We recently drove our RV to Colorado, to enjoy the cooler, September climate & fresh air, with mountain views. Because we don't like to leave home without them, this mode of travel makes perfect sense for us and our dogs. Traveling in the motorhome ensures that our Girls, three Shih Tzu, are always welcomed. That said, we also like finding alternative accommodations that allow us, as well as the Girls, to feel just as welcomed. We enjoy that kind of experience at the Jerome Hotel in Aspen. The staff is polite, professional & downright friendly! This year we enjoyed dining al fresco at Mustang's, where the wait staff was as attentive and helpful to the Girls, as they were to us, even offering to take our picture.
Because of all the room available to us in the RV, I bring everything that I believe will make the Girls' hotel stay a good experience for them, the staff and other guests. Leaving our RV behind in Breckenridge at the Tiger Run RV Resort, we load up the SUV and drive to Aspen. I feed the girls an early lunch and after a quick walk, they sleep together in their travel crate, most of the way to Aspen. We stop about 20-30 minutes before we reach Aspen, to walk the dogs and give them a drink, to make arrival at the hotel more comfortable for all of us. It's too time consuming to help the bellman organize our belongings, check in at the front desk and go to our room, before the girls, Molly, Gracie & Bella are taken back outside, for a walk. As we pull up to the hotel,(& stop ;) I take them out of their travel crate and put them into their stroller and zip them in. As I go about the check in process, I know they are safely with me & out of everyone else's way, while I attend to business. (If I had only one dog, I would simply hold the furbaby.) I point out, at check in, that most of the time the Girls will be with us, but to please call my cell phone, if they need us for any reason. They are also supplied with an emergency contact, for the Girls.
Upon entering the room, I set up their playpen and Xpen to fashion a sleep & play area for them, in the room, which they can be left in, while we're out. They have plenty of toys and their water bottle inside the area, and it is left open while we are in the room with them. I put the do not disturb sign on the door, but if I ever failed to do so and staff entered our room, our girls are safe, unable to escape, because they are confined to their special area in the pens and they have more room than being in a crate. I work with them before we leave home to help them remain quiet, as we leave the room & return, as it's an excitable time for them, and do not go to them until they are quiet. Since they aren't yappy dogs, this is a fairly easy task. Although it is not necessary, I bring linens to cover the bedspread. A king size duvet cover from home, folds flat and packs easily, for this purpose. Because we require canned prescription dog food, we bring a rolling ice chest and replenish ice, as needed.
Inside my purse, I carry a written explanation of our travel, with emergency contacts, in case anything happened to my husband & myself, to notify for the girls. I update my note when necessary, to say what RV park, space #, or hotel & rm. #, etc. to let someone know of their location. Located with their food, meds and supplements are detailed instructions, because of health issues. I also travel with grooming aids and health notebooks for each girl, which contain their Veterinary records. As we go out for dinner, I usually stop by the front desk with my name, cell phone #, and room number written down, to give to the clerk du jour. This step is strictly for my peace of mind. This year we met a Maltese, named Jack, staying just down the hall from us. Jack was vocal, when left alone. This encouraged our otherwise quiet trio to be on alert, and one of them to find her voice. Positioning their confined area between the television and the radio and turning on both, before we left was sufficient to stop her from "answering" him. We can now relax and enjoy our vacation!
Aspen is extremely dog friendly. We met big dogs, as well as small ones, at our hotel. Our hotel keeps water bowls for furry friends at their entrance, and you'll find this practice in front of many shops. We walk, picnic, shop & enjoy the outdoors, with the Girls comfortably ensconced in their pet stroller, wearing their harnesses. They are allowed everywhere without a problem. I always ask, before I bring them into a shop. Because there are three of them, I believe the fact they are fully enclosed, mesh zipped on their stroller, helps make them welcome in shops & outdoor cafe's. I bring the pet water bottle with us, as well as their leashes, & they are frequently taken out for plenty of exercise.
I once read to carry pictures of your pet, and this poses no problem for me, as they are in my wallet along with other family photos. These, along with their health records can help prove ownership. Once your checklist is compiled and routine established, preparing becomes a snap! It is no coincidence that you'll be welcomed back. Just a few thoughtful precautions can guarantee their comfort and safety and your peace of mind.
Raja and I want to bark a big thank-you to Renee for her second post with us about her adventures with Molly, Gracie and Bella. We love the way she shares all her special tips for being a good guest with a veritable menagerie. Renee’s stories confirm the glorious, nomadic, portable, adaptability of dogs who call home wherever their pack roams.