Miz Lizzie Adventures: Boyne River and Miriam Vale

This is going to work.

By which I mean bringing doggo along on Adventures in Miz Lizzie. Friday was a day of high stress for all of us, but Saturday went like a dream. He’s getting used to living in the caravan and back of the car, and we’re getting used to the need for one of us to be with him at all times. It takes a bit more planning, but it’s not hard.

Anyway, back to the story. We’re staying at the Boyne River Tourist Park. I’m not giving it a recommendation, because to be honest it’s a bit tired and run-down. However, it’s cheap, and perfectly placed for today’s meet up. Plus, and this is a big plus, the view is brilliant. Our site was at the top of a steep grassed bank which led down to the river bank. The Boyne is tidal, so the water level changed at different times of day. It was quiet, the scene was tranquil and apart from distant traffic sounds all you could hear was the lap of water and birdsong.

Into the car at a civilised hour on Saturday morning after a few domestic chores, and his lordship promptly went to sleep in his back seat hammock. Down the road an hour, Miriam Vale is a pretty little town which on this particular day was full of people on motorbikes, either out in the sunshine for a ride, or recent participants in the Far Ride which terminated nearby. It turns out that our friends Peter and Marion actually lived and met here many moons ago, so it had fond memories for them. In any case, it was a fun get-together in the courtyard of the Miriam Vale Café, where dogs are cherished customers and there’s a stack of water bowls waiting for them. Mouse was wearing the bespoke OzSTOC club bandanna I’d made for him, and you can see how well colour co-ordinated he is! Unfortunately, Peter was wearing his famous ‘hair’ hat, perhaps to compensate for the solar panel he wears underneath!

When we’d waved goodbye to the two of them, we were thrilled to see another familiar face (or perhaps that should be familiar motorbike – he was wearing his crash helmet) at the side of the road. Bill (aka Biggles) had been participating in the Far Ride and had just pulled over to let his missus know all was well.

Back at base, Mouse insisted on a nice long walk along the riverbank before settling down to some serious snoozing. I must admit, I wasn’t averse to a tiny toes-up either, I’d had a rather poor night due to a painful back, despite the comfiness of the bed. Still, it was steak for dinner and an early night so we could leave in good order in the morning and be home mid afternoon.

It’s been a good learning experience for all three of us. Lesson 1) do not tie Mouse up to anything. If he gets spooked, he’s very strong and will break out of harness, lead and collar and disappear into the distance, causing heart attacks all round. Leave him in the car if you can’t hang onto him. Lesson 2) Take no nonsense from him about the caravan steps or height of the car seat being too high for him. If he does it, give him lots of praise and a treat. If he won’t and has to be manhandled, no praise and no treat. Lesson 3) The caravan door is not opened unless he’s wearing harness and lead and/or someone has hold of him. Lesson 4) The caravan steps are the perfect height for his food dishes. Lesson 5) Make sure he drinks throughout the day, not just when he gets home, or you’ll be up and down all night taking him out for a pee. Lesson 6) Do NOT allow him on your bunk. It’s the thin end of the wedge, he will take over, you’ll have nowhere to sleep, and he has a perfectly good one of his own. Lesson 7) All edibles locked away.

So now we can look forward to October’s much longer trip with a degree of optimism. Mouse is a gentle, (mostly) calm and pretty accommodating dog. Given enough food, water and comfy places to sleep he’ll do fine. Just no nasty noisy surprises, please.

Oh, and keep those treats coming…

After-note: Mouse would like to tell the Husband “Happy Father’s Day, dad”…

 

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45 thoughts on “Miz Lizzie Adventures: Boyne River and Miriam Vale

  1. anne54 says:

    I am glad that all went well. Your 7 lessons are an insight to some things that may have happened on the trip, such as getting up in the middle of the night or cajoling Mouse into the car or caravan. He looks splendid in his club regalia!

    • katechiconi says:

      Jumping into the car back seat is becoming less of a drama, but he still baulks at the steps to the van. It’s improving, since we praise and reward every time he does it without a fuss. Getting up in the night is much more of a performance in the van, since he needs lead and harness instead of us just opening the back door and letting him out. Still, it’s not enough of a palaver to make us consider leaving him at home when we travel. It’s been (mostly) a fun trip, and I’m looking forward to the longer journey in October.

  2. Many hard-earned lessons, but Mouse is proceeding well in training you two. May all future trips be easier as you progress in your training.

    • katechiconi says:

      We were a little afraid that having a Mouse along would put a crimp in our activities, but it didn’t at all. We just had to factor in a little consideration for comfort stops, and who would stay in the car while the other went to fetch the coffee/snack/breakfast. It hasn’t been an issue for us, so far at any rate. He’s our lovely boy, and worth it.

  3. It seems like it is all coming along splendidly, this is after all the first time. A really not too steep learning curve for all and soon it will be running like clockwork. How fabulous! My Siddy goes everywhere with me, except for places he can’t be when he does waiting in the car until I return – which is apparently a very serious job – and, after five years, he is sooo laid back about it all and I no longer have to think about anything really, it’s all second nature.

    • katechiconi says:

      Mouse is still a bit anxious at being left in the car. At home, he’s fine, but the car is still new and uncertain territory, and too, it get very hot here. But we’ve started, leaving the car in shade with windows open, and only being away 15 minutes. So far, so good.

