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Posts Tagged ‘Traveling With Pets’

  1. Pollyanna, The Submariner Reindeer

    December 1, 2014 by admin

    As the holiday season gets underway, we wanted share with you the interesting life of reindeer Pollyanna.

    Picture a reindeer.

    How does it move around?  Perhaps you are seeing it walk from place to place through the tundra.  Or maybe you know that reindeer are good swimmers, so you visualize it swimming across an arctic lake or fjord.

    And reindeer fly!  Everyone knows that.

    But did you know they also ride in submarines?

    Well, at least one did, back during World War II.

    Photo credit: Royal Naval Museum

    Photo credit: Royal Naval Museum

    Hard to believe?  Check out this true story:

    A British submarine named the HMS Trident was stationed as part of the British-Russian alliance at Pollyarnoe, a naval base near Murmansk on the Arctic Ocean.  The commander of the Trident, Lieutenant Commander G M Sladen, chatted up the local Russian Admirals about life back in England.  He mentioned his children and his wife’s difficulties in pushing the pram up the steep hills in the snow.  The Russian leaders, in a gesture of goodwill between the Allies, decided to try to help.

    When the Trident shipped out of Polyarnoe in August 1941, the Russians added a live baby reindeer to the provisions laded aboard.  If reindeer could pull Santa’s sleigh, surely one could help out moving a pram!  How could Lt. Commander Sladen refuse such a thoughtful gift?  The crew dubbed the reindeer “Pollyarnoe” in honor of their Russian home-port, but soon Anglicized the name to “Pollyanna.”

    Thinking the Trident would be returning to her base in Scotland in two or three weeks, the Russians provided a few bales of tundra moss for Pollyanna to eat.   But plans changed and the Trident was at sea for six weeks straight!  The whole time with a (growing!) baby reindeer on board.  When the moss ran out, the crew fed Pollyanna table and kitchen scraps.

    The crew took care of her and cleaned up after Pollyanna, but supposedly the deer would only allow Lt. Comander Sladen to be near her when the surface hatch was opened to allow fresh air into the sub.

    reindeer_2After six weeks at sea, the now rather large reindeer was extracted from the sub with some difficulty and returned to dry land.  After a few weeks with the Sladen family, Pollyanna took up residence at a Royal zoo, and lived out her life in peace and comfort.

    There are many stories old and new, some true and many fictional, that capture the true meaning of holiday cheer and spirit.  This is one of our favorites and we hope that you enjoyed it as well.

  2. Suppertime! Dining with your Dog on the Road

    June 1, 2014 by admin

    Part of Our Continuing Series On Travelling With Pets

    An important part of any vacation plan is the food. You probably think about what restaurants you’d like to try and what car snacks you need to buy before setting out for a road trip.

    If you are like us, you love bringing your pup along on trips whenever possible.  Fido has needs, too. Bringing your pet along for the trip adds an additional dimension to the planning.IMG_0519

    What your dog will eat on the road is actually the easy part: she’ll probably chow down on whatever she normally eats. We pack a plastic container with our pup’s dry food and measuring scoop, and she’s all set. (Our dog has a bowl and treats in the car at all times, so we don’t need to pack those items for a longer trip.)

    The bigger question for a long road trip with your dog, is what she’ll do while YOU are eating? You can’t leave your pup alone in the car while you spend an hour slowly munching on a fancy dinner. You need to plan ahead to make sure that your meal stops will be either quick, or outdoors.

    When we are traveling with our Moo dog, we frequently pack a picnic lunch. This way everyone gets to stay together to eat. We love our picnics, and we can all keep an eye on the pup.  All we have to do is track down a suitable park or scenic spot for a snack.

    Another easy option is to get your food to-go.  This way, you can eat restaurant food when a picnic is not desirable or feasible.  You will only be away from your dog for a few minutes while you place your order.  Then you and your pup van find a shady park, or just roll down the windows and eat in the lot.

