I am excited to start off a new series on the blog called “Adventure Dogs Interviews.” In these blog posts I will ask a series of questions to dog owners about what they like to do with their dog. We’ll get a glimpse into what they consider an “adventure” and what their lives are like.
I could not think of a better person to start off this series with than Shandos from the Travelnuity dog travel blog. When I started considering adopting a dog & traveling I did all the research I could. Shandos’s blog is one of the best dog travel blogs out there. It really inspired me and showed me that it is possible. I most likely would not have started The Nomad Pup if it wasn’t for Travelnuity.
Now here’s her interview!
Can you introduce yourself and your dog?
Hi, I’m Shandos, a travel blogger, and this is my six-year-old Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel. We’re both from Australia, but for the last two years we’ve been travelling around the world, mainly Europe plus the United States, along with my husband.
What kind of activities do you do with your dog?
I’ve always loved to travel and once I started travel blogging, I wanted to travel even more. However, I also had a young dog, Schnitzel, whom I adored, and couldn’t bear to leave behind. Traveling in Australia with a dog is difficult, and it’s even more difficult returning to Australia with a dog after traveling overseas. So, we headed off to Europe to stay long-term (luckily my husband has a UK passport). We traveled around Europe for over 1 1/2 years with our pup, and have only just now headed back to Australia via a couple of months in the US.
Before flying off to Spain, we weren’t quite sure how Schnitzel would handle travelling, as we hadn’t travelled much with him before. Luckily he’s been fine with moving around, without a fixed home; his home is wherever we are, along with his bed. We’ve tried to involve him as much as possible in whatever we’ve done. That may mean wandering the streets of a cute old town in Europe, going hiking in a national park, or just heading out on a road trip.
What do you consider an “adventure” with your dog?
An “adventure” is doing anything new for the first time! Traveling in Europe we’ve had many firsts. He’s dined inside at restaurants with us, where he’s usually been well behaved (when he’s been bribed with treats). We’ve also gone hiking with him, something that’s been easier in Europe where dogs are usually allowed in national parks, unlike in Australia. Despite his short legs, he’s an enthusiastic hiker. Last year we all hiked to the top of Mt Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales. However, since he had an issue with his back just under a year ago, we’ve cut back on the length of hikes. Other fun adventures we’ve had have included staying on a yacht moored in the Canary Islands for a week, and going on a one-month road trip through Scandinavia over Midsummer, camping in a tent most nights.
What’s your dog’s favorite thing to do?
Despite joining us on plenty of adventures, Schnitzel’s favourite thing to do is probably just sleeping on someone’s lap. He’s always happy to join us on a long train trip, if he can sneak onto someone’s lap. Although he’s also happy to spend the day sleeping in his bed on the back seat of a rental car, while on a road trip. Close runner-ups are eating (whether his dinner or something he’s found on the ground!) and playing with his current favourite toy.
What is one of your favorite experiences with your dog?
We’ve really loved traveling around Europe and the US with him, and having him by our side nearly all the time. It’s completely different to our life back in Sydney, when we used to leave him behind so often at home, while we went to work. It’s trickier to travel with a dog, but we’ve loved it despite the extra effort involved.
Now that we’re heading back to Australia, we’re not going to spend as often traveling with him for the next year (instead we’ve organized a loving pet-sitter for him while we head to some destinations that aren’t as dog-friendly). But we hope to head off on a long-term trip again with him in the future. It’s been a difficult process returning to Australia with him, between the multiple vet visits and his 10-day stay in quarantine. (More than a few tears have been shed!) I envy people who count the UK, Europe, or the US as their home, which aren’t as strict with dogs entering the country.
Anything else fun you do with your dog?
While in Australia we’re looking forward to regularly heading to the beach with Schnitzel. While he’s not a fan of swimming (and he’s pretty terrible with his short legs!) he loves to run around on the sand off-leash. Luckily my parents live right next to a beach that allows dogs off-leash year-round. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of beach photos of him on Instagram!
A huge thank you to Shandos for answering these questions! If you want to see what Schnitzel is up to now make sure you follow her! Here are her links to Facebook and Instagram. She also has a Facebook group all about dog travel which I am a part of and love!