As regular readers may recall, I started out my cross-Canada journey not only in the back seat, but also on the hot seat, so to speak. Heather had feared my backseat whining was going to drive her nuts on the trip, and had instituted new preventative tactics: first the command, “Chloë, MUTE!” If ignored, then followed by a quick jerk on the leash attached to my harness. Eventually I got the message, at least to some extent.
So how did we do? Well, I’m still alive, and resting comfortably in Syracuse when I wrote this. While I’ll admit that my whining didn’t cease entirely. Heather and I managed to maintain a cordial detente throughout the trip. I learned to confine my whining to moments when I was actually trying to call their attention to an immediate need, such as “Please open my window,” or “I need to pee,” or “It’s past time for my 2 o’clock treat!” Whining with purpose was allowed. At other times, I might endure a command tone “MUTE!” or even a yank or two on my leash. Sometimes I might have even deserved it. But I survived. So did Heather and Mike!
I even thrived under this duress. I had a much more relaxing time in the car this time than in our previous cross-country trips. I sat higher up in the back seat, so I could see everything, and Heather kept my window open most of the time, even when we were driving fast on highways, so I could soak in the full bouquet of the passing landscape. After Heather shortened my tether strap so I couldn’t hit the ground if I fell out (flopping against the car on a strap instead), I did my fair share of putting my front feet on the car door and sticking my head and chest out into the wind. I could also use the window as a headrest when snoozing and still keep my nose outside. Other times I liked to sleep with my head on the cushion or towel they shoved between their front seats to keep me from crawling through.
While I never advanced to my rightful place on Mike’s lap in the front seat, I made significant gains on this trip, cutting the distance to my goal significantly, as you can see from these secret dashboard cam photos!
I made a lot of progress, all right. I think I’m well-situated for the return trip. I’m almost there.