Eugene Weekly : Cover Story : 7.29.2010


Pets Issue 2010:

Going to the Dogs (And Cats)

Does This Spay Make My Butt Look Big? The real facts on spay and neuter

Take ‘em or Leave ‘em It’s vacation time, doggone it

‘We’re Here for Everything On call 24-7-365 at the Emergency Veterinary Hospital


Take  ‘em or Leave ‘em
It’s vacation time, doggone it
by Andy Valentine

Photo courtesy: Lucky Dog

It’s summer again, and everybody is ready to throw their mundane lives aside for some time out. For many, this break takes the form of a weekend camping trip to an overly commercialized — but nevertheless pretty — hosted campground; for others, ridiculous tourist traps like California and Cancun seem to be the only options. But if everybody and their dog decide to go on vacation, what actually happens to the dogs? What about the cats, birds, iguanas and all the other weird creatures that people like to detain and keep as friends? When we humans decide to spend a few days throwing all sorts of money into relaxation, what exactly are we to do with our pets?

Many Eugene pet owners seem to choose the outdoorsy options (camping, backpacking, etc.) because these are pet friendly ways to take time and relax. You can bring your pooch camping most places in Oregon, but national parks such as Crater Lake have restrictions on pets and do not allow them on trails. 

For those who are not the outdoor type (but for some reason feel that bringing their pet along on vacation is an absolute must), there are an abundance of Oregon establishments that cater to the canine and other furry clientele. This ranges from inns and hotels to vacation rentals and resorts. If these places don’t cater to pets, one response that has worked for some is stuffing your little friends into a backpack and sneaking ’em in Trojan-horse style. Disclaimer one: This may not work with small yappy dogs. Disclaimer two: We’re not suggesting you do this, just that it happens sometimes. 

Now, for those who want to venture far from home, attachment to these cute little life forms tends to pose a larger problem. Paying extra to have your dog locked in a cage for four hours while you fly across the country sounds awful, not to mention the fact that you’re locking up your precious poodly-kins. But here’s the good part: Pets, as much as we sometimes want them to be, are not children. Eugene is littered (pun intended) with cat and dog daycares and boarding kennels, so don’t rule them out as a possibility. This is not to say we should ditch our pets, but rather to weigh the pros and cons of bringing them long distances to crowded vacation spots.

One of the coolest options open to Lane County dog lovers who want to leave town but don’t want their beasties to languish without the benefits of the great outdoors is the Canine Campout provided by the highly certified Mandie Stuhan, owner of Lucky Dog. The campout basically involves your dog living a fun and healthy outdoor lifestyle at the coast or out hiking for a few days. They can “run on the beach, have fun and basically just chill,” says Stuhan.

So take ’em or leave ’em, the choice is yours. 

Talk to Lucky Dog about their Canine Campout at