Posts Tagged ‘Canine Camp Getaway of NY’

Fantasies of Summer Vacation (With Dogs, Of Course!)

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Here in New York, we’re looking at the coldest day we’ve seen in in several years — it’s so cold, in fact, the dogs haven’t even asked for walk (which is unheard of around here). We’re comforting ourselves with hot chocolate (me), bully sticks (the dogs), a cozy heating blanket (all of us — and who knew a single heating blanket could fit one human, two dogs, two cats and a giant stuffed hedgehog?) and fantasies of summer vacation.

Of course it will be a dog vacation, because what fun is going on vacation without the dogs? Well, okay, on days like today, I wouldn’t mind a week on some tropical island, relaxing on a lounge chair with oversized sunglasses and a drink with an umbrella in it. But since I haven’t won Lotto yet, I can’t buy my own island with a private dog-friendly beach…nor do I have a private dog-friendly plane to fly there. And anyway, the dogs would just hog the lounge chair.

dog camp, enjoying the pool!

You're not the only one who fantasizes about enjoying vacation poolside in a comfy lounge chair!

Thankfully, I have Canine Camp Getaway, which satisfies my dogs’ need for fun in the sun (and in the shade, and in the pool, bar and pretty much everywhere else), as well as my own need to kick back a bit and relax, without having to worry about work deadlines, what to make for dinner or whether my dogs are safe and happy. Dog camp may not be everyone’s dream vacation, but spending a week with dogs and dog lovers actually suits me quite well — and let’s face it, is there anything better at the end of the day than Yappy Hour with friends (both two-legged and four-legged)?

With Canine Camp Getaway’s June vacation nearly sold out, and September filling up fast, you’d think other hotels would be taking the hint: dog-friendly properties = more customers. Yet not everyone seems to be getting the message.

In a random sampling of “dog friendly” hotels, I found that more than half charge a (sometimes hefty) dog deposit or “cleaning fee” (It costs you a hundred bucks to clean the room after Buffy the miniature poodle stays over for two nights? Really?). Many still regulate the size, weight or breed of dogs they will accept (and my 97-pound dog points out that it’s not only not “friendly” but downright rude to have strangers questioning her about her weight!).

Atlantic City has finally gotten some dog-friendly hotels (presumably someone finally saw that “Dogs Playing Poker” painting and realized there was an opportunity there), though there’s still not a lot to do with your dog once you get there.

Disney, I’m told, has added a doggie daycare center for those who want to bring their pup along for vacation…a step in the right direction, to be sure…but the hotels on site are still not dog-friendly.

California does a better job with dog-friendly hotels, beaches and restaurants…but if you live on the East Coast, you’ve either got a really long drive to contend with, or you have to worry about bringing your dog on a less-than-dog-friendly airplane.

So, what do you do if you’re a dog owner who hates to leave your dog behind, or a dog who’s too big to sneak into Mom or Dad’s suitcase? First off, do your research: when planning your vacation, call several area hotels and ask about pet policies, any hidden charges, available dog amenities and local activities for dog owners. Some hotels will not allow dogs to be left alone in the room — even in a crate — so be sure you know the hotel’s policy on this, and if your dog must be with you at all times, be prepared with a list of dog-friendly restaurant options, or a local doggie daycare center. Don’t count on leaving your dog in the car — even if the temperatures are moderate, an unexpectedly hot day can put your dog’s life in danger.

If sharing time with your pet is an important part of your vacation plans, contact pet stores in your destination cities and ask about dog-friendly events, restaurants of hot spots — sometimes there are “unofficial” hangout spots where dogs and dog lovers gather that only the locals know about. Local dog meetup grounds can also be a great resource for this — contact the group organizer if you’re looking for suggestions for the best hiking spots, dog-friendly parks or other fun events.

Even if you’re spending much of your vacation sight seeing, be sure your dog gets enough exercise and entertainment to minimize stress — a long hike and some playtime each day will leave your dog feeling relaxed and happy. And you’ll not only feel better about heading out with friends if your dog is happily tired out first, but you’ll be glad you got some extra exercise when you’re eating out and enjoying that extra glass of wine, or that rich slice of double chocolate cake.

Of course, if your dream vacation involves seeing your dog have a great time, check out Canine Camp Getaway of NY — designed by dogs, for dogs…and their people, of course!

