a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Me Not Get In Car

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Me Not Get In Car

SUMMARY: A sad, sad Chip.
Backfill: from an August 27, 2016 Facebook post

Human Mom wishes that she understood why, so often (but not always), Chip acts terrified about getting into the car. Really, we go plenty of places other than the vet and have hardly ever been there. (Zorro, on the other hand, you can't *keep* out of the car.) Poor Chipper.

He worries about so many things. He's a busy guy in the worry department. But so sweet.

On this day, trying to take him for a ride. To a park. (But he wouldn't know where we're going because I go to various places.) He won't even get in the side door, which is much lower, when he's in this mode. And I can't lift him without hurting myself unless I really need to get going, and yep it hurts.

Tail between legs. I feel so sorry for poor scared Chip, but I have no idea what the deal is and am not inclined to leave him home alone when I'm going somewhere fun with Zorro.

Nooooo please don't make me.

Don't make me (lying down, ears flat, tail between legs).

You cannot pull me towards the car; my feet are nailed to the ground here.

Finally pick him up and set him into the car (I'm in a hurry today and it's been 5 minutes already and he's in such a state that treats don't interest him) and, rather than stepping into the crate, he makes an amazing U-turn of his body and tries to jump back out.

He seemed quite happy to be at the park when we got there, and quite happy to get into the crate when it was time to go home. Who knows.

He'd been with me probably 6 months before I ever saw this, and it seems to be getting more common over the last 2 years, so it's something that made him decide that going places is bad... *some* of the time.

I have a ramp, and I look at that ramp every time this happens, where it's stashed in my garage, and keep thinking, no, don't want to haul that around and set it up and take it down every time-- but I'll probably give it a go. One of my objections has nothing to do with the dogs but with not wanting people to see that I'm leaving the house with my dogs. Without the ramp, I can load them in the garage. With the ramp, I have to open the garage door. Dunno, maybe a bad reason. I did it with Tika for a year or so, could do it again. But he's only 5, darnit, and can hop in very easily as far as I can tell. AND the ramp seems to scare him even more. We tried practicing walking on it while it was flat on the ground and you'd think that I was trying to force him to walk on red-hot coals.

No signs of him feeling ill or uncomfortable once he's in the car. Looks attentive and interested and alert unless it's a longer trip and he goes to sleep. It's not every time, either, getting to be maybe 50-70% of the time? And it's *never* when coming home after being somewhere.

I've been trying short drives to get them out of the car and NOT to the vet, places that they like to go, but it wasn't helping. Anti-anxiety meds? Keep thinking I'll look into something for fireworks. Maybe this, too, but have to consider whether dosing him up is worth it for the one short moment (or long 5 minutes) of getting him into the car.

He was a rescue, yes, but: No one actually abandoned him--I should moderate my "he was a rescue" to "he was a rehome from a home who cared about him." Yep, with Chip, it's hard to know. One morning on my way out the door to work, I bent to pet him with my keys in my hand and one of them came loose and swung at his muzzle. For a very long time he'd move away from me as soon as I picked up my keys. So, very true that something could have happened that I don't even know about, stubbed a toe on his way in? Bumped his head? Something that happened here but not anywhere else. Sigh. This is where I need a dog-brain-deciphering device.

Poor sad little doggie.


  1. Zoey hates gettting in the car at home too. I think it is because she use to get car sick. And the weird part, she gets in the RV (in a crate) with no problem. Even when its in the driveway. She will get in the crate in the car at the agility field. Just not at home.

    1. Gosh, Diana, realize that I never replied here. Dogs are so funny, aren't they? What kind of RV do you have? Probably looks and smells much different from a car.
      My own choices for vehicles are: Minivan. That's it. Darn Chip!