Today’s guest blogger is Roger Wellington. An ultra bossy rescue Yorkshire Terrier from California who has been traveling the world since 2016. He teaches his “pawrents” how to travel with their dogs and blogs about his nomadic canine life on Wet Nose Escapades: A Yorkie’s Guide to Healthy Dog Travel. To date, Roger W. has set his tiny furry paws in over 20 countries.
WOOF! As I leave my alpha mark around the globe, I’m often met with strangers tilting their heads to my furry nomadic lifestyle. What’s it like travelling with a dog??? Countless people have asked my humans that question over and over. From being spoiled with blueberry facials on the Upper East Side in Manhattan to living a strict Covid-19 lockdown in Spain. I’ve had some unique experiences as a dog traveller. Although it sounds complicated, travelling with a dog is such a rewarding bonding experience. With a wagging upright tail, I’m ecstatic to bark out a few things that my humans and I have experienced while travelling together.
Embrace slow travel (and live like a local)
Travelling with your dog forces you to live more like a local instead of playing the typical ambitious tourist. While human travellers may have no problem tearing up the town checking off tourist attractions within 48-hours before hopping on another flight, dog travellers need (or should be given) more rest. ARF, I love new places but don’t mess with my naps! Because dogs thrive on routines, my humans try their best to recreate stable environments for me on the road.
Before they resigned from the conventional office, my humans would travel internationally for three weeks or so each time. Even covering one or two countries along with several major cities. Now, with me in the mix, we’ll spend at least a whole month in Paris. Devouring savoury crepes in the Latin Quarter and sippin’ on espressos in Le Marais before moving onto the next destination. Ah, it’s a dog’s life. Slow travel means that we can immerse ourselves with the local people and culture versus simply checking off that bucket list.
Meet lots of people
Besides helping my humans slow down the pace, I’ve also connected them with people wherever we go. Unlike most humans who may be shy to strike a conversation, dogs are hardly bashful to sniff out other dogs that come their way. As dog lovers know, dogs are generally social creatures who welcome a butt sniff or two. From long-time residents with their dogs to fellow travellers who miss their dogs. I’ve effortlessly become the origin of new daily conversations and lasting friendships. After four years on the road, my humans and I have made numerous human and furry friends from all over the world, from Canada to Romania.
And, even if you don’t befriend anyone while travelling with your dog (which is highly unlikely), you’ll hardly feel lonely when your pawsome furry travel companion is always by your side.
When travelling with a dog, you’re often hit with rejection: “Sorry, dogs aren’t allowed.” However, that doesn’t mean that my humans don’t try to negotiate. It never hurts to be bold and attempt to negotiate when travelling with your dog. From hotels to restaurants, establishments around the world that don’t typically allow dogs may accommodate when asked politely.
For instance, we’ve found that it’s possible to negotiate or even skip those hotel pet fees (ranging from weekly to daily), especially if we intend on staying longer. If we find a suitable hotel or Airbnb with a NO PET POLICY, we aren’t afraid to ask if they can accommodate. The worst thing that can happen is that we get a NO. As my humans always vouch for me (and emphasize that I’m small in size, well-behaved, potty-trained, and hypoallergenic), we’re often surprised by how accommodating some places are!
Become more aware
The great Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Sadly, animal abuse exists virtually everywhere in the world, even in my progressive hometown California. Nonetheless, traveling with your dog inevitably offers you a different perspective. It creates more awareness of animal welfare and rights in societies and cultures around the world. As we are always seeking dog-friendly or dog-accepting places in our destinations, we’ve experienced a wide range of attitudes and treatments towards dogs.
In dog-friendly Italy, I love being able to sit my furry butt on a human chair, dine inside fancy osterias and ristorantes, AND shop for fresh ravioli in a dog-designated cart. However, in countries like Greece where stray dogs and cats (not to bark, tethered outdoor dogs) are ubiquitous, such a sight is so RUFF and heartbreaking that it drives my humans to feed these innocent animals every day during our stay. Regardless of where we witness blatant animal abuse or neglect, we will NOT stand around as silent bystanders. As we continue to travel around the world, we hope to make a positive impact on animal welfare.
ARF, if you’re contemplating whether or not to travel with your dog, JUST DO IT! Ultimately, it’ll make you a better traveller AND a more compassionate human being. Learn how to travel with dogs and keep them safe on flights HERE.
Markin’ it up,
Roger Wellington a.k.a. The Doob
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Roger Wellington is a senior rescue Yorkshire Terrier who has been traveling the world since 2016. He blogs about his nomadic canine adventures on Wet Nose Escapades.
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