When you’re a dog, life is pretty good. You get up, eat, run around, eat some more, play, go to sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. There are no job responsibilities, no mortgages, no bills to pay. Life is at is most simple and best when it is the same, day in and day out.
So when dog owners go on vacation, they find themselves stumped at how to top perfection. For all its pretty packaging, high end “dog resorts” are usually some variation of the same formula: staying in a kennel with twice a day feeding and walks. Compared to the comforting daily routines, this may seem less like a great getaway and more like punishment to your average dog.
And don’t even get me started on cats: I can’t count how many cats in boarding facilities stop eating and drinking to the point of clinical dehydration and constipation. I always recommend vacationing cat owners try and find someone to take care of their cat in their own home whenever possible.
When it comes to the dogs, it depends on the pet. Brody is pretty easy. He could be boarded without problems. Remember Nuke, my radiology dog who lived in a kennel for 10 years? Fuggedaboutit. He couldn’t care less. Koa, on the other hand? She would probably bark herself hoarse in the first hour. I’ve seen dogs with separation anxiety wear their nails past the quick to the bone in kennel situations.
We planned a short trip to the Magic Kingdom with the kiddos for a few days this week and found ourselves asking the same questions as to what to do with the pets. My new neighbor, kind and neighborly as she is, volunteered to feed Apollo (which is all he needs. Affection from strangers is low on his list of needs.)
I was debating what to do with the dogs- Koa in particular. And although I would never impose upon them unsolicited, I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when Grandma and Grandpa offered to open up Grandma’s Resort for Wayward Dogs while we were gone.
If there were such a thing as a dog resort, that would be it. Huge yard full of interesting plants and critters to investigate. 24 hour uncovered pool. Attentive and personable staff. Room service. The list goes on and on.
My husband often jokes that the pets would probably be happier there than with us, and I get so offended when he says that, mostly because some small part of me fears he’s right. They would be happy. And FAT.
So yaay for all involved this weekend:
1. Humans get to explore crass American commercialism in its most distilled form, Mouse shaped churros at $5 a pop;
2. Dogs get the unique experience of ultimate pampering with someone who isn’t obsessively counting each kibble;
3. Cat gets a break from both 1. and 2.
What’s your out of town routine when the pets can’t come along?