Snowbirds! Traveling with Pets.

pet friendly

Pets are an integral part of ones’ family.  These cute, cuddly, slobbering, barking, funny faced, meowing, feathered, shedding, small and large behemoth’s, find a place in our hearts that can never be removed.  From the time of our birth to the end of our days, Pets make our lives better.  They provide a love that no one can understand and rarely explain. 

That’s why, when Snowbirds pack up and head south for the winter, the family pet(s) is sitting in the back of the car or RV wagging its tail.  They seem to know they are heading south with you for some welcomed R and R.  As a fact over 60% of snowbirds travel south with a family pet.  

Riding with a Pet can be quite the chore.  One thing we all know is how hard it is to find a pet friendly hotel.  Prior to Covid very few hotel owners were prepared to accept a pet as a guest.  With a decrease in travelers hotel owners quickly realized that accommodating pets made good financial sense.  In addition with the introduction of Bring Fido and other pet friendly apps, travel across north america became so much easier.  (Check “map my route”).  In addition nearly all of the State and Provincial highway rest stops have pet friendly areas, with  complimentary “doggie bags”, and of course Stoop and Scoop protocols.  

Here is a great story worth sharing:  John and Sue Platz make the winter migration from Fenelon Falls, Ontario to Wellington, Florida.  As avid pet owners, and with a keen love of equestrian sports, they found Wellington, Florida as a winter retreat for them.  (For those of you who have never heard of Wellington you should google it.  It is just outside of West Palm Beach.  Minutes to the beach, world class restaurants, and is home to the Winter Equestrian Festival.  From  January to March world class riders from the four corners of the globe come to compete.       

“Yes, we had a crazy trip” said John.  We were well on our way from Ontario to our home in Wellington.  We had our three dogs in the back and it was time for a “doggy” pee break.  It was a cold November day with light showers as we drove into a rest station in Virginia.  What Sue and I do is put the leashes on the dogs before letting them out.  Our preferred destination was the rest stop pet park area.  Our Boston terrier Billie is not terribly obedient and takes much more coaxing.  So, I took her and Frankie for a walk with the intentions of coming back for our pug – Roxie. 

I then shut the truck door and Sue and I started to head to the park area.  I looked back, just as our pug stared out the passenger side window with his paw pushing down on the door lock.  Yes – with a click of the lock I  punctuated the air with a loud “F…k!!”  Our keys were in the truck, as well as our wallets and cell phones.  We were completely helpless.  In to the rest station we went and fortunately there was an attendant who was talking on the phone.  He finished his call and helped us out.  A quick call to Triple A and a commissioned tow truck operator arrived and unlocked the door.

Unfortunately our hero did not recognize our CAA membership and in order to conclude the transaction I had to pay his full fare for his service.  Plenty of lessons learned!”

Oh but we go 
with the Grace of God, 
family and friends 
and furry beasts in tow.
Lord Tennison  

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