Saturday, June 18, 2011

McKenzie and the Amazing Thundershirt

So.  As I've mentioned before, we have this 40ft. MotorCoach (we call it a bus) that we go traveling in.  Of course you know this, that's why I started this blog. :)  When we first picked up Malcolm and McKenzie in North Carolina, they had to ride home with us in the bus.  We took a long time to get back because it was winter, Christmas to be exact, and the puppies had to stop and pee and eat and poopy every 30 mins or so.  But they traveled in a small crate and the motion of the bus and weird noises never really bothered them.

This picture was taken 10mins after we picked them up in December of  2009

We went on many trips with them after that with no problems.  Then we started letting them ride without a crate.  We still never had any problems..........Until............

One day, it was very very windy and stormy.  The road was bumpy and the bus was rockin' and rollin'.  The lighting was also weird because of cloud cover, rain and lightening which caused strange shadows to be cast throughout the bus.  Didn't bother Nessie, the Monster-child.  Didn't bother Malcolm.  Well.  Nothing ever bothers Malcolm.  He rides on the dashboard of the bus a lot until he gets too hot.  When people see us coming and he's on the dashboard, they just crack up and point at him!  I love it when my dogs make people smile.
Dashboard of the bus just after a bath

But I digress.  It wasn't really the storm that freaked McKenzie out.  It was the combination of noise, freaky shadows, and bumpy road.  After that day, she has never been comfortable on the bus again.  Well.  That's not entirely true, either.  She crawls up in my lap and pants a lot to relieve stress.  But it's hard to go on a 5 or 6 hour bus ride with a 50lb Boxer in your lap.

A picture from a while back w/ McKenzie sitting on my lap all stressed out.  My legs were numb.

Anyway, so the next time I had to take one of the dogs to the Vet, I asked about tranquilizers for poor wee McKenzie.  I got some and am trying them with her.  She gets really loopy and can't keep her legs under her, though.  I just hate having to drug my dog to go someplace where she'll have fun.  But I can't let her stress out like that either.

Then, I was working (barely) at this big dog show in town.  And low and behold.  What did I find?  But the Amazing Thundershirt! (Search My Favorite Products Page for Thundershirt/anxiety wrap)  It cost about  $40 bucks but I thought it might be worth a try.  What I haven't told yet, is that Nessie has always freaked out in Thunderstorms at home.  So she's the first dog I tried it on.  We had a really stormy night recently.  Puppies as usual never notice that stuff (unless McKenzie's in the bus), but Nessie is a freak.  I put the Thundershirt on her and within 15 mins, she was calm and fine.  She slept in it that night.

Today, we are on our way to Red River, New Mexico to play and camp and fish in the cooler weather of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.  Can't wait to get there.  I put the Thundershirt on McKenzie before we left and just look!  I am totally amazed! She is sound asleep and it's a pretty windy day (what's new about that?) here in Oklahoma.
Nessie is even using her for a pillow!

What a difference this shirt has made for McKenzie the Frenzie!  She has been calm all day.  It really helped her.  I may buy two more to get ready for the 4th of July.............

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