Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I took Murphy for a drive today. It was a long drive. And apparently Murphy had some issues with the new rental SUV, because he whined and cried the whole way.


For eight hours straight, Murphy made that noise.

I tried to cheer him, I tried to console him, I bought him food. I even scolded and threatened him when it got to be too much for me, but he just kept it up.


8 hours.

I turned up the radio. He whined louder. I reached back to pet him. No joy. Hey just kept on whining.


I stopped a couple of different times and took him out. He was happy to play in the grass for a bit and when I opened the door up again, he quickly hopped back in and let me secure his seat belt harness. But when I put the truck in gear, it started again.


Dammit, dog, what's wrong? I'm not even three feet away from you. What is the problem? Why are you sad or scared? What can I do to make you feel better? What can I do to make you stop making that accursed, grating and obnoxious noise?!



Now I like to drive on the open highway. It's something I find relaxing and plleasurable. And today, the weather was great and traffic was light. I could have just enjoyed the solitude and spent the time reflecting on whatever.

But: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeee.....

This trip was a bloody, traumatic nightmare.

Finally I stopped yet again, and this time I loosened his harness up so that he could stand up and lean into the front seat to be next to me. Not close enough to whack the dash in case of a sudden stop, but closer to me.

That seemed to do it. and it only took 400 miles or so for me to come up with it. He rode the rest of the trip standing until finally, within 15 miles of our destination, he finally laid down on the rear seat for the very first time since I turned the truck on.

"Oh, hell no! You're not sleeping now! Get back up!"

For whatever reason, he really doesn't like riding in this strange new vehicle and I'm seriously considering shipping him back Fed-Ex rather than making that drive again. He's always been a bad car-rider, but this trip took the cake; I've never seen him even remotely this bad before.

Of course now that we're where we set out to go, he's perfectly fine and calm like he hasn't a care in the world. All I can do is shake my head and wonder.

I should have left him with the Lair sitter. And this is one of the many reasons why I don't want kids.


  1. It's possible the vehicle makes a sound pitched high enough only dogs can hear. A vacuum leak could do that, or a vent control.

  2. @ Carteach: I hadn't considered that angle.

  3. I was thinking the same thing that Carteach said.

  4. Wool Blanket, Carrots; happy dog.

  5. Benadryl.


    My Germain Shedder will even sleep through New Years Eve fireworks/ gun volleys.

  6. Before you start home, slip him some Benedryl.

  7. You may have to change to a different model, as what is bothering him might be endemic to the line. However, you might first try another one. Tell the rental place you need to take him around the block to check for the presence of an ultrasonic irritant.

    Could be a brake wear indicator. It's a piece of metal that rubs on the brake rotor when the pads wear down to the minimum thickness. I've encountered some that make a VERY high pitched ringing noise. (when tested, my hearing was found to extend to frequencies much higher than normal for humans)

    They will generate this noise as soon as the wheel starts rotating.

    Of course, that is just one of the possible noise generators on a vehicle.

  8. Assuming you can't lick the noise issue, or whatever else is the cause, maybe try a distraction for the dog? I know you tried food, but maybe one of those enormous rawhide hunks that dogs love?

    Might not work, but I know you could blow one of those airhorns near Gunny when he's working on a big piece of knotted rawhide and he wouldn't give a crap.

    Good luck figuring it out! If all else fails use your hearing protection like you do when shooting.

  9. On further consideration, I don't think it's any particular noise that this truck makes. He's always been an uneasy, neurotic rider and I attribute it to his early years where every ride in a vehicle seems to mean a new home for him. He's even bad in my regular SUV but never since I've had him has he been this bad, and my suspicion is that it's just because he's suddenly in a new and different vehicle. Once I loosened his harness so he could get up next to me, he was fine. Still anxious, but at least "normal" for him and quiet.

    Funny how when I put him in the airpllane, he just goes to sleep. But in a car...
    Yet he always tries to get into any car that he can. weird, weird dog.

  10. @ Paladin: He won't chew or play with a toy or even eat a burger when he's upset. I've tried. And as much as it would be easier to just tune him out, I don't want to ignore him because he's suffering on some level. He's my pal and I want to make it better. I just have no idea how.

  11. Prescription from vet - Xanax or Valium.

  12. Oh, and could it just be your driving?

  13. Late again, but +1 on Carteach...