The snag in our plans

IT’S the smallest logistics that can derail the most elaborate plans.

Such was the case last year, when my dad turned 75. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we planned for the entire immediate family – including mum and dad, my two siblings and I plus our partners, and our two kids – to spend a long weekend on the Sunshine Coast.

We booked the accommodation, made convoy car travel plans, rearranged work schedules and packed our summer wardrobes.


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The only snag in our plans?

Our pets.

In total, we have nine dogs between us. Nine! Usually when one of us goes away, we look after each other’s fur kids. But when we all went away together, we were bereft of pet-sitters.

If only we had known about Paws, the pet division of holiday home website Stayz, back then. We eventually found a solution (a mix of friends and neighbours popping in, others staying overnight and one evening where all the dogs bunked in a pet kennel), but if we try to plan a similar family vacation in the future, we may attempt a different game by taking our dogs with us.

I’ve never considered it before, but apparently it’s becoming easier to do.

According to Stayz, Australian families include around seven million dogs and cats. They want to show people that bringing your pets with you on holidays can be easier than you’d think, so they’ve recruited an adorable pug, Frank, to help them give away a pet-friendly holiday valued at $2,500.

No doubt, Frank is a cutie. If he was my dog, I’d be keen to bring him with me as well.

However, as much as I adore my own dog – he’s a 13-year-old cavalier king charles spaniel – I don’t know how well he’d travel with us.

To begin with, he gets nervous and gassy during car trips, so a destination any further than 30 minutes away would make for a fairly unbearable road trip.

He also can’t climb stairs, steps (even softly inclining hills present some challenges), and he snores like a trucker, which is why he’s banished to our laundry at bedtime.

On second thoughts, maybe we’ll just need to find some back-up dog-sitters.

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