Last updated: August 25. 2013 2:09AM - 219 Views

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By Diane LarattaWe took Waldo on vacation with us this year. Waldo is our 7-year-old French Bulldog, and the love of my life. It had been four or five years since we last took him along on a trip, so he was long overdue for some R&R. The Canadian resort we were staying at for a week is pet friendly, so we got out Waldo's suitcase and began packing.The first thing I did for Waldo's upcoming trip was Google Canadian requirements for dogs crossing the border. At one time Canada only recognized yearly rabies vaccinations, but that policy has changed. However, I am a worry wart, so I made an appointment with my veterinarian to revaccinate Waldo for rabies despite the fact that he was vaccinated only 13 months earlier. With that out of the way, the next thing we had to plan for was his diet and bedding.Waldo will eat just about anything; consequently he's on a perpetual diet. Knowing from experience that many dogs go off their food when they're traveling, I selected some very special canned dog food to add to his premium kibble (nothing's too good for Waldo). Waldo's bedding was another matter. Waldo sleeps with me — on my pillow. Yes. He snores. But then so do I. The resort brochure welcomes pets, but advises that pets cannot be on the beds, must be crated when left in the cabin unattended, and that we had to pick up after our dog. The crate rule was not going to make Waldo a happy camper. He hadn't been in a crate since he was a wee pup. But, rules are rules. I dusted off a crate, pulled out some thick, fluffy bedding and tried to explain to my watchful dog that this was temporary. The day arrived for our journey to Canada. I am a big believer that a dog should be restrained in a car — either in a crate or in a car harness. I've heard horror tales of people getting in an accident, the car doors popping open, and the family pet getting out of the car and hit on the road. However, we are talking about Waldo here. He perches on a pillow between the driver and passenger seats so he doesn't miss anything. He always rides that way, and I suppose he always will. At the US/Canadian border, we supplied Waldo's certificate of health and proof of rabies. I don't think the border guard even looked at it. We were motioned through the gates without incident.Waldo had a blast at the resort. It seemed that every guest brought along their dog! Waldo met a Weimaraner, two Brittney spaniels, a Papillion, a Labrador Retriever, a Bernese Mountain Dog, a Poodle, and even another French Bulldog! The Lab and Spaniels rarely came out of the water. They were in dog heaven! The owner of the spaniels got to the point that he simply opened the door to his cabin, let the dogs out, and watched them race to the lake while he sat on the porch enjoying an adult beverage. So much for the leash rule.Waldo can't swim. French bulldogs are not built for swimming. They sink like rocks. So Waldo walked on the beach and gazed out at the lake, but he was wise enough to know that he shouldn't go in the water. He did, however, thoroughly enjoy the two-mile walk down the road every morning. So many smells to consider. As expected, Waldo went off his food the first couple days. By day three, he was hungry and ate a hearty breakfast. His appetite was on and off during the entire week, but nothing to make me worry.We tried to abide by the “no bed” rule, but by the middle of our vacation, Waldo was sleeping with me. Now I know why the resort charges extra for pets. We did, however, crate Waldo whenever we left him in the cabin unsupervised. It was really more for Waldo's safety than anything else. We didn't want him slipping out the door when the housekeeper came in each day.We thoroughly enjoyed traveling with Waldo. He doesn't get car sick. He doesn't bounce around or bark. He is a quiet, pleasant companion. If you're planning to travel with your dog, I would advise that you make sure it's crate trained, knows how to ride quietly in the car, and that your destination is pet friendly. With all that in place, you'll have a great time.Diane Laratta is the owner/operator of Hollowell Dog Training in Elida. Questions about dog behavior and/or training may be emailed to her at larattad@wcoil.com.



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