Family Life

Vacationing with Your Pet

Dear Frankie,

This summer, my family is going on a road trip to the National Parks. They are renting a camper with beds for everyone, a living room, a table and chairs, and a kitchen. I have never traveled in a camper or been to the Grand Canyon, so I was really excited when I learned about the trip. The other night, I overheard my mom and dad discussing whether it was a good idea to leave me in the camper all day when they were out touring. My dad said he thought it would be fine since the camper had AC and a TV, and he would leave me water and a snack. My mom wasn’t convinced; she thought I might be scared and lonely being by myself every day. She said she called my Nana to ask if I could stay with her. Nana told her she would be pleased to have the company. Nana and I get along great. They decided they would discuss the options with me and let me decide what I wanted to do. I love being with my family and was psyched about going on a road trip, but being inside during the day, watching TV in an air-conditioned box doesn’t thrill me.

However, I will get to play with the sibs at night and eat s’mores on the nights we sit around the campfire. On the other paw, I also love my Nana. She lets me sit in the front seat next to her in the car when we go for a ride, choose what I want for a treat, and use the doggie door whenever I want to go out. However, she can’t throw or kick a ball when I’m outside because she uses a walker. Nana also goes to bed at 7 o’clock. So, that leaves me on my own for several hours before I call it a night. What do you think is the best option, Frankie?


Dear Tobey,

I say go to your Nana’s. Here’s why: Spending summer days cooped up in a camper will be stressful. Think about it; what’s your day going to be like? Waiting, pacing, and sniffing, when you are not wondering, “Is that their car? Could this be them?” It sounds like a canine nightmare. In contrast, you can go in and out at your Nana’s, have company during the day, and choose your treats. Look, I’m not saying it’s a dream summer vacation. I know you will miss your family and playing with your sibs, but it’s only for six weeks. Why not use this summer to do some of those things you have been meaning to do? Read dog adventure books, start a canine blog, or teach yourself Poker, and then teach Nana to play. In sum, make the best of it. You might ask your parents to provide you with a temporary phone. You might not use it, but it’s like money in the bank in that it’s nice to know it’s there. I would insist on a nightly call from the family; that’s the least they can do under the circumstances.


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