Rocky is ready to go on vacation with his mom and dad. He hates it when they go places without him, and he knows they will have a lot more fun if they take him along. He hears they are going to Alaska. He doesn’t know where that is, but road trips to places like Grocery Store, Dog Park, and Vet’s Office have always been fun, so he’s game. Rocky likes Alaska with dogs.
Here’s a checklist for how Mom and Dad are going to make sure Rocky enjoys his car ride.
1. Travel Documents in Order
Mom and Dad need proper documentation to cross the US-Canada border and so does Rocky. He has a certificate of vaccination for rabies. Canada just wants to know that he’s up to date, but in order to get back into the US, Rocky’s vaccination must be at least 30 days old (but not expired).
Rocky’s awfully excited that Canadian and US Border agents will perform a visual inspection of him. He hopes the examination will last a long time and include belly rubs, but it’s pretty routine (even though happy fun inspection time costs $30 each time you cross the border).
2. Avoid the Wildlife
Rocky loves to chase squirrels. And cats. And other dogs. So his mom and dad are a little worried what he might think about bears and cougars and wolves. While the whole family is more than a little excited about Denali sightseeing, the official rules are “dogs are not allowed on trails, in the backcountry, or left unattended at any time.” Sounds like a good plan—packing the long leash and a list of alternate areas to explore.
3. Route Carefully Planned
Mom and Dad can get to Alaska by road through Canada or they can travel part way by ferry.
Rocky loves ferries, but the weekly ferry from Bellingham, WA to Ketchikan, AK takes two days and he must remain on the car deck the entire time. Rocky could make good friends with the purser who lets Mom and Dad into the car deck every time he needs to be fed, watered, or walked, but he is worried he’ll get lonely.
Driving any number of roads that make up the Alaska Highway is a more flexible travel option for the family. The only weirdness is that Pit Bulls are not allowed to enter Ontario. Seriously.
4. Rest Breaks Prioritized
Mom and Dad once drove halfway across Texas without a potty break. Rocky is anxious to please and will hold it as long as he can, but it’s stressful when you don’t know how long you have to hold out. Plan on stopping frequently at rest areas and city parks—anywhere the whole family can stretch their legs and get some water. It may lengthen the trip, but avoiding a pee-soaked car is worth every minute.
5. Kennel Packed
Rocky feels safer when he’s in a kennel in the back of the car. His kennel has a metal grate with four locking bars so he can’t chew his way out if he gets bored. Plus, the kennel gives him someplace safe and familiar to sleep when he’s camping.
Do you have any other great tips for Rocky’s parents?