Trucking Dog

Topic 14818 | Page 1

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Mistelle's Comment
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I've done my best since our wreck to get over the problems caused by it. The brain injury is still holding me back and keeping me parked and will likely do so for a good amount of time. Btw, if you are EVER in question about using that safety net while you sleep, put that dang thing on!! Rope burn is 100 times better than flying through the windshield. I sort of did both. Another thing, don't get out of the truck until you are sure everyone behind you has already hit you, or stopped. In fact, don't even unbuckle.

While my husband and I were trucking we had a trucking dog that we had adopted. She had separation anxiety and the trucking life seemed like a fix for her problems and it was! She was an amazing help to us in the truck. I don't know how many times she sat out side my bathroom door at nights at those creepy rest areas. I know she foiled one guy who either had bad intentions or just seriously bad manners. She gave us a reason to get out and exercise and she guarded the truck better than an alarm would while we were out of it. She had WONDERFUL manners in the truck. Unless you wanted the passenger seat. Then you may have to convince her it was in her best interest to move and let you sit.

She knows dozens of tricks and commands and is an awesome dog. This is the part that gets bad. Since the wreck, she hasn't been herself or rather she can't be herself. She keeps trying to get in vehicles to go somewhere. I don't think she really cares where. She chews stuff up around the house, destroys fencing, and won't listen for any reason any more. Now let her in a car and all those manners she had comes back. We've talked to our counselors/psychiatrists/neuropsychs and even talked to a doggy psychiatrist. It's almost been two years since the wreck and she is not adjusting to being off the road at all. She is not happy sitting at home and I don't blame her. I sincerely miss the road and wish I was back out there but I would be a danger to other people on the road (I forget what I am doing while I'm doing it, I get lost in my own yard, I forget who I walked in a store with if I lose sight of them, and the worst of all is I zone out. Sometimes for a few seconds, sometimes I lose hours)

I would like to know if anyone would like to give her a test run. She is current on her paperwork to travel and if it doesn't work out you can bring her back. I'm not sure if this is appropriate here but I can't just send her to the pound and hope they find a trucker. We don't know how else to find her a trucker or someone who runs around in an rv all the time. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Unless it's medication, we tried that and had a dog rug basically. She didn't like it and neither did we. We want her happy and everyone around us thinks she needs back on the road. Most of them think I need back out there too but at least I can understand why I can't be out there. I can't explain it to her.

Thanks in advance.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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What type of dog is it? Can you post some pictures?

I have a German Shepherd I take hiking with me and sometimes we travel to state parks and the like. One of the most important things to understand about dogs is that their sense of smell is their #1 way of exploring and understanding the world around them. For us it's our eyes. For them it's their nose. They would rather do without their eyes than without their nose.

Understanding that, what your dog is most likely fascinated with during your travels is the never-ending parade of new smells everywhere you went. New dogs, new people, new stuff in the air. Most dogs enjoy riding in a vehicle but that's not what they're ultimately most excited about. It's exploring the smells and unravelling the mysteries in new territories that gets them excited.

You could probably keep the dog perfectly happy going somewhere locally that's frequented by other animals. Go hiking near a creek or follow some nature trails at a local park. Your dog will go nuts. Sure, the actual part where they're riding in the vehicle is pretty cool, especially if they get to stick their head out the window. But that's not what it's all about to them, really. It's all about exploring the new scents. To them it's like reading the entire recent history of a place....

What types of animals were here?

How long ago were they here?

What evidence did they leave behind like bones or their scent or pieces of plants that were stuck to them?

What path did they follow?

Where are they now?

To a dog, exploring the world of scents is like unraveling a gigantic mystery novel. They never know what they're going to find next!

So I really doubt you have to physically take that dog travelling around the country for it to be happy. You just need to give it someplace it can explore from time to time. And it can be the same place all the time like a local park. That's fine with them. As long as there is animal activity it will totally fascinate them to no end.

My dog and I do quite a bit of hiking and we went for several days last week. Now we've been waiting out the rain for a few days and we're going to lose our minds if we don't get out of this house and back into the woods pretty soon. And by soon I'm thinking this morning, like in a couple of hours. The weather looks great for the next couple of days and we've both reached our boredom limit.

Try taking the dog for a ride to a local park maybe two or three times a week. It doesn't have to be a constant thing. You guys were travelling all the time so the dog might try to push you into going all the time. But within a couple of weeks the dog will understand the new routine and be happy knowing that every so often you get to go exploring a new place. When you're home the dog will understand that there is idle time in between trips - no big deal.

