Friday, August 10, 2007

Travelin' Woes

I have been a dog owner for almost 10 years now, Kiaya will be 10 in November, and we've managed pretty good. But I'd have to say that one of my most challenging issues as a dog owner is traveling. As some of you know I live very far away from pretty much anything. I have immediate family back in Indiana and not so immediate family 6 hours south of here in Santa Cruz. Then there's the once in every two years big vacation that I try to take such as the trip to Yellowstone I just did. When I was younger and more carefree I had no problems having my roomates watch Kiaya for me while I was away. In more recent years Colin has been a blessing and has helped in the care of Kiaya when I've taken a trip or two back east. Well now one dog is two, with the second being an unruly puppy at times. Don't get me wrong it worked out great that Mark and Kim could watch Ash for me while I was Yellowstone, but the whole time I was missing him like mad and communicating with Kim almost on a daily basis. I kept thinking about the answer Carolyn gave me when I asked how she handled her dogs when she went for vacations. She said "they come with me." And I believe Kim said the same for her dogs. I want so badly to always have them with me, so bad that after Yellowstone I have been looking into sportsmobiles, but then how do I handle flying to Indiana for the holidays? I vowed to myself before I brought Ash home that I would get him used to being boarded in a kennel so that traveling could be easier for me and him. But I think I was fooling myself because now I just think about him being surrounded by barking dogs and getting very little human interaction and being all alone in a cold, dark kennel. Am I humanizing him too much? I've never boarded Kiaya because she is VERY sensitive and she would be severly depressed if I ever had to do that to her. But now my local friends are getting older and have their own families or careers to tend to and so I don't want to burden them. I guess I'm just curious to hear how some of deal with traveling and your dogs, especially those who have family far away. I have to get plane tickets for Indiana for the holidays, but then I realized that I would miss Ash's first Christmas- he's just as much family to me as my Indiana family. I'm torn as to what to do. (Sorry such a sad and serious blog:( )

5 comments:

Traci said...

my motto has been "take em with"... but when I can't, I am SO fortunate to have 2 different friends who can take care of my kids.... the other problem with kennels is that often times they won't take unaltered dogs... (our show dogs) or if they do, they're isolated off by themselves :( I know i'm of no help, but I take em when I can, or ask friends to puppy sit when I have to travel via plane.

C-Myste said...

Getting a babysitter is often the best idea. Barb & Cheri babysit for us sometimes, as does Louise and Juniper has too when we go somewhere all the dogs can't go to.

Sometimes we babysit too :-)

Jenn said...

I take mine with me when ever I can, and we've (when I was married) driven places we might have flown so that we can take the dogs (even Indiana!). When we just can't take them, we get a house/pet sitter.

I need orange said...

We have a dogsitter who comes and lives at the house. She goes about her normal day (just as we would go to work if we were here), but sleeps at our house and spends evenings here.

She has been helping us out in this way for about 12 years, we think, and makes it possible for us to go without TOOOOOO much guilt.

10 years ago, when Sophie was an only dog, when Cathy stayed with Sophie she took her everywhere.

Cathy walks dogs during the day, so Soph went walking. A classmate came up to me in an obedience class, and asked me if Sophie was walked by Cathy. I told her yes, and she said she knew Sophie, because Cathy walked their collie, and sometimes Sophie went along....

Sophie is, I'm told, in Cathy's sister's Christmas videos from that time................

I always figured Sophie was better off with Cathy than with us!

Not every sitter will take your dog everywhere with her, but if you can find someone like Cathy, it pretty much (not entirely) solves this dilemna.

Fox lady said...

Yes that does sound ideal to have an in home sitter as I did such jobs myself when I was younger. The only oddity about my situation is that Colin and I share the house with a roomate- whom happens to be a close friend of mine. We live in a rather large house so generally it works out, especially to have the added financial help. I would just have her watch the animals but as much as I love her I actually wouldn't be comfortable in knowing that my animals were taken care of. She has a late night schedule and is often hardly here. Once Col and I had her care for our chickens/ducks when we were away and she forgot to lock them up at night and 5 birds were killed.
And on the flip side I'm not too sure of how many pet-sitters would stay in a house where there is another person downstairs at night. But hopefully Colin and I will have our own place at one point and a house-sitter we shall find!