Traveling with dogs

My trip with the dogs to my parents’ house included an overnight stop at a hotel, one that we’ve stayed in before. Our last visit there in the middle of winter was a nightmare because three high school athletic teams were staying there the same night, and they were active and noisy well into the wee hours of the morning. Rudy growled and barked at every thump and shout, and I got hardly any sleep the whole night.

This visit was a little better, or at least quieter–we didn’t hear a peep from any of the other guests so Rudy didn’t make a peep all night, either. The weather was continuously rainy, though, and the pet area was two flights of stairs away from our room, so I was deeply anxious that the dogs would require their 2 a.m. bio break like they do at home. I again got very little sleep because every time they moved, I imagined they needed to go out (fortunately, they didn’t). I had bad dreams and a bit of heartburn from a late, spicy dinner, so I was overheated all night and really uncomfortable. I tossed and turned and wished we were at home in our own bed.

Around 6 a.m., I was awakened by a strong vibration in the bed. Since it wasn’t that kind of bed, the only thing it could be was my dog. Rudy slept next to me on top of the covers while Reggie had decamped to the other bed, and by dawn he was chilled clear through and shivering uncontrollably. I pulled him under the covers and held him until he stopped shivering, while Reggie stood on the other bed watching us. She made no move toward the door to indicate she had to go out, but she also wouldn’t lie down again or jump over to my bed. When I finally got up for my own bio break, I realized she, too, was shivering hard. Cue the guilt! My poor dogs must have had as miserable a night as I did.

When it was time for breakfast, I told the dogs they could stay in the warm(er) hotel room and be quiet, or I would put them in the bone-cold car so they wouldn’t bother anyone. I shut the door behind me and got about 10 steps across the parking lot before they both started yapping and squealing at the top of their lungs. Since it was still early, I reluctantly tossed them into the car while I went to eat, and came back 20 minutes later to find them, once again, shivering uncontrollably. What’s a dog mom to do?

We got on the road with no problems and proceeded to my parents’ house that was flooded to survey the damage and satisfy my curiosity about how things are going with the reconstruction. My brother was there working on the plumbing and answered all my many questions. The damage is really horrendous; 80% of the house is stripped to the studs–no flooring, no walls, no ceilings, no fixtures.

I’ll post some pics of that later.

After seeing the house, visiting with my favorite high school English teacher, and taking a turn around my old home town, we headed on up the road to my parents’ other home. We stopped for a break at a sweet little “pocket park” alongside the highway where the dogs could run around safely off leash. We had the whole place all to ourselves, and they both enjoyed getting their feet wet on a fine spring day.

reggie-wading rudy-wading

They were both so good about being in the car for hours and hours, and behaved beautifully while we were at the damaged house by minding me the whole time and not getting into anything they shouldn’t have. They have been there with me only once before, and this time they were both agitated and puzzled by how much it had changed. Dogs know what’s going on, more than we give them credit for.

Even though they cost me some sleep, I am glad to have them with me when I travel, for so many reasons.


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