It may be too cold to do much more than “armchair traveling” right now, but it’s a great time to curl up somewhere warm, relax and dream about your (and your dog’s) next vacation. Happy travels!

Janice Costa is owner and founder of Canine Camp Getaway of NY, the Lake George, NY-based vacation for dogs and dog lovers. When she’s not working, playing or traveling with dogs, she works in the home design field as an author and magazine editor.

Surviving the Dog Days of Summer

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

This week, Canine Camp Getaway hiking instructor Bob Dealy is guest blogging for us with some tips for surviving the ‘Dog Days of Summer.’

Coming back from a terrific vacation at Canine Camp Getaway of NY and dealing with the heat wave that has gripped most of the nation over the past few weeks has given me paws/pause for thought. We are now in the Dog Days of Summer. We want to put on minimal clothing, get out and enjoy the warm temperatures. In other words, it’s go time, people!

Our dogs, on the other hand, want to take a refrain from the Eagles hit of the seventies and “Take it Easy.”

It doesn’t matter if you live in Winslow, Arizona or Bangor, Maine: It’s warm outside. Our furry friends need extra consideration. This rings especially true when you decide to pick up and go with your best friend.

I was reminded of this as Shadow and I were traveling back from Lake George, NY. I had a travel harness on her and she was being her usual awesome travel companion self. But something wasn’t quite right. She was a bit fidgety and didn’t seem entirely comfortable.

Even though the AC was blasting and it was quite cool, almost cold, in the vehicle, it took me a while to figure out that the sun was coming through the window right on her. So she was hot. Black dogs absorb heat more readily than light-colored dogs, making them especially sensitive to the beating sun.

At the first rest stop, we got out of the car. As we got back in the car, she decided the best place for her to curl up was on the floor with her blanket. I wanted her buckled in for safety. She told me the safest place for her was out of the sun. I’m thinking driving safety; Shadow’s thinking self-preservation.

Fortunately, I listened to what my dog was telling me. We shared a roast beef sandwich that she gave rave reviews to as road food, and the rest of the trip went well. She even got back on to the seat and gladly accepted being buckled in as the sun dipped a little lower in the sky.

The moral to the story is to enjoy the warm weather for all it’s worth but pay attention to what your dog is telling you. Try not to put your dog into a hot car. Run the AC to cool things down before putting your dog in. If your car seats get hot, use a towel or a blanket to cover the seat. If you use a harness, be sure the hot metal seatbelt buckle isn’t pressed against your dog, as this can cause painful burns. And never, EVER leave your dog alone in a parked car when it’s hot out – even with the windows open, even for five minutes.

Listen to your dog. (Of course if your dog decides he wants the bag of Cheez Doodles you brought along for a snack, then you have my dog, and you don’t have to listen to that!)

One last thought: while it goes without saying, I’ll mention it anyway: Try to exercise your dog early or late in the day. If he or she seems lethargic or starts panting heavily, you might want to cut the walk or exercise short. I’m told humans take a week to 10 days’ adjustment period for their bodies to acclimate to suddenly hot or cold temperatures. During this period of adjustment, it’s recommended to scale back the intensity when working out. The same can be said for our dogs.

Time to fire up the BBQ for a July 4th feast. Shadow says have a hot dog for her!

Enjoy your summer!

Getting in Shape for Hiking with your Dog

Friday, April 20th, 2012

This week, Canine Camp Getaway hiking instructor Bob Dealy is guest blogging for us with some tips for getting your dog ready for hiking season.

The past couple of days it’s gotten unseasonably warm in the northeast, which got me to thinking that my dog Shadow has to start getting in shape for the hikes we’ll be taking at Canine Camp Getaway of NY in June. Black lab (ops) training, ha-ha!

Camp owner Janice Costa has informed me that we’re expecting record numbers for this year’s camp. That means lots of new folks for morning hikes. These walks can be the highlight of camp for many guests. A good walk gets the juices flowing; you and your dog make new friends, as you get ready for daily activities. It should be a fun and carefree activity.

Having this forum allows me to talk about common sense things you will need to make those morning sojourns more enjoyable, whether you’re joining us at this year’s Getaway, or planning hikes of your own in the coming months.

First and foremost, let’s talk about you and your dog. I did say common sense! For our hikes at camp, we generally walk for 45-50 minutes. So if your normal dog walk is only 20-30 minutes, you need to stretch this out a little longer until you’re spending about 45 minutes to an hour walking together at least once a week. Not only will this build up your and your dog’s endurance, but as you progress, you’ll get better at recognizing signs of fatigue for each of you. Being able to read your dog’s body language (and paying attention to your own bod) will help to keep you from overdoing it in your hiking trips.

