All posts under Dogs On Vacation

Down at the Beach

Taking a dog to the beach the first time is like rolling the dice.
The reaction you get depends on things you cannot predict.
The breed of the dog may be a huge clue to what your dog will think,
But there’s no guarantee that even the greatest water-loving breeds will dive in and not sink.
Some dogs will refuse to get in while others won’t need to think twice.

Dogs that’ve never been exposed to large bodies of water may be confused at first.
Once they realize what it is, you can expect one of three different reactions:
Joy and elation that means a burst of energy and full throttle running;
Nervous apprehension and tentative steps forward with caution and cunning;
Unabashed fear and loathing that means immediately moving away in reverse.

That initial reaction may change, but if it is one of the two extremes that probably won’t happen.
It is the dog that is unsure that will have an evolving reaction to being at the beach.
With any luck, it will be one of total elation and a mad dash to reach the water.
For so many dogs that’s the reaction, although occasionally you see the shallow water squatter.
You’ve seen them; they flop down, enjoying the water and biting at waves when they are overlapping.

You can see older dogs and puppies basking in the glory of the beach during long summer days.
A nice stroll of your own can make you feel better after a rough day just because of the dogs.
Whatever their reaction, it will take your mind off the things that bring you down.
It won’t take long until you find an unconscious smile, even if you’ve maintained a day-long frown.
Enjoying the beach can be so much easier with a dog, relaxing and smiling in the fading sun’s rays.

Read More »

Out for a Hike

Dogs know how to turn a hike into a completely different kind of adventure.
Their enthusiasm is contagious if for no other reason than because they’re so happy
But usually taking your canine out hiking means going somewhere new for you too.
This in itself can be excitement inducing, but sharing it with your pup just makes it better.
From the moment you arrive, you and your dog act so fully alive.
Pulling up to the place, your dog already knows exactly what to do.

There’s that moment of realization as the door is opens up
And your dog’s jumping out with a determination that’s unmatched.
Knowing that things are going to be interesting, your pup marks the trail.
Not that it will help you, but it makes the canine feel like you are off to the right start.
With a look of determination, your dog heads off in a direction,
Perhaps not the one you planned, but you go with it anyway because of that wagging tail.

Taking twists and turns, you take the paths that look best,
But your dog will likely make you stop to at least consider the rest.
Whatever direction you take, you will want to stay out on the trail for a while,
Perhaps hours will pass as you take as many twists and turns as you can find.
You may not be able to depend on your dog to get you back to the beginning,
But you can count on your pooch to make sure that you both have a great time.

Dogs can remind you that the whole point of an outing is to enjoy the time.
It’s not about distance or speed, or even necessarily escaping.
Hiking is about being outside and enjoying the ever-changing view,
Taking in the fresh air and getting exercise at the same time.
Making choices that change your path but that don’t cause lots of stress.
The trip and your dog remind you of what’s really important to do.

Read More »

Hitting the Road

There’s nothing like a dog or two to make road trips that much stranger.
Whether old or young, mellow or hyper, the canine sentiment on riding in cars is obvious,
Their wide eyes and grinning faces let you know that they are happy as can be
And opening the car door for them is the fastest way to see.
Dogs love to be taken on road trips, without a doubt
It’s one of the things that they love the most.
Even if road trips really aren’t your thing,
Taking a dog along helps take away most of the sting.
Having a pooch with you also forces you to take a few more breaks.
This may seem an inconvenience until you realize that you are on vacation.
You are meant to enjoy the time, from the start to the bitter-sweet end,
On your specific location, your vacation happiness should never depend.
The food tastes a bit better with a canine companion to show such exuberance
Because humans eat out of habit; while dogs usually eat for pleasure.
You appreciate the fact that the food takes very little time
And that in the end you have no dishes to clean with soap that smells like lime.
Every stop is an adventure, even if all you are doing is stopping for a light.
Your pup will take note and show immense curiosity.
It’s a reminder of a time when you were young and felt exactly the same.
There’s no reason to feel bored, and if you do, your dog will make you feel a bit of shame.
Take the time to notice all of the little things because they go by all too fast.
Before you know it you’ll be back to work wishing that the time hadn’t flown.
Follow your dog’s example and enjoy the entire trip as it occurs and
Let every little moment hit something so that within your emotions are constantly astir.

