The only thing we regret about when travelling is leaving our Max for the duration......Max, of course, is our 1 year 1 month old boxer. Its a little worse now with the new addition to our family, Cocoa (our 1.5 year old lab whom we adopted from CUPA 2 months back). So when the opportunity came to take Max along, we pounced on it!!
My parents stay in Saudi Arabia where my father works and they come down for vacations every year. Last December when they were down and we were going to Trivandrum from Bangalore to meet them, we decided to make a small holiday out of it for Max and thinking back, i am really really glad we did cause Max had a wonderful time!! New people (he loves meeting people!), new places (he'll jump into the car for a drive any day!) , new smells ( hes a major sniffer my little boxer!), new doggy buddies (he loves meeting other doggies also!), a stay in a nice resort, a boat ride.....which doggy wouldn't want all of this!!
When we told friends and family that we were driving with Max all the way to Trivandrum ( a 15 hour journey from Bangalore), everyone felt that Max would get cranky and we would really regret it. Max truly turned out to be our son!! He was the best behaved pup ever during the whole long journey.....switch the AC on for him and he sleeps like a baby!! We couldn't keep the windows rolled down cause he was so excited with the new smells and sights that he wanted to jump right out! Of course, towards the end of our journey, he didn't want to sit alone at the back and sat on our laps in front (which is quite difficult considering his size!) but we were ok with that and the 3 of us reached Trivandrum happily for dinner.
At home, my folks have a 4 year old lab, sherry and my brother has a 1 old German Shepard, Tiny (she definitely is not!!). Max, who adores all other dogs was in doggy heaven!! 2 new playmates!! You just had to take a look at the excitement on his face to know that it was definitely the best decision ever to take him along!!
Sherry totally intimidated little (in my eyes!!) Max but Tiny and he got along like a forest on fire!!
They ran and ran and ran and then ran some more all around the house for 2 whole days!! I never knew Max had so much energy!! Even when Tiny was tired, he would keep jumping all around and over her till she decided to play again. It was wonderful watching the 2 of them!!
On the 3rd day, we all decided to go to Kumarakom. Our big problem was locating a resort which wouldn't mind having Max staying over too. Most hotels and even resorts dont still allow pets which is one of the biggest hurdles we have when travelling with Max. The resort we found was wonderful since they were totally enthusiastic about having Max over!! I so wish more and more of them are so open hearted!!
When all reached the resort with 6 month old Max in tow, the staff there almost had a small stroke! I keep referring to both Max as my little puppy without a thought about his size when in reality, Max is now over 2' tall now!! When I'd told them about puppy, they thought he was a small little stuffed toy sized pup!! But thankfully there as no problem at all.
That evening was spent lounging about watching the sun set over the Vembanad Lake......Max of course was with us......playing about in the lawn. He was the center of attraction for all the other guests there and he totally enjoyed that.
At home, the only furniture hes not allowed on is the master bed, but i guess even he knew that this was a special holiday and he made full use of that!! In the middle of the night, both of us woke up complaining about the other hogging the blanket when we realised that it was not us, but Max!! He was sleeping in between us with his head nicely on the pillow like a baby would!! The only difference was that Max snores and wanted the blanket all for himself!!
I don't know how many dogs would've done this or would ever get to do this, but Max went on a boat ride the next morning. He was as comfortable on a boat as he was on land, jumped in nicely without any assistance. He sat on our laps and watched all the birds and people and boats. What was interesting is that whenever we travel, we love watching and photographing the locals and in this case, it was just the opposite!! Everyone, tourists, locals, boat operators, guests in all the resorts, were grabbing their cameras to take pictures of Max on top of the boat!! And for his part, Max posed for everyone of them!! That's when we realised what a vain little puppy we have!! :)
That was his experience in Kumarakom.....The journey back is another story in itself, which will be part of another blog......till then......