Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spoil Your Pets

I’ve been seeing numerous articles and TV clips on how hotels are encouraging guests to bring their pets along. Of course that’s another way to drum up business. If an owner is eager to bring Spot along on a trip, that owner will undoubtedly pick someplace that makes it easy.

Some of the hotels include pet amenities that rival those for the pampered people who stay there: spa treatments, pawdicures instead of mani-pedis, monogrammed towels, special beds, pet treadmills and gourmet treats. Of course there’s usually a significant charge, but the people who indulge don’t seem to mind.

I recently got back from a trip to Las Vegas where we brought Lexie and Mystie, our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, along. We stayed with friends who’d encouraged us to bring our pups. It was definitely fun to have them along, although they can be as much extra work as bringing kids. We had to plan pit stops and bring food and treats and water. Then, at our friends’, we took long walks to ensure that the pups didn’t make any mistakes in the house. That included, the first night, a stroll at 5 AM, under the streetlights. We left the dogs alone the next evening when we went to the Strip to see a show--and they escaped from the kitchen where we had barricaded them in! They happily greeted us at the door. Fortunately, they had behaved fairly well. All in all, we had a great time and the dogs certainly enjoyed the extra attention.

Of course, if people all brought their pets along, there’d be no need for pet-sitters like Kendra Ballantyne, star of my pet-sitter mysteries. But then again, sometimes it’s too difficult to bring pets, and there’s nothing like an excellent and trustworthy pet-sitter like Kendra!

How about you? Do you travel with your pets? What amenities do you look for?

Oh, and by the way, I heard today that the First Dog will probably arrive in the White House in April--if the First Family can find a rescue Portuguese Water Dog. I did a quick check on and only found 2 posted, both mixes, so I’m not sure how easy it’ll be for the Obamas to fulfill that aspiration. More to come, I’m sure!



Monica Ferris said...

Most cats make terrible travelers, and we have cats. When I married, a little over thirty years ago, we had to travel from Madison, WI, to Minneapolis with my two cats. They both howled the entire trip. One had traumatic laryngitis on arrival, the other had gotten out of her carrier and spent the miles to the next rest stop trying to help us steer, brake and accelerate -- between looking out the window and pleading with other drivers for assistance. Never again!

Linda O. Johnston said...

That sounds terrible, Monica, for both you and the cats! My son and d-i-l will be visiting us later this year and may fly their dog along with them. I'm looking forward to it but hope it all works out!

Janie Emaus said...

When our dog was alive, we went on many trips with her. Mostly camping, but some motels. A few times we had to sneak her inside our rooms.

But the times that we left her home, made homecoming that much better.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I know what you mean, Janie. I always miss my pups when we don't bring them along. It helps that we now have a security camera so we can watch them on the Internet when we're gone!

Kate Hathway said...

Monica, cats seem to think that cars were invented by the devil solely as torture devices for cats. Having them loose in a car can be a disaster. One cat I know of got stuck under a seat and cut up when the seat was moved to try to get to kitty. One thing that sometimes helps some people is to put kitty in a pillowcase, which can then go it a carrier for extra safety. Yes, they can breathe, and not being able to see out, sometimes quiets them down. Hold the pillowcase with the closed end over your shoulder, open end in your hands. Toss cat's favorite treats on floor, as kitty eats, pop the case over cat, and gently lift and twist the top closed, supporting bottom well. It can be tied shut with twine, or anything suitable. This is a potential lifesaver in an emergency in evac situations when trying to get a cat into a carrier (even finding the carrier) is an impossible wast of time.