When my Mom and Dad began talking about a summer vacation, I pretended to be napping but I listened carefully. I heard words like “road trip”, “AirStream” (not sure what that is?) and “ocean”. Then “August” was mentioned followed by “two weeks”. I did not hear my name; would they actually leave me behind? How could they even think that after all the fun we had last year on our summer vacation? Dad said, “What about Jake?” Then Mom said, “He’s coming with us, of course!” Ahhh! I can relax. Everything’s going to be fine. We’re going on vacation!

Let me introduce myself. I’m Jake. My parents adopted me almost two years ago. I am a Vizsla, a breed of dog from Hungary.

The three of us are going to drive up the California coast and go camping with day hikes, trips to dog-friendly beaches and other family outings. My parents are well organized so they created something called “Jake’s Vacation Checklist”. I like that!

Soon my checklist was getting long. Some basic stuff was on it like going to the Vet to get my vaccinations and an updated health certificate. Getting a new nametag with their cell phone numbers clearly labeled is also on the list. My travel food dish and water bowl, along with a two-week supply of my kibble, moist food and grain-free treats.

There were some items I did not expect: a new dog bed, a pet first aid kit and a more secure harness.

Since we are a family that likes to hike, they decided to bring along some doggie boots in case we encounter some rough terrain. They also plan to get a doggie life vest for when I go swimming plus towels so they can dry me off. And of course, my blanket and favorite toys are on the list.

Our family vacation is still a few months away. But with my parents’ foresight and planning, it’s looking like this trip will be our best trip ever.

To all pet parents out there: Please be thoughtful and plan well in advance what you’ll need to have with you on vacation to ensure your four-legged children have a safe and enjoyable time. Happy Vacation!

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