Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Traveling With A Dog

I had been planning for well over a year to chuck it all and travel abroad once Lillie had passed on.  I saved a multitude of links to help me travel almost for free (they are posted on my Dreamlife Destinations page).  Of course, those travel plans were for traveling solo!  I've found that, 1) road tripping isn't free (duh!) because you need gasoline to actually get from place to place, new tires, oil changes, etc. and, 2) traveling with a pet is extremely limiting!

Tucked In on a Cold Night
I have links for free campsites, couchsurfing, house sitting, etc.  All wonderful, realistic options for not spending money for accommodations.  However, with a pet along for the ride, I've found that home owners' pets may not want another dog in the house and my dog can't house sit where there is a cat.  Couchsurfing hosts aren't as willing to accept a dog in their homes and, as for free campsites, they tend to lean more towards RV's so are in parking lots...not exactly somewhere I'd want to pitch my tent (especially in the heat of summer)!  The ones not in parking lots tend to be full or are remote which, with a deaf dog, don't leave me feeling very safe....nor do I feel that Lillie is safe.  Of course, the packed out Jeep is always an option!

I love to hike but back country camping (where all of the good hiking and scenery is!) in National, Forestry, and State Parks is not an option when you have a dog with you.  Of course, if you have an old dog with arthritis with you, hiking is more like ambling...or even crawling.  Bless her heart, Lillie has pushed through her comfort zone in this area!

"I asked for Red!"
 In the heat of summer, there is one thing a loving pet parent needs to be aware of.  That would be how seriously hot the ground, rocks, and pavement are on your dogs' paws!  I first realized this when I got Lillie out of the Jeep to enjoy Arizona's Painted Desert with me!  Poor baby was high stepping within the first minute and, once she found a patch of shade, refused to move!  I got the message and led her back to the Jeep where I left the motor running so she had air conditioning.  I quickly took my pictures and raced back before someone drove off with her and all of my belongings.  This has become the procedure when I find scenes and sites that I can't live without capturing!

Seeing the sites (indoor attractions, for the most part) are a problem too if you're not in a cooler climate as you have to leave your pet in the vehicle.  I'll stop to see how long it will take to tour the facility and if they offer kennels.  Many National Park attractions do have kennels available, either for free or for a fee.  Unless I just wander upon something, I tend to pull it up online to find if I should head there or not waste my time.  I also am big on wine tasting at vineyards.  The majority of them have actually allowed me to bring Lillie in with me.  All of the others had patios so I leashed Lillie to a table and brought my tasting outside.

That brings up eating out issues with a dog in tow!  Typically, you can find a restaurant with a patio that allows dogs.  The adventure here is weather! LOL  In New Mexico, we were thrilled to get off the road to stretch our legs in a cute little town.  I finally found an open patio area that had a table just waiting for us!  As soon as my order was placed and my drink was delivered, the skies opened up!  I ran to the car and retrieved my umbrella while Lillie crouched under the picnic table.  With my lunch plate in my lap, umbrella held in place by my knees, I ate.  For the misery Lillie endured, I fed her some tasty portions to keep her loving me!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Renee, there something I'd like to share with you since National Dog Week is coming up. Can you email me when you get a chance?