What Do You Do With Your Dog When You Go On Vacation?

big_benMy husband and I had planned a trip to England for a few days.

Michael is a writer and was invited to appear at Jewish Book Week in London.  A fantastic opportunity for him to promote his work to the British market and a perfect excuse for me to get back home, eat fish and chips and drink real beer. But what should we do with Farfl while we were gone?

We couldn't take her with us because she hasn't had all of her shots yet and wouldn't be allowed to enter the UK. I hate the idea of kennels, but leaving a four-month-old puppy with friends seems like a lot to ask. Luckily I had introduced Farfl to my friend's dog Gem (click here to see a cute video of the two chihuahuas playing together) and my girlfriend offered to take Farfl and our daughter while we were in England.

While we were away we called our kid and I had a worrying third-hand report of how Farfl had growled at everyone and ignored the pee pad I had assured my friends she always went on. There was pee and poo everywhere and Farfl was keeping Gem hostage in her bed!

I panicked initially but realized that there wasn't much I could do. My girlfriend has six kids and is a real trooper, so I tried not to fret too much. When we went to pick Farfl up four days later, the nanny at the house told me Farfl hadn't really been that bad at all - just a bit scared on the first day. The rest of the time she was friendly and loving and although she had a couple of accidents, it wasn't the end of the world. Boy, was I ever relieved. Later that night my girlfriend confirmed that although Farfl had pooed and peed where she shouldn't, Gem had done the exact same thing the first time she went away and left her. I felt a little bit better! Of course, the minute we got home Farfl went (and has continued to go) on the pee pads every single time.

So what do you do if you have a trip where you can't take your dog? One of the reasons I picked a chihuahua was so that she would be able to come with us - but since that wasn't possible I needed to look at my options.

My vet loves Farfl so much that she had offered to take her, but I didn't really want to impose. (Since I took Farfl back for her rabies shot and Hillary said again that she would look after her while I was away I may actually take her up on that offer another time!) I've heard horror stories of kennels that don't even bear thinking about and the expense, on top of paying for my cat sitter, would probably have meant me staying at home instead. Neither my husband nor I have any family close by, so I'm just very lucky to have a great friend who offered (and survived) to take our kid and the dog.

I'm now going to make sure that I get some advice from local friends who own dogs and find out where they've kennelled their dogs while they're on vacation. I can't rely on my friend every single time!

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