Over the past few months LJ and I have weighed the pros and cons of taking our dog, Sophie, on the next leg of our journey, leaving Canada and heading to Central America. Although she’s an excellent traveller, we were unsure. After all, our route is uncertain, our accommodations are unplanned and our timeline is all but non-existent.
Most people argued against taking her. “You won’t be able to go out every night,” they said. “You’ll have less places to stay.” “You’ll have to go through the bureaucracy of vaccinations and paperwork and notorizations.” And perhaps the most biting, “You’ll have more responsibility and she’ll be a burden.”
The latter was when we realized we’d been going about this all wrong. We’d already made a commitment to make Sophie our responsibility, and that didn’t vanish when we wanted to do something new. Sure, if we went to Vegas for a week or two we’d leave her with my parents, but it wasn’t okay to plan six plus months of our lives and consider excluding her. We wouldn’t do that to a child, and Sophie is practically our child. Of course some people will think I’m crazy, and others will be offended at the comparison. Those people simply aren’t dog people.
Taking Sophie out of the country involved some extra preparation, our trip will be more limited than if we were going it alone, and border crossings may be more of a hassle; but those small inconveniences are completely worth the joy of having our awesome dog with us. And not only is Sophie a joy to have around, but she’s an excellent conversation starter. We’ve found, so far, that the farther south we go the more accepting people are of dogs, anyway.
Plus, this is what happens when we leave her: