This past Wednesday I had a little cross country drive with my dog Sarge.
It was just a long day trip as we headed west from New Jersey along the Pennsylvania Turnpike onto I-80 heading westbound to Chicago. Just the two of us. It’s interesting when you travel with a pet. You tend to feel sorry for them as they gaze up into your eyes and ask you are we there yet? How much longer do I have to sit here? When traveling with pets it is important to keep them hydrated, and cool. Their schedule is pretty much thrown out the window when you cram them into your car and head on out on a long car ride. Sarge didn’t seem to interested in drinking or eating until later in the day. Toughest thing for a single pet owner on the road with his pooch is taking care of you while leaving them in the car, especially on a hot summer’s day. Running in for a bathroom break and getting something to drink or eat was always a bit of an undertaking. At a rest stop in Ohio an older gentlemen asked me how I did it, seeing that he was with his wife, and he was taking care of his dog, while his wife bought lunch for the two of them. Guiltily I said I would leave Sarge in the car, retrieve lunch from the rest stop, take him out of the car after I bought lunch, and then he and I would have something to eat together. Not perfect, but it didn’t leave him alone for too long. Too many of the rest stops have strict rules as to where you can walk your dog. I ignored them, because when a dog has got to go, it has to go, and there was no way that I was going to walk him behind the rest stop. Rest stops need to be a little more pet friendly. It would be a lot easier to take him in with me, but animals are not allowed inside a rest stop. They also need to put up a lot more posts, or trees for dogs to raise their legs on. Not too many of those on the road, and in Ohio they set up pen areas for your dogs, but they basically are a 10 x 8 space, not very hospitable when there is more than one dog that needs to sniff and look around. Despite the inconveniences of traveling with your pet, it’s quite doable, and having a companion that doesn’t ask you every half hour are we there yet, is quite soothing.
Photo Credits: John Vlahakis