I spent a long weekend recently at Lakes Entrance and didn't take Penny with me. I knew she would be happy at home with the rest of the family. However, when I saw the seemingly endless stretches of beach, the shallow, calm waters of many of the lakes and the heaps of dogs wandering around with their human families, I began to wonder what it would be like to travel with Penny.
So I enquired about the rules down there for holidaying with dogs. I was given the name of a few places where dogs are permitted. The first one I visited was a somewhat run-down looking caravan park with a stretch of mown grass out the back where dogs can run around. I wasn't too happy that this area was unfenced and bordered the highway. The other negative point was that dogs must be with their owners at all times. In other words, you can't go out and leave the dog at the cabin. Perhaps I wouldn't want to leave Penny alone in a strange environment, but I'd like to have the choice to leave her safely at home at times.
I had the impression that this place tolerates dogs rather than welcoming them.
On the way back to Melbourne we drove through Swan Reach and chanced across a place that seems ideal. It's called Chestnut Hill Country Retreat. What appeals to me is the small cottage separate from the main Bed and Breakfast house. Dogs are allowed and, best of all, there is a small yard fenced high enough to keep any dog in. One of my most unfavorite things is letting Penny out at night in the country to relieve herself and having her disappear off into the darkness. With this little yard that wouldn't be a worry, and perhaps if she settled in well we would feel confident to leave her at the cottage for a while if we wanted to visit a place that wasn't dog-friendly. I checked out the internet site for this place, but it doesn't say dogs are welcome - however, when we called in the owner said they were, if they had their own bedding.
I had a newsletter email from Dr Jon at PetPlace.com today and it was about this question of holidaying with dogs. It included an informative link to a list of things to consider when preparing for the holiday. (I don't agree with many of the advertisements I see at PetPlace.com, but I find some of their information interesting.)
Penny regularly goes with us to our own house in the mountains but that doesn't really involve much preparation, as she is familiar with the place and we've made ourselves known to the local vet, just in case of emergency. I'd love to take her to a beach resort, but I wonder if we would find it too much trouble and whether she'd enjoy it.