Dog Travel

Why You Should NOT Take Your Dog on a Mini-Vacation

From Kathy Thompson , Feb 2010

Taking our Rat Terrier with us for a three-day trip seemed a good idea, well at least to me. I didn’t mind two days with neighbors but three seemed a lot. Our destination was Lake Lure, a four-hour drive just southeast of Asheville, North Carolina. Initially Sadie did well. She slept in the car when we met old friends in Asheville for lunch and went to the bathroom on command when I walked her.

Lake Lure we discovered is a narrow lake ringed by summer homes and floating docks. The town is minuscule but quaint and the surrounding mountains beautiful. The 1927 resort and nearby beach was the site of the filming of Dirty Dancing. When I saw the film I really thought it filmed at a resort in the Catskills.

When we checked into a small condo at the resort the television was “snowy.” The repair man was unable to fix the problem and it was too late for cable TV to come out so we registered a complaint and left for the indoor pool. The problem was that because we had a dog with us (for which we paid a “dog fee”) they could not switch us to most of the units as the owners did not allow dogs.

When we returned there was a note from the manager telling us that we could swap to a private home they managed, at no extra cost. When we arrived at our new abode it was gorgeous, three bedrooms, dining room, well equipped kitchen, beautiful view, fireplace. At this point Sadie was our hero.

The next day we went to town, shopped and explored, all with a well behaved dog in tow. In the afternoon Sadie and TJ watched college rowing teams train on the lake as part of their Spring Break and I went swimming. TJ discovered why single men get dogs as cute coeds came by to admire Sadie. Later we got dressed up to go to dinner at a historic 1927 Inn and Spa where scenes from the movie were filmed. Having left Sadie’s carrier we put her in the laundry room with food, water, toys and her bed.

The meal was delicious and leisurely and we were in a wonderful mood. That is until we returned and opened the laundry room door. “You better look at this,” TJ said. For a foot on either side of the door Sadie had destroyed the wooden casing. At first we thought she clawed but inspection revealed she had chewed leaving chunks of wood below. We are calm folks and chose to accept that she is a dumb dog and we failed to think ahead. No use in ruining a vacation.

But Sadie had other issues. I think at this point she lost her mind. All day she had not gone to the bathroom despite trips outdoors. (At home she runs free so it is not an issue). I began to worry she would swell up and explode. And yes we watched her and check the house for “gifts.” Turns out she requires grass not dirt as we discovered the next day and no she did not explode.

That was not all. At one A. M. I was awoken by TJ, “Sadie is crying and keeping me up.” So I slept on the couch as she would not come in the bedroom.

I left like a kid going to the principal’s office the next morning as I entered the resort office where I would have to explain the door damage. The manager was very nice and noted that his dog did the same thing to their laundry room. I made arrangements to pay for paying for repairs. Our really cheap winter rates will no doubt be summer rates by the time we pay the repair bill.

On the trip back TJ took a notion to turn up a road we had passed hundreds of times over more than thirty years. There was always a sign for Nantahalla High School but we never knew where it was. The barely two-lane road would wind nine miles in a narrow gorge. Rock cliffs towered overhead covered with mosses and lichen. On the lower ledges tall delicate, lacy, muted white-green Wooly Hemlock trees grew. A misting rain fell on a swollen river that gushed down rocks which in places became tumbling waterfalls. Half way a huge waterfall cascaded into the river from the top of the rock faced gorge. It was spectacular.

Vacations are a lot like life, a mixture of pleasure, missteps and awe.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 04:16