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TRAVELING WITH A DOG

Indulge me in a little personal theory about dogs traveling with their people. It’s not strictly scientific, but bear with me: it’s one perspective on the changing nature of people’s alliance with dogs. At the same time, it might shed some light on the kind of reception you can expect when traveling with dog today. In the earlier part of the twentieth century, travelers, for the most part, were wealthy aristocrats: stories, photos and paintings often depict them in the company of their canine companions. Then in the second half of the twentieth century, people’s dogs were often more a part of the household than the family, so when the people traveled, the dog stayed home, which was technically her place. But as the century wore on, dogs became more enmeshed in the emotional lives of their owners. As we’ve entered the twenty-first century, dogs have become as important to many of us as any of the people in our lives, and many owners do not want to go away without their pooches (for their own sake, more than for the dog’s). More and more people want to take their dogs with them when they travel, but many of the establishments that serve them have not yet caught up with this trend among their clients. It is getting easier to travel in America with a dog because it is good business: as more people want to do this, more hotels are accommodating them. So every time you bring your dog on the road with you, remember that you are paving the way and setting an example for those who will follow. Each of our dogs is an ambassador, so be on your best behavior “on the road.”

SOME OF THE TOPICS THAT ARE COVERED IN THIS CHAPTER INCLUDE:

Finding dog-friendly establishments

The practical aspects of staying in a hotel

Supplies needed for a traveling dog

Dealing with travel problems in a car, including nervousness and carsickness General car safety

Options when leaving your dog behind when you travel Outdoor adventure travel with your dog Airplane travel

Finding Dog-friendly Establishments

Turn to the Internet for reliable, timely information. Since more establishments are becoming dog-friendly, the best way to get up-to-date information on what’s out there is to turn to the ever-amazing Internet and ask the search engine anything you want: “travel with dogs,” “dog-friendly hotels” or whatever comes to mind. Below are some sites to start with.

SOME GOOD TRAVEL WEB SITES www.petswelcome.com is a Web site that claims 25,000 dog-friendly listings of hotels, ski resorts and campgrounds; www.takeyourpet.com, www.petsonthego.com and www.orbitz.com also have many listings; www.traveldog.com has a variety of information, from camping and backpacking to dog-friendly destinations and lodgings, but there is a fee of $4.95 per month, with longer memberships available. www.healthypet.com is a list of American Animal Hospital Associationaccredited hospitals in the U.S. and Canada.

SOME DOG-FRIENDLY HOTELS

It’s good to know that more American hotels are opening their doors to dogs. They run the gamut from quirky bed-and-breakfast inns that welcome dogs and even have a “paw-print guest register,” to high-end hotel chains like the Four Seasons, Loews and Peninsula, where canine guests are as pampered as the human ones. What follows is a sampling of some individuals hotels.

The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills (310) 551-2888 and other locations, is so pro-dog their resident canine columnist, Billy Bean the Beagle, will give a personal welcome.

The Four Seasons in New York(212) 758-5700 and various other locations, gives dogs the royal welcome with dog-walking services, a dog bed, a ceramic water bowl, biscuits and a room service pet menu waiting in the room.

The Metropolitan Hotel (formerly Loews New York) on Lexington Avenue at 51 st Street in New York City has a “Privileged Paws” frequent-stay program. After five nights a dog earns a free meal from the pet room-service menu and a complimentary bowl of fluoride-enriched distilled water (the container top doubles as a flying disc toy). After staying ten nights in the hotel, they will upgrade your pet (and you, as well) to a suite. Following fifteen nights, you don’t just get the suite but also an hour with a professional walker. (866) 638-7669

Loews Hotels offer a “Loews Loves Pets” program at the chain’s nineteen hotels across the U.S. and Canada that features extensive amenities. The Jefferson, in Washington, D.C., provides local dog-walking routes, a personalized food and water bowl on a puppy place mat, toys, treats and even items you might have forgotten, such as beds, leashes, collars and pooper-scoopers. There is no pet deposit or limit on canine weight. The Jefferson, 1200 16 th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036; (800) 235- 6397 or www.loewshotels.com/hotels/Washington_Jefferson. Also, The Regency (below) is a premiere Loews Hotel.

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