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Friday, May 17, 2013

Road Tripping with Your Dog

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
All Thing Dog Blog
Heading North Meant Packing a Sweater and Using It

I've been on the road with Oliver for a week now and we have had some pleasurable  adventures. I've learned a few things about traveling alone with a dog that I'd love to share. Oliver and I are bonding like never before, and this trip has been great for both of us to clear our heads. Feel free to add to our thoughts on how a getaway with your dog can be reinvigorating.

Without human conversation or the needs of others to worry about, I am free to focus on Oliver and the things that each of us need. That has had some surprising benefits. We are each looking to the other for cues on what is needed or wanted, and communication has been very clear. Our normally rigid schedule of photo shoots, mealtime, walks and such have gone completely out the window as we've accommodated our new surroundings and environments each day by having a few fun side trips.

With a friendly, well-behaved dog in tow, I am free to stop as often as I need to take a walk and allow Oliver to do his PR thing. He enjoys rest stops, shopping centers, fast food drive thrus and just about any other stop I choose to make. Oddly enough, he also seems to enjoy the cruising time when he acts as my co-pilot, crated just behind me so I can see him to keep tabs on him. He passes the time alternatively sleeping and watching the road ahead, while apparently enjoying the audio book I'm listening to as we travel. No trouble making yet :)

Oliver never fails to make a new friend. The hotels we have booked have been pet-friendly, and Oliver has proven their decision to be a good one. This afternoon we enjoyed a leisurely walk around the grounds of our small hotel, where grass was plentiful and the weather divine. When we discovered the pool was still covered for Winter, Oliver looked up at me with a pouty expression that said, "Tanner would be so disappointed." 

"You're right, Oliver. I guess it's a good thing you're my tagalong for this conference."

We've broken out of our routine, changed up our habits and had a chance to discover new possibilities in how we spend time together. Walking up to a drive thru was a new adventure that many big cities would poo-poo. But in rural South Carolina there was not a concern at all, and I was able to grab a quick snack while we walked the area around our hotel. Al Fresco dining has not yet appeared in that small town, so I made the best of it by ordering a relatively healthy choice and eating it at our hotel. No worries.
All Things Dog Blog
Tanner and Jacque are Safe at Home

Oliver's dinner was ready in a jiffy, as we packed his Natural Balance organic formula before we left. I shared some of Oliver's favorite--ice cubes--with him, and he chowed down on his dinner right along with me. 

New places and spaces have resulted in a tired Oliver. There's nothing to wear out a dog more than the excitement of NEW. If you have not traveled with your dog, give him a chance to visit a nearby town or a new dog park from time to time. You'll be amazed at how well he will sleep. After a walk through town and a full belly, he's now snoozing away, no doubt dreaming about tomorrow's adventures.

I've discovered that some of the most mundane parts of travel have peaked Oliver's interest, so I'm learning to include him in virtually everything. Things like filling the ice bucket, unpacking the car, and even check-in itself, were all quite exciting for little Oliver. But the most interesting of all was when I moved his bed. Any time I touch his most special possession, he's very focused on what I'm doing. 

After placing his bed where I thought it would please him, he showed me that he has a
mind of his own. Grabbing it with his tiny mouth, he put all 9 lbs. into moving it a few inches. He gave me a very serious glance as if to say, "It's just right now."

Have you taken a road trip with your dog, even if only to visit a friend in the next town for the day? This experience will no doubt give your dog some new reasons to love jumping into the car. Let me hear from you; what are your pup's favorite outings?

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Join us each week for the Weekly Wag bonding series, held during the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop. The hop is hosted by Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume. You are welcome to link up here, or check any of their sites for their rules of participation. Happy hopping! 


Jane said...

I'm a new pet Mom. We have a 7 month old Yorkie. I'm looking forward to bringing him on our trips to the New England coast this summer.

What a great bonding experience you had!

dog friendly cottage said...

Sounds like Oliver is the perfect companion for a road trip. Wishing you lots of fun adventures together!

Sharon said...

My babies Mercury and Venus like to get new collars before a road trip. We get them from The latest ones we got with my phone number on them so if they got lost (which never happens)....I like peace of mind.

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