In October 2018, I had planned to take a trip to Niagara Falls. Since Niagara Falls has always been on my bucket list, I was thrilled. And everything was working out perfectly – until my dog sitter was unable to watch Jackson.
Suddenly, my 38-pound mutt was going to be tagging along on an 8-hour drive. Part of me felt stressed because I was unsure of how he would do on this trip, but another part of me was thrilled that my dog would get to travel with me!
The 8-Hour Drive
The morning that we left, Jackson was clearly confused. And as we continued to drive, for hours, he began to get more confused. But much to my surprise, he stayed silent in the backseat. He slept a lot and behaved well at the various rest stops we visited. He did not whine while we were traveling and he did not try to jump in the front seat (honestly that’s what I had been the most concerned about). The only true issue that I encountered while traveling was that I was not able to go sit down inside of a restaurant and eat. Every meal that I ate had to be eaten in my car, but that wasn’t actually much of an inconvenience.
Luckily, the hotel we had booked was pet-friendly. And to my surprise, there was no pet fee. Amazing, right? I’ll post information below about which hotel I stayed at in case anyone plans to take their pet to Niagara Falls soon.
Regarding leaving Jackson in a hotel room, I had so many concerns. In case you don’t know, Jackson has a lot of anxiety. He was abused in the past and the trauma from that abuse still resurfaces in his behavior today. So, naturally, I was afraid of how he would handle being left alone in a strange place. Also, there were other dogs living on our floor. In fact, our next door neighbors had two, very yappy, dogs. I feared that Jackson would hear them next door and start whining loudly.
However, he exceeded what I had thought he was capable of. The entire time we were gone, he rested, just like he does at home. The neighbors never complained on us, and he always seemed to be perfectly fine when we returned each time.
A good tip for traveling with your dog, especially when they will be left alone for periods of time, is to bring items that they are familiar with. Bring a blanket that smells like you, bring their toys from home, and leave them plenty of treats.
Note: If you bring a dog camera with you, make sure that you will be able to use it. I brought my dog camera along for the trip, but for some unknown reason we were not able to make it work inside the hotel room. But I do believe that these could be incredibly helpful to take with you on a trip.
Jackson is normally a mildly well-behaved dog, so I wasn’t too concerned about how he would behave around people at the falls. Regardless of any fears that I had, though, I was definitely taking him to the falls. Sure, he’s a dog and couldn’t possibly understand that he was at an amazing place, but I loved the idea of knowing that my dog had actually visited Niagara Falls with me, and it is a memory that I will cherish forever.
Anyways, he behaved so well. He walked around the falls with us and even walked around Goat Island. The only behavioral issue he had was when he saw squirrels. If you ever take your dog to Niagara Falls, be prepared for their reaction to small forest animals. Squirrels were literally everywhere.
Fun fact: The squirrels aren’t terribly afraid of humans, so if you move slowly and maybe have a snack in your hand, you can get very close to them.
Note: Click here for the link to the hotel that I stayed at.
Stay tuned for more ‘Adventure Paws’ blog posts!