Pet Friendly Travel Diary

2 February 2018 – Kelowna, Canada

I can’t be the only one who packs too much, right? How can I be running around like a crazy person, repacking and re-evaluating all my shopping purchases made in the last 2 months? A trip of this magnitude required a surprising amount of care to detail (more on that in the blog!) because I am, of course, bringing Tango with me on this nomadic adventure. Our travel partners for the first three weeks of our journey is thankfully my parents. It’s so comforting to know I will have their support as I navigate planes and the red tape related to pet travel. Seriously….how am I going to carry this bag around Europe. I sent back 3 backpacks, each time upgrading the size, finally settling on the largest one I could find (link for our theft proof bag here). How is half of this bag filled with Tango’s necessities? (I use the word “necessities” loosely!) She knows something’s going on when she sees me roll her pink bed into the sleeping bag holder of the backpack. Wish us (and my back) good luck!

3 February 2018 – In the air!

Tango was a superstar on her first flight. And her second, and her third! I had no reason to worry. Ok, so I may have given her a little too much of her anti-anxiety medication, Bach Rescue Remedy, but her success was also to do her amazing ability to adapt to situations as long as I am by her side. She also used her Mutt Muff headphones made with the same ester resin foam that is used in many high-end commercial headsets designed for humans. She couldn’t hear anything!

Our trip started at the Kelowna International Airport (YLW). Weeks ago I had received a prompt email response from West Jet stating Tango was approved for travel and therefore was looking forward to a quick check-in. In all my years of traveling this has been the only questionable experience I have ever had with West Jet. We had booked business class tickets through to Paris yet when I asked to ensure we were in Plus seats the check in women made a big deal saying we would have to pay a large amount. I left it, checked our bags and headed to security. Once in security the women looked at my ticket and said I needed a special code because I was traveling with a service animal. I went all the way back to the ticket desk and found a different check-in agent and explained the situation. The original check-in lady rushed over and told him I needed to pay to upgrade. It was very bizarre. I got the proper code on my ticket and went back to security where they realised Tango was an Emotional Support Animal and not a service dog and therefore did not need the additional info on my ticket after all. Pro tip: at the airport, I took off Tango’s harness and leash and she walked through the detector with me “naked”. In other airports, they freaked out when I took her off leash. Every airport security have their own rules. Once on board, we were seated in assigned Plus seats. So I don’t know what the original ticket agent was on about.

Tango and I were able to go into the cockpit and got a quick pic with the Pilot! Because we were seated in the front of the plane most people gave Tango a lil’ pat as they went by to their seats.

Like I said, the flight went great. In Calgary, we rode shotgun on those fun trolleys to a designated potty area. Tango refused to go. In fact, she didn’t go until we landed in Paris 20 hours after leaving our hometown. So crazy! More about our flights and our amazing business class flight to Paris in an upcoming blog post.

4 February 2018 – Paris, France

WE HEART DOG-FRIEDNLY PARIS!!!  We have landed in a magical land where dogs are welcome everywhere (except museams).  Unfortunetly, our luggage did not arrive and we are freezing during this unusal cold snap.  Poor Tango is shaking and only has her little “Paris or Nowhere” sweatshirt for warmth.  I need to learn to pack an emergency kit to take on the plane incase our luggage gets lost again.

Tango’s grandma and grandpa went to the Louve so we passed the time by meeting doggy friends outside the Louve, finding a dog boutique for Tango and a Sephora for myself.  The dog boutique had high fashion items but surprisingly it had (what I consider to be) poor quality dog food including Royal Canin and Purina.  I did find a small amount of Yarrah organic pate from Holland.  I choose what I thought had only beef as the protein source.  I know now it has chicken.  Tango has an intolerance to chicken.  What do you think?  Would you have thought to look in the ingrediants for chicken if you saw this package?

We then all met and went for an adventure with Rachael of Photo Tours in Paris (http://phototoursinparis.com/ )!  Rachel walked us through Paris and told Grandma where the best spots for taking pictures are.  The tour was well worth it!  Grandma took pictures for hours (she loves taking pictures) and we all got an informative walking tour of Paris which was a great introduction to the city on our first day.  It was very special to see the city in its unusal state with flooding and snow.  I look forward to going back to Paris for a private photo shoot of Tango and I.  Check out Rachel’s webstite here: http://rachaellaporte.com/

24 February 2018 – Venice, Italy

It was a beautiful day in Venice! We got up early and went for a walk. Tango immediately rolled in poop in the park. It was in her harness and her hair. So gross. We went back to the hotel to wash her and then I had to wait for her to dry. A couple hours later we tried to continue our walk but she did it AGAIN. OMG. She had a sweater on so I just took it off, and we continued our walk.

We were going to go to the colourful island of Burano today but because of Tango needing a bath, we missed it the boat. Will probably go tomorrow.

Everyone has a dog here. Dogs are allowed everywhere. Restaurants, Ice cream parlours, everywhere! It is off season and there are no tourists. Tango runs off leash through Venice. What a lucky girl!

I got suckered into a tourist trap restaurant for lunch and paid too much. Now I know that if the menu is advertised outside in multiple languages or if someone is standing outside enticing you to come in, it is not an authentic restaurant and instead it is a tourist trap.

We went on a “free” walking tour. It was pretty good. We explored parts of the city we would never have explored on our own. We are walking so much, and Tango’s FitBark says today and yesterday was the most we have walked on our entire trip. There is public transit (boats), but it’s not necessary, and I’m too cheap.

2 March 2018 – Zagreb, Croatia

It’s cold here! -7.  I don’t mind the snow, I think it’s beautiful, but Tango refuses to walk and insists on being carried.  So we have been spending time indoors working.  We did get to a pet store with healthy food in the mall.  There was no problem taking Tango into the mall.   We also went to a large daily open-air farmers market where I bought fruit and the freshest cheese I have ever tasted!  It’s great having a kitchen and being able to eat at home.  I will definitely be eating my breakfasts in and either lunch or dinner each day.

The location of this apartment is absolutely perfect.  I am in the heart of the “town square”.  The farmers market, pet store and museums we plan to visit tomorrow are either on our street or the next.  Very fortunate to have gotten this place.  Although it is loud.  There is a bar downstairs and I can hear everything.  I didn’t sleep till 3-4 am last night cuz it kept me up.  Hope tonight I can ignore it.

Something embarrassing happened.  I made a “pantie stew” in a kitchen pot and had it on the burner.  It was my only option to clean my clothes as there is no kitchen sink stopper.  The landlord came in and saw it OMG!!!!  He mentioned I could use his washer/dryer in a couple days.  What do you do when you don’t have access to a washing machine?

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