We are in the middle of our preparations for our Morocco trip of 4 months.
In the upcoming week we have to make sure everything is ready to leave home. We don’t have an exact departure date but would like to be on the road in the week of the 27th of March.
Once we feel we have everything ready we might start the Landcruiser and go.
Are you ready for your trip?Are you looking forward to your trip?
More and more people ask mom if she is ready for this upcoming trip. Her therapists, friends, family and neighbors. And Moms answer was…not really! Also Dad said the same thing.The most hard response to this is: wHAAAAT??? How come? Why not? You only have two weeks left?? Of course all intended well!!
Mom is not sure why she is not feeling it yet. Is it because we made multiple long(er) trips and so these 4 months ar not that special anymore? Or is it because our current travel setup is giving us confidence that everything will be alright and no worris are needed because the trailer is always ready and packed in th garage?? Or is Mom a bit stressed/worried/Nervous about the upcoming trip with two dogs for the first time with Finleys first long trip?? Or maybe she is nervous about traveling to a Muslim country with a normal pet dog and one service dog, where the concept of a service dog is not a real-thing??
During Moms appointment at her breathing therapist she tried to explain and justify and find a reason why she is not feeling the WOW, YEAH, WOOOHOO WE ARE ABOUT TO GO ON A TRIP- feeling yet. Her Therapist had the best response for her: Is it also okay if these are your feelings, thoughts and worries for now? Why do you have to have the WOW felings? Who says that that is how you should feel? We don’t have to do anything with them, or change it. This is what it is, for now. And that’s also fine and understandable.
So simple and yet for Mom sooooo far away. Because indeed, who says I have to be all excited and on a cloud of happiness and feeling all rainbows and glitters… As if the question: are you ready for your trip? Implies you should be all ready and jumping up and down from excitement. That is what Mom thinks everyone is expecting from her… While that is not what I heard. As if Mom thought she needed to justify her ‘negative or challenging’ feelings.
Dog travel prep’s
With our newest family member Finley, we need to dig in our memory and documents to see what it is we need to prepare for him. Vet wise, things are easy. We checked with the nVWA and got the message we don’t have to come to Utrecht for a legalisation of our doggos passports. Morocco does not require this. It saves us a trip to Utrecht and the costs for 2 legalisations.
We do need a clinical health check executed by the vet. Mom took it upon herself to arrange translations of that health check in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch, Russsian and German.Mom also added a translatio for a service dog information card. It will most likely not add much to the situation, when Mom and Fin get denied access…but it gives Mom a better feeling to educate instead of crying and being sad.
A big part of Moms preparations is all the medication I have to take now a days. Not strange for a dog with my age (13 y/o in April), but must be prepared carefully. Mom has to make sure we have all original boxes with vet label and my information. But also we have to arrange a letter with an overview of all my meds and the amount that’s in the car for our boarder crossings. Logically the boarder security is not thrilled with medication. Also for Moms meds w do the same thing with a medicine passport of the pharmacy. Also for our First Aid Kit we bring some wide spectrum antibiotics and light painkillers and anti allergy meds, so we can take care of ourselves in case we are trapped in the middle of the desert with no vet available within the next 500km as we experienced in Mongolia.
Worst part of the preparations is the torture of 4 bags of kibble in the other room. We decided taking 2 bags of 12kg kibble per dog with us. This is already bagage of 24kg per dog…Normally we last a bit shorter then 1,5 moth with one bag, so either we make it or we have to buy extra in Morrocco online. Also our vitamins and supplements for healthy joints are in stock in huge amounts…pfff Hopefully there is enough space for us to lay comfortably in the car.
Mom is now arranging some last stuff for us such as doggy shoes, as the sand can be super hot in summer as Mom learned when she was younger and visiting Morocco before. Our muzzles (mandatory in public transportation in many countries), our flee and tick meds, our wurm meds, our scalibor anti -tick collars and many other things are packed. Today Mom received a second hand Baby Monitor… For what, I hear you thinking! Mom is more often up at night with me. Often I get a scratchy and itchy attack in the middle of the night. I start scratching, pacing through the room, Panting with heavy breathing and making all kinds of sad sounds because I’m panicking. The only thing that rally helps is walking outside and massages and pets from Mom. And she is always there for me!! But when we travel, she sleeps in the roof top tent on the trailer with Dad and Finley (as he is her service dog). I rather stay in the car, sleeping in the back of the car on my Auping mattress. Mom noticed a part of her worry was about my nightly escapades and she is scared I will have to go through it all alone. Hence the baby monitor: it gives her ears inside the car, so she will hear me in case I have a panic attack. It gives both of us a better feeling.
Normally Mom is not that paranoid, but the situation is a bit different this time. Recently the vet told us that my breathing has a rasping sound that indicates I have paralised vocal cords. Because they are paralised they make breathing more difficult for me and many other old/senior dogs. The advise was to keep me as calm and cool as possible in the Moroccon heat and wearing a harness instead of collar. Luckily our car has air-conditioning that has been checked already and additionally Mom ordered a ccoling vest for me that vaporizes my body heat which should cool down my system. We are not sure how this is going to pan out, but at least we took measures to try and handle the situation.
Servic Dog Preps:
For my little brother we have some preparations too. He was already vaccinated for rabies and the yearly cocktail, but didn’t have an anti-body count yet for his rabies. With this count they check the amount of anti bodies in his blood and certify it on paper. In case it is under the limit, the dog should be boostered, but Finleys count was good! The count must be added to his passport to make it official by the vet and we will bring a copy of the lab results. Nobody has ever asked for my papers, but better safe then sorry! During our trip Mom has to make sure she keeps training with Fin for his service Dog Certification. Leaving home will change the location of some commands but the task should stay the same. A good example is for instance the light button. At home Finley is making light when entering the home at night or entering the bedroom when it’s dark. We don’t have that light in our car. Therefor Dad made the same switch that comes with the light on a special surface, so Mom can still command my little brother around hahaha. Also Mom takes her medication on he trip. So Dad gave the meds a special spot in the car where Finley can retrieve it from. This way he will not fall behind on his training due to this trip. And because he is in his teenager phase, continuation and repetition is very important! But almost all of his tasks stay the same, such as Circle around Mom, help with her breathing exercises by laying steady on her stomach, bring her a bottle of water in case of panic, heeling during a walkie etc. However doing groceries will not be very likely to take place in Morocco… They most likely will not allow service dogs in food stores as this is not (yet) a medical aid in Morocco. But that is also part of the adventure. Mom and Dad will have to figure out a new rhythm.
The last week at home has arrived and Mom is still not busy or engaged with the trip in her mind. We will see how that will evolve over the upcoming week!
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Heel fijne tijd voor jullie 4-tjes.
Geniet en verwonder.