Pets Welcome

ARF ARF! It is time for our summer vacation, and I want to go along.

- by Ruggles, a 12-year-old Shih-Tzu, an experienced traveler.

Pets Welcome WHERE SHALL WE GO? The mountains would be nice, we could rent a cabin, lots of them will accept me, a well-trained pet, and I love to go walking in the woods. I might even chase a squirrel for a few feet but I don't want to catch him. Even though it is summer some nights it gets cold at night, it is important to remember to snuggle with your master or lay by his feet, I usually get my ears rubbed.

How about the beach? There are hundreds of pet friendly beaches with seaside or lakeshore resorts when I am welcome. My family can go boating while I take a nap, and later we can all collect seashells, I like that.

Perhaps a trip to somewhere exotic, like Mexico. My friend Fifi told me her master took her to Playa Del Carmen last year, and the beaches were beautiful and so pet friendly.

PETS WELCOME - GETTING THERE This part is a bit of a hassle for me, so here are some tips for my master.

IIf we are traveling by car, I like a space of my own, somewhere with my favorite blanket and a chew toy where I can nap, but I need some type of restraint device so if we are in an accident I don't get hurt. Especially if I am in the front seat where I get to sit sometimes, I sure don't want to go flying through the windshield if master stops suddenly.

I need a lot of water when I am traveling, and I sure need to stop and take a walk every 3 or 4 hours. There are lots of approved rest stops along the highway as long as master remembers to bring along bags to pick up after me.

Traveling by airplane is a little more difficult, but we have done it a lot of times. I am lucky because I fit in one of the approved Sherpa bags that fit right under the seat in front of master. I am a little expensive, sometimes as much as USD $150.00 for my reservation, but master says I am worth it. He remembers to make our reservation well in advance because generally only one of us pampered pets is allowed in the cabin at a time. If it is a long flight master gives me a little pet calmer, but normally I don't need it. Before the flight he takes me for a walk away from the terminal but I generally don't get anything to drink until we get off the plane. If we are going out of the country he always remembers to get my shots and health papers updated by my doctor.

I have a lot of friends who are bigger than me so they have to go in the hold in a nice crate. They get to have their own blanket and water and snacks with them, its even air-conditioned. If it is a direct flight it is a piece of cake, as the airlines give good instructions. If the flight has several legs or a long layover some masters use a pet transporter who takes care of everything. They charge a little more, but, hey, we're worth it.

In July and August your master will have to check with the airlines because some airports are too hot for a pet to travel in the hold, because of the temperatures when the flight is waiting to take off.

PPETS WELCOME - WHERE SHALL WE STAY? My master goes to Pet Travel as they have over 30,000 places where they make pets welcome. They also have information about all the airlines in a special section called PET PASSPORTS. They even have listings of pet friendly beaches and parks. Plus an online store where master can buy all my pet travel supplies, called Pet Travel Store, that's me, one classy dog .

So, enjoy your summer, and tell master ARF ARF, that means I want to go along.