Dog trains man

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pet Friendly Travel Outcasts

There were plenty of dogs in the main walking street of the small fishing town "Hvide Sande" (white sands). The majority of them were German tourists traveling with their pooches, doing some shopping, having lunch or just strolling casually. Pedestrian traffic sometimes came to a sudden halt in a web of flexi-leashes, with dog owners admiring the shop windows at one end and their dogs meeting at the other end.

Two German couples came around the corner, one of them with two dogs. A Great Dane and a St. Bernhard. The dogs immediately reacted to the sight of all those canines in the street. The woman holding their leashes wanted to retreat, but the other couple - their dog remained calm - seemed to insist, pointing at a place further down the road. They continued down the street.

The dogs became more distressed. They started to prance and barked at any dog that came into their sights. A feisty Beagle was the first to respond with a counter bark, and soon other dogs joined in. The woman - using all her force to restrain those two huge dogs - stumbled into the first side street she could find, accompanied by an orchestra of barking dogs, rolling eyes and cold shoulder turns.

In the side street she found a parked car which she used as a cover for the dogs passing by. When some would venture into the side street she was in, she hovered around the car, making sure it was always in between her dogs and the ones that were approaching.

She send her husband back to convince the other couple to leave, and he commuted back and forth with messages for a while. It took a while to convince the other couple, but they finally came over and left the area together. The woman was relieved, and when our eyes met we exchanged a little nod and a smile. From one pet friendly travel outcast to another.

That day I left Kenzo & Viva back at the house we rented, having already learned my outcast lesson. I only take Viva to places where we can avoid other dogs. And in the middle of the day, between hikes, we leave them for a little nap, while we do some sightseeing, and maybe eat a little lunch. I really hope the German couple will also find a routine like this, and that they continue to travel with their dogs. They just need to find a way that works for them.

We outcasts can travel too, and all we need is some additional planning and give it some extra thought. Find out what we can enjoy as a team and what not. And the end result is rewarding for us all, as Amy Burket wrote so eloquently in "Pet Travel: Dogs With Issues", a post written to my heart.


  1. We travel with Monty even though he occasionally can be dog aggressive. We keep Sam in between him and other dogs, just because Sam is so calming.


    1. That's awesome Sam can do that. Viva has the opposite effect on Kenzo, sending him in a high to go defend her. Way to go, Sam!

  2. My heart goes out to that poor woman, her husband, and anyone who's been in the same situation with their dog - as I know you have, Leo. Thanks so much for your kind words about my post - you have no idea how it touches me to know I've touched you across all these miles. And thank you for the nod of support you have to that woman. We pet friendly travel outcasts will stick together, a kind of fraternity of understanding souls who know what it's like to be doing the best you can for a dog with issues.

    1. I could have hugged her and told it was alright if only I could. But it was not possible to go over and have a talk, the dogs already reacted to my presence, just across the street. I hope she understood the nod, she must have felt so alone.
      Thanks for your post again Amy, your words do touch over oceans, and they should.

  3. Both Amy's and your posts are wonderful. I hope they reach the people who most need to read them.

    When I had Agatha and Christie, we started camping. They just weren't suited to sitting at outdoor cafes or busy festivals. Camping was comfortable to them and I discovered a new activity to love.

    Traveling with reactive dogs is not easy. But it's worth the special effort.

    1. Thanks Pamela, I hope so too.

      And like you say, they bring you new places and let you do new things, we otherwise would have missed out on.


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