The same basic concept holds true if you are planning a two-hour hike or longer; build up to it gradually by extending the time you walk together a little each day, paying attention for signs of fatigue. It’s okay to push a little, but don’t overdo it; doing too much too fast can lead to injury or soreness.

As many of our camp walks will be on a wooded trail, there are insects – and this is generally true wherever you’ll be hiking this spring. Where I live on Long Island, it was a very mild winter and the bug and tick population is very healthy. I assume it was much the same throughout the Northeast. So it’s advisable that you and your dog have protection.

Your vet can advise you on the best care for your dog, dependent on where you live and what types of parasites are common where you’ll be hiking. For you, there are many personal bug sprays on the market; my advice if you don’t have a favorite is to try some out before hand to see how well they work. I’m personally trying out a product by Eco Smart, which claims to be pet friendly.

There is a product by OFF, the clip on which I don’t recommend for hikes. If you read the instructions you will find its best use is to create a barrier around you if you are in one place for a while. This means seated or standing. It’s not a bad product to use for other times you are on vacation, but not ideal if you’re going to be in motion. So take a couple of minutes and read the instructions and uses for these products before purchasing. For hikes, try to stick to a spray-on or lotion. It’s also been said that consuming a little apple cider vinegar can make you less attractive to bugs; dogs can benefit from this as well. Add a tablespoon to their water, and add a tablespoon to a bottle of water for you, as well. Do this for several days and you’ll likely notice yourself getting fewer bug bites.

Next, we come to hydration. As we all know, it’s important to drink up in warm weather. It’s important for our pups to do the same. So while you’re walking the dog and getting ready for camp, keep an eye on him/her for signs of thirst. As a runner, I’ve learned that a belt that can carry a water bottle is a beautiful thing. It helps to keep both hands free and it’s always available. Giving your dog clean water is better than having them find a muddy puddle because they are thirsty.

Remember, if you’re enjoying a few cocktails in the evening, drink some extra water before bed and when you wake up. Alcohol acts as a diuretic and you need to replace fluids after drinking. I know it sounds weird, replacing fluids after drinking, but trust me on this one. Grab an extra piece of fruit from the dining area. Fruits contain gobs of water.

The turnaround point at our favorite hike is a clearing with a pond on the other side of the woods. Dogs are not allowed in the pond. However, this is a great place to stop and regroup. It has become a favorite photo op site. So have your camera or personal device ready to take pictures.

As far as what to wear, we’ve had people wear shorts, tee shirts, long sleeve T’s, long pants, boots, sneakers, sandals. The choice is yours. We will be walking in the woods, the trail has been wet in the morning, sometimes muddy and there are some rocky parts. So office shoes are not advisable. Be comfortable for the conditions.

Recall is important if you like to hike with your dog off leash. So practice having your dog come back to you when you call him or her. If you aren’t confident in your dog’s ability to come on command, you may want to keep your pup leashed to be safe. This is a decision only you can make. The area off trail has a lot of brush and you can lose sight of your dog easily.

Always carry poop bags! Whether you’re hiking with us at Canine Camp Getaway or hiking in your own neck of the woods, it’s important to leave the trails as you found them. As responsible dog owners, that’s important! So be smart and bring an extra bag, just in case.

Don’t worry; I’m not going to ban you from hikes because you didn’t walk enough, forgot water or bug spray. That’s not what we’re about at Canine Camp Getaway. These tips are just that, tips to make your experience more enjoyable. See you in two months. Is it really that close already?

Dog Friends, Old and New

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

This week, Canine Camp Getaway hiking and lure coursing instructor Bob Dealy is guest blogging for us about dog friends, old and new, and about the journey from “new dog” to “beloved friend.”

For ten years my beagle Duke and I were inseparable. We were best friends and a good team. Around Christmas 2010 he passed. This November I was fortunate enough to have Shadow (Black Lab mix) come into my life. She is lovable and happy and we are bonding well. The two dogs are very much alike in many ways.

My old friend Duke set the bar high for future canine companions.

