How to have a great vacation even when the dogs can’t go

August 21, 2010

There are two great passions in life that don’t always go together very well: a love of animals, and a love of travel.

That’s the conflict that faces us whenever we take a family vacation, and never more so than when we recently spent five weeks in Europe.

The horses, our Golden Retriever, Shakira, and the barn cats all have their own caretakers, who look after them and, in whatever spare time they have left after that all-consuming job, look after Almost Heaven Ranch, too.

But our little dogs Quora and Quixote, and Pugs Bruce and Willy, who belong to our daughter, Mikkel, are a different story. I won’t say they’re spoiled. I’ll think it, but I won’t say it. I’ll just say that they require a certain amount of personal attention.

Fortunately, we know just where they can get that, in just as great an abundance as they get it when we’re at home: from their “Aunt Kate,” who runs Happy Tails Bed & Biscuit here in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

The dogs always get the best from their “Aunt Kate” — they even sleep on her bed, just like home — but she pulled out all the stops on this recent trip. Moira, her 13-year-old niece, was staying with Kate, and she adopted Quixote, Quora and the Pugs as her special bed buddies.

She called them the “Ps and Qs,” and told us that “Bruce thinks he’s a mighty squirrel hunter.” We also heard that, on the warm summer nights, Moira found the dog blanket a little too warm. Did she make them sleep on the floor? No, she just aimed a fan at the bed and snuggled in tight.

A family vacation to Europe? Expensive. Having someone take care of your pets who loves them just like you do? Priceless.

Photo: The dogs at “Aunt Kate’s” Happy Tails Bed & Biscuit in Bonners Ferry. In the top row, Quora is third from the left and Quixote fourth. Kate’s dogs Nellie and Stewie are one and two from the left.

Filed under: pets, connected — Dr. Marty Becker @ 8:02 am

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