Travel with Raja, pet travel advice, airplane travel tips, travel with my dog, how do I travel with my pet, Raja, shitzu, dogs

People tend to think that dogs are natural swimmers and if they fall in a pool, they will swim out.  Oh yes, there are those amazing water dogs that can’t get enough of the water.  But this warning post isn’t for them.  Let them enjoy themselves. 

Raja is not one of those.  He’s got very little fat, so he’s not buoyant and he despises getting wet.  I’ve tried to teach him to swim, but he has an unrepentantly poor attitude.  Learning to swim is a terrifying experience for him and putting him through it makes me feel mean.  Last summer, to celebrate his birthday, we took him on a canoe trip. (Perhaps we're crazy?) He loved the canoe and gliding down the river, but he hated capsizing (we did too).  He hated it so much, that he managed to get low, brace himself against the seat and stay in the boat, while we went into the river.

Dogs who go boating need well fitted, firmly clasped life vests.  Then no amount of panic will prevent them from bobbing up for air. 

Swimming pools and small ponds present dangers for non-swimming dogs.  All dogs, even dogs that can swim, cannot climb out up the ladder steps, especially with soaked fur.  Elderly, thin or fragile dogs have great difficulty swimming.  Dusk, night and quiet water make the surface seem solid.  In winter, semi frozen ponds look like a continuation of the snowy ground. 

Waves can pull a non-swimming dog in.  Raja loves the beach, but he refuses to venture into the shivering sand near the waves.  He got a little bit splashed by a wave once in Puerto Rico and never forgave the sea.  He’ll stand on the sands in the dog permitted area of Long Beach, California and stare at the dogs playing in the water as if they’ve lost their minds.  Hopefully their owners are looking out for the undertow. 

Point is, water fun poses as many dangers for dogs as it does for children.  This summer, keep an eye out for your dog near water, even if he thinks he’s the canine Michael Phelps. 

(And many, many thanks to guest bloggers Connie and Enzo for the awesome Florida report.  Hopefully they’ll have a lot more to share with us in future!)


Connie and her husband love traveling with Enzo, their adorable and beautiful  Shih Tzu!  Connie and Enzo have volunteered to tell us about two great pup friendly places to visit and stay in Florida in Orlando and on Amelia Island.


I love traveling with my dog Enzo and I am always looking for great places to visit. Recently, we just got back from a wonderful vacation in Florida. We stayed at the lovely and very pet friendly Loew's "Portifino Bay Hotel" in Orlando. I cannot say enough great things about this resort. We checked in to a very friendly staff who welcomed us and our dog with open arms. Enzo even received his very own welcome bag with dog treats, pick-up bags, and two dog dishes that had written on them Loews Loves Pets. We were even allowed to sit outside at the outdoor cafes with Enzo and enjoy having a glass of wine and a bite to eat.

    The guest rooms were beautiful and all the pet friendly rooms are located on the first floor. When not in your room they ask that you display the "dog in room" sign so that none of the staff enters the room while your dog is in.

    The resort has beautiful walking trails to walk your pet on and we got to know other pet owners out and about with their dogs. It was truly a great vacation having our sweet Enzo with us. I know Enzo had a great time too.

    Another great dog vacation in Florida is on Amelia Island.

    Here Enzo and I are at the Amelia Island Plantation Inn on Amelia Island off the coast of Florida.The Plantation Inn is a beautiful and pet friendly hotel located right on the ocean. If you golf you will love this resort. The guest rooms were lovely and all have ocean views. The resort was spread out, but had wonderful walking trails which would take you over to the outdoor boutique shopping area which had many great stores. Even a cute doggy boutique. They also have a "general store" which serves breakfast and lunch and you are welcomed to sit on the outside deck area and eat with your pet.

    We had such a great time doing nothing but relaxing and enjoying the sounds of the ocean.

Here are Connie and Enzo out for a walk in Amelia Island on the boardwalk.  Enzo looks comfy!


Let’s talk Easter Parades.  Originally the Easter Parade was an outing, after church on Easter Sunday where one showed oneself to the community after the long winter, displayed new clothes and dragged about marriageable sons and daughters (all polished up and well turned out.)  So, I want to emphasize that the Easter Parade Tradition is nothing about Easter and everything about puttin’ on the dog.  It’s not a religious event, but many communities observe these parades religiously.  And dogs in fancy dress are featuring big time. 

In New York City, you and your pup can participate in the annual Easter Parade on Easter Sunday from about 11:00-4:00 between 49th and 57th streets.  No, it’s not a formal parade, but a genial mill around where one walks up and down the traffic-free blocks enjoying the fabulous hats and demonstrating good will by either photographing the hats or wearing a hat oneself.  About the dog-  please do make puppy a hat and a super costume.  If puppy looks good, you can wear your denim and go unnoticed (and unadmired).  Puppy will attract a host of polite photographers, and, frequently, the attention of the press.  New York City’s Easter Parade is NYC at its finest with everybody contributing decorously to a moment of joy and creativity. 

I suspect most communities have Easter Parades featuring Easter Dogs of all religious persuasions.  For a fun day out, seek out your local parade and participate.  Attached are several photos of New York’s parade from 2008 and of Raja as the bunny-dog of the hour.  As you see, everybody makes his or her hat.  Raja’s hat was made from materials purchased at Michael’s Crafts, although we told everybody the hat was by a famous Paris canine hatter, Les Chapeaux Méchants.  That’s what they wanted to hear anyway.

    RAJA BLOGS ABOUT PARIS FOR FIDO FRIENDLY As a world reknowned traveler Raja was invited to blog for his friends at fido a website that helps pet owners find accommodations. Click here to visit Fido Friendly

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    Helen  feels most comfortable in places where she doesn't speak the language; she  likes to do almost everything, except hunt and watch TV sports. 
     Raja is a Shih Tzu.  Directly descended from the Mongolian wolf, Raja is hardy and loves to roam with his pack.  Tamed in the monasteries of Tibet, he takes the long view.  Finished in the palaces of 16th century China, he is elegant.  Rescued from China by the artistocrats of Europe, he is a ham.


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pet travel advice, airplane travel tips, travel with my dog, how do I travel with my pet, Raja, shitzu, dogs