Monday, April 11, 2011

Travels with Doodle

We don't travel much. A large part of the reason is that with three cats and a dog, it's tough for us to be gone. At one time we had my parents, who could come down and house-sit for us when we felt the need to get away, but with their ongoing health concerns that option is no longer available to us.

We could kennel Darby if we had to, but everything we know about his constitution says that would not be a good experience for him, plus we'd still have to hire someone to care for the cats. They cannot be boarded because I refuse to vaccinate their aging selves, firmly believing that they have all of the immunity they need from previous vaccinations. Until I find someone who can be a good live-in for us, our travel schedule is mainly limited to going north to see my parents, which we did this weekend.

The Doodlebug is always welcome at "grandma and grandpa's house". His bone-shaped puppy bag causes whines of delight when he sees it being pulled from the closet, because he knows an adventure is coming. Once he's packed, we leash him up and hit the road.

"Finish getting the gas, Dad, so we can GO!"

Going somewhere with Darby almost guarantees fun. His excitement manifests itself in small whines of delight, while sneaking up behind us for quick kisses of appreciation. The Doodle is not a terribly "kissy" dog, saving his unbridled love for moments like these.

We stop at the exact same Starbucks every time we go, it being conveniently located at the halfway point and possessing a nice outdoor seating area where we can hang with Doodlebug while swilling some caffeine. He's come to know this break in the schedule and now acts like the patio dignitary, checking out fellow highway travelers who might drop something edible while passing by.

At my parent's house, he makes himself completely at home, cruising the yard from end-to-end before settling in for some treats and conversation. Seeing him so calm and well-mannered, so pleased to be in the middle of the conversation pit on the patio, makes my heart happy.

All too soon it's time to make the trip home again. The cats are surely plotting our demise for having them indoors and servant-less for so long, and the trip home will take the same three hours as did the venture north. Doodle, knowing this leg of the journey well and tired from all of the fun of the day, settles into the backseat quickly, quiet other than the occasional snort of discontent from a bump in the road jostling his rest.

Darby, like the day itself, was picture-perfect.


Tucker The Crestie said...

Sounds like us! We've found that a live-in petsitter is a wonderful thing for when we just can't go along. It makes Mom feel EVER so much better about going away! And no unnecessary vaccinations!

snoopy@snoopysdogblog said...

Hi Darby,

It's great that you got the folks to know you don't want to be boarded and the much better option is for you to tag along - very impressive!! I guess the cats need to learn from you and get themselves in the car! :)

Sounds like you had a fun weekend! :)

Your pal Snoopy :)

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

My that is no way to express your excitement! You need to bark insanely! Also, the Humans need to stop at the rest stop so you can catch up on the pee mail.

You can't let the Humans head home without an overnight stay! That is a must! It sounds to me like you came home the same day.

Tell those cats to get over it! Leave 'em with a clean litter and food dispenser and tell 'em to enjoy their holiday from you, the Doodle!

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

Bella and Ollie said...

We're lucky because Mom and Dad always find pet friendly accomodation when they go on vacation, we love travelling and discovering new places.

Gods Little People said...

I'm so pleased to have met someone like-minded. We used to have a great catty aunt (but now live countries apart) it makes it very difficult for us to travel. They're all so dependent on their little routines and I wouldn't have it any other way. I just love hearing when someone actually have a care for what their pet needs (I've seen my share of people not really caring).
Big hug!

Vicky said...

We did come home on the same day, mostly because the parents have two cats that Darby finds more fun than they do him :)

And trust me, hawk, any pup headed to the coffee shop after us can find the Doodle on bushes 3 and 5, just the way he likes it!

We have every intention of taking some overnighters, including Darby, once things settle down in a few other areas of our lives. For now, we'll just bask in the glow that our pup has become w first-rate travel dog.

Lori @ According to Gus said...

It's so great that Darby is so acclimated to your parent's house. That is one thing we will love if we decide to move back near family. We'd love Gus to look forward to his grandparents house. As it is now, he's always a wreck when we're there. Airplane travel is not high on Gus's favorite things to do list.

So glad he settled in and enjoyed the ride. Way to go, Darby!

Kristine said...

We don't travel very much either anymore for the same reasons. Unless we're going camping or to a place our dog is welcome, it's just not going to happen. Our neighbours will come by to check on the cat but I couldn't ask them to take our wacko dog. Not if I wanted to remain friends. :-P

I am glad you and Darby has such a lovely time!

hornblower said...

We haven't had a plane trip in years & the car trips are limited because I detest road trips :-)

The dogs are all good travellers. Though when excited Daisy starts up this dogawful malamute howling with joy thing which gets old fast. Darwin quietly whimpers and quivers in his crate from unrestrained excitement. Bear just wags his tail hard so there's a steady thud, thud, thud drumming for the duration.

I tend to just turn up the music :-)


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