staycation for canines

The sad look that Comet gave me the fourth time I came back into the house that morning said enough. “Just go, already!” Three times to check I brought everything. The last time to check the water bowls for the critters.. The looks began the day before when we set out the items we were taking for our getaway to the mountains. Traveling by car for a few days, a list of items gets set out and checked off as these are packed. One wants to be sure to bring the basics: toiletries, medicines, and a few changes of clothes for changeable weather. But no leashes, blankets, nor dog treats. We are not taking the dogs with us.

Planning for a few days of vacation in Yosemite, were we to bring the dogs with us, might be different if we traveled by RV. A sedan poses significant challenges to the comfort of two humans and two pets however. Even before COVID, hotel rooms for guests with large dogs were few. In campgrounds (other than Camp 4), pets are allowed. They must remain leashed and under control, and may be walked on the paved roads, but not on trails. They are not allowed in public buildings. `While Yosemite Hospitality operates a pet kennel between May and September, visitors must bring their licensing and have up to date shot records. Selfishly, that requires us planning a trip at the height of the visitor season. Comet and Dexter would be in the care of strangers.. We decided a “staycation” for them was the best idea.

How do you responsibly plan for your pets to be looked after at home for a couple days? In advance, we made requests to friends for whom previously we have helped feed and attend to their pets. Using a calendar , we accommodated their available time. We left brief instructions food and dog snacks out. Brief instructions for food, neighbors’ telephone numbers, and several water buckets to keep the dogs hydrated. They will check in and let us know the fellows are not suffering our departure. Plenty of food, wet and dry, and dog biscuits. With a doggie door, they have little chance to be stuck inside. With air conditioning, fresh water and comfortable surroundings, they may not miss a thing.

Photo by E Saretsky

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