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Travels with or without your dog.

Updated on July 25, 2012
Nell - enjoying comfort
Nell - enjoying comfort
Nell - thinking!
Nell - thinking!

A dog dilemma

Dogs and travel are not necessarily a good mix. Leaving the family dogs behind when it’s time for a vacation can be traumatic. Don’t ask me how I know.

Throughout the years, immediately suitcases appeared, my dogs immediately descended into misery mode. You are going Walkies without them. They know.

You may recognize the following scenario, tails descend, heads droop, sorrowful eyes follow your every move. It is played to perfection and guaranteed to make you feel guilty. You will leave for your trip feeling ghastly.


Hound Dog – Found Dog

I thought my troubles in this respect were over after our last lovely dog passed away. I had a list of reasons why I would not have another dog. I was getting older. Travel was on the agenda. The family had moved on. Freedom – we could come and go without worry.

I also had the brilliant idea of becoming a foster mum. I would foster dogs from the animal shelter. I could have a dog around the place whenever I chose without actually owning a dog. This would be the extent of any future pooch love.

Unfortunately – well, make that fortunately, a certain hound had other ideas.

I picked up my first foster from GAP (greyhound adoption program) The fostering period was three weeks – three years later she’s still here, adored and in complete control of her owners and environment. What Nell wants Nell gets.

I am still amazed by the reaction when I sent the following email – In the Autumn of our years we hear once again the patter of tiny paws. Welcome to Nell.

Mass hysteria from friends who had known all along that I would succumb – ‘as if you’d be able to resist her,’ they said. Nell had me wrapped around her paw

If You Go Away

On occasions we have to be away from home. Leaving her fills me with trepidation, perhaps more for me than Nell. Luckily, it has been resolved. She stays with people who love and care about her. And Nell feels the same about them.

Still, it can be difficult when your owner reputation is at stake. I mean it. Dogs have memories and if they don’t care for the accommodation you choose watch out. Pay back time will come. No amount of juicy bones will make up for it.


There are many ways to lick our wounds and make amends. Here are a few suggestions straight from the dog’s mouth.

Nell tells it from the heart and stomach – what dogs want when owners are away.

Nell’s comments and advice below.

Staying with family members.

Choose the family who will cheerfully give in to all requests. Being related doesn’t mean they can boss us around and think they know best. Must appreciate our likes and dislikes. Otherwise we use our animal rights.

House sitters who take over your home and animals while the owners are away.

They must know the rules. Freedom in my own home is paramount. Couch to curl up on and on alternative days, the bed. It’s comforting for canines who have been so cruelly left to fret. No neglecting us – a house sitter must live up to the name and not stray. This means - at home all day to see to our needs.

A Home from Home service where the dog stays with other people in their home.

Same rules apply re couch and bed to snooze on. No cats or other dogs or pets of any kind allowed. We need all the attention- we’re paying for it. Humans must be aware of all home comforts, walks, food, fun and loyalty. If this fails we may resort to the Dog Rules manual. Bark, whine, scratch, growl, show off teeth and alert Dr Phil.

Boarding kennels.

So much competition here, personally, I like a place with all mod cons. Heated beds (cool season) or air con, (summer) swimming pool, food on demand, day long attention, grooming and massage. And no barking from other residents when I’m having my beauty sleep. I expect my Do not Disturb sign to be adhered to.

Taking the Dog on Holiday with you

Now you’re talking. From the dog perspective this is number one option. Car, Winnebago any type of mobile home. Sea, sand and sunshine - here we come.

Final Check

So now we know! Whatever the decision make sure all vaccinations are up to date – OUCH! Supply Care Sheets noting name of vet, medicinal needs, allergies or food requirements. Do not expect to be forgiven if you forget to pack - favourite toys, blankets, treats.

For the dog who has everything I note Cunard Lines have kennels for dogs on the Transatlantic crossings. I’m not telling Nell. I imagine she’d feel quite at home on the Queen Mary 2 – wearing a jewel studded collar. With one broke owner in tow. Grrrrrrrrrr.

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    • travmaj profile imageAUTHOR

      travmaj 

      6 years ago from australia

      thank you so much for dropping by Christine - yes, I consider myself lucky that I somehow, became a dog owner again. (thought the last one was irreplaceable) Your dog sounds so cute - and what a welcome home! That's the best bit. We often alternate when we travel so someone is with her - or when she stays with friends I pack her bags - with everything she likes! Guess I'm just a doggy person and unlikely to be cured. Best wishes -

    • Christine Miranda profile image

      Christine Miranda 

      6 years ago from My office.

      So true! I just came back from a 10 day trip with my children. Unfortunately my husband couldn't get the time off so he was home with the dog. It didn't matter though, our dog moped on the couch for about a week before he finally got up and started following my husband around. My husband would send me pictures of him (the dog) looking depressed.

      My husband videotaped him to see his reaction when we finally came home. I thought he was going to stroke out he was so excited.

    • travmaj profile imageAUTHOR

      travmaj 

      6 years ago from australia

      sorry missed this post. really made me smile - cheers and best crissytsu

    • travmaj profile imageAUTHOR

      travmaj 

      6 years ago from australia

      Agree! I was sure my 'dog days' were over. Hah - I'm so glad I was chosen.

    • haopee profile image

      haopee 

      6 years ago

      @crissytsu, yep. You can't leave them for too long unless they're with someone who they're also familiar with like a husband, boyfriend or a partner of ours.

      @Travmaj: Sometimes people say that our dogs are lucky we found them, when in actuality, we are the lucky ones to have been chosen.

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 

      6 years ago from Texas

      my two week long transatlantic cruise nearly killed both of us LOL thanks travmaj.

    • travmaj profile imageAUTHOR

      travmaj 

      6 years ago from australia

      It's so difficult isn't it - even when we know how well our dogs are being cared for. I guess the dogs really own us - best wishes crissytsu -

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Sounds like my dog...with the head hanging, tail drooping and moping everytime she sees a suitcase. @haopee--my mom says my dog does that every time i go on vacation still...sometimes my mom calls to tell me I need to wrap it up and come home because she's missing me too bad. She's a Weimaraner and apparently they have pretty bad separation anxiety issues to begin with.

    • travmaj profile imageAUTHOR

      travmaj 

      6 years ago from australia

      Hey thanks. Just fun really. Nell is seriously into comfort, love and food. Awwwwww Peanuts - but worth the wait. Cheers -

    • travmaj profile imageAUTHOR

      travmaj 

      6 years ago from australia

      Hey thanks. Just fun really - but Nell is seriously into comfort, love and food! She's gorgeous. Awww Peanuts -the wait was worth it!

    • haopee profile image

      haopee 

      6 years ago

      Wow, Nell. Your mom has seriously given into your every whims. But no worries, I can totally relate.

      The first time I left my dog Peanuts to visit my sister for a week, my mom told me that she slept all day and stared through the window, waiting for me... and waiting... and waiting.

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