Earlier this summer I traveled more than 3,300 miles in the car with my shih tzu, Jeremiah. We packed a lot of activity into a 10-day excursion, including visiting people I’d not seen in four decades. Despite his start at a puppy mill, Jeremiah is an exceptional traveler! We’ve never put on as many miles on a companion vacation like this, so I wasn’t sure how he would handle the trip. Some dogs don’t do long-distance very well; others love the discovery and newness of such adventures – Jeremiah falls into that category, and I’m grateful.
During our vacation, we visited gravesites of ancestors I never knew as well as those of friends departed much too soon. We met with people I’d not seen since I left my home state of Iowa 41 years ago and those I’ve visited within the past decade. We drove past old homesites, visited camping and picnicking areas I experienced as a child, and met up with people I worked with more than 20 years ago. We spent time at national wildlife refuges and state parks, encountering various wildlife species, and visited historical sites that I’ve wanted to see for years but never had opportunity. All the while, my little four-footed companion either slept soundly in the back seat of the car or spent some time near me in the passenger seat. We stopped for lunches, potty breaks, and walks. Jeremiah was a hit with people wherever he went, helping us to socialize with other travelers as well as with the friends from my past. Even one motel manager struck up several conversations as Jeremiah and I walked in and out of the building.
Pets Help Us Meet New People
Pets bring out the best in many people. They help us connect with one another. Who can resist the cute faces, the sloppy smiles, and the wagging tails or soft purring of such creatures? Whether you travel with a dog or a cat (I encountered one couple doing just that!), animals draw humans to one another – it’s one of their special gifts.
This summer, whether you do a long vacation or a short staycation, consider taking your dog or cat with you. Our animals miss us when we leave them and many, as related above, enjoy the adventure of travel. If your pet is one of those, highly consider taking him/her along. Yes, it’s a bit of work, but you might just make new human connections. And certainly, your adoring pet will enjoy spending that adventurous time with you!
Plan Your Pet-Friendly Vacation
Here are a few things to plan regarding pet travel in the car:
Jeremiah and I had a great time on our summer vacation, and I look forward to many more travels with my buddy!
Read another traveler’s thoughts on vacationing with her pet here:
For more travel tips for vacationing with your pet, visit these websites: