Flying with a dog is difficult and even with the proper paperwork, once landed, additional questions about which hotels accept dogs and are clean, where to leave the dog while taking care of many errands or appointments, makes travel and use of time a bit more complicated.
This year we have had to leave Captain behind three times and twice were for extended trips. Finding a place where Captain can be well cared for, get some attention and a decent amount of exercise, has been a challenge but the effort has been worthwhile.
I thought some pet owners might find it useful to know how we have managed this year, so here is the rundown for our three trips.
In May, Frank and I were in the Dominican Republic and we had a visit to Florida planned. We would leave together, conduct our meetings over the course of five days, then I would fly back to the DR and Frank would leave for his Atlantic crossing.
For this trip, we hired a delightful guy named Nelson who works at the Samana Marina. Captain remained on LIB, Nelson came by to feed and walk Cappy twice a day and Cap was able to be ‘at home’ while we were away.
Also, our dock neighbors, Andre and Josee, were simply awesome and kept an eye out for Captain. They decided Captain needed more activity, so when they walked their dog, Roxy, they brought Captain along.
How awesome is that?!!!
The second trip we took was from Puerto Rico and we planned to be traveling to multiple locations over a three week period. Fortunately I looked up rover.com, a U.S. internet based company where you enter your zip code and the bios for pet sitters near your location pop up.
It is through rover.com that I found Natalia, who took excellent care of Captain. Natalia’s home was very well set up for dogs and she really loved Cappy.
Natalia has two dogs for Cappy to play with and daily walks were a given. While Cappy was with Natalia, Hurricane Irma was heading toward PR and Natalia was very communicative about her plans should evacuation become necessary.
We were extremely happy with Natalia’s care for Captain and had planned on leaving Cap with her again for our October trip to the States, but our escape from Hurricane Maria rendered that impossible.
Our final trip this year we had to scramble and find last minute accommodations for Captain in Aruba!
Fortunately we found the Dog Hotel Aruba where a young couple boards dogs in their yard. Rose and her husband are clearly dog lovers and assured me they would take great care of Captain.
The Dog Hotel Aruba has several kennels and two large fenced areas on site. The dogs are outside pretty much all day and large dogs are separated from small dogs. The dogs are also taken to the beach to swim once or twice a week. Not a bad way for Captain to spend her time when we have to be away.
I consider each of the dog stays successful though obviously very different. I think Captain was most comfortable when she stayed on the boat and was at home in our absence. I am sure in that situation Captain felt the least ‘abandoned ‘ but she was probably a bit lonely. Still, this is similar to dogs who stay home while their owners are away.
Staying with Natalia was where I think Captain received the most amount of human attention and love. This was a very good fit for Captain and us. Plus it was easy to find a sitter with good reviews and paying online was convenient.
The dog hotel in Aruba was a good find. I doubt this is Cappy’s favorite stay because she usually prefers to be with people more than dogs. But like a child who has to play with others, this is probably a good experience for Captain.
Even though finding a place to leave our dog takes a little time, so far it has worked out well for us. Plus, there is the added comfort of being able to receive pictures and updates to make sure our furry loved one is doing well.
I acknowledge that we have been fortunate in finding great options for Captain, but I still feel a little guilty leaving her behind. I have really enjoyed our travels and visits with friends and family but I am glad we don’t have any other time off the boat planned for a while!
And I am confident Captain will agree completely when we get back and I tell her.
Thanks a bunch for stopping by. Please share your thoughts on pet care while away from home.
It appears the dog days of summer have arrived at home in Dallas as the first 100 degree day has hit. In recognition of those “dog days,” today’s post is all about our dog, Captain, and some of her adventures while on Let It Be.
Swimming to and from shore.
Paddle boarding with Frank.
Running – anywhere, anytime!
Coaching MG on her stretches.
Chillin’ while watching for approaching boats.
She doesn’t snorkel, but she likes to come along.
Hikes are fun.
Sailing is fine, but arriving in port is better.
Catching some zzzzz’s
Yep, it’s a pretty rough life Captain leads when on LIB.
Fair or not, St. Martin will not be remembered as my favorite place, at least from this trip. While the island is beautiful, I was sick the whole time we were on St. Martin, thus my impressions are negatively colored.
This trip we really only experienced the French side of St. Martin. Still even when sick, this is a beautiful place and we did manage to see some rather lovely spots. I am certainly interested in stopping here again later this year as I am certain St. Martin will be even more fun when I am feeling better.
For now, here are some photos to show you some of the beauty of the areas we visited this time.
Leaving Virgin Gorda, BVI
Arriving in St. Martin at dawn….. Captain is ready for land!
Exploring pretty little ocean side towns by foot.
Stopping for lunch and watching the Ski School teach with LIB in the background.
How about the Pink Iguana – with the Texas flag to represent?!
A narrow and beautiful entry to Anse Marcel marina
There is so much more to share, but my internet is very limited and I had a hard time loading this much. With luck, we will have better internet and I can post more often.
Hope you enjoy the views!
I mentioned our dog, Captain, in my last post. This Christmas was her first visit to Let It Be.
Initially, Cap was not a fan of being underway, especially if engines were involved. Mostly she hid under the table of the cockpit, closed her eyes and pretended to be somewhere else.
However, English Shepherd dogs are very adaptable and like to be involved in the decision making. So pretty soon Captain was up and about, making sure we were heading to a choice mooring ball:
In fact, by the end of her first two weeks of sailing, Captain was living up to her name and taking her turn at the helm:
And like any good captain, she took breaks, but stayed nearby in case we needed her help when she wasn’t at the helm:
I won’t be at all surprised if some day I find Cap has managed to make her own posts on this blog!