Sunday, September 24, 2006

Travels With the Girls

When we travel, we've always tried to take our dogs with us whenever possible. Over the years, our various dogs have visited San Francisco, Seattle, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Carmel, Kansas City, Vancouver and Tenaya Lodge just outside Yosemite. They've ridden in cars and flown on airplanes. At Tenaya, Bella went on a hayride in a horse-drawn wagon. Darcy had the most mileage, having flown from Ireland to New York, then New York to Los Angeles (in business class, baby!) when she was a puppy.

On rare occasions, the dogs can't go with us. When we had our greyhound, I never minded boarding her because I reasoned that she was used to kennel life. For short trips, the Cavaliers stayed at the vet's office, where they were royally spoiled. But for trips of longer than a week, I wanted better for them--so we began the habit of driving them 7 hours north to the Bay Area to stay with Bella's breeder. I'm sure people thought we were crazy, but it made me happy. They were in a home, with people they knew and other dogs to play with, and I never worried that they wouldn't get the best of care.

It was cost-effective too. Even with the price of gas inching up, it was still cheaper than a kennel stay to drive them up to Joanne and either turn right around and drive back or spend the night and fly to our destination from San Francisco instead of LAX. The cost of boarding three small dogs was $108 per day, and that wasn't even boarding them at fancy places like these. At those rates, boarding the girls for a typical trip of 16 days would have cost $1,728--enough to pay for a whole nother trip. No thanks! So we'll keep taking them with us or driving them north. Thank dog for Sirius satellite and books on CD...

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