Dogs on the Road

I am so lucky in that most of the time I travel for work I can bring a dog or two with me. Most of the venues I go to or set up at are dog friendly (they’re horsey venues and horse people always have dogs). I have actually found that bringing a dog along helps business – the dog draws potential customers into the booth and while they’re focused on the cute little puppy I get to give my elevator speech. Inevitably I say something that interests them or that they have a question about and bam! The connection is made.

Now that I’ve given away my recipe for a successful show, I might as well give away my secret on which dog I pick to come with me to what events. Believe it or not, I put a lot of thought into who goes and who stays. Location, venue type, travel method, and duration play a big role in my decision. Let’s examine the process…

Location – Location doesn’t seem important but it is. Bella and Joe don’t do well in hot climates, so hot places can be a gamble for them. Also, given Joe’s suspected breeding and how he looks, it’s simply not safe to take him to or travel through areas that might have breed specific legislation. I am also wary of taking him any place where he may be viewed as a potential fighter (hey, he looks the part even if we know he’s really a meatball) and stolen.

Joe is a lover, not a fighter.
Joe is a lover, not a fighter.

Venue type – The type of event we’re going to is the next factor. Large, sprawling horse shows mean lots of walking and that can be too much for Bella and Clementine. Joe can also be sensitive to off leash dogs who approach him too enthusiastically, so I try to avoid shows where we know we will be close to the barns, a place dogs typically roam off leash. Clementine and Sioux don’t really love kids, so I try to leave them at home if I feel that there may be lots of unattended kids at a show.

Show lunch is everyone's favorite part of travel.
Show lunch is everyone’s favorite part of travel.

Travel method – This is a more obvious one. The big dogs can’t fly and neither can Bella (it’s dangerous to fly brachycephalic breeds), so Roo and Clementine are the only two you’ll see with me on a plane.

Even though Roo is an experienced flyer (he's flown 4 times in a year!), driving is his favorite way to travel.
Even though Roo is an experienced flyer (he’s flown 4 times in a year!), driving is his favorite way to travel.

Duration – This probably doesn’t seem overly important on it’s face, but I like to keep in mind that some dogs, like people, don’t like extended time away from the familiar. Blueberry, my previous travel companion, didn’t care where we were or what we were doing as long as we were together. Roo and Sioux are similar in that sense, however Bella, Joe, and Clementine get tired after several long days in a row. I try to take this into account so that nobody gets stuck doing something they’re not keen on.

Guarding the booth is hard work!
Guarding the booth is hard work!

I would say that Roo and Clementine, often as a pair, are my go-to’s for shows – they’re small, easy to travel with, don’t mind being held by strangers or sitting in the car if things get hectic, and are all-round easy going. They also love to play together which means I don’t have to entertain them! Joe and Bella usually stay home, as I travel the most during the summer which is tough on Bella and Joe is perfectly happy to stay home and get some grandma time in. The jury is out on Sioux because she’s so new but I suspect she will do just fine on the road as she tends to be better away from home. We’ll find out for sure soon as it looks like she may be accompanying me to Florida in about a week!

It's better when dad comes. Then there's naps.
It’s better when dad comes. Then there’s naps.

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