Traveling on a Short Leash: Leaving Dogs Behind While Traveling
If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’ll know all about Padfoot, my neurotic rescue dog who traveled to Argentina and then back to the US with me, only to be put back on a plane to move with me to Puerto Rico shortly thereafter. He hates flying, but we cannot live without each other, so when I move, he moves. But traveling with Padfoot all the time is impractical, expensive, and honestly, downright selfish seeing as he is absolutely miserable on planes. So when I take a trip, Padfoot has to stay behind.
Less than a year ago, Pedro and I unexpectedly acquired a puppy, who we christened Dobby. (By “we” I mean me. Because Padfoot and Dobby OMGSOCUTE Am I right?!) So now I have a 9-year-old grumpy dog with abandonment issues and a 1-year-old puppy who likes to practice parkour off of literally anything. They are both needy in their own special ways.
(Yes they have their own instagram. I had to make one, otherwise my travel instagram would constantly be invaded by their adorable faces)
Life would be so much easier if I could Snapchat my dogs
When I decide how long a trip will be or how many trips I will take in a short amount of time, the deciding factor almost always comes down to my dogs. Yes, sure, I have a boyfriend and I love him, blah blah blah, whatever. He’s a human. He understands my wanderlust. We can Snapchat, email, Skype, etc throughout my trip and he won’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll come back. My dogs can’t do any of that.
Padfoot has had abandonment issues since the day I got him. In the beginning, he would throw himself at the door when I left because he seemed convinced I would never return. He’s gotten a lot better, but he still panics when he sees my suitcase. Dobby is a clueless puppy, so she does not connect the dots between seeing a suitcase and me leaving, but once I am gone, she is distraught. Since I work from home, my lucky dogs are used to me being around all day. They expect me to be available to endlessly open and close the door so that they can switch off between chasing iguanas, curling up at my feet, and sunbathing in the driveway. When I leave, they take it pretty personally. If only I could send them a quick WhatsApp with a kissy face & promises to bring them souveniers! Or send them snaps of animals they would love to chase!
No one can love my dogs like I love my dogs!
When I’m a trip, I worry about my dogs all the time. Is Dobby stress chewing? Is Padfoot eating or hunger striking? What if they get out and get hit by a car?! These are very real fears. Padfoot is all flight and no fight. I cannot tell you how many times I have run after this dog, crying and begging for him to come back to me before he gets hurt. I have perfected the technique as well as my sprinting skills, even when wearing unfortunate outfits ranging from pajamas to Dora the Explorer Halloween costumes. Crazy rescue dogs require a balance of patience and insanity that I’m not sure I trust anyone else to have.
During my last trip, Padfoot got injured.
I got a message from Pedro saying that Padfoot had begun limping and yelping if you touched his right paw. My poor baby had a serious infection on his paw and ended up needing several shots, a special ointment, and a week’s worth of 2 different kinds of pills. Pedro handled it like a champion, but I felt horrible about not being there.
My dogs limit my travels, and that’s ok.
I know that if I didn’t have my dogs, I would travel more. I would have more money and time and a lot less guilt, but I also wouldn’t have my beloved pets. I’ve been a dog person my whole life, and it’s not something I’m willing to give up. When I first started traveling, my mom generously offered to take Padfoot so I wouldn’t have to worry about him anymore. I didn’t even consider it. Padfoot is a part of my life, and now Dobby is too. Traveling is so important to me, but as much as I love taking trips, I also love having a home to come back to, and I can’t really imagine a home without my dogs.
World map bedspread and adorable dog. My loves. My life. I wouldn’t change it for anything.