On the road to the Black Hills of South Dakota

This week, we’re on the road with Ginger and Abby!

We’re going to the Black Hills and Badlands this month. It will be the first time we’ve taken the pups and we’re not sure how this is going to go. It’s like travelling with toddlers. You think you’re prepared, but have no idea what to expect. Every day brings something different, new challenges to hurdle.

We have car seats for them to travel in, but in the beginning, we didn’t think they were going to work. I had an older model that I’d used for my Bichon Frise many years ago, but we needed two so we had to buy another one.

The new one is actually better than the old one. The edge of the basket is more rigid and, once it’s attached to the seat, it stays in place. The old one stays in place only as long as the dog doesn’t move around too much. I think the old one is supposed to sit on the seat while the new one can be suspended so that little dogs like Ginger and Abby can look out the window. This is the model that I really like, I think we’re going to replace the old one with another of these when we get back home. It doesn’t have anything to protect the seat, but I feel like it’s a good value (we paid $28 for it, Amazon Affiliate link used).

Fuzzy dogs in car seats
Abby and Ginger get fitted for their new car seats

We did some test drives around town a few times with Abby in the old car seat and Ginger in the new one. Abby did fine. She liked being able to look around (as opposed to being in an enclosed crate) and didn’t move very much once she was tethered in.

But Ginger whined and cried like a baby. And the poor thing got car sick. I didn’t want to bring both the crate and the car seats, but what else could we do if Ginger couldn’t handle sitting in a basket?

Then the day arrived when we were scheduled to leave. The trailer was packed up. We’d spent several days allowing them to roam around inside so it wouldn’t seem strange to them while we were on the road. We put the girls in their seats and pulled out of the driveway.

Ginger started crying. Abby climbed out of her car seat.

Dog with head hanging over a car seat
Poor Ginger doesn’t have the stomach for long road trips.

I don’t think my own children were as much as a handful as two puppies were during that first 40 miles.

I’d planned a rest stop not far from home so that we could check the seats and make adjustments if needed. Ginger got out and settled her stomach. I made sure that Abby’s tether was short enough that, even when she wasn’t actually in the box, she couldn’t fly all over the place if something bad happened (like a sudden stop).

Then it was back into the truck for the next leg of the journey. And we stopped every 60 to 90 minutes all the way to Crossville, Tennessee. It took nearly 7 hours to make a 5 hour drive.

cavapoochons traveling with a travel trailer
Are we there yet, Mom?

To be fair, we spent an hour in the trailer for lunch. I love our roadside picnics. The girls liked getting off leash in the trailer. We had sandwiches but the girls didn’t eat; we didn’t want to clean up half-digested dog kibble in the truck.

We spent the first night at the Clarksville RV Resort. They had a large, chain-link fenced dog park where we could throw a ball for the pups. They enjoyed being off leash, but I felt like they got a lot of good experience being on leash during this first day on the trip.

Having fun at the dog park

I’m still not sure if we’ll actually make it to the Black Hills. We were all exhausted by the time we got to bed. Scott and I both agreed that we’d turn around and go home if we had to. But we made it through the first day! In retrospect, it wasn’t that bad.

I know this wasn’t a post that had anything to do with making art. But it’s my example of how living the life of your dreams isn’t always butterflies and roses. I think the trick to getting through change, and believe me, setting off on a three week trip with puppies is a huge change in my life, is to have a positive attitude. Believe you can make it work, and you will. It just might not turn out in the way you expected.


That’s all for this week. I’m not sure if a video will go up on Saturday. I have lots of great footage, but no good way to edit it.

Stay creative! Make your life your own!

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