I have a confession to make. When we go away camping we choose to leave our dog home alone. Don’t worry – the decision to leave our dog fills me with guilt. Even more so if we stay at a place that is ‘dog friendly’. There are a few reasons however why we don’t take our dog with us on our weekend getaways…..
Our dog is big – 40 kilos of solid muscle and drool. We have a family of 4 and one ute to pack it all into. Logistically it’s physically impossible to ‘squeeze’ our dog into this equation unless we take along another car. It would probably make journeying with children a little more bearable – particularly if you choose the car that was kid-free, but still we like to keep things economical.
Our dog is big – part 2. How many people go on the road with big dogs? I still have yet to see people travelling comfortably and for any length of time with a large dog breed. I’ve come to the conclusion that small and medium breeds are the go if you choose to hit the road with dog in tow. Something the size of Scooter tends to be few and far between at all the caravan parks we visit.
Our dog is a deterrent. Knowing our dog is back at home on the property gives us some piece of mind. Not many people walk into our yard when they spot Scooter behind the fence even when we are at home. ‘Messages’ often get dropped into our mailbox when we’re out and about but few will open the gate when Scooter ‘stands’ up and greets them with his ‘doggy smile’.
We have awesome dog sitters. How many people are lucky enough to have someone that ‘visits’ and feeds their dog plus a separate person that comes just to exercise their dog. We have a lovely lady (aka the Dog Whisperer) that lives on the corner of our street and looks after most of the neighbourhood’s pets who comes to give him company and a feed each day. His other visitor tees up ‘doggy playdates’ with his mate’s dogs and gets Scooter running off-leash on a regular basis.
Home is where our dog feels most comfortable. We do take Scooter on daytrips but he is rarely as relaxed as when he is at home. Keeping him on-leash all the time whilst out and about is hard work and yet necessary as others don’t appreciate him gallivanting through their space. Little dogs, I’ve noticed, don’t have quite the same presence as a larger breed.
Each time we pack up the car I feel the guilt (particularly if he’s sulking nearby) but ultimately I know that he’s well looked after and much more relaxed (him as well as us) if we leave him settled at his home base.
What do you choose to do when you go away – dog sitter, kennels or does your dog come with you? What works best for you and your dog?