I don’t take Henrietta to the dog park, or big family gatherings or the BlogPaws Conference. Why? Oh, it’s not because she is not adorable and I would so love to show her off and have people ohhhh and ahhhh at her, it’s because I’d be bringing her for my benefit, not hers.
When I got Henrietta it was in October in upstate New York and winter was starting. I work from home and the weather wasn’t conducive to going places and visiting people. Because of that, she didn’t get socialized and is much more comfortable in her home with her furry siblings. If we have a houseful of guests, Henrietta will plaster herself to my legs, pant and not relax until the house is back to our “usual” family.
She is a great traveler, though. We have traveled, by car, from New York to Arizona six times. Put her in a car, strap her into her seatbelt and she is ready to go. Stopping at rest stops require she jump into one of my purses so I can take her in with me — hopefully unnoticed. She complies and sits in their quietly while we shop or, well, whatever it is you do at rest stops.
In a hotel room, as long as she has her blankets and her bed, she calms down and never makes a peep. She has no qualms about visiting Mother Nature regardless of the terrain and travel in general doesn’t stress her.
Henrietta has also never been, and never will be, boarded. When I travel she stays home with the family and we have a couple of kids who are friends of my kids — who she has known forever — stop by to play with her and walk her. For summer vacations we have always chosen a spot that is Henrietta-friendly. She loves the drive to the vacation spot, but doesn’t love it if we want to go to the “downtown” areas to shop or attend events. I push her in her stroller or carry her because she isn’t a fan of being on the ground with a ton of strangers’ feet pounding the pavement next to her.
I make accommodations for her and the lifestyle to which she’s become accustomed. That means that no matter how much I’d love to show her off at BlogPaws, I don’t. The noise of the people, the stress I sometimes feel when I am in crowded places and all of the other animals would make her a panting nervous wreck. As a responsible pet parent, I shed a tear when I am packing my bags to head out, but I know she will be happier and healthier at home where she is comfortable.
When I get another poodle, I will make a concerted effort to assure she is socialized and happy in crowds so that she could come to a conference or attend a family get together, but until then Henrietta is who she is and I love her (and don’t subject her to stressors) for it.
Is your pet travel and BlogPaws Conference ready?