Traveling With Jack, Lonnie And Penny
By Janet Schaeffer
We have always traveled with our dogs but I can't say it has always been with ease. We often traveled back home to family and old friends which took us about 6 hours. Being campers and travelers we thought ourselves to be very organized. This meant packing 3 kids and our pet into the stationwagon and heading North from Pennsylvania.
I remember very clearly the Christmas my three sons, our standard collie, Lonnie, and I were traveling to Massachuettes in our old green Volvo stationwagon. Kids and dog were settled in the back at last, I thought. You see, Lonnie was a great traveler. She did not require a special dog crate or mat. She was, however, skittish with very loud noises and would try to hide under something when startled. Well, somewhere in Connecticut, there was a loud sound coming from a construction site. Lonnie jumped over the back of the front seat landing squarely on a beautiful wreath that I made and was taking to my mother. Lonnie's action could have caused a real disaster, bur luckily, not. As I look back on this episode we were clearly not as well prepared as we thought when traveling with a pet.
We thought thought traveling with Jack ( our cute little Sheltie ), would be better. But..., he was such a wimp. He would start panting as we pulled out of the driveway. We also had to be sure we had his special carpet wherever we went. He would not walk on slippery floors such as hardwood or tile. We would have to lay down a small piece of carpet so he could travel from one side of the room to the other. I often tell the story about putting a roasted turkey in the middle of the kitchen floor and Jack would not go for it.
Looking back on these experiences tell me we were naive about traveling with our pet and planning for their comfort and safety. Thankfully we did a better job with the kids! Now, before we take a trip we are better prepared. I would like to offer some general advice and tips you should consider before you take your pet traveling with you. Probably the first thing you need to ask yourself is, do you really want your vacation plan to center around your pet? Your pet may very well be happier at home with a sitter or make other arrangements. You can then relax and not worry about your pets needs.
If you do take your furry friend along in your car, you should always have it in a carrier or restrained with a car harness. Our collie, Lonnie, would not have been able to jump over the seat of the car if I had used a restraint. Also, Jack ( our Sheltie ) might have been less a wimp if he were in a special pet carrier with his own blanket and mat.
Food and water should be provided during a long trip. There are many convient portable food/water containers available on the market. A sturdy retractable leash with collar and proper identification is a most. You should never let your pet loose. The pet might run into traffic or get lost.
Whatever your destination always call ahead ato be sure your pet is welcome. Many hotels and motels do allow pets. Our Jack skidded across many hotel lobbies. Relatives and friends should also be consulted as they may not want to accommodate the furry member of your family. If there is any hesitation you might offer to provide a portable pet house or special crate. So, a word to the wise, be courteous and ask first if you want another invite.
Jack and Lonnie are no longer with us. Today we travel with Pennyroyal ( a standard Poodle ). She greatly benefits from our travel experiences with our former pets. We take along her special mat for the back of our mini-van. She has a great portable water/food dish combo. We also have a portable sun shelter just in case it's too sunny. Most of the time she travels with us like a Queen. On occasion she prefers to stay home with a qualified pet sitter to guard the house. She never fails to give us a very warm welcome on our return
Have a great trip!
Janet Schaeffer - wife of LeRoy Schaeffer - owners of www.anythingtravelrelated.com
About the Author
Janet is a nurse and mother of 3 boys and grandmother of 2. Her passions are: traveling, touring gardens, and raising orchids.
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