    Tip:  If all else fails, leave your car on with the A/C running, and lock your car doors.  It is not at all the best choice, but it’ll keep your pup safe for a short time.

    Drive-thrus are a variation on food to-go.  Many chains offer dog biscuits or other treats to traveling pups.  Our Moo used to love going to Dunkin’ Donuts in New Hampshire because she always got a free munchkin, just for being cute.  The downside?  You usually end up eating while driving.

    The main thing is to keep your pup in mind when on the road.  Fancy dining may be off the menu, but you can still find many options for eating that ensure the safety of your pup, and give you both a chance to relax and stretch before you continue to explore.

  3. Pack The Car

    May 25, 2014 by admin


    Rather than worrying on every outing if we have all of our ‘go to’ items and emergency bits in the car, we like to save time and energy by packing the car in advance- keeping the many little necessities tucked in the car to be at the ready when called upon.

    This makes spontaneous trips so much more do-able, since we can literally grab our coats and wallets and head out the door.

    What sorts of things do we keep in the car?

    • Cleaning Supplies: Wipes, napkins, trash bags.
    • Travel Supplies: Maps, pens and paper, a mini tool kit, flashlight.
    • Stuff for Kids: Toys, games, books, flash cards, crayons, paper, our family trip log.
    • Stuff for the Pup: Treats, water dish, half gallon of H2O, emergency dog leash.
    • Other Extras: Spare gloves and mittens, ibuprofen, small first aid kit, small packable blanket.


    Of course, you should modify this list to include the items that are essentials for you.

    By keeping the car pretty well stocked, we don’t have to grab all these things every time we head out on an adventure. We just gather a few snacks and some fresh water, along with books and toys of current interest- and we are ready to go!

  4. Route Planning For Your Dog

    September 14, 2013 by admin


    Part of our Continuing Series on Traveling With Pets

    Once you’ve gotten your car all packed for a road trip with the pup, you need to consider your travel route.  While this may seem daunting, it’s actually quite easy.  After a few adventures, planning will become as natural as any other part of the journey.

    When considering a car ride with your dog, think about how long of a trip you are taking.  The longer the trip, the more extra thought your pup requires.  Ponder these questions:  when will your dog eat? drink? get exercise? relax in nature?

    Whether you prefer an online map, an atlas, or a folded paper map- your best bet is to check your route for a park along the way.  We like to search in two or three-hour intervals for a stopping place—you may have to stop more often if you have an older dog, or a puppy (when Moo was a pup, we stopped every 30 or 45 minutes to let her out.)  A few stops built into the trip and your dog can go potty, get a drink of water, and maybe have a bite to eat.

    Many of these stops will bring you into towns you might not have noticed before and give you a chance to see natural sights you may have otherwise missed.

    Tip: Your car can get hot very quick.  Never leave your dog alone in the car!

    We do a short bit of internet research on each selected stop before we leave to make sure that dogs are permitted, and where they can go off leash.  Giving your dog a chance to get her run-on will help keep her happy and help her sleep when back in the car.

    Things to pack in your car:

    • A water/food bowl:  we use one metal bowl for both purposes.
    • A container of food
    • A bottle of water: ours is a half gallon size- plenty of water is important!
    • Chew toys for the ride: we have a hard ‘chew bone’ that stays in the car and helps our pup relax.
    • Toss toys for stops at parks.
    • Check our complete dog packing list HERE.


    You not only get a great travelling companion with your dog in the car, but an added reason to check out some parks and natural areas that you might have driven right by on the interstate.

  5. The Museum of the Dog

    August 27, 2013 by admin


    Part of our continuing series on traveling with pets

    This place is for the dogs!

    We truly enjoy taking our dog on vacation, so our research always includes looking for places she will enjoy.  Our trip to St. Louis produced a great find—The Museum of the Dog (MOD).

    The MOD is sponsored and supported by the AKC, and features exhibits about dogs of all kinds.  But it’s not just a museum about dogs– it is a museum that allows you to bring IMG_0422your dog into it!

