Traveling with Omar

Preparation for this year’s family vacation has been tricky. Getting a puppy will complicate what has historically been a simple process.

Before: choose a rental house (using our tried & true system: check dates, check price, then look at (aka: drool over) pictures of potential rental house). Pay the deposit on the rental house (usually by January 1st in anticipation of the July or September vacation). Wait for the week before vacation to pack.

The waiting is usually the most challenging of the above steps. We are an impatient breed when it comes to travel.

Then, we brought Omar home. She’s a lovely puppy. Too big for her own good. Adventurous. A seeker of all things she can chew on -including people. And the kind of puppy that will race at you, full force, so that she can throw all 35-ish pounds of herself at you. -In the abdomen, either right after you wake up in the morning or right before you can get to the bathroom to empty your bladder. Silly puppy.

And having Omar, while a sheer joy, makes planning for travel a challenge.

Before we adopted Omar, we’d done the following for our upcoming trip:

  1. Found a beach house (using the tried/true system outlined above).
  2. Were in the process of waiting for the week before vacation so we could pack.

Things were on schedule. We were satisfied with our beach house selection. We were excited to return to one of our favorite vacation spots.

Shortly after Omar joined our family, my husband made a comment that put is in a bit of a whirlwind.

Husband: What if we take Omar on vacation with us?

Me: I don’t know if the house we reserved takes pets. But I can check.

Note: If I’d been thinking, I might have been a bit more assertive. “The house doesn’t take pets. It costs $8,793.00 for a pet deposit.” Or something like that. But no. I said I’d check.

It turned out that the house we reserved, did not take pets. So hubby had an idea.

Husband: Do you think we can switch reservations to a house that does?

For this particular trip we’re going to take, we’re using Reed Realty for our housing needs. Reed is amazing. Clean houses, reasonable prices, friendly staff. We love getting their brochure in the mail throughout the year. I’ve considered sending them a family Christmas card, we like them so much.

When I called them to inquire about moving our deposit and large family (with Omar) to a pet friendly house, they didn’t disappoint. The hardest part was choosing between two lovely pet friendly homes.

Reed Realty staff person: If it helps, this one is closer to the beach.

I was sold on it.

I thought we were finished with revising the travel plan to include Omar the giant puppy.

I was wrong.

Next came scheduling her (yes, Omar is a girl) for a spay appointment -at the local vet…which is a few hundred miles away…by plane. And shots. And picking up a new collar complete with name tag. She chewed through the last collar.

Then, purchasing a larger travel crate. We don’t call her the giant puppy for nothing. She’s giant and still growing.

We’re still not finished though. I’m thick in the middle of locating and securing not one, but two nights of dog boarding. In two different states, you know, to accommodate for the road trip we’re taking (pre-trip & post trip) around the actual vacation. And dog boarding is harder to come by than it sounds. I’m still shy one night of overnight dog care. Why is it that more hotels aren’t pet friendly? They’d clean up if they were.

Omar’s great though. She really is. And I’m learning a lot about patience, flexibility, and the length of an application for boarding a dog as well as the definition of a “temperament assessment” that is required at some boarding facilities. Just a friendly FYI: the paperwork for those is thicker than Pride & Prejudice, so be ready.

But, look at this face. How could we not change everything to take her with us?

Omar the Giant Puppy

Omar the Giant Puppy

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2 thoughts on “Traveling with Omar

  1. I refuse to travel without my dog. She has and always will go with us/me on vacation. Now I have two dogs so if traveling with one was bad enough, try finding a place for two. Luckily they are smaller dogs so I have found one place where I have been before. I travel by car so no problems there. Dogs are such a part of the family that I would never think of traveling without them. Good luck with your trip!

    • Thanks Michele! We plan to take Omar on as many trips as possible. If nothing else, we will become experts at it! I do wish more hotels allowed pets. It would definitely simplify things.

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