I love the way the two dogs would come up with alternatives to barking by using their tails to bang against objects to get attention. They are great at socializing with people and other dogs. Both are willing and ready to take a car ride at a moment’s notice, and when I come home, they give me the best happy dance you’ve ever seen. I was charmed when I first brought Shadow home that she went right to Duke’s old toy box and started playing with the toys. Talk about a quick adjustment period! Who could be so lucky?

I’m comforted by the similarities I see in the dogs. So what is the problem?

It seems that I am very lucky to have two great dogs, and I am. Yet I sometimes find myself assigning Shadow the job of being “Duke 2.0.” She is not.

I have not allowed her the time and space to show me all the wonderful things that she can be yet. I get disappointed when Shadow shows a behavior that Duke never would (i.e. the case of the disappearing chicken breasts). But she is not he. I must learn to teach her what is expected. I can’t take for granted she knows what to do just because of the similarities. And I certainly can’t expect her to live up the expectations of an old friend she has never met.

And that is the point of this entry. In dogs, as with people, we need to give those we let into our lives the opportunity to show us what is great, unique and different about them — even when they seem so much like others we have loved.

They say it’s the journey that matters, not the destination, and that is particularly true with our four-legged friends. Getting to know a new dog is a wonderful adventure. And just as no two dogs are alike, the relationship you build with your canine buddy is utterly one of a kind.

I see great things for Shadow and me in the future. We’ll share adventures, hikes, vacations, BBQs, days out playing with friends and lazy nights in watching Yankees games. We will share many of the things I shared with Duke, and many new things that are all Shadow. She will be her own dog, and I have no doubt she’ll make a great companion.

The Scoop on Poop

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

This week, Canine Camp Getaway hiking and lure coursing instructor Bob Dealy is guest blogging for us with the scoop on poop, responsible dog ownership and why cleaning up after dogs sometimes takes a village.

In the reader sound off section item of this morning’s paper, a lady was complaining about dog owners not picking up after their dogs. She was a bit dramatic, stating, “Do I have to dress up in a uniform and issue summonses?”

My first reaction was, Lady, you have no idea how far dog owners have come.

In college I lived off campus, I constantly had to dodge piles that were left on the sidewalk on my way to and from classes. It was all over the place.

Dog owners are so much more responsible today. The fact I noticed this as rare indicates there have been great strides made by dog owners over the last couple of decades.

Still the reader’s comment is valid. My dog can still find stray poop along our daily walk. And if you’re a responsible dog owner, you know this shouldn’t be. Like a lot of you, I’ll sigh, tell my dog to leave it and continue with the walk. As someone who likes to run, I occasionally have to avoid it or clean it off my shoes after returning home. But rarely on a walk will I pull a bag out and clean up someone else’s mess. After all it’s not my responsibility!

But after thinking about it, I have to wonder, should it be? I reluctantly came to the conclusion, yes.

There are two reasons for us to consider this. One, dog poop is the greatest danger to our own dogs, as it transmits illness to our dog or other dogs in our home area. Active dog owners are at greater risk than the general dog-owning public. Two, it enhances the reputation of dogs and their owners within the community. Property owners are not responsible for the care of our dogs and that includes picking up after our dogs.

If you know where there is stray waste on your walk, take an extra bag and remove it. Set the example for responsible ownership in your community. The property owner will appreciate it, and maybe the person whose dog dropped it will learn from your example. (I highly doubt the second part but it’s possible.)

In a world where we are asking for public funds for dog parks, showing increased responsibility in ownership can only help us all.

Dogs in Search of Snow!

Monday, February 6th, 2012

People from the Northeast often talk about how they’d miss the four seasons if they moved South. Personally, I don’t buy it. It’s like poor people saying they’re glad they’re not rich because being poor helps them remember what really matters in life. As if they wouldn’t prefer to be remembering what really matters in life, minus the “insufficient funds” message from the ATM machine two days before pay day. All seasons are not created equal, and summer is definitely better than winter.

Granted, I’m a summer girl; I live for beaches, kick off sandals, convertibles and the smell of chlorine. It’s no accident that my dog vacation business, Canine Camp Getaway of NY, offers an annual SUMMER vacation for dogs and their people. Seriously, I’ve never been able to fathom why anyone would look forward to winter.

Which is why it’s so ironic that, in the (happily) mildest winter we’ve had in years, I’m suddenly trying to figure out where we can go to find some snow.

But that’s what love does to you, I guess.

Dog vacation in the snow?

How did a summer-loving girl like me end up with a winter-loving dog like Jessie?

