Car journeys

Lyra was afraid of cars from the get-go. As she grew less afraid, she wanted to chase them. Inside a car, she vomited and paced and drooled.

June 28, 2016: After 3 or 4 sessions, Lyra is now jumping into Margaret’s car of her own volition.

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Lyra’s “I’m going to take over the world” look

July 19, 2016: Lyra had her second car ride today, with me and Margaret Pender. Last week, she rode in the car for 10 minutes without any sign of stress (she was curious and alert, but not visibly anxious) until we turned onto the road that has always been a bugbear for her; where she first got spooked by a bus at 8 weeks. Here, she began to pant a little, drool, and refuse treats, but she bounced back as soon as we turned onto another street. When we got home, she voluntarily jumped back into the car — which further suggests that she was not frightened. I should also add that CC to her seatbelt has worked — in so far as she doesn’t object or seem upset when I put the seatbelt on her, in spite of the clanking buckles.

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curious about the world outside

Today, she was eager to get back into Margaret’s car. This is a huge step. Again, she was fine, even with some trucks on the road. We drove for 10 minutes or so. She was keen to put her nose out the window; she seemed curious, excited (not over the top), aware, and took treats.

A change happened when she saw a bus. It pulled up beside us and put on its brakes. This is very similar to what happened when she was 8 weeks old. Today, she did not panic or shut down; she even pushed her nose out the window as if to get more information on what it was. She was not happy, though. I saw some lip licking, and shortly after, she gave a little whine and began to drool more, almost to pant.

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licking lips as bus passes

Yet I’m encouraged by the fact that when we got home, and moments after she jumped out of the car, she jumped back inside and ate treats. So, a good session overall — and promising.

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wearing seat belt in car on 3-hour journey

August, 2016: Lyra was alert — but almost relaxed! — for most of the car journey to and from the cottage, July 31 and August 7. The drive itself lasted 3 hours each way, but detours made it a longer journey. Each time we got out of the car, she was happy to jump back inside.