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  • Writer's pictureJessica Stough

The Four-Legged Traveler

Updated: Jan 23, 2022

From road trips to spending hours in airports to unexpected day-long layovers in new countries - we’ve done a lot. We also have a lot out there on our bucket list. It’s pretty unlikely and unconventional to bring any of our dogs with us overseas, but a bit more realistic to bring a four-legged companion or two along on a road trip across the United States.

That being said, I remember a time when we never would’ve entertained the idea of bringing a furry friend along with us on a vacation. Way back when, our first road trip ever took us to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. At the time, we had been thinking about getting our first dog, but hadn’t yet pulled the trigger. Even still, there were signs of dog-lovers everywhere in Jackson Hole.

There’s a reason that Jackson Hole Central Reservations has an entire page dedicated to travelling with a dog. Since I had puppy fever at the time, it was something that didn’t go unnoticed for me. I commented on all the puppies and dogs we passed, and loved the way Jackson Hole welcomed their four-legged residents and visitors alike.

After our trip, not just one seed but two had been planted in my head. The first was that I would absolutely love a dog to bring along for our travels. If places like Jackson Hole were so pet-friendly, surely we could find other cool places to visit that were as well. Secondly, much later, when we finally pulled the trigger on adopting our first puppy, we were stumped on what to name him.

As I looked down at our new tiny unnamed puppy, my eyes caught the words on my hoodie, my favorite souvenir from our trip: Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was a no-brainer when it finally clicked - and that was the day Jackson got his name.

Somehow, it was still quite a few vacations, years, and dogs later before we finally decided to move forward with bringing a dog along with us. We continued going on trips, continued to see residents and vacationers with their dogs, and continued to see pet-friendly places to visit everywhere we went.

That first seed that had been planted in Jackson Hole was a slow-growing one, and it took us a while to feed it. Yesterday marked the three year anniversary of our first long hike with Buzz - and the first vacation we brought a dog along for - but that was far from the first time we had thought about doing so. If I could go back, I know that we would’ve brought him (or another dog … or two … or four ... ) along for vacations sooner.

There are just so many “what ifs” involved with bringing dogs on road trips to new places. It was something we went into almost entirely blind, and I remember that it was scary diving into that unknown territory. Hopefully, sharing our good, bad, and ugly experiences with Buzz can help others clear up that unknown territory - and make the decision to allow their four-legged friends to enjoy vacations too.

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