By Lisa Mason
Traveling with your dog is different from traveling with cats. If you have an upcoming trip and you want to take your dog along for the ride, there are a few things you should know first and that you should prepare for. Let’s explore this topic for a bit to help you prepare.
Should You Bring Him or Leave Him?
One of the first questions to ask yourself when traveling with your dog is if you should even bring him along or not. To find your answer, consider where you are going and for how long, what method of travel you will take, if your dog has traveled before and if he likes traveling.
If you consider leaving him instead, how will he be cared for in your absence? Do you have a dog sitter you can trust or will you be using a kennel service? Have you researched the kennel and the conditions your dog will be in?
If you plan on taking your dog, will your destination be dog friendly? If your dog has traveled before, how did he react? Are you prepared to handle any behavior issues that may arise while traveling to unfamiliar territory with your dog?
Driving with Your Dog
If you and your dog both like traveling by car, a road trip can be an excellent way to spend time together. Try to plan your route ahead of time with dog-friendly stops along the way (hotels that allow pets, dog parks, dog-friendly rest stops, etc.) and be sure to pack the car with your dog’s safety and comfort in mind as well.
By Ara Gureghian
The floor was hard this morning as Spirit romped around, his usual self being the Daily Clown. That is what Pits do. It’s vibrations through my own steps I felt, and no, it was not “parquet,” it was frozen dirt from this ongoing winter. Crunch… crunch. Frozen mud. Unfamiliar spaces for me, it takes me at least 24 hours to get the lay of the land, this mental “I am here” feeling while the tent is pitched near a fire ring. It takes Spirit seemingly only a few minutes to be “at Home.” He lives in the moment, definitely more accomplished than myself.
We have been on the road full time camping for a bit over 6 years now. Time has flown by, and every day is more exciting than the previous one. Our Home has become more mental than anything else. Of course Spirit has his familiar spaces where he feels more comfy than others, such as in his sidecar and his spot in the tent. That is it.
Hard to explain. Home is our togetherness. 365/24/7. Not a moment less. It is the two of us making one. Words too well understood, eye glances saying it all, imperceptible gestures leading the ways to our own dance through this Life of ours together.
There is no beginning and no end in his mind, and what a wonderful way to live as I have taken many lessons from him. Some laugh at that notion. We are after all humans, they are animals. How can that be? It is. Spirit is as I call him also my Pawsome Human and I don’t “own him.” We cohabitate. There is never a complaint toward the lack of walls, a fence maybe, a gate, a room dark at night where the stars would not glow. We are in the Wild at most moments but far from being wild. I have never trained him as my previous two Buddies in my Lifetime while I am approaching myself 65. It is more of a “mutual understanding” so much based on Love and respect, and much natural communication.
By Suzanne Alicie
Summer is fast approaching. We all like to take family vacations, but when it comes to our furry friends the choices may seem limited. If you feel that a family vacation should include your canine family as well, you’re likely searching for dog friendly vacation spots. Luckily, there are plenty of these to choose from, and they make great vacations for the entire family! While you could board your dog or skip vacation because it seems like a hassle to plan a vacay with your dog, once you check out the possibilities you’ll see that it’s not so difficult to find dog friendly vacation activities. Yes, there is some preparation and specific packing to do… but wouldn’t you rather have your dog on vacation with you? For some of us it’s not a question; it’s not a family vacation without the whole family – dogs included!
The Great Outdoors
If your dog is happy on a leash, there are many state and national parks across the country that allow and even welcome dogs. You can go hiking, swimming, kayaking and more with your four legged family member. Camping eliminates the need to worry about finding a pet friendly hotel too! Note: Some parks have pet limits, so be sure to check the rules before you plan your vacation.
Festivals and Events
You may be surprised at just how many dog friendly events and festivals are held across the country. From the Bark in the Park events to the Dog Bowl and pet expos, you’ll find many instances where dogs and humans alike can gather and have a great time! Check online and in the cities you’d like to visit to find out when dog friendly festivals and events will be held so that you can plan your vacation to include them. These events are lots of fun, and you might even snag some goodies for your pooch, like CANIDAE TidNips treats!
