Pets and Your Escape to Paradise

No matter what you do with your pet while away, you really can’t win.



Paradise is calling.  Can you hear all of it’s sand, salt and sunny goodness?  Your vacation approaches and after all these months of looking at the most perfect beach on your computer wallpaper you’re ready to live it instead of dream it.  The bikinis are packed and the islands are calling.  Except there is one pesky little issue, your pet.  Dog, cat, bird, hamster it doesn’t matter.  They are a member of your family and you are responsible for their physical and emotional well being.  What do you do with your pet while you are away?

Kona. Posing for puppy pics.

Kona. Posing for puppy pics. ©2009 Deborah Grooms

The first answer is to take them with you.  Realistically, there is a very small chance that’ll fly.  If you are a person who gets separation anxiety from your animal, you should probably have a very small dog.  They have the best chance to both get in the cabin for a flight and be accepted in your accommodation.  You also need to comply with the local laws and should respect local customs.  If you’re side trip to paradise is going to be a short one, less than a month I’d say, leave the pooch behind.

The second answer is don’t go.  Seriously.  A lot of people just won’t leave because of their pets.  All I can say is get a freaking life.  I’m not going to go off on a rant here on the stupidity of this option since these people don’t read my shit anyway (but for the record I could).

Back to reality.  It’s the kennel, or the house of a friend or family.  The later being the best option of course.  We call it doggie camp to make the kids feel better about it.  In all reality it’s nothing more than incarceration for being a cute, cuddly, obedient and subservient member of the family.  Don’t you feel great about it now?

Kona enjoying the pool

Kona enjoying the pool ©2010 Carl Grooms

Is the choice between the kennel and someone else’s home all that obvious?  Even with my guilt trip about calling it jail and all I’m not so sure.  I guess it depends on your family and friends.  Do you really want to owe them a favor back?  I’m not trying to be mean here, I’m just saying.  Favors have a way of coming back to bit you in the rear.  Do they have an animal you hate?  Are you really willing to take care of that nightmare while they are away?  Will you feel obligated to buy them a nice gift and somehow fit it into your already overstuffed luggage?  Just food for thought here.  I don’t know your particular social circle but a kennel can be so much easier.

Let’s also agree, since I’m both advocating and depreciating both sides of my own arguments, that choosing a kennel isn’t an obvious choice either.  Every town has the cadillac kennel.  The one that tries to market itself as a pet hotel.  Televisions, walks, human interaction, air conditioning.  You know you have one in your town, I do.  The problem is do you admit you send your animal there?  It’s sort of uppity and pretentious isn’t it?  This option can cost you almost as much as your own vacation. On the flip side you have the cinder block bark barns that aren’t much better than Stalin’s gulags.  They are much cheaper but when you pick your pet up they have a thousand mile stare and seem to have given up on life.  Now you just fee like a crap.

Kona in full run

Kona in full run ©2011 Carl Grooms

No matter your choice, you really can’t win.  None of the options are great.  I just got back from the Virgin Islands and couldn’t/wouldn’t take my 70lb. English Golden Retriever, Kona (named after the big island) with me.  In a few weeks I’m heading to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.  I’m taking him on that one.  The first trip cost me almost $500 the second will cost me a few gray hairs.  I’m not sure which one will turn out better.

Pets in Paradise

Pets in Paradise

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3 Responses to “Pets and Your Escape to Paradise”

  1. RumShopRyan July 8, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Love that last photo!

  2. Dharma July 12, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    (hey, it was great to see you in White Bay last week!) ;)

    We have a professional dogsitter who lives at our house while we’re away, so we can travel guilt-free, knowing that they absolutely love her and she sends text or email updates every day. She goes to her other jobs during the day, stopping back at our house once or twice a day to play with them, then spends the night at our house. So we get a dogsitter who also waters the plants, brings in the mail, and keeps the house lived-in to deter potential thieves.

    It’s about $100 a day for her to live with our two pit bulls (since I have her come by during the day so much), and worth every penny. She’s capable of providing medical care if they need anything extra, and she’s bonded & insured. Honestly, it’s the best vacation money we spend.

    I found her on a petsitter website and interviewed four of the thirty or so applicants before I chose her. There is NO WAY I’d put my children in a kennel, so this is the ultimate solution for us. :)

    • Carl Grooms
      Carl Grooms July 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

      Now that is the best solution I’ve heard of. Thanks for the comment. AND. It was one hell of a fun day in Jost! Thank you :)

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