Well the past few days have been filled with both failures and successes concerning my two girls….
I mentioned to you that I was a little apprehensive about the dog travel bag, and have since come to the conclusion, after attempting to zip it up whilst Molly was inside it, that the bag, sadly, is not going to work. I tried a few expeditions around the studio carrying molly in the bag, which worked out alright, but the problem is she can jump out whenever she pleases, which, I dread to even imagine, could be on a busy road amidst a crusade of cars belonging to crazy Mongolian drivers and inevitably end in disaster!
The only way therefore, to safely start our training on Grettle, would be to zip the bag up. Not only has Molly made it crystal clear that the latter is not an option, but also, having experimented carrying nothing other than the bag on Grettle, I realized that I couldn’t reach the ignition, couldn’t see my dash board, and couldn’t steer! So, sad as it is, Molly and I have both reached the same conclusion regarding the bag- it’s simply not to be!
In search of plan B, I made a visit to my local pet shop. I was looking for a strong and comfortable harness that could attach both to molly and to myself, so that she could simply sit on my lap without anything as constricting as a bag getting in the way, yet still with the security required for the drive….
Aware that I would be setting off in April when temperatures on average would be just over zero, and that Molly would no longer have the shelter or warmth of a bag, my heart leapt as I noticed jackets for puppies! I picked out one roughly molly’s size, blue with white stars, fleece-lined, hooded, and absolutely adorable!
Now having seen this, how could i possibly resist the additional waterproof layer?
Molly tried both jackets on (not altogether willingly, it has to be said) but not only did both fit, they also, I thought, with their arm and leg holes, would act as a pretty good harness if I could find a way of attaching them to myself as well as to Molly.
Eventually the shop keepers, after much confusion, acting, gesturing, and pictures sketched onto receipt paper, got the gist of what I was planning to do, and despite appearing rather alarmed at first, swung into action, fishing out all the sturdiest harnesses they had in the shop. We found one that fit nicely over the travel jacket and even had a couple of D-rings attached that I could use to help secure it to myself.
Now by this point, the shopkeepers had become quite excited about the whole idea, and tried to insist that i brought Molly a decent pair of travel shoes as well. I explained to them that back in the depths of December, when the ground was so freezing that poor Mol would try to lift all four of her little feet off it at the same time , I had in fact already tried shoes but sadly molly didn't quite grasp the concept and there followed much shoe confusion in any attempt at movement...
And so I forgot about the shoes, but settled for the travel jackets and the harness, and headed home excitedly to test them out...
To digress for a moment, I forgot to mention, despite having installed a new battery into Grettle, she remained, most frustratingly but most determinedly, dormant! With little idea how to solve the problem, I managed to track down an English speaking mechanic yesterday who came to the rescue and within 4 hours, had changed the oil, the filter, the tires, replaced the spark plug lead, de-clogged the fuel valve and sure enough, brought Grettle back to life.
Thrilled with this new turn of events, Molly and I woke early this morning, put on our travel suits and harness, hopped on Grettle, and had our first ever test drive around the little courtyard outside my studio!
Now the good news is, Molly seemed OK on Grettle and made no nervous attempts to jump off, but the harness needed to be adapted and added to in several places to make it both more secure and more comfortable, and so I have left it with a nice lady in the very handy sowing section of the pet shop, who is going to amend it as instructed, and with any luck, have it ready for testing tonight!
Until then…adios and fingers crossed!