    You must keep your dog on a leash as you explore three floors of dog related art and history.  Moo had a great time exploring the MOD with her family, instead of being left at the hotel on a museum day.

    The MOD won’t take you and your pooch longer than one hour to visit.  But it is right on the edge of Queeny Park, so you can take a long stroll before you go off on your next adventure.

  6. Bring Your Dog Into The Store

    July 29, 2013 by admin

    It’s summertime, so you can’t leave your pup in the car for even a few minutes!  Car interiors heat up very fast in the summer season, regardless of cloud coverage, so never risk leaving your dog in a closed car during the summer months.

    IMG_0335But does that mean you have to leave Fido at home?  Of course not!  Let your pooch come along on adventures to pet-friendly shops during the summer.  Here is a partial list of shops that allow critters (be sure to check with your local chain to ensure that they still allow pups):

    • PetSmart: all stores, nation wide!
    • Barnes & Noble: all stores, nation wide!
    • Mounds: A Wisconsin-based pet store.
    • Bad Dog Frida: Our local pet-boutique.  Check your neighborhood for similar pet shops that might allow your dog to visit.
    • Revolution Cycle:  Yes, our local bike shop is pet-friendly.
    • Star Liquor: In our area, you can even bring your dog on a beer run!


    Be on the lookout for small, locally owned shops that might be OK with your dog coming by.  Then you can let your dog accompany you on the next shopping trip!

  7. Hotel For Dogs

    June 7, 2013 by admin

    Part of our continuing series on traveling with your dog.

    We do our best to always make extended travel plans that include our dog, Moo.  But this desire creates its own set of issues, including lodging.  Finding a good pet-friendly hotel takes some research.

    There are websites dedicated to organizing lists of pet-friendly hotels and they are indeed a good source of information.  Once you identify a chain that meets your requirements and you have a successful visit, why not stick with that hotel for all your future travel?  That has been our approach.

    LQ Logo Tag underneat_edited1_fullWe are card-holding Returns Members of La Quinta Inns & Suites (LQ) .  Not only does this hotel offer very affordable rates with locations across the USA, it provides free breakfast AND all LQs are pet-friendly – with NO FEE.  The very few times we have had problems with our reservation at a LQ, their customer service reps were very quick to intervene on our behalf and load our Returns membership with a free night.

    Knowing that we don’t have to spend time trolling through hotel information to try and identify a pet-friendly and affordable chain certainly helps ease the stress of planning a vacation!

  8. Outfitting Your Car To Travel With The Dog

    May 28, 2013 by admin


    Part of our Continuing Series on Traveling With Pets

    We take our Moo everywhere we can, including on vacation.  Many people we know see it as too much trouble to bring a pet on a family trip.  But we know we’d miss Moo and worry about her constantly, if we left her behind.  We see Moo as a member of our family.  So we follow a few simple steps to make the decision to take her with us on vacation successful.

    An important part to making traveling with your dog work well is to prepare your vehicle.  Things to include and consider:

    • Where will the pup sit and sleep?  We try to leave a dog-sized piece of floor free in a quiet part of the car.
    • Keep a food/water bowl and small jug of water in the car at all times.  Whenever you stop, offer the pup a drink.
    • Keep a towel in the car for wiping paws and drying off a wet dog.
    • If your dog likes to chase balls or Frisbees, make sure you always have one in the car.  Many a long drive can be pleasantly interrupted with a chance to run and chase in a roadside rest area.
    • Keep a stash of plastic bags in the car for clean up at bathroom stops.  Be a courteous pet owner.
    • An extra leash in the car can help set minds at ease if you lose track of the primary one.
    • Treats!  Who’s a good pup?  Yes, you!
    • Never leave your dog in a vehicle on a warm day.  Never.


    We find our Moo fits right in, once you take a moment to consider her pup needs.  And she is really no more trouble to bring along on journeys than anyone else in our family.