Traveling with Fur Children

We have had our fair share of road trips this past year.

We also are not ones to leave the dogs behind. For the most part they are a packaged deal when we leave our house for an extended amount of time, unless they are staying with the grandparents or as was the case in Iowa we had friends and students watch them in our absence. (Man I miss those dog sitters!)

This does complicate things a little bit because we have to be able to problem solve what to do with them. Here are some questions to ask if you are traveling with dogs.

1. Can you have them where you are staying?

2. Do they need to be in a crate when you leave them alone?

3. How often can they be left alone, and how does this fit into your plans?

4. Do they need to meet a certain activity level each day, and is this attainable?

5. Does your dog have any special needs that may be impacted by travel?

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We do not kennel our dogs because we are afraid they (mainly Grace) will revert back to when we first got her with her separation anxiety. Some people swear by kennels and have found really great places to leave their dogs while they travel. This for us is just not a feasible option. You must know your dogs and figure out what is best for their personality.

We have found that even though we do not crate them at home, this is something we have to do while we are traveling. We don’t need anymore dog-shaming for these two. They get into quite a bit of trouble when they are not in their crates when we are out-of-towners. Although our last trip home, Grace did Houdini herself out of her kennel and for the first time ever there was no damage to the room she was in. Dare I say my little girl is maturing?

We also quickly learned that hotels are not Crosby friendly. Since we normal do not leave him in a crate, he barks anytime he hears a noise while in said crate. Unfortunately in a hotel, the noise never really stops. We had to leave a wedding early because the hotel kept calling to complain that our dog was barking. Whoops…

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So you need to know your dogs and figure out the best plan for your trip.

As a side note, if you do stay in a hotel, make sure you look at the hotels policy. Not all hotels are dog friendly or they have restrictions on size and number of pets. If they do allow pets, more than likely there will be a non-refundable pet deposit. You may have to pay this fee for each night AND for each dog separately, so make sure you put that in your budget. This can rack up fast if it is per night.

Our dogs are really good in the car, but I know that many dogs get sick on car rides. If your dog is one of those queasy ones, make sure you plan for stops and medication if needed.

We try to make the ride as comfortable as possible. We have a cargo carrier now that we put most of our luggage on so that the entire backseat is left to their leisure. We put tons of blankets down, although they usually end up all in one spot once they start playing around back there. We make sure they have a few toys so they can be distracted a bit. We also keep a small water bowl out for them as well. If our trip is longer than 5-6 hours, we will plan to have food for them as well.

They have their own luggage too. I pack their walking leashes as well as extendable leads for potty breaks. There are treats and toys a plenty in the bag as well. We also pack tons of carabiners to help secure the kennels. (Our dogs are escape artists…)

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You need to make sure you account for stops and what is the most convenient stop with a dog. If I am by myself, I try to stop at more rest stops because I can get in and out a lot faster and not leave the dogs in the car as long. It is much better when Tom and I are together, and we can take turns which makes the dogs less anxious about being left alone. We also try to get them out as often as possible to stretch their legs, but you also need to be mindful of cars and area of grass. I have stopped at some questionable places with a patch of grass that is the size of my kitchen table. You make it work, and then remember to never stop there again.

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We have been pretty fortunate to have such good travelers. We have had to make adjustments over time to find a perfect rhythm with them in cars and our destinations.

We wouldn’t have it any other way. They are a part of our family.

I mean seriously, why wouldn’t you want to take these faces with you every where you go?

dog collage

And of course you get some amusement by bringing the furbabies along, like sitting on your sister’s face.

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Do you travel with your pets? Any other words of wisdom when traveling with the furkids?


35 before 35 Update 6

Another month down! I am officially 29 now as well with celebrating my birthday this past weekend.

I am only going to comment on ones where I feel I have an update from now on.

So let’s see how I did in April.

1. Crochet something else besides blankets or scarves at least once a year

2. Do a photography challenge

3. Visit 5 cities I have never been to before (3/5)

4. Tour at least one of the distilleries in the KY/TN area

5. Send at least 5 snail mail a month

  • This is done, but postage is expensive folks!

6. Become a “professional” photographer

7. Run at least 10 races (any distance) (1/10)

8. Go camping with Tom

9. Pay for the car behind me in a drive through

10. See Tyrone Wells live as many times as possible

  • I went to his “Closer Than Ever” tour last week. It was AH-mazing.

11. Tour Fort Defiance here in Clarksville

12. Water ski with my dad

13. Do a 5K with my mom

14. Take a swing dance class with Tom

15. Read at least one fun book a month and one professional development book every three months

  • I did read a fun book this month, which I will post my review soon. I picked out a Nicholas Sparks book to get me out of my rut. (Some people don’t like Sparks, but he can always get me out of a bummer book time.) I am also working on a professional development book.

16. Take a pottery or stained glass class

17. Do one new recipe each month

18. See both a Clemson and UCM football game live

19. Find a place to volunteer on a regular basis

20. Go hiking

21. Ride in a hot air balloon

22. Go to at least 20 “new to me” restaurants. (11/20)

  • I went to the Rockbottom Brewery in Nashville. I think anything I would have eaten there would have tasted good because I as so hungry. We went there after the race expo, but there was a huge wait because of all the tourists. The pizza there is awesome. I also went to The Alley here in Clarksville, who makes a wicked burger. They are also really cheap so that is a double win in my book. After the half marathon, we went to Richard’s Cafe which is a small hole in the wall place outside of Nashville that has live music and awesome food.

23. Stay at a bed and breakfast

24. Spend a day without electronics (phone, t.v. and computer)

25. Have a Kentucky Derby themed 3oth birthday party.

26. Explore Nashville while we live here

  • I got a huge dosage of this when I did the half marathon since it went all over Nashville.

27. Watch at least 10 movies that I have not seen before that won Best Picture at the Oscars and at least 20 documentaries (not necessarily Oscar winning) Movies (0/10); Documentaries (4/20)

28. Sew an item of clothing from scratch

29. Do a personal devotional/bible study on my own

30. Be a mascot for an event

31. Go on our honeymoon (preferably somewhere tropical)

32. Host an annual NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship game party

33. Go on a mission trip

34. Be on a recreation volleyball team

35. Become a mom

  • I just celebrated my first Mother’s Day, even though it is odd since George isn’t here yet.


Talks with Tom #22

I feel like it has been awhile since I have shared Tom’s delightful conversations. So here are just a few nuggets for your Monday morning perusing.

Tom and I always are debating about traveling. We both go back and forth about vacations and trips home and our thoughts and feelings on the matter.

Tom-I hate traveling. There is only one trip I want to take.

Me-The island? (This is a place in the Missouri Ozarks that Tom used to go a lot as a kid.)

Tom-Well yea. And the trip is called the apocalypse. And we are never coming back.

Me-Tom, that is called moving.

Last week, a couple people actually noticed my little baby bump. Naturally, I came home really excited that I am not just arbitrarily not fitting in my pants. And this was my dear sweet husband’s response when I told him.

Tom-Pregnancy is the only time in a woman’s life that they are excited about being fat.

Thanks babe.

Tom was out in the field for most of last week for a pretty large brigade mission (I will be sharing about this next week.) He always comes home grimy and un-bathed from 3 days of wearing the same clothes in the wilderness. It’s like a big man camping trip.

Tom-Sometimes, while out in the field doing army stuff, you begin to feel like a tough guy. Nothing puts that in perspective like walking into a spider web.

Fun fact, I learned this about Tom on our second date at the zoo. I have to say it made me like him more knowing that he wasn’t all tough guy all the time. Also, it was pretty hilarious watching him freak out about a spider web.

My Tough Guy