Okay, I admit it (as if I even have to admit to this, I know you all already suspected), I am one of those dog people whose car is a glorified canine cab. I drive a Ford Focus ZX5 (the 4 door hatchback)… it was the ideal dog car when I lived in NY. It was big enough to haul two dogs in the backseat, EZ-up tent, camping chair, disc-dog bag, coolers, etc; yet small enough to find street parking every night (and NOT “love tap” the cars in front and behind to fit). It’s really the perfect size for me… I could jam it full for traveling to events yet it doesn’t eat gas and can easily be parallel parked.
Even when I’m not doing anything special, my car is always set up as a canine cab. I always have a hammock in the back keeping my seats mostly dry and mostly clean, I have tennis balls rolling all over the place, frisbees jammed under the seats, a clicker around my gear-shift (and one around the emergency break), one of my chuck-its in the back seat, and a towel or two for the obvious reasons.
What I also have in my car at all times:
hard crate–in case for some reason I need to contain my dogs out of my vehicle
(maybe a breakdown or something) or transport and unknown stray in my car
soft crate–just one more thing to have handy in case I need to keep my dogs contained outside or inside the car (maybe someone got car sick and needs to be contained)
jug of water–after forgetting to bring water a few times to walking/hiking trips, I solved that problem by keeping a 2 gal jug in my car
paper towels–duh? spills, vomit, muddy dogs, accidents, general messes, etc.
two extra leashes –Twice now, I’ve come across friendly stray/lost dogs and having leashes in my car to round them up (or be able to use as a muzzle if need be) is quite helpful
container of treats–or sometimes bags of kibble. One of the times I found a stray in the middle of the road, having treats was really helpful to lure him out of the middle of the road
canine first aid kit–filled with gauze pads, gauze roll, vet wrap, first aid wash, tweezers, wooden splint, tick key, etc.
Yesterday I was reminded just why I lug all that stuff around with me all the time. I took the dogs to the pond to blow off some steam. They had a blast! They chased two separate deer a few minutes apart (recalled off of the one and ended up rounding back after the second), flushed some turkey, and Rio when off into the brush after some critter… all of this before even getting to go swimming! They played a lot of chase, went swimming, did some rock diving, and played some catch on land.
Before leaving I let the dogs fetch a few more toys from the water, Shayne came out of the water, ran around a bit, shook off then suddenly started limping. She dropped to her bottom (sit) and started licking a back foot. I called her to me and she’d take a few steps then sit and lick. She got to me and I noticed a little blood. I couldn’t see a big wound so I asked her to walk back to the car since it didn’t look bad (i had my hands full and couldn’t carry everything). It took her a little and she was clearly uncomfortable, once I dropped my stuff at the car, I went back and carried her the rest of the way. By the time we got back to the car, her foot was covered in blood. I couldn’t see with all the blood so i got a paper towel to clean up her foot a bit. Finally saw a small wound that was bleeding like crazy!
So, I got out my jug of water and rinsed off her foot, I used paper towels to dry her foot a little bit, applied pressure to the wound with gauze, ultimately used vet wrap and another gauze pad to keep pressure on the wound to help it clot (while also keeping my car blood-free on the drive home). Although she wasn’t gushing blood, it was bleeding moderately and more so when she walked (pressure causing the wound to open more). If I didn’t have all those fun supplies in my car she could have been bleeding the entire 20 minute ride home because every time she put pressure on her foot, the wound would open up again. That would not have been so good for her or for the interior of my car (though if I felt the need i could have popped up one of the crates for her to chill in on the way home).
Shayne seems to be doing okay… wanting to run and play and be a nut. Once it stopped bleeding it was perfectly fine. I’m hopeful that with some antibiotic soap and water washes, first-aid washes, and keeping an eye out for infections, that she’ll make a quick recovery.
As it turns out, I’m really glad I’m one of those dog people because being prepared kept really helped me be able to handle a potentially scary and dangerous situation. I figured this served as a great reminder to me and I wanted to pass it along to all of you!