Friday, May 05, 2006

Who Needs A Vacation, Me Or My Pooch ??

This is a recent article that I had published in a NC regional pet magazine..

Who Needs A Vacation, Me Or My Pooch ??
By Cheryl Gilliam - Published in the “Pet O’ Mine Magazine” April 2006 Issue

Well, you just finished a 50 hour work week, cleaned off your desk for the first time in 3 months, answered the last email, called your mom and packed your bags. FINALLY - You are ready for a VACATION !! Hey, but what is a vacation without your best canine friend Fido or Boo Boo?? How can you leave home without the one who greets you at the door every night wagging his tail with that "special" look on his face .....

How can you explain to Boo Boo that you are heading out to the mountains or the beach but he has to stay with Aunt Millie and her iguana.. Sure there are some great doggie daycares, pet resorts and all kinds of luxurious places for your pets to stay but you may have "separation anxiety". If your well behaved pet travels well and it's hard for you to part with your pup for a week, why not search out one of the many places that now will allow you to bring along a pet on vacation.

More and more people are traveling with their beloved pets..You can now find accommodations for the most "pampered doggie diva" or your basic "nothing but a hound dog". It is easier than ever to enjoy a real vacation with the family pooch and in some cases with other pets as well, although dogs still are the most accepted pet in vacation spots around the nation. About 10 million Americans travel with their pets and 75% of those pets are dogs...

Many hotels now cater to pets and their owners, I just read of a hotel that even offers a doggie menu with T-bone steak and tuna with caviar... But I feel that the most comfortable lodging for a family and their pet is a vacation rental home, condo or cabin.. Why not have all the comforts of home and much more on vacation for just a little more than the cost of a cramped hotel room ? Often you may end up saving money since you will not have to eat every meal out. Fully equipped kitchens are the norm in most of vacation rental homes, which enables you to have breakfast on the deck or grill a juicy steak. Games, pool tables, hot tubs and swimming pool access are just a few of the amenities that can be offered. Wow, your pet and family will love this.... It's all up to you....

You will find many websites now dedicated to offering these "pet friendly" homes in all areas of the country.. Just be certain to check for any stipulations, many have pet weight restrictions or other guidelines to consider. If in doubt, call or email the owners or vacation management company to inquire about the requirements for bringing your pet. There normally will be a pet fee but would generally be less than the cost of boarding.. Please be a responsible pet traveler, obey the rules and be certain that your dog or pet will not "act out" in an unfamiliar place. "Test the waters" before leaving them alone in a vacation rental. If you are concerned about leaving them alone while you are out sightseeing, search for a local pet sitter or doggie daycare.

See these websites for Pet Friendly Vacation Rentals in the Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Townsend, Tennessee area Best Cabins By Owner or Heavenly Cabins

Many years ago, Cheryl & Roger Gilliam fell in love with a little community called Wears Valley just outside of the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg/Sevierville, Tennessee area in the Great Smoky Mountains.. After renting log cabins in this area for several years, the Lord blessed and they were able to start their own cabin vacation rental business there primarily via the internet, email and phone from their home in NC. Also, since they have 4 precious dogs, these cabins are "pet friendly". See the website for information or availability Heavenly Cabins . They are truly heavenly !