Read More »

Getting Situated with Excitement Underfoot

There are so many great things about bringing a dog on vacation, like having a companion who listens
Or, at the very least, gives you a look like the listener is all ears for what you have to say.
But when it comes to finally getting situated and settled into your vacation location
Your canine can prove to be a highly energetic (and potentially entertaining) barrier to finishing up.
From keeping the dog contained in the area so that you are not disturbed by a chase to bring the dog back
To the unabashed exuberance that tends to keep them moving around under your feet,
Dogs make reaching your vacation spot memorable, so before leaving make some important decisions.
First things first, you have to think about what will happen upon your arrival?
How will you keep the dog within bounds once you arrive?
Or will you try to take enough breaks to tire the pooch out enough to sleep?
Do you have a crate that will contain your pup so that there is nothing to worry about?
Or is your dog trained well enough that a simple command and a leash will be more than enough?
Is your luggage easy enough that you can have your dog stay put in the car for a few extra minutes?
Or will someone manage the dogs while everyone else brings all the stuff inside?
Second, there’s the food, how much and do you dare spoil your dog with people food?
You will need at least enough to keep your canine’s digestion somewhat constant,
Which means packing enough food for each day that you will be away,
But will you only feed the dog his dog food and the rest from restaurants where you stop?
Will you keep your dog on the regular diet knowing you will stare into hurt eyes the whole time?
Or will you be adventurous enough to risk the stomach troubles that come with drastic dietary shifts?
Though your dog loves the trip, nothing quite makes that tail wag like the food that you give.
Finally, how much of the trip will revolve around what you can do with your dog?
Is your dog there to help you unwind or is your dog there as one of the family, activities and all?
Older dogs will happy enough with the first part because they can’t get out and do what once they did.
As long as you take them out a few times a day, they will likely be happy just to be there with you.
However, younger dogs will require as much attention and thought on how best to schedule.
They will have energy in spades, at least as much as a child, and with that they will go wild.
Make sure to plan according to what your dog can do so that everyone is happy with the activities each day.

Read More »

A Jaunt in the City

As time goes by, more places are accepting dogs as part of their clientele.
If you plan ahead, you can easily bring your four-legged companions on vacation,
Even when your plan is to make a major city your final destination.
Believe it or not, a dog can have as much fun in a city as in the forest.
There are plenty of things to smell and a wealth of new things to see,
And most cities have plenty of parks where you and your dog can roam free.
Take the time to find a dog park (but make sure your dog is current on shots)
To give you an activity that will make your dog’s head spin with joy.
It will help reduce how much you have to haul because at dog parks, you won’t need a toy.
If your dog is more reclusive and not likely to enjoy what a dog park has to offer,
You can plan to spend time strolling and looking at other things you can’t see at home.
One thing cities are good for is the intensely interesting historic information wherever you roam.
If there are things you want to do where you can’t take your dog,
Find a doggie day care or spa where your dog can get pampered while you play,
It’s perhaps the best way to make it so your dog doesn’t mind being left to stay.
Of course, the part that most dogs will love about a city is the free food on the ground.
No matter where you go, there’s food everywhere, pure bliss that it is all around.
At night your pup will go to bed with a very satisfied sound.

Read More »

On the Lake

Smaller bodies of water may not have the same feel as the ocean
But for some dogs that is a perfectly acceptable notion.
The closeness of everything makes them feel more at ease,
Allowing you to do nearly everything you please.
If large bodies of water prove to be a bit too much
Perhaps a lake, pond, river, or other small body as such
Will give your dog the peace and a greater spirit of freedom
Turning a day outdoors into your dog’s own miniature kingdom.
This is when you find out if your best friend is able to get out in a boat,
Helping you scan the water, whether with a dry or wet coat,
It is all perfectly fine because you will all get wet by the end.
Knowing that going in you won’t have to from constantly shaking-fur defend.
Or you can try paddle boarding with your dog at the helm.
It makes for a very interesting time as you hope the motion doesn’t overwhelm.
If your dog decides to jump, it will throw off your game
But that a doggie’s nature, you really can’t lay any blame.
Then there’s swimming, which can be about the best.
Taking in the lake on your own steam with a dog is an interesting test.
Odds are good you will tire long before your dog is ready to quit.
So take a few moments to enjoy and on the side just to sit.
Your dog will be happy no matter what your choice,
As long as they are along for the trip, that’s pretty much their loudest voice.
Being with the pack is what life is all about
So having your dog at the lake will make interesting memories, no doubt.

Read More »

A Canine Camping Trip

Taking a dog on a camping trip can cause a lot of fuss.
Out in nature you’re on their turf, no ifs, ands, or buts.
The sights and smells they will learn so well
In nearly no time at all.
Out of doors, your dog may find a whole lot to loudly discuss.

