Have you ever been on a long road trip? You know, the kind where you get in the car and drive for hours and hours? I bet that you have, since it’s a thing that most humans do from time to time. It’s a bit different for us dogs. While you humans always know where you are going, we never do. It could be a drive to the dog park, to the ocean, or even to the vet, dog forbid. Anyway, even with such uncertainty, we are happy to provide companionship for our humans. We cast aside any trepidation and jump into the car with great enthusiasm! With our faces out the window, we anticipate new places to see, and good things to sniff.

So, this past weekend, we went on a long car ride. My beloved human, Liz, took me, my dog sibling, Ilsa, and our kitty cats for a long ride. As usual, none of us had any idea where we were going. I could tell the cats were scared in their crates, and it made me sad. They meowed and meowed and were quite upset. My dog sister, Ilsa, was also a bit unsure, since she’s not like me. I’m a “go with the flow” kinda guy … but Ilsa is a purebred German Shepherd and so she always wants to know the rules, the objective, and what her job is. My human tried to comfort her and told her “Ilsa, the rule is you stay put in the car, the objective is to get to our destination safely and your job is to be quiet.” I think she understood a little bit, since she calmed down.

Anyway, we went on this long trip – and it was a lot of highway. I was cool as a cucumber, and then started thinking back to before I was adopted. When I was a homeless rescue puppy I was sent up on a long transport trip to New York. I told you all about that in my first column. You may remember that back then I was so scared; so incredibly scared. I thought about how frightening that trip was, and how different things were now. And how different I was, especially. I thought, and thought, and thought about it and then I figured out why!

Sure, it helped to be a mature, big adult boy – but even more than that – I now know all about love and trust! I didn’t know about those things back then when I was just a homeless puppy. I didn’t know what it was like to be hugged every day and to be cared for. To be fed good food, loved and walked, and told how handsome I was. And I certainly didn’t have good friends like you, who care about me, too, and read my column.

Wow, love and trust really do make you whole, and make you strong and brave. So that is what I want to say to you this week. That if you can, try to live with love in your heart and trust those that you take road trips with. It sure works for me! No matter if it’s a long trip on the highway or just around the corner. Love makes you brave, and trusting others makes you strong. Since even if they aren’t what you had hoped, you are what you had hoped. And it’s all about being the most loving and strong we can be for ourselves and for others.

In love, Benny H.