I've been all over the place.
No, literally, I have.
Well, I feel that way, anyways.
On July 2nd, my sons left with my father in law for a week down in West Palm Beach FL. Ben, BG, Marina!! and I would join them on July 9th. With our mommovile as means for transportation.
We left our southwest suburb with Marina in our vehicle, and a plastic bag filled with "goodies" from her Vet. Benedryl, tranquilizer, ear cleaner to prevent yeast infections, an antibiotic, just in case she gets ill. She was amazing! We did a trial run with her "tranquilizer," while still at home, to see how she would react to the sedation while still in her element.
I also had purchased a new bone, a new fraternal twin stuffed hedgehog, like the fluff stuff free one we bought for her the same day we adopted her. It's her favorite toy. The one that's made it through all the battles of toys, and balls, bones,...and so on.
So I bought this homeopathic, or so I refer to it, collar that gives off a scent with lavender, and chamomile, as well as other natural relaxation scents for dogs. The collar itself looks like a flea collar. Not fashionable at all. But, the way I think, dogs are all about scent. It's their eyes. It's their memory, it's their intuition to fight or flight, or roll over and be snuggled. So I thought that by buying her this collar and putting it on her ahead of time, while still at home, the scent would be in her element. So that she, when on the road, would still not only have something around her neck that relaxes her with the scents, but the fact that she grew used to this scent in her own home, so in a sense, she carried home with her as well, within the other scents of the collar.
I'm not sure if it was the collar, or the oh my pampered treatment she had at camp canine country club and spa, located in Boca Raton, Fl. A cageless environment, except at bedtime, where dogs are grouped by size, and have different rooms to play in, as well as a fenced play area out back. They offer transportation via yellow poochie bus, you can pay an extra amount of money to call her on their Fido Fone, and skype with one another, but sign her up in fun photo shoots. As a matter of fact they actually have a cruise available for the dogs, for the purposes of a bark mitzvah. How cool is that?
You walk into this place and think, wow, JACKPOT! Clothing everywhere, a doggie bed for sale for $499.00. All the perks that come with a Saturday to Sunday stay. A room with plastic slides and so forth, as well as another room to watch a Fido film. Lassie is the preferred movie for them.
A room full of beds, toddler beds that are in the space of Thomas the tank engine, a race car bed, a castle, you name it, all for dogs to chill on, together, in a cageless environment.
No, I am not being paid to talk about this place. As a matter of fact they don't even know I'm writing about this, or the fact that I have a blog, I just cannot get over this place. A place I found while researching dog "kennels," while we spent a weekend at a hotel in Florida.
The staff were amazing. Professional, down to earth, neighborhood pals that don't walk with an air of snottiness. More like the personality of your kindergarten teacher. Happy, without overkill, and loves her little friends. No Boca Bitch attitude with these employees.
Picture a posh place, with employees that don't walk around like they are the next boob job of America.
Plus, the perks that you can purchase in addition to the stay, are helpful even when it comes to pick up times.
Now I know the best place for a dog is her home. But we couldn't afford to leave her at home and hire someone. Nor could we afford to put her, nor did I want to, in her vet kennel-caged, for more then 10days.-
After an okay from my mother in law with a promise I would get relaxers for her from the vet, and much research about travel, we left for Florida on July 7th, at 7pm on Wednesday night. Just Ben, BG, Marina and I.
She was remarkable in the hotels we stayed at all together along the roadtrip. She was a chill dog in the car, and we had her bed in the car.
I'm not sure if was the collar, the constant companionship with her owners in a closed space, the drugs from the vet, but she was such an amazing dog. We only used the medication 3 times. Not bad when you think about having to leave a dog, alone in your hotel room, while you go to a wedding.
We drove from IL to FL and left FL for VA on July the 15th. We needed to be in a northern town way north beyond the tricities Tennessee airport, for my best friend's rehearsal dinner and wedding.
So from FL we drove thru Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, and finally VA.
We left VA for the long journey ride home back here. The way home we ended up with directions that took us thru the back roads of VA, within the mountains.
Throughout the entire journey, Marina was remarkable, and if you should ever have to travel along with your pooch in a vehicle, I would suggest having the items listed in the paragraphs above, along with you, especially if you're headed to Boca. Because for as posh of a place her Camp Canine Country Club and Spa was, and how I loved the fact that it was cageless, assuming your poochie behaves herself, was the cost.
For a drop off at 10am on Saturday, and a pick up at 12pm Sunday, it only cost $45!!! I'd be charged more then that, for her to stay in a vet kennel. Plus, most of them aren't open on Sundays so you cannot pick her up until Monday, and you are charged for that. This place, remarkable. Clean. Compassionate. Happy.
I just can't get over how pampered she was. Plus she was so good at my mother in laws home as well. Matter of fact, my mother in law let her hang out on their sheet covered chocolate colored amazing sectional, snuggled up against one another.
Marina, I hope had a good time. One thing to keep in mind though, is typically after any over night stay away from you and a home, they do come home tired. They will sleep. They may get the runs. They may throw up. Those things are matters you watch, to ensure hydration, and good health.
Over all it was a wonderful trip. 97% of the trip was a great time. You know you had a good time with your in laws when the both of you cry when saying goodbye to one another. It's not always like that, I'm sure. But nothing beats a visit then bonding. It was lovely.
Like I said, even Marina scored big time!!
But I am glad to be home, and off all the roads.
I've banned myself from driving in the van for the next couple of days.
So, that's where I've been.
All over the states, happy that this trip included our Marina, and was an amazing trip.
A toast, A raised bone, to all the other happy pet owners, and poochies themselves, that have experienced spoiling fun trips, on a middle class type salary. So worth it.
Now if only they had a location up near me for Camp Canine.
Part of the reason I think dogs do well there, is because it's not a vet kennel. It doesn't have "those" types of smells. You know, how would you feel if you slept in a hotel that smelled exactly like a hospital? Versus one that actually smelled like a hotel.
Yes, hotels have that delicious vacation smell. Especially the ones near a beach. A Holiday Inn, A Hilton, A you name it, for the most part, all hotels smell the same, all inns smell the same, etc...
Not being a Dog, but digging scents myself, it's clear to me that the reason the dogs enjoy places like this, is because the smells don't resemble a vets office. Sick Smells. Sad saying goodbye smells. The smell of medications and fears.
Trust me on this. I may not be too savvy with many things, but I know my amazing dog, and I do think that I patted myself on the back, for trying my best to make her travels, with us, on a budget, as posh as possible, without a broken doggie bark-er bank.
TO THE DOGS EVERYWHERE!!