Trust me - I know what you mean when you say your dog is bored now after all the travelling. My dog is like a soldier. He's constantly ready for duty. He'll sit around quietly and sleep the day away when there isn't a better option but he's always ready at a moment's notice to go anywhere and do anything. When he knows we're getting ready to go somewhere he starts jumping around and spinning in circles and running randomly around the yard. He's fired up.

And I might add that hiking through the woods with a great dog is probably one of the best therapies you could ever hope to find to help your mind continue to heal. The exercise, the fresh air, the awesome energy of a happy dog.....God's medicine.

smile.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mistelle's Comment
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I'll will give this a try. We haven't hiked near creeks or anything like that, but she isn't too keen on the park. She is a greyhound mix and loves to run like crazy. We don't have a lot of room for her to just run (she loved the salt flats, she is FAST). We've been trying other things to keep her stimulated, we tried cutting back stimulation too at one point thinking she was overstimulated. That was NOT it. We know drives in the car calm her down while we are going, she actually seems to sleep while the car is moving.Scout_zpsspndwmud.jpg This is her in the passenger seat of one of the trucks.

She's is about 50lbs or so, she's gained weight since we have had to park. I'm starting to be able to take her on longer walks but not as much as I would like. My balance is not quite what it needs to be.

Wanted to thank you for at least responding. Everyone at our house (and our neighbors houses) are doing our best to help her get through this time but a couple of times I've wanted to kill her. She ate the siding off the house! Literally ate it. And no, she gets very high quality food so it wasn't that. Blue buffalo, she loves the stuff and it's good for her.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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My balance is not quite what it needs to be.

Hey, that's all the more reason to go hiking in my book - improve your fitness level and keep the dog happy at the same time! Perfect!

Wow, that dog doesn't look like a greyhound at all from that picture. Looks almost like a Shepherd/Collie or Shepherd/Retriever mix.

Everyone at our house (and our neighbors houses) are doing our best to help her get through this time but a couple of times I've wanted to kill her

Oh believe me I know what you mean. This German Shepherd I have is the most bold, aggressive dog I've ever had. I've spent 7 days a week for two years working with this dog and he's still a monster. I used to have to literally tackle him to keep him from attacking my chickens, cat, or calves. After a couple of months of that I had a 40 foot rope tied to his collar that he would drag behind him everywhere he went for almost three months because I still didn't trust him. I needed to be able to grab that rope if he decided to do something crazy all of a sudden. And sometimes he would!

Just today he knew we were going hiking when I started packing. Well I put these dog sneakers on him to protect the leather seats in my truck from his nails. Today he decided to jump in before I could put his shoes on and he outright refused to get back out. He hunkered down and was going to take whatever punishment he had coming but he wasn't gonna budge no matter what. I had to climb in the truck and physically drag him out by the collar so I could put his sneakers on him.

My dog and I are like brothers. We just duke it out all the time!

rofl-3.gif

Take a shot with your dog out in the wilderness. Get him somewhere where you can take him off the leash and let him explore the area around you while you're walking. I know with my dog it's two completely different experiences being on leash versus off leash. If he can't go explore and do his own thing it just isn't the same. He hates being on the leash and I hate having him on the leash. I only do it when it's a necessary evil like at state parks when people are around. Most of the time we go off in the woods in the middle of nowhere so there are never any people around.

The conversation between myself and my dog most of the time is pretty simple:

Brett: Quit it or I'll kill you

Odin: Bring it!

Brett: Seriously, dog, I'm gonna kill ya

Odin: Can't hear you

Brett: omg you're dead

Odin: Try it. I dare you.

We're very much like brothers. I'm the older brother always trying to run the show and he's the younger brother always trying to do his own thing. We're either playing or fighting almost all the time.

Mistelle's Comment
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We tried a small walk this afternoon but were soon brought down by giant mosquitoes, cactus thorns, and a puddle. Even the deep wood off wasn't stopping those mosquitoes (thankfully her internal stuff we give her had them far from her, but that just left me all the more tempting). She sniffed a cactus. Yup, just walked up and sniffed it like it was a bouquet of daisies. We got all the thorns out (I brought a small first aid kit and thought about tweezers for splinters and those tiny stickers that are everywhere right now). And the puddle.

She jumped into the puddle and splashed and romped and rolled and acted like a fool. She spent almost twenty minutes in the puddle before the puddle ran out of water. We walked back home (I am only allowed to drive for 30 minutes a day, everything has to be within a 15 minute radius of the house) and I put her in the yard while I changed out of my soggy clothes into dry ones.

