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
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
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.