September 28 2011 by Bryson Forbes
We were nervous - but we did it! On our recent trip to London (see my last blog - would like to create a link once it's posted) we decided that Ellie, our 8-month-old pup Bernedoodle was ready to make the trip with us. And if I'm being honest, we decided we were ready to bring Ellie.
The decision was actually very easy for a number of reasons:
First, Ellie is the best dog that ever lived. That may be a slightly biased exaggeration but we are very lucky. She is well trained and gentle and given that she now weighs 67 pounds, that's very important.
Second, we were staying at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre and Best Western is the best hotel chain for catering to pets and pet owners! In fact, there are more than 1,600 hotels worldwide ready to welcome you and your pet. Lastly, this was the perfect time to test the traveling with your dog concept as we were relatively close to home and only away for one night.
I am delighted to report our experience with Ellie was excellent and even easier than I expected. Ellie travels very well and sat calmly and comfortably in the back of our SUV for the 90-minute drive. The only challenge was packing her crate as it is rather large. If you do have a bigger dog, this is definitely something to consider.
Once we arrived at the hotel, I was very impressed. At check-in, not only did they give me a gift that included a travel water bowl, bags and a treat, but we were put in the pet section of the hotel at the back with easy access to an area to walk Ellie. It was also comforting to know that people in adjacent rooms likely had pets too and that if Ellie got restless in her crate while we were out eating or lounging by the pool, it would likely create empathy and not pure irritation. Thankfully, we didn't have to test that assumption as Ellie adjusted quickly to the room. At check-in they also gave me a copy of the rules of engagement for my pet and reviewed them with me. That was particularly helpful and having a copy allowed me to review the rules with our kids.
We also followed the tips from the Best Western pet website, which were useful and relevant. Before we left, we received one additional tip from a friend. Our friend told us to bring an old t-shirt or blanket to leave with Ellie in her crate when we left the room. It seemed to work really well and helped comfort her when we were gone.
All-in-all the experience was fantastic. We will definitely do it again and won't hesitate to stay even longer. Do you have any tips you can share with us to help make the pet travel experience easy and enjoyable?