A few months ago, Linda Cole wrote a great article about Ara Gureghian and his dog Spirit, who have been touring the U.S. together (by motorcycle!) for five years. Ara & Spirit’s inspiring story captured our attention, and I’m happy to report they’re now part of the CANIDAE Special Achievers sponsorship program. We asked Ara to write a guest post for us about their travels, and he graciously agreed.
What if the video camera had been rolling 24/7 for these past 5 years full time on the road camping with my buddy Spirit? How about if he would do the commentaries? Goggles and helmet on, sitting in his own sidecar, nice four season tent with four motel nights a month, his CANIDAE dog food twice a day for better health than I could wish even for myself, some serious clowning and loving, and teaching me. Yes, Spirit has taught me the true values and priorities of Life. I have not heard a single complaint. He has not stopped glancing at me every 10 seconds while we ride, has not quit wagging his tail – what more can I ask or deserve from such a companion?
It is a funny thing the unfortunate dog-less are missing out throughout this Life of ours, which all too often is thought of as a rehearsal…but trust me, it is not. One Life to live and what better path than with such a mate when on these present occasions we are of each other’s help. I have had the tragedy of losing my only child, my son Lance, just over 7 years ago. Spirit himself had the misfortune of being badly abused for his first year, and while walking through the shelter, when our eyes crossed 3 days before his due send off to the other side, it was a mutual understanding within that split second look, the one imploring to save the other.
By Suzanne Alicie
The warm weather of summer often has us humans making vacation plans and heading out of town. For those of us who want our canine pals to have a summer vacation with the rest of the family, we have some choices and preparations to make to ensure that it’ll be a safe and fun trip for everyone.
Taking your dog with you on a long road trip can be enjoyable or traumatic, depending upon the dog. For dogs who like to ride and don’t get carsick, it’s a fun thing to go on a road trip. For dogs who don’t like to ride or get carsick, it can be a miserable experience for everyone involved. Be sure to take along a bowl for food and water, a fresh bottle of water and some dry dog food. Also pack paper towels and check with your vet for an anti-nausea remedy. Don’t forget the leash for rest stops and a comfy place for Fido to curl up when he’s tired of looking out the window. Read “What to Pack for a Road Trip with Your Dog” for more tips.
Nearly all places that offer vacation rentals have at least a few properties that are dog friendly. You may have to pay an extra deposit and ensure that your dog has a crate for when you have to leave him at the strange house all alone if you and the family go out. Be sure to bring along his favorite CANIDAE treats to reward him for being such a good dog, and his favorite blankie or bed so that he feels safe and comfy in the vacation home.
By Linda Cole
We never know from where or when a friend will come. And sometimes that friend has four legs and needs a friend of his own. Seven years ago, Ara Gureghian lost his 26 year old son, his only child, to cancer. And that crossroad is where a grieving father and a broken down dog named Spirit found each other. Spirit was as much in need of a friend as Ara was. Together, they began a journey of healing and discovery.
When life throws challenges at us, we deal with them in our own ways. For many of us, our pets play a role in helping us get through an emotional or tough period in our lives. Their unconditional love is always constant, and we know our pets won’t judge us unfairly. In our time of need, a pet can be the most stable thing in our lives. Ara didn’t have a pet until a year after his son’s death. He was down to his last $1,000 after spending his life savings trying to heal his son, Lance. We know we have to move on after a devastating loss, but it’s not always easy. For Ara, dealing with his loss set him on a path to try to make sense of things and rediscover what was important to him.
Ara’s chosen profession is as a Gourmet Chef, and after graduating from a culinary school in Switzerland, he immigrated to America to follow his passion for food, cooking and adventure. Life was good until his son died. To heal his broken heart, Ara knew the best way for him to make sense of what had happened was on the open road, so he began to prepare to hit the road with his best friend, Spirit, at his side.