommon for older dogs to develop a sudden fear of fireworks and storms so it is far better to be safe rather than sorry! Hope you are all having an amazing summer . And Happy Independance Day !!