Doggie dilemma

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Jaclyn and Heidi solve grey nomad etiquette dilemma
Doggie dilemma for grey nomads

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,
We have been chomping at the bit for the past 10 years to get on the open road and to begin exploring this amazing country from north to south and east to west.  We are finally retired and are fit and well and raring to go, but there’s one major stumbling block … our beautiful Golden Retriever, Lucky! We have heard so many stories about grey nomads who feel so restricted by travelling with their pets and we want our trip to be absolutely perfect and to be able visit all those amazing national parks we have long dreamed about.  While travelling with Lucky is not a practical option for us, there is no way we could leave her at home, either … she is part of the family. But she is only eight and so it could be years before we are ‘free’ to go. What can we do?

It’s the eternal pet lover’s conundrum, Pete. Sadly, there is no perfect solution … only compromises. See if you can find friends or family who would temporarily ‘adopt’ Lucky. That way, your beloved pooch gets to stay with someone she knows and you get the peace of mind of knowing that she is in good hands. Other than that, travelling with Lucky will have its rewards as well as its downsides. Yes, there are restrictions on entries to national parks but there are also some beautiful camping spots and countryside which will be accessible to you. And, as well as pet friendly caravan parks, there are also pet-sitting services available. These are often near national parks to give dog-loving grey nomads like yourselves a little more freedom to go wherever they like, albeit only for a few hours or a few days.

Lucky! That must be the most ill-fitting dog name ever! For a self-proclaimed pet lover you sound to me like you’re awfully close to deciding to take Lucky on a one-way trip to the vet. It’s terrible when a ‘member of the family’ becomes an inconvenience to your holiday isn’t it, Pete … especially when they’re so young? I mean she might not be dead for years yet! If you really do love your dog, then stop whingeing and head off on your trip. So, the Big Lap won’t be exactly as you dreamed and you’ll have to make adjustments to travel with a dog. Get over it. How do you think the grey nomads travelling with chronic illnesses, or on a tight budget, or in less than perfect rigs cope? Easy. They smile, make the best of it and thank their lucky stars they’re not stuck at ‘home’ watching daytime TV.


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