Setting off into Summer…

Maneuvering new surroundings: strange smells, unfamiliar sights, obstacles, loud noises, new people—it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.  Fluid environments, never silent or still, make even the most centered individuals feel off-balance at times.  Conditions can change suddenly, anticipation or eagerness shifting to fear and nervousness in the blink of an eye.  Preparedness, communication, and a sense of adventure help hedge the bet that what will emerge from these experiences will be positive—for you and all involved.  Self-confidence, being open to new experiences & ‘flavors,’ repeatedly immersing self in the experience of living in the moment, and empathy for fellow travelers of this journey in life can impart the perspective necessary to succeed & thrive in the harshest of climates.

Daddy & Benson in the chair hugging! :)

Daddy & Benson in the chair hugging! 🙂

One of the most rewarding aspects of training & bonding with Benson is his eagerness in approaching the world.  For a puppy that started out friendly but nervous & edgy in the frightening, crazy environment of the humane shelter, Benson has developed a remarkably calm and laid-back manner.  He now has a special kind of quiet & cautious confidence.  As Benson works, plays & bonds with me & hubby, he learns he can trust and rely on our judgment when meeting new people & places; when he ‘reads’ that we are calm and relaxed, Benson responds in like manner.  Now, short outings and longer trips are exciting—and full of opportunity to broaden training.  We cultivate social manners, assistance abilities, and strengthen the connections in both our family & with the people and communities we visit.

So it’s Memorial Day weekend& summer’s on its way, most of us are looking forward to vacations & weekends with our loved ones.

Bensons Halti

Bensons Halti 

Benson is beat, whew!
Benson gets tired after his walks & training!

Traveling though, can be harrying & tiring.  Between planning, packing, loading and everything in between…it’s exhausting just thinking about ‘holiday.’  In honor of the occasion, we’re going to get right down to it with a handful of travel tip links & that can help you make travel less stressful for everyone involved!

Benson & his tug toy

Benson enjoys hanging in the sun with his tug toy while Mom works in the garden…

WindowWithDAD

Daddy & Benson checking out the scenes…

There are many reputable sites that can serve as guides for your travel prep, regardless of the mode you are choosing, and for everything from international travelto vaccine requirements, etc.  I have standard items to include in my first-aid kit and travel packs… and sometimes I take additional items depending on the type of trip & where we plan to go, and whether or not we’ll be staying over anywhere away from home.

Benson loves rose-colored glass!

Benson loves rose-colored glass!

Now for some great resource & product links—here are just a few organizations, site & companies I like…

#1 link for today’s topic:  There’s nothing like a reliable source of tips & critical information, and the American Veterinary Medical Association site is just that.  Check them out at http://www.avma.org/animal_health/travelingwithpet-faq.asp  as they have everything under the sun, and will have answers to many questions you may have, as well as tons of links that can aid you in planning and once you arrive at your destination!

Pet friendly hotel links and tips are provided from the hotel.com link with travel expert Nicole Hockin (travelsmartblog/hotels.com)  http://www.travelsmartblog.com/2011/08/tips-for-traveling-with-pets/

Want to make sure you remember everything?  Here’s a list (and they have links to other pet travel sites & blogs): http://www.dogjaunt.com/guides/travel-check-list-and-packing-list/

Halti lead head gear

Halti collar for our outings…

 

FirstAid & Necessities

Be sure to pack a few staple items & be careful of chemicals/etc.
natural bug spray, paw creme, antiseptic, collapsible food & water dish, flashlight, etc.

 

There are TONS of suppliers to consider when purchasing travel items, wear, or safety devices… Benson & I have tried a few—some new & even used items found at yard sales& dime stores!  Look around at local thrift shops & yard sales & also check out some manufacturers and retailers online.

durability & control

Strong dog lead vs. wimpy lead… Lupine Wins http://lupinepet.com/

Benson and I have tried many, but we like the portable water/food bowls by http://www.bowldog.biz/

Bensons Portable Bowls

bowldog.biz has the most awesome collapsible food & water bowls…check Bensons pair!

 

For travel toys & gear/etc—and packs like the one Benson is wearing in the photos on our page, you can try http://shop.kyjen.com/  and http://www.kyjen.com/products/category/kyjen-brands/outward-hound/  Water, waste bags & first-aid kits fit nicely and you can be sure necessities like those can be carried by your companion!  Don’t forget important things like medical alert bracelets, extra medication in a waterproof pill ‘box,’ natural bug repellants, sunscreen, and a whole bunch of odds & ends.

Brushes Benson uses

Benson uses a few brushes & accessories

Photos have example items to include in your pack, along with examples of leads, other gear, and specialty dog-wear ‘suited’ to your trip like Benson & I use.

Retractable lead--not always the best option

Retractable leads are not always strong enough, or don’t allow firm control of the lead… this is a heavy-duty version

Always take hunter orange (vests) when visiting known hunting areas & going hiking/etc.  and wear reflector vests when out at night.  You can see designs at http://www.lonewolfdogwear.com/ —they have many specialty items available, including hunter/blaze orange, camouflage, rain jackets, halters, reflectors, booties & and much more!

Bensons Blaze-Orange Reflective vest

Benson loves his Blaze-Orange Reflective vest, and it is highly visible even in the dark!

Bensons Clothes

Clothing items Benson wears on his outings…

We picked up a fleece jacket/squall jacket (made by the Lands’ End) at a yard sale!

Blue Jacket (lightweight)

a lightweight blue jacket, great for everyday…

http://www.landsend.com/ix/outerwear/Outerwear/Pet/index.html?tab=7&store=le&catNumbers=1028~1302&visible=1~2~1

We also found a My Good Dog Polartec Thermal Pro Winter Dog Jacket

Bensons Warm Coat

Bensons snuggle-warm coat for the fall and into winter, or on chilly nights…

see it here: http://www.buzzillions.com/image.dox?R=5494760#ixzz1w0wRzQJGG you can find a review of it here (that I agree with):  http://www.buzzillions.com/reviews/my-good-dog-a30069-polartec-thermal-pro-winter-jacket-reviews#review-15590324  cute, easy to get into, snuggly warm, and clear of areas for urinating/etc so the coat doesn’t get soiled.

NOW GO! GO! Go put your travel know-how to work, and pack—GO ENJOY YOUR TIME TOGETHER WITH YOUR PET COMPANIONS THIS SUMMER!  ❤

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