Hubby and I needed a getaway. After 18 months without a vacation, renovating a house and a cross-country move, we were due. We wanted to just relax, but we also wanted to include Jasmine on the fun, so we decided on a driving vacation up the coast of Maine. It would conclude with a visit with some old friends in Durham, Maine. The best part of the trip was that, outside of the stop in Durham, we had no agenda. We had no reservations anywhere. We just wanted to explore the area and end up where we ended up. High season ended on Labor Day weekend, so availability of accommodations wouldn’t be a big problem.
Jasmine likes to ride in the car, so we got her favorite blanket, toys, and treats and hit the road. The first day, we drove the back roads all the way up to Portland. We stopped in Portsmouth, NH as well. Jasmine attracted attention wherever we went–people just love wiener dogs–and we were never denied access to any store; I carried her in many stores and galleries, and that was just fine. Jasmine was further exposed to new experiences and lots of people approaching her–a good thing. Unless people approached her aggressively (surprising how many “dog people” had no idea how to approach a dog), she was cautiously okay with a scratch behind the ear or a little pet.
The first night was a little uncomfortable for her. She paced a lot in the hotel but we decided to keep her with us on the bed so she was happy to snuggle up and sleep. The new environment was a little disconcerting for her, but she adjusted well and did not have any accidents the entire week.
The next day was her first challenge. We decided to take a cruise of Portland harbor. It was a 2-hour tour of the islands around the harbor on the local ferry, and dogs were welcome (and required a separate fare). We carried her on and got our seat up top. She sniffed the air and settled on my lap. It was so fun to watch the other passengers on the trip; they were more enamored with Jasmine than they were with the tour. One gentleman took more pictures of Jasmine than he did of the bay! Jasmine did so well; she was calm and interested in all the smells and sights.
The rest of the week went well. Jasmine adapted to every environment that we presented. Finding pet-friendly accommodations was generally not an issue, but it was surprising how few hotels were open to pets. In Boothbay Harbor, we only found a few places and ONLY with the help of the local chamber of commerce. We did end up at a particularly wonderful place, the Spruce Point Inn, that was both pet-friendly and didn’t just reserve the worst rooms for that purpose. The worst experience? Hampton Inn. We went in to get a quote. Jasmine was calmly encased in my arms. The genius at the front desk fumbled with his reservation system, and after several minutes, we got some rates. However, it only occurred to him to let us know of a property-wide BAN on pets after this whole process. Um, why go through with rate quotes when you can clearly see that we aren’t going to take a room due to the pet ban? Duh.
The end of the week was interesting. We got to our friends’ home in Durham. They have two dogs, one of which is a black lab “puppy” that they’ve had for three weeks. He’s 45 pounds of pure puppy energy. Jasmine wanted nothing to do with either dog. However the puppy, Bailey, was fascinated by Jasmine and took every opportunity to try to play with this new “toy.” Jasmine snapped at him a couple of times and endured getting swatted in the head by a puppy paw, but she was generally calm and comfortable in my arms. Well, as comfortable as she could be, as you can see in the photo below. Overall, Jasmine did wonderfully and we had a great vacation together. She was happy to be home, but she also had some great socialization experiences to help her growth and well being. And tons of treats, pets and kisses.