Just watching the world go by

After three days on the road, we made it to San Diego; boy were we happy! Phoebe is a great traveler.

It was a whole new environment and I fully expected her to show signs of anxiety.  Instead, I saw a curious little dog. Phoebe sat outside with her nose in the air, ears perked, and just taking it all in – different trees than at home, the ocean, the

Hanging at the hotel. We had to do our own self-portrait
Hanging at the hotel. We had to do our own self-portrait

smell of the freeway, the sound of cars zipping by, and the lingering smells in hotel room. Oddly enough, Phoebe appeared to be less stressed than at home. Perhaps the feeling of being in a single room “den” made her feel cozy; I really don’t know.

My family met us down in San Diego. It was time to bond with the family., which would have left Phoebe sitting in the hotel room quite a bit. I left her in the room when we went out to dinner and expected to find her all stressed out when I returned. Instead, I found her sleeping. Geez – all that worry for nothing!

After that first night I San Diego, I knew I would be spending a lot of time away from the room. Leaving Phoebe alone was not an optimal solution. I struggled with putting her in a kennel. She spent four months living in a metal cage before I adopted her, so that would be my fall back only if all else failed.

 What is a Pooch Hotel

After exploring various options, I quickly learned that there are not many options for housing a pit bull. I called the local PetCo, but they did not provide overnight housing; they steered me towards a “pooch hotel.”

This little pooch hotel sounded like a really cool idea. Dogs were

The front of the Pooch Hotel
The front of the Pooch Hotel

not kept in cages, and they had supervised dog play all day.  If a dog became too stressed, the staff would give them a little time-out in a quiet area. It sounded

Check out all the room. That is her full-size kennel bed in the upper left corner. Plenty of room to roam around
Check out all the room. That is her full-size kennel bed in the upper left corner. Plenty of room to roam around

perfect. Phoebe has never had the opportunity to play off-leash with other dogs (no one wants to play with a pit bull at home). The only time Phoebe is exposed to dogs is during training. This seemed like a prime opportunity to test Phoebe’s social skills with other dogs, so that is where I was going to take her.

The price of the pooch hotel really wasn’t bad. It was about $15 more than putting her in the kennel where all they do is feed her and take her out to go to the bathroom. It had that added bonus of all-day-play, that typically runs about $17 a day.

The pooch hotel lets you bring your own bedding, toys, or whatever else makes your dog happy. The “kennel”  had glass on the front and side, and a wall on the other two sides. There was more than enough room for the pup to roam around.

Food Switch for the Trip

The only negative about the whole thing was that it was not feasible to bring homemade food on the road. That meant – gulp – kibble. I did a lot of research and opted for Wellness CORE Reduced Fat. A regular serving closely aligned with the protein, fat, carbohydrates, and calories of her custom diet. I had to start switching her over couple of weeks before we left, and she seemed to be doing well. In fact, I am still using the kibble and she is doing well on its so far.

Armed with all her doggie bedding, toys, and kibble I left her at the pooch hotel. The first thing they did is whisk Phoebe away for a temperament test. Supposedly, avoiding the long tearful goodbyes made it less stressful for the dog. That was the last I saw of her until we picked her up – sort of.

The pooch hotel has web cams that allow you to check in and watch your dog play during the day and they send you a picture of your dogs living space.  I checked the web cam out a few times, but was not fixated on it. Just knowing that I had the option left me at ease.

She stayed there for three days and when I went to pick her up I was expecting her to jump and go crazy like she does when I return home. Surprisingly, she did not go crazy at my mere presence. It reminded me of the time when I first took my son to daycare. I thought he would be jumping for joy when his mama came to get him, Instead, he did not want to leave. I felt so stupid dragging him out kicking and screaming. Phoebe didn’t kick and scream, but she certainly did not seem thrilled to see me.

When I got her back to the hotel room, she seemed I have a little attitude. I will get into all the details of that in my next post.

Doggie Daycare – Great Energy Release

I have heard that dogs are pretty exhausted after running around with dogs all day.  Phoebe was active when we got back to the hotel room, as the evening went on she lounged around. When she went to sleep she was o-u-t.  Maybe those stories I read about daycare making your dog exhausted are true.