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It’s been a while since we had a Charlie update, so I thought it might be fun just to look at how my sweet, wild pup handled her first (and only, to date) vacation since she became a part of the Fogle family.

During my recent road trip up to the Richmond & DC area, Charlie came along for the ride. I have to say, it was quite a treat to take her traveling with me for the first time (normally when I travel, she has a dog sitter or goes to a day camp). She didn’t stay still much (there were just too many fun things going on), but I did manage to snap a few photos of her throughout the trip. She isn’t the kind of dog who can run around in a new place without a leash, so I bought a tie-out and thought we’d be good to go. Those ears still kill me!

Charlie enjoying Deltaville

For the record, she did not behave herself very well for the first few days. The first part of the trip started in a place called Deltaville, Virginia, which had a beautiful view (I love those cotton candy sunsets!) and a convenient dock to enjoy the river. The fireworks spooked her though, and she escaped not one, but three times during the first 48 hours of the trip (I was very embarrassed for inconveniencing people because of it, but everyone was extremely understanding and helped track her down… phew). As a result, she’s now got a brand new harness that keeps my strong but skittish gal in check.

Charlie on leash in Deltaville

She also really liked barking at the fireflies whenever the sun went down.

Charlie after sunset

But unlike how I struggled at first, Charlie figured out the whole relaxation thing pretty fast. This was, like, Day One.

Charlie taking it easy

The guest house pictured in these photos was dog-friendly, so I (thankfully) didn’t have to feel self-conscious when she made herself at home on the furniture (the owner had another dog who was also lounging around, so I guess Charlie just decided to go along with local customs to fit in, ha).

Charlie learning to relax

Later on in the trip, Charlie also came along for a quick two-day stay in Virginia Beach. I thought we were pretty well-covered by finding a dog-friendly hotel, but for whatever reason, the hotel turned out to be several miles away the area of the beach that would actually allow dogs. No matter — we just drove over and walked her down to the water’s edge. Which turned out to be… well… interesting.

Charlie on the beach

Before this, Charlie had never seen sand, the ocean, or understood any part of how that environment worked. For a dog who gets nervous just trying to go from a rug to hardwood floors, it’s putting it mildly that Charlie was kind of uncomfortable with the whole concept (except watching all of the other dogs happily running around, digging, and running into the ocean, that is). Sadly, she lasted all of five minutes.

Charlie exploring the beach

The second that evil, cold ocean water hit her front paw (about 30 seconds after I snapped the photo above), she did her best impersonation of a dog in real, mortal danger and flipped out. We took her back to the hotel and continued the trip, but with a few more funny memories for me to share. :)

Charlie in Deltaville

Charlie may have handled the whole trip pretty much exactly the opposite way I did (relaxation = instantaneous, enjoyable activities for humans = made of NOPE), but I’m thrilled I was able to have my crazy pup along for the ride. She is such a kook, and every new experience is a guaranteed riot!

Have you ever taken your dog on vacation? How do they handle it?

Charlies first vacation

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  1. Used to take my 120 pounder on road trips. He loved to ride in the car and go anywhere I’d take him … from Maine to Virginia … it didn’t matter. He also loved swimming with me every summer. Apparently he thought winter swimming would be awesome. He walked on ice on the river (not far out) and went through. A couple of guys in a dinghy helped him gain his footing. He was out with my Dad that day and Dad didn’t swim. He also liked to escape the yard to visit the docks to see if there were any fish guts to roll in! Can you tell I miss him? ☺

    1. Aw, connections with dogs can be felt very deeply. It’s always such a shame when they aren’t around us anymore (death or otherwise). But it sounds like you have some wonderful memories. Did you ever wind up getting a new dog? Their personalities are never two alike, but the new ones sure can help heal (I have an article coming on that soon!). ;)

  2. Aw, poor Charlie! Oceans can be pretty scary for first-timers! My mutt Diggory has traveled with me from Pennsylvania to Vermont twice now. He’s not so much a fan of the 8-hour car ride, but he loves staying in the (dog-friendly) hotels, going on long walks along Lake Champlain, hiking in the woods, and visiting many of the dog-friendly restaurants in downtown Burlington. He even got to hang out at the bar while I did a tour of the Magic Hat brewery. The BringFido app was a big help in finding things to see and do where he could come along.

    1. Charlie enjoys car rides (albeit she was bored for a lot, so she napped), but dog-friendly restaurants are always fun! There are a number in Atlanta too.

  3. I love taking Baxter on vacation. It adds an extra level of enjoyment… and sometimes complication… to the experience. My sympathy on your escapes. We’ve gone through those ourselves and I know how scary they can be. I’m glad everything worked out. Baxter’s pretty okay with new experiences, but waves are one thing he hasn’t encountered a whole lot. Ponds, puddles, creeks, small bodies of water he’s fine with, but water that moves on its own is just too weird for him. Glad you and your gal got to spend this time together.

