Sunday, September 8, 2013

What to do when you can not take your dogs on vacation with you.

The Lovely Shane and I at the Cruise Ship Port in Nassau
Copper really missed us!
The Lovely Shane and I just returned from a Cruise to the Bahamas. Those of you who are familiar with me know that I advocate taking your well behaved little guys with you if possible. In some cases, it is simply not possible. The cruise lines do not allow pet dogs (at least Carnival does not). Therefore, we could not take our little darlings with us.

The towel animal that the crew left in our room one
day really reminded us of Cody.... Could have been Copper but would
 have required a large beach towel :)
There were many options available to us for their care. Some of the options we considered were:
  • Leaving the pack at the Dog Training Shack (our home) and asking relatives to feed and walk them in addition to checking our mail, taking out the trash, etc.
  • Leaving the pack at the Dog Training Shack and hiring a pet sitter to feed and walk them.
  • Leaving the pack at a relative's house to be cared for over the week.
  • Leaving the pack at the home of a Pet Sitter for the week.
None of these options is particularly bad. We did not really want to impose upon our family for the length of time which we were going to be away. None of our family really had the space for our pack at their houses.Our house was too far away to be practical for them to care for our guys for a week in our home.

Notice that a kennel is not on the list. We just really did not want them to be caged in a strange place for the entire week. I will not hate you if you choose a kennel. There are some good ones out there. It was just not what we wanted to do. It was really important to us that they stay with someone that we know and that will take good care of them (some folks may call it spoiling them. We prefer to call it taking good care of them :)).

The beach at Little Stirrup Cay (Bahamas)
Another note of caution. This is not really dog related but more travel related. You may notice that I did not mention my trip at all on this blog before departure. I did not mention it on Facebook or any other public electronic venue either. This was intentional. Please be cautious about posting this sort of personal information on places that may be accessed by the general public. The Lovely Shane and I were both gone so, the house was a little vulnerable. Had I posted this information about our travel plans publicly, anyone with nefarious intentions could have broken into our house. Also anyone with something against me ( I hope there are not many of you :) ) would have know my general location and could have found me. Perhaps my past career in the Computer Security business makes slightly more paranoid that most of you. But please consider this advice the next time you are planning a trip.

We decided to use a Pet Sitter. It was a little outside our budget to have them stay at our home so, we took them to the Pet Sitter's home. This was a better option anyway. At the Pet Sitters home they got more attention than they would have if left alone at our place and they got to play with other people and dogs. This sort of situation is generally much less stressful on the dogs than a kennel would be.

The Lovely Shane and I with a new DJ friend.
We use and I  highly recommend Michelle Crampo at All Things Paws. You may remember my mentioning Michelle in another post about the Local Heroes of Dog Rescue. I adopted Copper from her. She does a lot of good work saving the lives of dogs through rescue.

Copper enjoyed being back at his old foster home for a week! The rest of our pack did incredibly well too.

When you leave your pack to go on vacation, it is not uncommon for them to behave a little differently when you return. Our little guys and girl have been much more clingy. This usually lasts for a day or two.

I still strongly encourage you to take the little guys and girls with you when you go if it is possible. However, I do realize that sometimes we do not have that option. When you need to leave them behind, I strongly suggest that you leave them with someone you can trust. If you are outside the Atlanta area, check with other people in the community and get recommendations from people that you trust. If you are leaving the dogs at the sitter's home, ask for a tour of the place and perhaps bring your dogs over first to let them sniff around the place before your trip.

If you are in the South Metro Atlanta Area, I certainly recommend Michelle. If you live elsewhere in North Georgia, please contact me and I will be glad to talk with you about other sitters in the area.

Till next time


William Moore
William Moore Canine Training

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