Who doesn’t love the holiday season! It is a time of year that is intoxicating, full of excitement and the special pleasures of reconnecting with family and friends. I find that the holidays are also a time when I need to plan ahead for my travels, since I always include my dog, Nicky, on my trips. Nicky is a cross between a German Sheppard and a Border Collie. Since the first day we met at a rescue shelter 14 years ago, wherever I go you can be certain to find Nicky close by. Throughout the years Nicky has been more than just a loyal companion to me, she has become an integral part of my family. How could I possibly enjoy the holidays knowing she was being boarded in a strange place, and more importantly, separated from the family? The answer is, I couldn’t. So I have learned to plan for my trip in such a way I can be certain that the friends I am visiting are happy with the arrangements, and Nicky and I are also at ease.
Travel within the vehicle is easy since I always use a plastic dog crate to ensure Nicky is safe and protected. But what I needed to find was an agreeable way of bringing Nicky into someones home that made my friends feel respected and comfortable, while at the same time, allowing Nicky to be at ease and free of anxiety in a strange environment. The absolute best solution was a pet playpen that could be used both indoors and out. Pet play pens, sometimes referred to as dog exercise pens, are portable, easy to setup and take down, and the perfect solution for keeping your dog with you yet out of mischief. The pet playpen has enough room to allow for Nicky’s food bowls, her favorite toy and her blanket and still have plenty of room left over to allow her to move around and not feel like she has been incarcerated. The ease of a pet playpen allows me to set it up in any room and simply more it room to room as necessary. Nicky has always been an extremely well behaved dog, but unfamiliar environments can sometimes cause dogs to become anxious. An anxious dog might have behavior problems you would never experience at home such as chewing or excessive barking. With a pet playpen your dog will have her favorite items from home, you will be close, and since your dog will be in a comfortable, airy space she will be at ease. An added bonus of a pet play pen is the fact that it can also be opened up and extended to be used as a room divider with a gate. This features works perfectly whenever I visit my friends who live in Texas. They prefer that their living and dining rooms are closed off to guests, leaving the rest of their home available to everyone. So I simply open the pet playpen and extend it across the archway opening to this portion of their home. Since small children are still a part of their growing family, it not only prevents Nicky from visiting these rooms, but it has also serves as a barrier for the curious toddlers.
For me, the holidays are special because I am sharing them with those I love, and my dog Nicky is certainly on my list of those I love. All the joy, laughter and special moments experienced while visiting has always included my faithful and devoted friend, and I cant image it any other way.
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