Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dog Friendly

Recently I went on a road trip with my Dog. Fun right? Well it was, mostly...

I was traveling in a somewhat rural area of the southern US, and hotels were not as plentiful as I am used to. Finding a dog friendly hotel on my route actually turned out to be impossible. So I ended up driving about an hour out of my way to stay in a La Quinta. (All of the hotels in this chain accept dogs, all sizes, no deposit.)

Although I am a HUGE fan of La Quinta's pet policy, I have to say, our accommodations were less than satisfactory. The lady at the front desk told me she didn't want to say my room number out loud, and wrote it down for me instead. When I asked where I could park my trailer, she told me to park in the back...if I wasn't worried about anything getting stolen! When I pulled around the backside of the establishment I could not believe my eyes. Drug deals and prostitution. Seriously. At this point I was weighing my options of making it to my next destination, a 6 hour drive, before falling asleep at the wheel.

We ended up staying the night, hoping our car would still be there come sun up. Our dog had one of the double beds all to herself, but that didn't last long. The loud music and voices from out side made her nervous, and she soon joined us on our small bed. None of us got much sleep that night.

This all made me ask: Why is it so hard to find a decent pet friendly hotel in ANY location you wish? We drove by several lovely looking places, where we were not welcome, all because we choose to travel with our well behaved dog. Is it really that hard to set aside a room or two in a hotel for dogs? We'll pay our pet deposit. And what's with the size limit? 25lbs is the most common. I have never owned a dog that small in all of my life, why am I being discriminated upon? Just because a dog is small does not mean it is well behaved or less destructive or quieter. It angers me that we are treated like second class citizens because we are 'dog people'. Perhaps I am alone on this one, but I don't think so.

And although this particular La Quinta wasn't the nicest place I've ever stayed, (but maybe the worst), I still feel better about giving them my money, because as a cooperation they do not discriminate. They open their doors to us 'crazy dog lovers' who would rather travel with our loyal companions than leave them behind.

Maybe someday other corporations will catch on that they are missing out on a huge market. Until then, it's a good thing that we are traveling with our "over the normal weight limit" dogs, as we'll need them to feel safe during our 'dog friendly' travels.


  1. I really like your blog. The picture of your dog in the backseat is cool, too!

    I have a Dog Music blog, if you'd like to look at it, you might enjoy it. I record old songs with doggie lyrics you can sing to your dog, and some videos, too. It's at: http://www.dogmusic.org

    I'm going to follow your blog!

  2. We have been too nervous to actually try this. We do take the dogs camping, but beyond finding accommodations, we're afraid we'll accidentally drive through some BSL county and they'll confiscate our dogs.

  3. First, love to read about people taking their pets on vacation!

    Second, you are preaching to the choir ... at least with us. My wife and I run GoPetFriendly.com. We have listings for almost 30,000 hotels and campgrounds in the US and Canada - with a detail pet policy for each one. Next time you are traveling in rural territory, don't overlook a campgounds. Most KOAs now offer cute, pet friendly cabins - you don't need a tent or RV!

    As far as weight restrictions go, don't get me started. Our blog poll showed 75% of our readers travel with a dog that weighs more than 25 lbs and 55% travel with a dog that weighs more than 50 lbs. (We travel with a 75 and 35 pounder.) We have created a petition to Give Big Dogs a Break that you and your readers can sign: