The surveys show well over 75% of all RVrs travel with dogs. In fact, many said because they want to take their pets with them is one of the major reasons they bought an RV in the first place.
Jennifer and I are the same. We enjoy the company of our Norwegian Elkhound, Tai, and bring him with us on most of our trips.
But there are times while we're on the road that Tai doesn't quite fit in.
Take the long trip west that we're now on.
Tai will be great for most of it. But the first part, a week in suburban Memphis where of right-year-old grandson was in a sports tournament, posed a major dilemma. We were staying with the rest of the team parents and grandparents in a hotel where dogs were not allowed. And the sports complex where the games were being played did not allow dogs in the grounds.
Added to that was the notorious Memphis heat. The temperatures were in the mid 90's each day, with heat indexes well over 100. So leaving him in our RV, even with the air conditioning running, just wasn't a good idea. If that AC should fail, the heat buildup inside the coach would would be potentially fatal.
We thought of leaving him 1,000 miles away, back in Michigan. But to take him on the trip west, which was to begin once the tournament ended, would have meant 1,000 miles back north, before we could start west.
I posted our dilemma on our Roadtreking Facebook Group. And among lots of suggestions we received, one turned out to be perfect.
A website called DogVacay, short for Dog Vacation, which lists thousands of trusted, licensed dog sitters who are willing to board pets in their own homes, just as if they were members of the family.
Just to see what it was like, I plugged in the suburban Memphis city where we would be spending most of our time watching the games. You can imagine my surprise when the DogVacay sitter we choose turned out to live directly across the street from the ballpark.
Sophia Townsend was her name and, with her husband, Gordon, she watched Tai all week. We even saw her walking Tai one afternoon and rushed over to say Hi.
The Townsends live in a ranch-style home on a corner lot of a well kept subdivision and has a large, well manicured backyard surrounded by a tall fence, though in the Memphis heat, Tai much preferred the air conditioning inside.
I can't begin to say how thrilled we were to have found the loving dog sitters Sophia and Gordon and DogVacay.
As we continue our travels across the country, I'm sure there will be other occasions when we'll use it again.
To use the service, you have to register for a free account You upload a photo of your pet and answer some questions about his temperament. Rates are $25 day. Other services like play time, walks, even grooming, can also be arranged. Your dog's host family will even send you a daily note and photo of your pet, if you so desire. Each dog that is booked through DogVacay.com is covered under insurance policy that includes $25,000 in dog medical coverage in care, custody and control of the host, less a $250 deductible.
The service also has a PAWtastic partnership with VCA-Antech, the largest veterinary group in the country to help handle any veterinary issues.