I may be a summer girl, but my beloved dogs are not; Jessie wilts in hot weather, and even the shorter-haired Lexie would much rather play roll and tackle in a giant snow drift (preferably with a few breaks to eat some snowballs) than sweat in the summer heat. Jessie may be a senior citizen in dog years, but she’s never outgrown “King of the Snow Drift” games, and rolling her little sister in a pile of the white stuff always brings out the puppy in her.

Unfortunately, they haven’t had much opportunity for snow romping this year. And with February already a week old, it’s looking less likely that it’s going to happen.

Now, logically, I know they’re not really looking at the calendar saying, “Half the winter is gone, where’s the snow?” Yet sometimes I catch them looking wistfully out the window, as if they’re waiting for a snowstorm to appear out of nowhere, blanketing the world in the shimmering white stuff and turning the backyard into a winter wonderland for dogs.

Even if they don’t know that winter is passing them by (dogs supposedly not having a sense of time, though that never explains why they know enough to start circling the food bowls like sharks an hour before dinner time), *I* know it. I’ve seen the wonder in their eyes that first winter morning when they wake up to find snow piled high in the yard. I’ve listened to the joyful yaps as they chase each other through the giant snow drifts, laughed as they’ve coaxed me out into below-freezing temperatures to share in their winter games, and played tug o’ war with the towel meant to dry them off when they finally come back inside.

And I can’t stand the thought of my dogs missing out on that. Or anything they love that much.

Even if it means packing up the car and purposefully taking them someplace (eek!) cold and snowy.

So this weekend, we’re heading north in search of snow. It may take a bit of driving, as the whole Northeast has been explicably in a warming trend. But we’re not worried. With a friend living 30 minutes out of Canada, with five acres of property and two snow-loving dogs of her own, a road trip sounds like just what the veterinarian ordered to chase away my dogs’ non-winter blues.

Do your dogs love snow? Have you ever taken them someplace on vacation just to enjoy a taste of winter? Feel free to share your comments below!

Janice Costa is owner and founder of Canine Camp Getaway of NY, the Lake George, NY-based vacation for dogs and dog lovers. When she’s not working, playing or traveling with dogs, she works in the home design field as an author and magazine editor.

In Search of a Dog-Friendly Vehicle

Monday, October 10th, 2011

There comes a time in every girl’s life when she has to accept certain inevitable truths. For me, this week’s inevitable truth was that my beloved Sebring convertible isn’t going to make it another year.

Now, I’ve never understood the suburban fascination with SUVs, being neither a soccer Mom nor a person who drives on rough terrain (unless you count the potholes on the Long Island Expressway). In my world, “the outback” is a steakhouse, not a place you drive; and while “all weather driving” is a lovely concept, I’m more of a “nice weather driver” who would more likely be home drinking hot chocolate during the kind of weather these “all-weather” vehicles are purportedly built for.

Also, I LIKE small cars and hate those gas-guzzling monstrosities that sit 10 feet above everyone else in traffic so you can’t see past them or even read your exit sign until it’s too late.

So why am I suddenly looking at SUVs?

The same reason I gave up my luxurious rain shower for the convenient but not nearly as luxurious handshower. The dogs, of course!

While I’ve tried to make due, the truth is, two large dogs don’t really fit in a convertible. And certainly two large dogs with dog accessories do not fit in a convertible. As that my dogs have a LOT of accessories — and neither one is particularly amenable to being left home when a trip is being planned — I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to upsize. Running Canine Camp Getaway of NY, my dog vacation business, means the dogs and I spend a lot of time on the road. So here I am, doing what I never thought I’d do — looking at SUVs and soccer-Mom-mobiles.

Now I know some people love car shopping. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. I’ve been riding in a friend’s car for the past five years and still can’t tell you what he drives, except that it’s white, and big enough to stuff two dogs in the back seat. So wading through car reviews, auto comparison Web sites, Consumer Reports and crash test ratings is about as appealing as watching the Guatemala news network. In Guatemalan.

I tried googling “dog-friendly cars” but I keep coming up with the Nissan cube, which is quite possibly the second ugliest car ever made, right after the PT Cruiser, and the Range Rover Supercharged, which has a base price that’s only slightly less than that of my house. Unless the dogs are planning their own reality series on a major network in which they can win a million dollars by beating out all the other reality-dog-star-wannabes, I don’t see this happening any time soon.

