There’s a reason our family frequently heads to San Diego’s dog beach. It’s because two of our family members happen to have four paws, and traveling with the dogs is the ultimate vacation. But no matter how spectacular it is to travel with the dogs, there are trips where they just can’t tag along.
Like on extended flights to Florida. Medium flights to Michigan. Or that trip to New York you’ve been planning in the back of your head for the past nine years or so.
Dogs on the plane aren’t going to work in all cases, and tragedies can happen even when dogs are allowed on board. Road-tripping more than 1,000 miles can leave you spending more time on the road than at your destination. We dog moms have to face it – there will come a time when we simply have to leave our hounds at home.
Yes, it’s brutal. Yes, it’s heartbreaking. But no, you don’t have to let missing your four-legged kids consume or ruin your whole trip. During my travels without my pooches I’ve picked up a few tricks for enjoying myself immensely, sans guilt, even without my dogs in tow.
Make Sure They’re in Good Hands
If your dogs are safe at home with your significant other, you have this first base covered automatically. Otherwise, look into a trusted pet sitter that can come to your home to keep your dogs in a familiar environment.
Dogs that may be too apt to chew that environment without mama around may do better at a pet boarding place. Pick one that has solid reviews, room to ramble, and the word “resort” in its name. You want a place where your dog can hang out with other pooches and have fun, not stand jammed in a crate on a shelf somewhere.
Knowing your dogs are safe takes away the worry that could otherwise invade your mind as deeply as missing them.
Keep Photos Close
With all the pix stored on your smartphone, tablet, laptop and Facebook feed, you’re likely to have zillions of photos of your darling dogs. This gives you ample opportunity to gaze lovingly at them throughout your trip. Just don’t gaze and weep. Gaze and smile, thinking about the sheer glee you’ll feel when you’re all once again reunited.
Plan a Rollicking Reunion
Dog park, anyone? Plan a perky homecoming activity where you and your dogs can celebrate your grand reunion. Of course, this activity comes after the initial homecoming ritual which involves being knocked flat on your back in the middle of the kitchen floor with your face licked and glasses ripped excitedly off your face.
Snag a Few Souvenirs
No matter where you travel, you’re sure to run across a few dog toys, treats, bones, or other goodies you can bring home for the pooches. Snagging souvenirs for your happy hounds can make them even happier. Besides, if your dogs are like mine, they won’t let you back in the house without them.
With all the dog photo-gazing, souvenir-shopping and other adventures during your trip, you’ll be back home with your pooches before you know it. And yes, they’ll remember who you are. So get rid of that thought, pronto, even before you board the plane.
Want some dog-happy reading for your next trip? Go for the Rynski Doggie Dictionary.