Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vacations with Dogs

Some people may ask, "Why would you want to take your dog with you on a vacation?"

It's a fair question.  There are limitations to things you can do when/if you bring your dog with you on vacation, and there are logistical issues that you have to deal with.

First of all, not all hotels will let you bring your dog, especially your rather large dog (but often, any dog at all).  We have found three hotels (so far) that we really like because they welcome our dog, and they are actually quite nice.  One hotel we used to just stay over at overnight while we were taking our son back to college up north.  We remained loyal to this hotel during some major renovations, because they were so unfailingly friendly whenever we walked in the door with Scout.  And, we have a lot of fond memories of this hotel, one of the nicest being the time Scout escaped one wintry Easter after we had taken her outside for bathroom duties.  She ran around the hotel in circles several times before just running back inside through a door left open.

Second, you are not able to bring your dog into fine dining establishments with you.  I realize that some people will leave their dog in the car sometimes, but we are leery of doing that, since we once left Scout in the car briefly on a very cool spring evening, so that we could get a little bite to eat.  Someone came into the restaurant and said in a very loud voice, "Hey!  someone left their dog in the car!  I'm calling the police!"   So when we take Scout on vacation with us, we usually eat at places where they have outdoor dining, or get sandwiches, or eat in our room.

Third, if you are going to visit, for example, Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors, Minnesota,  they do not really want you to bring your dog with you.  Most retail establishments forbid dogs (with the exception of a few antique malls), so we either 1) don't shop, or go to Split Rock Lighthouse, or 2) take turns going in, or waiting outside with the dog.

So, if she's so much trouble, why take her along?

Of course, there are times when we don't, times when we expect we will be spending a lot of time on subways, or at museums, or in other places that we don't think Scout will enjoy.

But there are advantages some advantages to traveling with your dog.

For example, just looking in the back seat and seeing her there, with her head on my husband's guitar, with her eyes open or closed.  (I do get annoyed when she tries to sit between us in the front seat, because there's NOT ROOM.)

Or, let's say you are just minding your own business, taking your dog on a walk because you can't go into the toy store, and while you are walking you happen to run into three llamas!  How much more fun is it to run into llamas if you can see your dog's reaction to the llamas, and the llama's reaction to them!

Or, let's say you are visiting antique stores.  50% of antique stores we visit allow Scout to shop with us, and some of those establishments actually welcome her, and say nice things to her, and tell her how beautiful she is.   Some people even ask which antiques she is most interested in.

People of all ages want to talk to us because we have a dog.  Well, actually, they just want to pet our dog, or wonder what kind of dog she is.  They often ask about the ears.  And we are frequently mistaken for Fine, Upstanding Citizens simply because we have a friendly dog along with us.

It's kind of fun to be offered dog treats when you go through the drive through (though we eschewed the ice cream with a milk bone sticking out of it).

There's nothing like relaxing in your hotel room with your husband and dog at the end of a long day of hiking, sight-seeing, eating at picnic tables, and (possibly) meeting strange animals.  You should try it.



Fran said...

Oh Diane, the images presented here are wonderful... Especially that last one, relaxing in the room with your dog.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I sure see a lot of people with a dog in the car, but none of the dogs we have had would have been pleasant enough to have with us on even an afternoon outing. I have friends with nice enough or calm enough dogs, however.

Mary Beth said...

I adore having my dogs on vacay with me. When we are away we often wonder to each other "what the dogs are doing right now."

Besotted, we are.

Diane said...

Mary Beth -- me, too. can you tell?