I did find an interesting site that focuses on dog-friendly cars. DogCars.com

The Nissan Cube is supposed to be a great vehicle for dogs -- but it's also one of the ugliest cars I've ever seen. I suspect even my less-than-fashion-conscious dogs would be embarrassed to be seen in this! (Photo courtesy of GAYOT.com)

looks at a variety of vehicles from the dog-friendliness perspective. They seemed hot on the Honda Element and the Toyota Venza. Unfortunately, the former could be confused with a hearse and the latter is pricey.

Expanding my search to friends who have dogs, I’ve gotten recommendations for the Ford Edge (cool looking, but lousy gas mileage), the Subaru Forester (which used to be a nice crossover SUV/Wagon/Drives More Like a Car Than a Monster Truck, but which has since been redesigned to be larger, which means I’d probably never ever be able to park it) and the Kia Rondo (which they don’t make anymore, replaced by another square, boxy looking SUV or a model which appears to only be available in a color called “alien.” While I’m not married to the idea of buying American, I certainly would like to keep my options to the known planet!).

I thought maybe I should consider a nice used car, but people keep warning me about getting stuck with “flood cars” which apparently are flooding the market, disguised so you don’t know you’ve bought a disaster until 30 seconds the warranty runs out.

Then there’s the whole insurance thing, which I didn’t even think about until a friend told me I’m better off with something classified as a “wagon” if I don’t want my car insurance to go up by $500 a year or so. And of course with gas at $3.79 a gallon, I have to worry about what kind of mileage per gallon I’ll be getting.

Honestly, I’ve barely started my search and I’m sick of car shopping already. I don’t want to keep looking at cars online, which does nothing but confuse me. I certainly don’t want to walk into a dealership, where they’ll smell my uncertainty like sharks sniffing out blood and move in for the kill.

I just want a nice, affordable vehicle that drives like a car, doesn’t guzzle gas and fits one girl, two dogs and luggage for three. Is that too much to ask for?

If you have any suggestions for dog-friendly vehicles, please feel free to share them!

And for more info about dog-friendly vehicles, check out this great article:

Traveling Tails

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

For the first 21 years of my life, I never traveled out of the tri-state area. So it still sort of amazes me that the second half of my life, I racked up more frequent flier miles than your average basketball team (but not nearly as many miles as my luggage racked up!) and I now run a dog vacation business.

Equally amazing, I somehow ended up with two dogs who not only love to travel, but who seem to feel it’s their mission in life to encourage dogs and dog lovers to join them on their Canine Camp Getaway of NY vacations.

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me. Most dogs are wanderers at heart, and while my dogs are more of the velcro-dog variety, both share an adventurous spirit and a willingness to chase tennis balls across fields, valleys, state or even country lines. They also love other dogs, so while travel is fun, travel to someplace with lots of dogs is MORE fun.

They even have their own luggage — matching travel bags with paw prints on the outside and separate compartments for treats, bowls, tennis balls and extra leashes. Which is funny, since I spent my college years heading back and forth with my clothing stuffed in a duffel bag that vaguely resembled a large pillow case.

If you’d told me 20 years ago that I’d be planning vacations for dogs and their people, I probably would’ve thought you were crazy. Of course now some people think I AM crazy…but these are generally people without dogs.

If you have a dog, you understand that going on vacation isn’t nearly as much fun when you have to leave your furry four-legged friend behind. And dog guilt is a really powerful thing.

But my two dogs took it one step beyond dog guilt. First, they started dumping their bones, balls and toys in my suitcase when I started packing for a trip. When that didn’t work, they began lying in the suitcase (like, I might somehow miss a 100 pound dog sprawled in the middle of my clothing, zip it up and take her with me by accident!).

Finally, they decided to forget subtlety entirely and plan their own vacation. Canine Camp Getaway of NY is their idea, and it’s all about them. Dogs in the pool. Dogs running lure coursing, or chasing frisbees, or doing agility. Dogs in the dining room, or in the bar at night. Dogs and their people romping, playing, relaxing together, and remembering what makes the bond between canine and human so very special.

I’m just along for the ride.

But as rides go, it’s a good one. Dogs teach us so much about life, and traveling with your dog turns a vacation into a Grand Adventure. When I’m with my dog, the grass is greener, the air is fresher, the stars are brighter. And my soul is lighter.

In these high-stress times, there’s something to be said for that. So next time you plan a vacation, think about bringing your best friend along. You’ll both be glad you did!