Tell us about yourself! What do you do when you’re not traveling the world? Where are some of the places you’ve traveled with your pet?
I am an evangelist. I work with 20 international ministries delivering Bible Studies and teachings by way of email. Also, I’m currently writing on a book about living with multiple personality disorder.
Some of the places I have traveled with my pet are: Graceland (we stayed in the RV park next door), Indiana, California, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Alabama, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Florida, and Illinois.
What was the process like for taking your pet on your travels? What did the destination require you to do?
As I either traveled by car or Recreational Vehicle, I had to make sure my dog traveled in a shaded area in the vehicle. When the sun was high in the sky, I placed a blanket over my dog’s carrier and turned the air conditioning on. If my dog was too hot, she would ride on my lap while I drove, as long as I was sitting in the shade. I would make frequent stops to make sure my dog had plenty of water, stretched our legs and give her body time to cool off.
I made sure I had plenty of dog food, water and toys packed ahead of time because her specialty food isn’t always available wherever we go.
What were the expenses associated with taking your pet on your travels?
The only expenses were dog food. I haven’t been charged a pet fee when I travel by car and stay in a hotel. While traveling in the RV, there were no additional expenses.
What sorts of obstacles, if any, did you run into?
The obstacles I ran into were irresponsible dog owners who would want their dog to meet mine. One told me their St. Bernard liked small dogs (mine was only 5 pounds at the time) and their dog tried to eat mine! I had to hold my dog high over my head and walk backwards. The person kept walking towards me and I had to yell for help. The owner’s wife came, with another St. Bernard, and agreed they should leave since I was raising such a ruckus. Not all dogs are friendly towards every dog they meet.
I have had other RV owners not like dogs, and when mine would bark at people walking by or when they tapped on my windshield thinking my dog was cute, they would complain. I had to move to a different spot in the RV park to keep the other party happy since they lived there full-time. I didn’t mind. I wanted a quiet night too. While I didn’t mind my dog barking to alert me, people tapping on my vehicle windshield was quite irresponsible and immature behavior.
What are some tips you’d give to others interested in traveling with their pets?
Even if your dog is very obedient at home and doesn’t need to be on a leash, while traveling, the area is not familiar to your dog. There are going to be loud and strange noises and smells. I have heard of and seen many pet owners lose their dogs who have been frightened at truck stops or road-side rests, because they thought their dog would be very obedient and stay with them as they do at home. I have seen dogs take off running down the freeway or out into the desert or a field only to not be found again by the owners.
Don’t be too confident your pet will listen to you while traveling, so please keep it on a leash, especially when walking outdoors.