  4. Sounds like you did well for the first time, and so soon after Mouse joined your family. It was a learning curve but after almost 3 years he’s relaxed anywhere, if he’s had enough when we’re out he gives out cues he’d like to return to the comfort of the canopy of the ute… we’re going to install a roof vent so he’s cooler and can come more, as on hot days we have to leave him at home, which he’s ok with too despite doing a good i impression of fomo. Looking forward to meeting Mouse in October 🐾

    • katechiconi says:

      We got home an hour ago, and the very first thing he wanted to do was zoomies around the back yard. He’s been deprived of that the last few days, so I completely get it! Now, he’s out cold on his bed with legs everywhere, much happier and more relaxed. Next time we go out in the van, though, I fully expect a more blasé attitude!

  5. Each trip will get easier. So far, so good. My last dog was an excellent traveler but we couldn’t leave her alone in a hotel room. She would panic. It’s wonderful that you have places that are dog-friendly. Love your list. 😉

  6. craftycreeky says:

    Sounds like he’s settling in well 🙂

  7. nanacathy2 says:

    A very successful trip all round. I think Mouse is my kindred spirit, I need food, drink, a place to sleep and no nasty noises too. Throw in some books, yarn and fabric and I am easy to care for too.

    • katechiconi says:

      For Mouse, throw in his toys, a chance to do zoomies and plenty of affection. Perhaps you can do an exchange visit (although I wouldn’t make you sleep in his bed, it’s not quite person sized!) 🙂

  8. Conor Bofin says:

    Great to get a look into your wider life Kate. The hound seems like a handful compared to our ‘Lady’ a rescued dog that has been melting hearts for as long as she has been with us.

    • katechiconi says:

      He’s just a young whipper snapper, and will hopefully settle once he’s certain of his place in the household. I enjoyed all the people wanting to pet him when he turned that long pointy nose and sad brown eyes on them. Does one tell them it’s totally food-oriented, or let them cherish the illusion that he loves them too?

  9. Steph says:

    That’s great!

    You will probably find since things sort themselves out over time.

    When Shinee was new she should take off through open doors etc but now she wouldn’t do that (we still err on the side of caution).

    Other things are just par for the course- we never leave Shines in accommodation, car, outside a shop or toilet block for more than 2 minutes. Just not worth the risk of something happening (or someone else being annoyed, not everyone is a dog lover apparently!).

    You are very wise to try a short trip first (ask me how I know…!)

    • katechiconi says:

      I suppose I’m just applying the principle of “if you wouldn’t do it to an 8 year old child…” And I have been known to take him into a toilet block with me! He really dislikes being tied up, and given the option, would choose being in the car every time. Just something else to work on.

  10. KerryCan says:

    It went so well, thanks to your planning and Mr. Mouse’s adaptability! And, of course, it’s going to get easier with time and you won’t be able to imagine a trip without him along. I think you’ll meet lots of new people, too, who will engage with you because of him.

    • katechiconi says:

      That’s already happening. Total strangers wander up and want to pet him and engage in conversation. He’s very endearing and non-threatening, and just retreats when it all gets too much. If he’s really uncomfortable, he yawns, which has the added benefit of displaying lots of long white teeth and usually achieves backing off!

  11. Dayphoto says:

    I enjoyed reading this, Kate! It does sound like you had a few rather stressful situation, but all is understood now. Off to more trips!!!

  12. Lots of lessons learned, but sounds like it’s all systems go for next time.

  13. Mouse is really schooling you on what and how to do things 🙂 I enjoyed reading about your adventure with him ~ sounds like you had a great time and I am looking forward to your next adventure tale 🙂 Sharon

    • katechiconi says:

      We really enjoyed catching up with our friends, which was the point of the trip and provided the excuse to go. Mouse stood like a rock to be petted by friends, café staff and patrons alike, and then considerately lay down on the grass and went to sleep. Next time is next month, when we’ll be going much, much further, and for longer. Hopefully, we’ll all deal well with that too.

  14. Lynda says:

    I’m glad to read that day two was calmer and less stressful for all of you.

    • katechiconi says:

      In this instance, it was we who learned an important lesson, but I’m glad he’s turned out to be so adaptable. Probably because he’s still a young lad. He wants to be good, but sometimes the naughty kid breaks out!

      • Lynda says:

        Just thinking about it… didn’t you say Mouse was two? Buddy didn’t get over his puppy brain until somewhere between 2 and 4. That’s a long stretch, but he’s half border collie, anyway at two yours should be settling down soon enough.

      • katechiconi says:

        No, he just turned three in mid-July, but there’s still some residual puppy-brain, I think. Or perhaps it’s permanent, which should keep us on our toes!

  15. rutigt says:

    So glad it´s working, taking trips with the dog! We always had our BOBBO with us when we were visiting families. Kjell is from the north of Sweden, so it took almost a whole day of travelling, but Bobbo didn´t complain. I´m so glad for that 🙂

  16. tialys says:

    Lots of lessons learned on both sides so that next time will be easier.

  17. Joanne S says:

    Well, we are taking on some of your lessons for our own pup. He is small, but sometimes a handful. I believe “insearchofitall” has the right idea…that soon he will be excited when he realizes mom and dad are gearing up for another trip in Miz Lizzie!.

    • katechiconi says:

      The excitement can be a tad hazardous to the packing process, I must admit. He’s large, and fast, and sometimes gets thoroughly under foot, but I’ll wait and see how it goes for our next trip.

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