Even quiet dogs can find their voice
When a full night they spend out in nature.
Though there are some who feel ill at ease,
Most are more than pleased.
That’s why when you camp, your dog will rejoice.

They learn so fast what it means when the tent appears.
Then they know they are going to have some fun,
Whether on the road or at the site,
Dogs always find something to enjoy.
The thought of camping always overshadows any other fears.

But at night when the world is dark
And those bumps in the night sound more ominous,
Your dog can be a comfort or a pain.
One woof from your dog and sleep is done,
Until you hear the coo of a dove or tweet of a lark.

Read More »

To the Hotel

Dogs and hotels make for a very interesting time, no matter what the location.
There’s so much that can surprise them in a hotel when on vacation.
The sliding doors can cause quite a shock when you first arrive.
Simply making it through in a single piece will make your dog feel so much more alive.
Then as you head to the front desk to check in for your stay,
Your canine companion is going to be so distracted it’s nearly impossible to obey.
From people coming up to give your sweet pooch a pat on the head
To the plants, sights, and smells, it’s a completely different kind of canine watershed.
It’s nearly too much to take in, potentially leaving your pup in a state of confusion,
For those of a nervous temperament, you have to make sure they feel a sense of inclusion.
Once you have the key and are heading to your place for the night,
It’s time for your dog to learn something new, although be prepared for it to be a fright.
Elevators aren’t something that occur naturally in nature, not at all.
The sliding door and shifting floor can scare your dog into thinking it’s a strange fall.
Just give your dog reassurance that everything will be alright,
Pleasant words uttered in a disarming voice will of the situation make light.
The look of joy at seeing the room is something to behold.
The shear elation is something that will never grow old.
Though the sound of the key may cause your pup to feel a little unsettled,
It is likely to be the last annoyance, the final thing that your dog will nettle.
The only real challenge after that is making sure the dog remains quiet in the room.
All in all, it can be quite the fun endeavor, from arrival to departure, like a vacation playroom.

Read More »

Unwinding in the Evening

Having a canine companion nearly always helps take the edge off,
And that includes the stresses that are unique to going on vacation.
Though it is fun and a lot of entertainment can be had,
At day’s end, you need a chance to relax and unwind.
In this department, dogs excel with their stress relieving domestication.

They know that all of the day’s fun is over and done
As the dark sets in following the setting of the sun.
It’s something people take longer to realize,
Trying to pack too much into the time so they fail to relax.
A dog can remind you that this is itself quite dumb.

The point of a trip is to make memories and enjoy your free time,
But it’s also about relaxing, which you can’t do if you keep to a clock.
Take a couple evenings off to sit back and to really pay attention.
It’s one of the best ways to really appreciate each and every day,
Whether staying in and kicking back or taking your pup for a stroll on the boardwalk.

Dogs seem to understand how best to do vacation, a lesson we could learn.
They are excited and exuberant about everything that you try,
But they also see the value in lying down to take a break.
Their lack of understanding of time is a neat little trick,
One that can help the family to really enjoy and unify.

So when you take your dog on a vacation, whether alone or with others,
Start to take cues from how your pup reacts to the different points of the day.
That includes realizing that it is time to stop and take a nap.
There’s only so much you can do with the time that you’re given,
Make the most of it, finding time to ignore clocks as in a single place you stay.

Read More »

Returning to the Norm

One of the worst and yet most welcome parts of vacation
Comes at the bitter-sweet end.
As you return to your home and everything you’ve ignored for days
Or if you are lucky, you’ve been able to put off for weeks.
The time comes all too fast and it tends to be an unpleasant shock
As you try to return to the old routine.

This is the time when on your dog’s personality you should lean.
Dogs have no trouble adapting back to what they have known.
It’s ingrained in their systems, the familiar and the home.
That does not mean that they don’t love vacation,
Because you know they enjoyed it at least as much as you.
It means they appreciate when they know what comes next.

Of course they don’t have to work, something that may make you feel vexed,
But that’s ok because they have to spend your work time alone,
Moping around the house without their person for attention.
There are no treats or walks while you are gone for the day,
So don’t believe that the routine is entirely something that they love.
It is just that they are accepting of the hand that they are dealt.

As long as they have you through it all, normal is ok, that’s how your dog has felt.
There are worse things than seeing a vacation at an end.
Your pooch can help you through the shock to your system,
The return to early waking and the requirements of work life.
At least at the day’s end, your dog is there to welcome you home,
Happy to be there for you and very much glad no longer to be alone.

Read More »