Traveling with dogs

Dogs are such good company. I drove to Maine ahead of Cherisse—she had to wait for our house/chicken sitters to come. Neither of us wanted to be without a dog, so we split them up. Koa is in charge of protecting the homestead, and we thought Oliver wouldn’t like to be thrown into guard dog duty. So he came with me.

Except for going to Hawaii, when it is impossilbe to bring them, it’s just not a vacation without dogs. They encourage a more active trip for one thing…they love going for a walk or swim. But even in their quiet moments, curled up on their dog beds while we read, or leaning in for a head scratch, they emanate happiness.

Koa injured herself somehow and is running around on three legs. It hasn’t slowed her down though. She loves to swim, and makes straight for any body of water, wading in and out repeatedly. In my sister’s saltwater pool she does the same thing…she walks down the stairs, does a lap, gets out and does it over again. And again. She swims all summer in the river at home, but the ocean is her favorite—a big beach and wide open water.

Oliver learned to swim in Maine (we had begun to wonder if he really was a Lab). He is stronger than Koa, and when they both go after a stick in opposite directions they spin each other around like a water wheel. Hopefully they are smart enough not to drown each other.

In our Maine Atlas and Gazetteer we have marked the best dog stops. These are places where the dogs can run and go for a swim, to break up the long trip. My mother and father first found this wonderful area we stay in from a book about traveling with dogs…it listed pet-friendly hotels and cottages.

As I write, two black dogs are sleeping on either side of me, on the porch. They have had a very busy day, driving to the Stonington Farmers’ market, stopping at the Turtle Gallery, and then taking a drive to the Bagaduce Forge. In between they had walks, a swim, and ate. It just doesn’t get better than that.

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