It’s our first official trip with the dog. Piper, our Brittany spaniel puppy, is now five months old, and though she’s ridden in the car to Fernie once before, this B.C. road trip is our first real holiday as a party of five. As a result, there are learning curves (e.g. forgetting the dog poop bag during the hike on Day 2 of our vacation). What will a dog do on in a car for six hours as we drive from Fernie to Osoyoos, on Day 4? How does it work in a hotel room with a dog? Can you just leave her in the kennel while the cleaning people do their thing?
After driving 545 km in a car with a puppy, an eight-year-old and a five-year-old, I have to say it’s way easier to travel with a dog than with kids.
For one thing, she didn’t tell us she was hungry every 10 minutes all day long, nor did she ask us annoying questions like, “How much longer till Osoyoos?” when we were in Castlegar. Instead, she slept between Fernie and Creston, then accompanied me on a walk through the cute downtown when we stopped. We stopped again at Christina Lake for a water wade and ice cream and she enjoyed another nice walk. She was a bit restless on the final leg to Osoyoos, but I’m impressed that, unlike the kids, there was no whining. She either dozed or watched the mountain scenery turn to desert scrub as we descended into the Okanagan Valley and a hot but dry temperature of 33C.
Upon arrival at Spirit Ridge Resort we were impressed to find a doggie treat and watering station by the check-in, as well as poop bags, dog biscuits and a food bowl in our pet-friendly suite. As for how housekeeping mixes with dogs? They don’t. We’ll have to kennel Piper before we put the children in Kidz Kamp and head off wine tasting.
In their defence I will say that our kids were pretty great during this long day on the road. But in contrast travelling with a dog is easy-peasy.
High: After checking in we headed straight to the pool and water slide. It was a perfect way to relax and get refreshed after all those kilometres. As a bonus, Bennett showed extreme independence, going down the water slide and swimming across the pool by himself while we sat in our lounge chairs. Bliss!
Runner up: The dramatic descent into Osoyoos. Beautiful scenery.
Low: Nothing about the drive was as bad as our evening meal. I like to DQ something different about once a year, but I won’t be recommending this particular franchise to anyone. It wasn’t the food that was lacking, but the service. Memo to the owner behind the counter: you have to be nice to your customers or eventually they will stop coming in — even for Blizzards when it’s 33C.