By the time I got back outside she had either jumped the fence or found a way out that I couldn't figure out and was half way down the street. We had been gone an hour but apparently she didn't get enough exercise. It took me almost an hour and a half to convince her to come back home (two rabbits sidetracked her, she almost caught one).

As far as her breed, they knew the momma dog was a greyhound. They didn't know what the daddy dog was. She got the coloring (which is hard to see in that pic) from her mom. She's a beautiful brindle. She didn't get the daintiness from her mom though. We don't know where that build and that face came from. But boy is she fast! She's a sight to see in full run.

I'll be trying again tomorrow but I think the rabbits gave me an idea. I'm going to see if there are any hunting dog classes out there. She had a purpose in the truck. She was the guard dog and the cuddle whoever was sleeping dog. If one of us got out of the truck, it wasn't without her (except when we ate, she knew to wait then because she would be getting a treat). Maybe she needs a new purpose instead of just a pet. She had a job and now she's unemployed.

I don't think she will be a competition hunting dog or anything special, but maybe just learning some new skills might help. And maybe rein her back in. She knows so many commands and can do them, I've seen her do them. Sit, stay, watch, lay down, roll over, shake, shake other paw, circles, up, up and over, down, hold this, and then some. A few of them we can't practice without a truck such as brakes when we released the air brakes she would move to the step and wait. She's smart, maybe give her a new purpose and something different to do.

Btw, if I ramble forgive me. If I repeat myself forgive me also. I'm still working on memory and I lose a lot throughout the day.

My husband and I talked about getting back into a truck and what it would take. The biggest part would be getting the doctors to release us to drive again. It was nice talking logistics again.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

You had me crackin up throughout that whole thing! Dogs are such a mess! The puddle, the cactus, chasing rabbits - all par for the course. When I first started taking my dog hiking he learned some hard lessons right off the bat like don't run through thorn bushes, don't assume the water in that creek isn't deep, don't go running down gigantic steep hills after a squirrel because you have to climb back up and might not be able to without help, and don't assume there isn't something hidden under the piles of leaves you're about to run through because you might wind up flat on your face!

When you first start taking a dog to the wild they learn some hard lessons in the beginning, like that cactus, but they learn really quick. And I always wear pants and a long sleeve shirt regardless of the temperature because of the bugs, especially mosquitoes and ticks, and also because of the thorns. We don't have cactus in New York, but we have a lot of thorn bushes.

Maybe she needs a new purpose instead of just a pet. She had a job and now she's unemployed.

You nailed it! That's exactly the situation your dog faces. She needs a pursuit of some sort. The reason most dogs are so driven to play an important role is because their survival in the wild would depend upon being part of a pack. Most dogs simply can't hunt well enough by themselves to survive long term the way a cat can, so they hunt in packs for larger animals. If they can't pull their own weight in the pack they'll be cast off and likely will not survive for long. Over time dogs became part of human packs and provided help with hunting and protection from predators to maintain their status in the pack.

So for dogs, doing their job isn't something they believe is an option. They believe it's required for their survival, to remain part of the pack. That's why they're so endlessly driven to do whatever they were designed to do. Not only that, but one of the main criteria for breeding over the years was a dog's desire to do its job, not just its physical ability.

Hunting and tracking classes would be an outstanding outlet for your dog. Any sort of challenges are great, especially if you can combine both physical and mental challenges at the same time. And you're probably going to find there is almost no limit to the energy your dog will have. I take mine hiking for several hours at a time through super steep and difficult terrain and he never loses his drive. He just keeps going and going. It never gets old to him. In fact once in a great while I'll purposely stop and make him rest because I'm afraid he's going to completely exhaust himself if he doesn't at least take a break for a few minutes.

My husband and I talked about getting back into a truck and what it would take. The biggest part would be getting the doctors to release us to drive again. It was nice talking logistics again.

Hey, you're always welcome around here. We have an endless stream of new drivers looking for any advice they can get. You guys experienced a lot in your time on the road and we'd love to have you around to share it with new drivers. Brew yourself some fresh coffee or tea, pull up a chair, and join us anytime you like. We're happy to have ya.

smile.gif

Kat's Comment
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You might look into agility training too! They have competitions and meets, and it keeps a really active dog engaged and learning all the time.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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You might look into agility training too! They have competitions and meets, and it keeps a really active dog engaged and learning all the time.

They certainly do and that's an excellent idea!

Conservative's Comment
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I have a miniature poodle he doesn't like long trips in cars Was wondering if there would be a difference in ride in a big rig.

Marc Lee's Comment
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Not much worse than an unemployed dog!

Lots of good suggestions here!

Good luck to you all! Keep the faith!

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