Over the River & Through the Woods – Traveling to Grandma’s with Pets

As we move into the fall months and the weather cools (unless you are down here in Texas), people tend to think less about vacations and more about all the holidays on the horizon. But those holidays often include travel, and while you might not want to take Fido on your tropical summer get-away…bringing him to stay a few nights at your parents’ house for Thanksgiving might be just what you need to survive another family gathering.

IMG_2334_1024Of course I would recommend you find a fabulous pet sitter to give your furry family members all the love and attention they could need…but I might be bias.

Traveling with pets can definitely be an exciting adventure – as long as your trip is well planned.  We have a great resource of information on traveling with your pet here.  It includes everything from general travel tips, to information on airline guidelines for pets, to what hotels will allow pets to stay on their property.

Some smart pet lovers over at the Brenham Community Center found a great resource on a website about truckers traveling with their pets.  Check it out here.  It outlines basic information about being on the road with dog and cats (…and also mentions traveling with rabbits and birds.  I’m not sure I’d ever be that brave!)  Our Online Directory has been updated to include a link to this informative page.  Big thanks to the kids out at the Brenham Community Center for sharing the information they found as they work hard on their project!

Feel free to leave any tips you have for traveling with your pets in the comments below.  I’d love to hear any personal experiences or “adventures” you have had while traveling with your furry children….and please please please leave a comment if you have ever road tripped with a bunny!

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Possibly the PERFECT Pet – (The Story of the Vizsla)

Before working with dogs professionally, I was relatively unfamiliar with the Vizsla.  I did have one friend, older than the rest of our circle, who got a dog (a Vizsla) as a substitute for the family he wanted.  (He was a sweet guy, but he just couldn’t find it in him to commit to more than a dog.)  He took that dog with him EVERYWHERE (as you can only do in NYC) and dressed her in hats, shirts, coats, costumes…whatever he could find.  He made YouTube videos featuring her and posted endless pics on social media.  All I could think was “That is one sweet, patient dog.”

Not long after I met another Vizsla, Sadie.  She came to my dog daycare every day.  We all called her “Sweet Sadie” because she was just that.  Never barked, rarely played (she was an older pooch)…she was affectionate and well mannered.  A perfect dog.

So, Vizslas!  I don’t think they are as popular as the lab, and I don’t think they are as well known as the retriever.  They are a fascinating breed, though, and ideal pets for family life.

Vizslas originated in Hungary, and stone etchings confirm they have been kept as pets for over a thousand years.  As Hungarians at this time lived a nomadic life, these dogs were not just companions but herded and guarded livestock, tracked wild animals, and hunted (often alongside falcons.)  In other words, they were essential to human survival. Later, Vizlas would accompany lords and barons when they hunted for sport.  They were such a sign of aristocracy, it wasn’t until 1825 (when breed standards were established and Vizslas were named the Official Pointing Dogs of Hungary) that non-nobles were permitted to own them.

So you know that they are a competent noble  breed, but what makes them good pets?  Well, first of all, they are gentle mannered and extremely loyal.  They are quiet  and affectionate.  They are great with children.  Best of all (as if you didn’t already think they were the perfect dog!) they are incredibly easy to train – both in basic obedience and hunting.

If you are lazy and don’t want to spend any time with your dog, the Vizsla is not for you.  These dogs want to be outside hiking and biking.  They are intelligent, so they need to be stimulated.  They will not be content to sit inside and watch tv all day, and they will not be happy to be left alone much of the time.  (I am the same way myself!)

I have always been drawn to this breed.  I think they are amazingly beautiful creatures and (while I know it is a dangerous game to make assumptions about an entire breed off a handful of examples) I have never met a Viszla who wasn’t he absolute sweetest, most gentle and loving creature.

So, I’m curious.  What do you think of Vizslas….are they the perfect pet?