Saturday, November 2, 2013

Adventures on the road Part I: Learning about Possible Campground Dog Rules

Halo sticks her nose over the dog barrier we constructed in our car.
Chris and I took somewhat of a road trip with the dogs as part of our honeymoon.  The plan was to drive from Madison, Wisconsin to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  On the way we were going to stop in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, spend a day wine tasting, and then be on our way the next day.
We reserved a cabin at Cayuga Lake State Park in Seneca Falls, NY because they fit our criteria: they allowed dogs.  We planned on thoroughly wearing out the dogs in the morning before we left for wine tasting so that they wouldn't be restless in the cabin.  We thought it was a good idea.

It was late at night when we arrived at the Camp Ground; the staff was gone for the day, but they had left us our key and some campground information.  Upon reading through the park information, we discovered that rabies vaccination certificates were required for all dogs staying at the camp ground.  I thought of the rabies certificates that I keep safely in my filing cabinet at home and wondered to myself who in the world carried around their dogs' rabies vaccination certification papers.  The vet gives you a tag to hang on your dog's collar along with the certificate so that you don't have to do that.  I wondered if this was a common requirement for doggy campground patrons.  Regardless, we must have completely missed this piece of information when reserving our cabin online.  

Huddling with Halo and Leopold (there was a fridge, an oven,
but no heat!  Good thing we had warm blankets!)
We settled in for the night (huddled together is more like it, because it was so cold!) deciding that the first thing we would try to do in the morning when registering is beg for mercy and see if they'd let us stay at the campground despite our certificate-less situation.

Luckily, they agreed to letting us and our dogs stay, stating that it was ok only because we were just staying two nights.  Any longer and we'd HAVE to provide the certificates.
We took the dogs for a long walk and then headed back to the cabin to get clean and ready for our romantic day of wine tasting.

Back in the cabin, I took a moment to sit.  My eyes wandered over the humble abode: concrete floor, four small beds, patrons' initials scratched into the log walls, cob-webbed windows, and the occasional laminated sign stating various park rules.  Quiet time was after 10p.  Check out was before 11a.  No Smoking.  Phone number for park police.  And dogs are not allowed to be left in the cabins unattended.
DAMMIT!  The whole reason we chose this place was because they allowed dogs, meaning that we could keep the dogs there while we were out wine tasting.  Again, we must have missed this piece of information when making our cabin reservation online. CRAP!

Upon later investigation, I discovered that we did, indeed, miss a small section about the requirement for all pets to have proof of vaccination in the form of a Veterinarian certificate and that pets must not be left unattended.  I'm inclined to blame our error on the stress of planning a wedding.  Yea, lets go with that. 

But really, this experience taught me something important about traveling with dogs:  make sure you carefully look at all campground rules pertaining to dogs before making a reservation and definitely before arriving.  Chris and I also decided that it would be a good idea to put together a file folder of copies of our dogs' vaccination records to take with us whenever we travel with them again in the future.

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