Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Dog friendly vacations - Don't leave Fido at home.

If you think of your dogs as part of your family then dog friendly vacations seems like a must. But does your dog want to come with you?

Do Dogs Like To Travel? An Interview

We interviewed a five-year-old Cocker Spaniel named Patches, who just returned from a wonderful family vacation that took him from Texas to California and back, to find out how he enjoyed the experience.

So, how was your trip, compared to the times you stayed at the kennel?

Are you kidding, pal? No comparison. Sitting alone in a cage versus seeing the country with my family? Those kennels talk a big game about letting us out for exercise, but I spent most of time sitting on a cement floor staring at a Bulldog in the next cage. And she wasn't even that pretty. Truth be told, she kind of drooled.

But you stayed at one of the expensive kennels that have a swimming pool and TV

Let me ask you, do you want to swim in a two foot deep wading pool that 50 dusty dogs have just been splashing through? Didn't think so. And having the TV on all the time became annoying after a while, and they didn't even put on my favorite show.

What is your favorite TV show?


Did your Master pack everything you needed for the trip?

I never use the term Master. I call them my Two Legged Companions With Thumbs and Credit Cards. But, yes, they did a great job packing for the trip. They remembered my own food, my own bowls. The medications I take. Some toys to play with. Little things like this mean a lot to a Dog. I really look forward to playing with my own toys each day.

Did they forget anything that would have made you more comfortable?

My medicated shampoo and some towels from home would have been great. When we went to the beach, I got sand in my coat, which got itchy, so I had to shake the sand off when we got back to the hotel. Dogs really hate getting the hotel carpet dirty, you know. Think of the poor maid that has to come in and vacuum.

Having my own bed along would have been nice, too. I slept on the hotel bed with my Two Legged Companions and at one hotel, frankly, the bedspread smelled bad. A cat must have checked into that room recently. They really should think about having dogs-only rooms, especially considering we were paying $200 a night for that place.

Some dogs have trouble with car sickness? You traveled several hundred miles a day. Were you ever bothered with an upset stomach?

Just once. They shared a taco with me just outside of Blythe, California, and then we went a steep mountain road. The taco ended up in one of their laps. I prefer to be fed before we get in the car, or after we arrive at the hotel for the night. Or they could have brought along my favorite dog biscuits, so I could have a snack. Just outside Flagstaff, they gave me some French fries that were way too salty and I didn't have any water to drink in the back seat. I was panting all the way to the Grand Canyon.

Anything else that made you uncomfortable?

Sometimes we had to walk across hot pavement that really hurt my paw pads. They forget they have shoes with thick soles. It's better for me if I can walk in the grass. Even a sidewalk is better than blacktop.

What was the highlight of your trip?

Swimming in the Pacific Ocean. An experience like that you never forget, even when you get to be an old dog.

So where do you want to go on your next trip?

Somewhere with snow. Then we can all sit by the fireplace at night and pretend we're still wolves.

Thank you Patches, what a cuddly canine you are. If you'd like more information about dog friendly vacations and how you get the most our of yours, please visit The Dog Lover's Guide to Traveling.

So now we know that dogs indeed like to travel


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