Leaving Your Pet at Home When You Travel?

Think your dog or cat knows when you’re leaving town? I do! My dog Toby stands stoically in the living room, his head tilted, watching me as I go from bedroom to front door with my luggage, laptop tote and coffee cup in hand. He seems to know when I’m in a hurried mode as I try to get everything done before heading out of town. I grab a doggie treat for him, my way of relieving my mommy guilt for saying good-bye for a few days.

What’s Toby thinking about, I wonder? Is he going to miss me or is he worried about where he’s going to be shipped off to? Or is he hoping that he gets to go in the C-A-R also (we can’t say that word out loud unless he’s really going for a car ride).

Toby is usually at home with my husband, but when both of us are traveling he spends time with our son or in a ‘suite’ at our local Preppy Pets daycare center. A room at a Red Roof Inn would be cheaper than Preppy Pets, but where else can he have doggie playroom time and hang out with his buds while mom and dad are away? And we can be helicopter parents and watch him online via Preppy Pet cameras.

I routinely used to arrive home on Thursday nights about 11pm. Toby seemed to know it was Thursday night and he’d always be waiting by the front door for me. My routine isn’t so routine any longer, so his nights of residence at the front door seldom happen. Though he does hear the front door open when I arrive home and he comes running and jumping … isn’t it great how our dogs are always so happy to see us?

Pets usually love their routine and our travel can interrupt that for them. They’re smarter than we think and they know when that interruption of routine is going to happen.

Does your dog or cat have a sixth sense that you’re on your way out the door for a new journey without them? Post a comment here, or upload a photo of your favorite pet at the Smart Women Travelers community.


  1. My dog Trevor travels everywhere – I’ve posted a few entries about the Italians’ crackdown on dogs on trains (but not on the pickpockets)…as if the train cars were being swarmed by wild packdogs like in Western Tibet…

    Only place he doesn’t go? The UK where they actually think that people travel with rabid animals & that no disease-ridden rats jump on/off the thousands of boats which dock on their shows by the hour…

    Francesca Maggi

  2. My Springer Spaniel Emma always knows when I’m leaving – she lies on the floor with her head down pouting and will not come if I call her. The only movement is her eyes as she watches me walk back and forth from room to room packing. It’s really pretty pathetic and she makes me feel so guilty.

  3. Oh, how pathetic and sad! Maybe we need to
    connect Toby and Emma on Facebook so they can
    ‘talk’ while we’re away.
    The guilt is really, really bad as you walk out
    the front door and they give you that last lingering
    forlong look.

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