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Posted by on Jun 25, 2013 in Travel | 7 comments

Traveling with Dog Envy

Traveling with Dog Envy

Dogs have always been an important part of my life, up until the point that I began traveling. Owning a dog and traveling seemed to be mutually exclusive; doing both simultaneously just couldn’t be done. However, as time passed and the months of travel turned into years, the idea that we could continue our lifestyle of world travel AND be dog owners began to fill my thoughts. I started to obsess about dogs.

At the park, Marko, content to kick a football (soccer ball) around, couldn’t relate to my yearning for a furry companion, he having never owned a dog. For me, something was missing. As time moved on, I would see other people walking their dogs and  be more and more overcome with longing. A man at a park bench would reach down to pat his chocolate lab, the dog looking up at him with a big silly grin. That’s what I wanted. I smiled at them both, filled with envy.

I began to sit at our apartment window which overlooked the park and call out to Marko every time a dog went by. “Oh look, a German Shepherd!” “Ahhh, come see the adorable little white Westie.” “Oh my god, come quick, come quick it’s a puppy!” He would give me a semi-forced smile as he tried to remain pleasant at my 18 th shout out about a dog sighting for the day.

It got to a point that it was nearly all I talked about and my desire for a dog to be part of our lives began to outweigh my belief that travel and dog ownership couldn’t go hand in hand. I started researching, discussions began and we started considering getting a dog to travel with us as a potentially viable idea.

For months, we went round and round; can we? Should we? How will it change things for us? Are we ready?

We decided on a breed, King Charles Cavalier. This is a small dog (under 25 lbs.) and well-known for being friendly and adaptable. With sweaty palms, I picked up the phone and began calling Cavalier breeders. This was getting very real. We scheduled an appointment to see a litter of puppies; we stopped on our way at the bank. My heart was pounding with excitement as I repeated like a mantra, we might not get a puppy today.

It was a 2 hour drive to the dog breeder’s house. There didn’t seem to be enough oxygen in the car. I tried to distract myself and hide my excitement from Marko but struggled to make conversation. My mind was continually returning its attempt to analyze, dreaming up hypothetical situations of travel with a dog; still in limbo attempting to calculate the right decision.

We approached the front door, my heart pounding like we had run rather then drove the distance. I hesitated a moment then rang the bell. The door knob turned, and the door creaked open. The father dog was the first to greet us, desperate to receive our attention, followed by three white and tan puppies. I took 5 steps inside the house, exhaled and plopped myself on the strangers’ floor, making myself level with the dogs, realizing as I did that I had been holding my breath since we arrived.

After being greeted by both the female puppies, casually the last and smallest puppy came to greet me.

“That is the only boy, he is especially sweet.” The woman explained.

The puppy crawled into my lap and curled up, I tilted my head up towards Marko, who was still standing in the doorway. I manipulated my facial muscles into my most angelic expression, addressing him with pleading eyes. I scooped up the puppy outstretching it to Marko for him to take the little boy. Marko returned my look with a soft warm smile, the puppy gazing up into his eyes.

We both knew in that moment that today we would no longer be a traveling couple, but instead would become a traveling pack. All my tensions and concerns about if we were already softened, being replaced instead by affectionate contentment.

Momma and all of her puppies.

Momma and all of her puppies.

The little boy is in the middle.

The little boy is in the middle.

Puppy Love.

Puppy Love.


  1. OMG… I have such dog envy recently too, but you’re so brave getting a puppy, I’m researching a rescue of an older dog. So happy for you, congrats on the newest addition to your pack! May your feet and paws travel to the furthest corners of the globe and find a home with each other. 🙂
    Susan recently posted… My Carnivore Dilema My Profile

    • Susan, I think it is wonderful that you are considering adopting an older dog. We looked into dog rescue as well, as I am big advocate of adoption, however I contacted all of the rescue groups in Holland and NONE of them had any small dogs that needed rehoming. A small dog was a must for us because of airline travel so our pup can fly cabin with us. I thought this was really wonderful that there were no dogs for us to “rescue” but as you know, it is a completely different story in the US. Best of luck with your doggy adoption! 🙂

      • I know how she means of missing a dog.. and not being able to find a small dog in NL most are big dogs tossd because people get them and do not realise how small these houses are until they get one.. I am american and misses my dogs when I traveled to see hubby here in Holland… searched and searched… finally fond one in the US and flew back home to get him…. shortly after.. have seen a few dogs I would of adopted here, being mill babys no longer wanted… Traveling with your pet is a adventure in itself… but now that we post for more than just a few websites.. we post the world over and can see how adoption is becoming a little easier… thanks to FB and social media… and that the animal crises is world wide 🙁

        • Yes, that is very true Anita. When we lived in Bangkok for awhile and while we were there we fostered kittens. The rescue group we worked with did a lot of their adoptions (for both dogs and cats) outside of Thailand to places like the US or the UK. The internet helps connect us in so many wonderful ways.

  2. Hello–I have three Cavalier King Charles spaniels, which is what we call them in the US. The Brits also call them that, since they are named after Charles II, the Cavalier King Charles. Do you know why they are called King Charles Cavaliers in Holland?

    • I have actually heard them referred this way by Americans and Brits as well. I think it is due to the fact that the breed was originally listed by the kennel club as “King Charles Spaniels, Cavalier type”. They are amazing dogs. Having 3 must be a lot of fun!!

  3. What a sweet story!! It’s also very sweet of you to consider airline travel too… Cabin travel is ok, but that cargo hold travel for animals, from what I hear is really dangerous and miserable. So glad you got the puppy you wanted!! 🙂

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