My family and I love the outdoors. On school holidays there’s nothing more exciting than packing up the car and taking off to explore our natural environment. There’s only one small hurdle for me (after the packing of course) – leaving my dog Scooter behind. After our last holiday together however, which involved bringing the dog, I might be able to overcome the agony of separation………
Here are 6 Reasons why I’m not in a hurry to take my dog Scooter camping again….
- Large Dogs are hard to squeeze in. It took a few attempts before I could work out logistically how to fit Scooter in. Camping with a couple of kids seems to require a lot of gear. Finding room for our dog meant the tent, tarpaulin and tarp poles had to be left behind (ie. the critical stuff) and a ‘dog-friendly’ cabin needed to be found.
- Large Dog Breeds aren’t always welcome. Finding accommodation that was OK for a larger breed dog can be a hurdle. Many places are happy to accommodate the smaller, lapdog variety but something the size of Scooter is not always welcomed with open arms. Bringing our dog along limited our choices somewhat.
- Bringing a dog along can mean less relaxation time. Scooter always requires a good active run every day to keep his natural energy at a comfortable level. Keeping Scooter tied up at all times meant ensuring he had plenty of smaller walks and ‘wee’ breaks throughout the day in addition to his bigger runs. Between exploring our new environment, keeping up with the kids and working Scooter there wasn’t much downtime.
- Your dog is no longer in their comfort zone. Scooter was in some sort of ‘Roo Heaven’ on our trip into the Outback. All his senses were charged. New smells and new sights meant he was often trembling with excitement and he found it very difficult to just relax and chill. Keeping him calm and content took effort.
- Dog walks and cycle-runs may not be overly enjoyable. Cycling with a dog attached to the bike and kangaroos bouncing past either side of you can be a little hairy to say the least. It was a pure action packed ride every time I went out with Scooter and it took all my skill just to stay upright – especially over the new terrain. Walking Scooter on the leash around the campground was also hard work – there were plenty of distractions that he wanted to pursue, which required towing me behind of course.
- There is every chance of losing your dog. If I had fallen off the bike or had dropped the leash whilst out and about I have no doubt that Scooter would have taken off. Such was the power of the environment Scooter was in that all he wanted to do was run. His instincts were far overriding his desire to be with me. If my dog had had the opportunity to go I’m not sure he would’ve found his way back. Losing your dog in an unfamiliar place is not an overly relaxing thought.
I do realize that this is a first for us. We’ve never taken Scooter away from his normal stomping grounds for any length of time, so maybe I am just jumping to conclusions. Maybe by building up these opportunities and upping his training he and I might become more comfortable on big journeys together. I do know that when we returned Scooter crawled straight onto his bed and slept for 24 hours straight (potty breaks and meal times excluded). It does makes me think that perhaps leaving my dog behind is not a bad thing after all…..
Do you take your dog away with you on holidays? Do you have any suggestions that could make the experience easier?
This post is also part of the Fit Dog Friday Blog hop.