It was my first holiday with my new family since I arrived eight weeks ago. It didn’t start off that well because we – me, Happy and Lady – sat in the car for six and a half hours in the backseat “hammock” on our way to our first pit stop in La Jolla. We spent a great deal of the time eyeing mom and dad’s laps and hoping for invitations that didn’t come (and boy, did we work it!). The accommodations, however, improved vastly from that point on. Our hotel for the evening, La Valencia, pulled out all the stops with a deluxe dog bed, water bowl and complementary stuffed seal (to seal the deal!). It scared the heck out of me at first but soon became my favorite toy EVER! That night we dined al fresco on our balcony, overlooking the sea. Not bad for a rescue pup, right?
I really needed this holiday. I was skinny and had been losing weight. I was also losing hair, and though I was feeling fine and blood tests showed nothing amiss, mom and dad were worried about me. A new diet and a trip to the sea, they said, would improve my health. Who was I to argue, though I had no idea what they were talking about. I would soon find out. We hit the sack early that night (mom’s pillow preferred) and the next morning headed out for our final destination: Carmel-by-the-Sea. Eight hours later, Happy and Lady were getting all riled up as we approached a parking lot that was, apparently, familiar to them. I wondered what was so exciting about a parking lot? I pressed my wet nose to the window and looked out.
Turns out, it was the parking lot in front of Carmel Beach. Wow! I had never seen a beach before – or such a vast expanse of water! And waves! I loved it! Off leash and free I chased Happy and Lady up and down the sand and through the surf. Both of them are avid seagull feather search-and-rescue professionals, so we spent a lot of time digging, too. And wow, I met so many other dogs! And they were all so nice. Something about being off leash made us all feel happy and non-territorial. Life is free and easy by the sea…
We took a lot of naps at our hotel, the Cypress Inn, and stretched out on a bed covered with the provided comfy, large dog blanket. We dined under the stars on their outside patio, as well as at the fanciest dog-friendly restaurant we’ve ever been to, PortaBella. And, we enjoyed breakfast – a wonderful complementary buffet – inside every morning in Terry’s Lounge in the hotel with a pack of other dogs.
We only had one mishap – Happy was stung by a bee. Maybe because he tried to eat it. Mom got out the emergency first aid kit, and Happy’s nose shrunk down to normal in no time.
I gained 1.5lbs in five days and my hair stopped falling out. A new high energy prescription puppy food, plus a hard boiled egg – graciously made to order every day by the Cypress Inn- put the meat and shine right back on me. I returned home healthy, happy, stronger and restored.
Thanks, mom and dad! I love you!
Tips for hitting the road with your pet:
- Keep your dog/s safely confined in the car
- Stop for frequent potty breaks, great for stretching legs and getting rid of pent-up energy, too
- Bring a roll of paper towels and a cleaner for cleaning the car seats, if needed
- Store a large supply of poo bags in the car and in your handbag/pocket
- Take along dog shampoo and towels in case your dog needs to be washed and dried
- Remember a first aid kit: besides the usual, bring along Bach Rescue Remedy for Dogs to calm nerves and Benadryl for stings
- Plan ahead: does your dog’s pet food need refrigeration? Do you need to travel with a cooler? Check, too, to see if the hotel has a mini bar for storing your food
- Always have fresh cool water handy and a drinking bowl/apparatus in the car, while walking around, and in your hotel room
- Make sure you understand ahead of time your hotel’s pet policy and fees
- Find the local vet: make sure you have numbers and addresses for emergencies