Why we decided to leave our dog behind.

We had to say ‘see you later’ to our buddy, Stella. While she does love spending time with us camping and exploring new places; a long trip just wouldn’t suit her or us.

We have taken her to camping trips with us before, to State Forests and also across the Strzelecki and Oodnadatta Tracks. These trips were great and she loved being able to spend so much time with us. She was easy to look after as she is completely toilet trained and we had no issues in the car with wee, poo or vomit which is a big plus. She is an easy-going dog and as long as we stopped for her to play some fetch or she got a cuddle on Steve’s lap at the end of the day she seemed pretty happy. However, a short camping trip for a weekend or even a couple of weeks in comparison to 12months+; meant that we needed to consider the pros and cons of taking a dog.

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There are plenty of people out there that do long-term travel with a dog and they love it and would not do it with out them and then there are people like us who leave the pets behind. So if you’re considering doing a long term trip and have to think about what to do with your fluffy best friend, here are a few things that we considered.

  1. National Parks. You can’t take a dog into any National Parks in Australia and with more than 500 National Parks in Australia making up approximately 4% of the land mas (and probably a lot of the most scenic places) there is a lot of places they or you can’t go. We want to spend a lot of our time in National Parks either for day trips to explore and hike or for a couple of days of camping. Therefore, that meant Stella would have to stay with someone in a town with a dog sitting service.
  2. Dog Sitters. While I’m sure most of these places are great with the care they receive, is does cost plenty of money on a regular basis. Which means 1 of 2 things; you either spend less time in the National Park or less time travelling overall. We didn’t want to compromise on either of things and it helped that our dog, Stella, doesn’t enjoy meeting new people on a regular basis.
  3. The personality of your pup. Our Stella has always been a bit funny and scared of new people and can take a couple of days to get to know some people before she remembers each time she sees them that she does actually like them. When we take her camping, anyone that walks by gets a bit of a barking at and she doesn’t seem to calm down. Stella also doesn’t love the car for long trips, it sends her heart rate super high and she doesn’t relax. After a week or so of travelling she acts a bit funny and strange becoming more nervous in her behaviours. We just don’t think she would enjoy the constant moving and travelling that our lifestyle now entails.
  4. Other housing options. If you dont have anywhere you can leave your dog and you definitely don’t want to sell or give them away then you are a bit stuck. However, for us, Steve’s sister was willing to look after her for us. We can cover her cost of living without the extra accommodation costs of dog sitters and Stella has some nice company with their dog, Tubs. By all accounts she is getting spoilt with lots of walks, fetch and even cuddles on the couch; she doesn’t seem to be missing us at all.

So for all of these reasons; lifestyle for us and for our buddy, Stella, we had to say ‘See You Later’, and we can’t wait to see her again soon.

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