  4. How nice that Charlie got to go on vacation with you! She is such a beautiful girl and I’m sure she was happy to be with you instead of in doggy day-care. I have a black Labradoodle named Tavi and he is rather co-dependent and wants to go everywhere with me. I indulge him as much as I can, but sometimes he has to stay home and guard the house and he gets this very sad look and goes and gets in his chair and crosses his front paws on the chair arm with his chin on them and looks SO forlorn! Then I feel sorry for him and hide treats for him to find while I”m gone. The chin on the paws might just be an act, but I don’t mind falling for it! Aren’t dogs wonderful? A constant source of humor and unconditional love.

    1. 100% with you there. Charlie does this regal-looking pose that always makes me think she’s trying to look posh. It cracks me up. Someday maybe I’ll try to catch each of her little poses and put them in a post. Her frog one is one of my favorites!

  5. Oh Sarah, Charlie is adorable, gorgeous and has a whole lot of fun to look forward to with you. :) What a great mom. You both are learning together. :) Thanks for sharing your trip with Charlie!! :))))

  6. We LOVE taking our dog, Ruby, on vacation with us! She does really well and loves exploring new places. She’s flown with us and been on a cross country road trip from Washington to Chicago. We take her with us as much as we can and I think that’s helped her be so comfortable with it. I actually just wrote a post about taking her to Milwaukee with us. :)

  7. Don’t worry about Charlie’s behavior, I’ve got a 65 LB lab/pit mix and he is never perfectly behaved on the first day. It could also be that I’m so self conscious about it… (my godfather is a dog trainer, so I have a high standard to live up to) I’m sorry Charlie didn’t like the beach, Batman hates water but when we took him to the beach we found he LOVES sand.

    We take Batman on every trip we go on, and since my family is all out of state it actually happens a lot. I don’t know about in hotels, but I can recommend other things to make the trip easier. First of all, always bring toys (that one is probably obvious) and bring a dog backpack with you everywhere you take Charlie. Put in doggy bags, a towel, toys, a leash, tie out,food, water, treats, etc. It is a lot to carry, and you can lesson it when needed.

    I think it’s great you took Charlie with you, so many people don’t even consider the idea.

  8. Charlie is so awesome. Those ears are amazing. I’m glad she got to experience some new things! Too bad she thought the ocean was out to get her. I know dogs that are used to the beach/ocean LOVE it. I’m so happy you got to bring her with you!

  9. We got our pup less than a year ago (a former stray from N.C.) and were fortunately to live near Lake Ontario, NY. She was super skittish to loud noises on walks: garbage trucks, school buses, motor cycles, lawn mowers. We took her to the beach and she did fine on the sand. She wouldn’t go near the water because the noise drove her nuts. We’ve since moved away from the lake. She’s acclimated to noises now, so it’ll be fun to take her up to the beach soon!

  10. We just took our 2 dogs (blue heeler and yellow lab) on a road trip from Arizona to Montana. I was worried it would be a disaster, but it ended up being fun. They did pretty well in the car and loved exploring all the new places. I think they enjoyed spending so much time outside since it’s been too hot in AZ to do anything outside except swim. Plus now they’ve peed in 5 states, which I would think is pretty exciting for dogs.

    Love the picture of Charlie sleeping on the couch! So cute!

  11. Honestly, Charlie’s ears are one of my favourite things :)

    My husband and I took our Kaylee (a retired greyhound, brindle) to New Brunswick (about 5 hours away) where we met up with my family, including my sister who also has a retired greyhound (Valkyrie, black). We stayed in a dog friendly cottage, and at home we crate Kaylee at night, so we brought her crate along, and otherwise brought her with us everywhere. Only once we went whale watching and took her to a local vet who did boarding by the hour. She’s very laid back as long as you don’t stray too far from her.

    This was the jist of the outcome.:
    Though, keep in mind, we ran them the night before this video was taken, so they are nowhere near top speed :)

    1. The local vet doing boarding by the hour is a super sweet idea! I’ll have to keep that in mind as something to look for next time we bring our dogs on a trip.

  12. OMG, Charlie is SO cute!! That picture of her plopped down on the couch just melts my heart! We have two dogs (ages 13 and 2), and we’ve brought them both on a few road trips to visit our families (both 10+ hour drives away). Our older dog has been on a few more vacation-like weekend getaways with us too. He’s really easy to travel with (very laid back and almost silent… like, I would never have to worry about him barking when left alone in a hotel room), but our younger pup can be kinda high-strung and a bit of a handful, so bringing her along to really anything tends to make it more stressful :P We’re working on it though, and as she gets more life experiences she’s chilling out a little bit!