Vacationing with your dog

lake dog
Mack watching his boys go out on the kayak

This week we had the luxury of spending time at a beautiful house on Lake Gaston, NC.  It was the perfect house, complete with a dock which the boys jumped off and spent many happy hours swimming and playing on the water mat, they went kayaking, tubing, played table tennis and board games.  Dave and I spent our time swinging on the chairs on the dock, catching up on reading, enjoying a glass of wine and watching the activities on the lake.  Sounds perfect doesn’t it? 

My mistake…..we brought the dogs.  Now I know this statement is going to be met with criticism, and those who know me know that I live for my dogs.  We love them with all our hearts, but what we actually needed was a dog free week.  I needed my own Kritterly.  The yard wasn’t fenced and I was constantly worried about the boys leaving doors open (why do teenagers lose their hearing?)  My Holly girl is such a ninny with bad weather that the lake effect weather (perfect mornings with an hour or two of severe thunderstorms in the evening) had her hiding in every nook and cranny she could find.  Mack came back from walks with ticks and we spent an hour every day combing through his and Holly’s fur to make sure there weren’t any hitchhikers; they woke up at their normal time at 5am and demanded to be let out and have breakfast before 6am (they don’t know it was a vacation and we were supposed to be sleeping in); Mack needed to be tethered on the dock as all he wanted to do was swim after the boys.  We were constantly getting up from the comfort of the swing chair to untangle his 30 foot leash which was tied around a pole.  He was barking at the boys who were squealing with delight as they found more creative ways to jump into the lake.  I was concerned we were disturbing this Utopian peace with loud Schnauzer barks.

My point is this….we all need a break from our dogs.  That doesn’t make us bad dog parents, quite the contrary – we appreciate them far more when we have been away from them.  You get to relax without the constant worry (as long as you know they are being boarded in an environment that you are comfortable with).  There will always be those vacations I couldn’t imagine without our dogs (Outer Banks anyone?) but for next time, when I really need to relax, my four footers need to stay with someone who I trust and who love my dogs just as much as I do.  That’s peace of mind!

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