Tobias, Toby, was a new import from Puerto Rico when I walked into the Brunswick Shelter and found him. My intent was to buy a new puppy, one that I could train and make my first "all-mine" pet. Wow, did that plan change! Toby's name was actually Tego, but he didn't seem to respond to that name. He was 1.5 years old. He was calm, but curious. He was excited, but quiet. I watched him for awhile and he watched me as I walked around looking at all the other dogs. I had made my way around the room and was coming back to his kennel, where I found him sitting patiently at the door, waiting for me. I opened the door and went inside, I wanted to see how he behaved up close. I sat down on his little bed and he leaped into my lap. He sat there as if he had been there his whole life. I couldn't help myself, it was like my heart knew he was my dog way before my head did. I changed his name, brought him home and the rest is history. Toby is now the King of the house (and the bed) and I can honestly say, he was the one who saved me. #bestfriend
I know exactly how it feels when you are planning a major life event or vacation and you think "Geez, do I have to leave my fur-friend home?", no one wants to be without their beloved pets on the days that count the most. That's why we are pet friendly! Here are some helpful tips to consider when you are planning a pet-filled event or getaway:
1. How does your pet behave around other people and other animals?
Whether it is a wedding or a vacation, there will be other people around and you don't want to have to worry about how your pet will act when you are trying to relax. Remember, weddings and vacations usually include children. Your pet needs to be familiar with how to act around the little ones, too.
2. How does your pet behave when you are not home?
If you're not sure, bring the kennel and don't feel bad about putting them inside when you aren't home. Most of the time you will be renting a home or venue and kenneling your friend is less painful than paying for damages. Also, ask about a pet waiver form when you book your stay. Most places will need you to sign something before checking-in.
3. How will your fur-friend participate in your wedding?
Think about how you will dress your friend for your big day. Pinterest has a lot of cute ideas, but plan ahead so you can try the outfits on. Make sure your pet is comfortable, not too hot or cold and that they can use the bathroom without help. Now, once they are dressed, who will be in charge of taking care of them while you are busy marrying the love of your life? Don't just plan the moments when they will be in your ceremony, plan what they will be doing for the whole day. *I recommend having a dog sitter or walker who can attend to your friend throughout the day.
4. Who is cleaning up after your pet?
Rental homes and venues really appreciate and usually require you to pick up after your pets waste. Make sure you know the pet policy for the place you are staying - keep this in mind when you plan your pet's day. Also, please through the waste baggies into a trash bag, not just loosely into the trash bin - we don't want to touch the bags when we remove trash!
Ask about your rentals rules for pets in the house or venue. Even if they allow the pets to be on property, they may not want them on the furniture!
5. Do your vendors know there will be an animal at the event?
It's important for your vendors to know so that they can plan and adjust. This is seriously important for your photographer and videographer. Also, caterers may make adjustments to their setup if they know a four-legged friend might be wandering around. Better safe, than sorry!
Hopefully, those tips help. Click here to see our Pet Policy at Overlook. The moral of this ramble is that I love animals and I agree that they can be successful and important parts of your vacation or wedding. When you plan appropriately, you can make amazing memories with your fur-friends that will last forever. Toby wants me to thank you for reading this post :) Cheers!