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She Did It!

July 25, 2011

Oh my gosh!  We’re so excited!!  Delilah has overcome her car phobia…yea!!!  It’s like a party here, and I’m even calling friends and family to let them know about her successful car ride.  And bless their hearts, they’re genuinely happy for her, too. 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we tried a Thundershirt.  For our situation, or Delilah in particular, it didn’t do the trick.  She was just as scared with it on when she rode in the car, as when it was off. 

I’ve also been trying to desensitize her, and we had worked up to a ride around the block.  Although this was bearable for her, she was still clearly nervous.  She would stay in my lap for the duration, and while she didn’t go into panic mode, she wouldn’t accept treats, and praise did nothing to reassure her.  So her anxiety level continued to be too high.

Then, in a catalog, I saw a picture of a small car seat that fits on the console between the two front seats.  Knowing I couldn’t continue to drive around the block with her in my lap for the rest of our lives, and thinking that being near me might help a bit, I thought I may as well give it a try.  It has a high back, three straps to secure it for safety, and a built-in clip to attach to your dog’s harness.  I’ve since seen them at a few online sites, but I got mine through PetEdge:

Photo courtesy of Snoozer Luxury High-Back Console and PetEdge online catalog


Delilah’s seat arrived last night, so I took it out of the box and set it on the living room floor.  I put her in it, and she took to it right away.  She jumped in and out of the seat a few times, and buried her nose into the soft corners.  It was just her size.  Then today, I strapped the seat securely to the console and retrieved Delilah from the house.  She whined in reluctance as we headed for the car.  We got in together, and I placed her in the new car seat.  As the car began pulling out of the driveway, Delilah showed signs of being nervous.  But then suddenly, as we made our way down the street, she began accepting treats and praise.  And then the miracle occurred and she stopped shaking!  We extended our trip to the next block where she proceeded to flip onto her back for a tummy rub.  And then she was up again, waiting for the next treat.  We were able to drive six whole blocks (I didn’t want to push it), and then returned home…with Delilah riding along oh-so-calmly.

I guess it was just a matter of finding the one thing that would work for her.  That’s true for all of us who face any kind of challenge…what works for one doesn’t always work for another.  But it’s worth discovering just the right solution for the situation…and there always is one.  A happy one.  And so again, here’s one more lesson my dogs continue to teach me.


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