Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bringing the Dogs on Vacation

Every year, we take our dogs on vacation with us.  It's a 10 to 12 hour car ride, which is quite stressful for all of us, and then we arrive at our rented shore house for the week.  The first thing that happens is that everyone bursts out of the cars -dogs included- and goes exploring the new house.   For the humans, that usually means a mad dash through the house and a rush to claim a desirable bedroom for the week. For the dogs, that means exploring all the new scents that are in the house from dogs that have come before.  

Most times, the house has been well cleaned and there are not many marks from previous doggy guests.  Sometimes, however, there may be stains on the rug or chair legs that have not been properly deodorized, which may prove a smell too enticing for my Basenjis to ignore.  In those cases, we unfortunately get marking behavior.

To combat this, I usually bring with me a portable carpet cleaner.   Yes, it's no fun to be cleaning someone else's carpets on my vacation, but it really does help to do it at the beginning of the week, to prevent my dogs from marking all over the rented house.  Also, I have found it very helpful to bring a small spray bottle of white vinegar with me, to spray over any marked-and-cleaned areas.  This, for some strange reason, seems to help take away the ammonia smell of other dogs' urine, and prevent future marking behaviors.  

Then, once we get the house all cleaned and everyone settled in, it's off to the beach we go!  Even though it's too hot for the dogs to come to the sand during the day, every evening they love their walks along the surf, and at night they enjoy chasing the ghost crabs that run along the Outer Banks of North Carolina's shore. With just a little effort when we get there, and a little foresight and packing the right things before we leave, all of us have a happy vacation. I can't wait to go again this year!

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