The Puppiness Project – You’ll Get There When You Get There

Gretchen Rubin wrote in The Happiness Project about the year she spent “test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy.” The Puppiness Project is my attempt to learn the same from Honey, my Golden Retriever.

Hurry Up and Work Your Butt Off So You Can Have Fun

Sleepy Golden Retriever

After getting everyone ready to go on vacation, I'm dog tired. Wake me when the margaritas get here.

Getting ready to leave for a vacation is always tough. Make the boss happy with your progress before you go. Pack everything two people and a dog will need while gone. Don’t leave anything to rot in the fridge. Stop the mail.

But leaving on this vacation was particularly exciting. We’re having the wood floors refinished while we’re away. Which means adding to the usual vacation check list, putting all our belongings into the carpeted guestroom and bedroom, attic, and kitchen.

We finished moving the piano (why, oh why, couldn’t Mike take up playing the kazoo!) into the kitchen around midnight. Then Mike headed off to work to finish up a few things until 3 a.m. after promising to check his email every day in case he needed to respond to something on vacation (yes, Americans have no idea what the word “vacation” means).

As you can imagine, we weren’t able to leave at 7 a.m. as we had planned. And since we had to arrive within a short window to pick up the keys to the house we were renting, every traffic jam or other delay added a little tension to the drive.

Luckily we had Honey as our example.

If Dogs Drove, We’d Have No Road Rage

Honey wasn’t without tension while we were packing. She, like every dog I’ve ever had, worried a bit about what all the activity meant.

I think she was afraid of being left behind.

But once it became clear that we were going on an adventure together, Honey settled right in. Once we were all in the car, Honey alternated between snoozing on the back seat and looking out the windows with a look that can only be called anticipation.

She even tried to instigate a little mischief by seeing if she could sneak into the front seat without us noticing.

Honey had no worries. We were all together. We were going somewhere. All was well.

Honey knew that we’d get where we were going when we got there.

Learning From Honey

Eventually Honey’s zen attitude won the day.

We settled down and did all the things we enjoy on a long drive. Mike complained about how ugly the Philadelphia skyline was getting. We sang along with the CDs I brought. And we tried to memorize where all the Chick Fil-A’s were located for future trips. (For those of you who don’t live on the Southern to Mid-Atlantic Coast of the U.S., Chick Fil-A makes the juiciest, tenderest fried chicken breast sandwich you’d ever want to eat.)

And, just like Honey knew all along, we got there when we got there.

It takes a little while to relax into vacation mode after all the craziness of getting ready. Especially when you’re still tethered to work and getting house work done while you’re gone.

But I’m sure, if we keep our eyes on Honey, we’ll figure out how to relax.

Pet Travel Shout-Out

Honey the Golden Retriever

This is my favorite table. Mmmm, shady!

While I was thinking about taking Honey on vacation, it felt like everyone else was planning travel at the same time. This week, I’ll be giving a shout-out to a few bloggers with interesting things to say about traveling with pets.

I’ll start with the Big Kahuna of Pet Travel—Go Pet Friendly.

I’ve been traveling with my dogs for over 20 years. And I was a pretty early internet adopter so I’ve spent most of that time searching online for interesting resources.

You never know what you’re going to find. Some of the sites are informative but incredibly hard to navigate. It almost feels like an accident when you find what you’re looking for.

That’s why I was thrilled when I discovered Go Pet Friendly. It had this cool search tool where you could plot your travel route and find pet-friendly services, activities, restaurants, and accommodations along the route. Until recently, it was in beta mode. But it looks like in celebration of the three-year anniversary of the Go Pet Friendly blog, it’s ready to go.

Sometimes I like to pick out routes as an armchair traveler and check out the cool restaurants I could take Honey to if we ever get to take another week off this year (Unlikely, I know. I’ve never taken a vacation longer than 1 week since I’ve been an adult—a life stage that is highly overrated in my mind.)

For our current Cape May vacation, I had fun seeing some of my favorite restaurants turning up who were not listed before. And, because vacation planning is not just about hopping from outdoor cafe to outdoor cafe, I also identified the closest vet clinic, just in case.

So whether you’re planning an actual U.S. vacation or just indulging in some fantasy travel, check out all the great resources at Go Pet Friendly. And don’t forget to wish blogger Amy a happy third blogiversary.
Hop on…

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  1. Our boys always worry a bit when we finally get to our destination – did we go to a park or the vet? Other than that, they take traveling all in stride!


  2. I love traveling with the dogs! Even though it takes a little extra planning and work, it’s so much fun to have them along. And I agree, Amy’s site is wonderful!

  3. Traveling full time with Roxy and Torrey really does make you slow down and enjoy the scenery. They will get a little restless sometimes so we have to stop and let them run around. We try to stop where they can play off leash for a while. I have to carry way more stuff because we have them, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  4. Glad Honey enjoys traveling! Traveling with our pets is becoming easier thanks to great people like Amy and Rod from Go Pet Friendly. We’re planning a short trip soon and it should be interesting to see how we do taking two dogs now.

  5. I hope you are having a wonderful time and have been able to put all that packing craziness behind you! I am also looking forward to seeing all your lovely photos. While the addition of a dog can sometimes make planning a trip harder and I have had to sacrifice doing many things I love, like visiting museums, these days I couldn’t imagine a holiday in which our dog doesn’t come along.

  6. Poor Mike – so needed he has to check work email on vacation! Pooh.

    I was happy to tell Sweet Pea’s new family yesterday what a good traveler she is; and they had a bed set up between the children in the back seat for her on the way home plus a fabulous toy she immediately fell in love with.

    Have a wonderful time at Cape May!

  7. I hope you have a wonderful trip, after all that work you deserve it!

    Amy’s site is great! Although we don’t travel too much with the dogs right now, I have used Go Pet Friendly to locate Pet Friendly hotels when we go out of state for dog shows. We plan to do a lot more traveling in the next few years and I know I will be a frequent user of Amy’s site!

  8. Cape May! Cape May! The town that should have won!

    I shall look forward to lots of piccies and maybe some of the HoneyPot swimming [YES] and sailing :)

    Have a great holiday! x

  9. It’s nice to have such a relaxed dog to travel with :) I hope you have a great time!!

  10. I hope you’re having fun on your trip. Honey sounds like Apache the way she settles into her drives. Apache almost always rides on the passenger side floor boards between my legs. We train all of our guide dog pups to ride there.

    Happy Monday!

  11. I still hope to get to Cape May someday:) Hope you’re all having the best time on your holiday. I don’t have holidays, I have days off:) Beryl travels like Honey, I often have to check to make sure she really is in the back seat. Frankie is my co-pilot and after he’s been somewhere twice he knows where we’re going next time we head that way.

    If I lived in the US and took holidays I’d definitely use Amy’s blog as a starting point. It’s a great way to see the country via the internet though:)

  12. I hope you are enjoying your trip. Sampson will lie there looking at the suitcases then back to me, over and over. I try my best to reassure him, but when they’re not going with me, I’m sure he senses my sadness.

    I’ve yet to really travel with the dogs since discovering blogville, but can’t wait until our next adventure when we can use the Go Pet Friendly website. :-)

  13. Pamela, thank you so much for your kind words about the site. Obviously, I’m a couple days behind on my reader, but nothing makes me happier than knowing you, Mike and Honey enjoy a relaxing time together and we’ve been able to contribute to it. Have a super-fantastic pet friendly time!

  14. Sounds like Honey has travels sorted and it is us humans who just need to relax, chill out and go with the flow….. have a good holiday :)