My vacations usually involve cruising with our RV, my husband, the cat, and our German Shepherd Dog, Zoey. She’s trekked in Taos, frolicked in Florida, and hiked in Tennessee. She’s watched hang gliding competitions, cheered at cycling races, and swam in the Louisiana wetlands (that was an accident!). She’s a trooper, but I suspect she has her own ideas about vacations. Herding sheep in the German countryside perhaps? I’ve asked five representatives to describe their own breed’s ideal vacations. Bon voyage!
1. Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
My name’s rather long, but you can simply call me a PBGV. I’m a French hunting hound, bred to follow prey with my nose. Now let’s chat about my dream vacations. Since I adore food, may I suggest a culinary retreat? Surely there is some countryside spa where we can flush fields of bunnies, and then watch the chef whip up rabbit stew? I’d also love a beach trip, but not necessarily for swimming. Let’s prioritize the playing and rolling in the sand. I’m an extrovert, so bring a host of friends to our rendezvous. As the sun sets, we can all lounge in beach chairs. I take my R&R time seriously!
2. Golden Retriever
I’m good as gold for sightseeing by the Golden Gate bridge; hiking in Golden, Colorado; or exploring the ghost town of Golden, Oregon. Actually, I’ll adore any trip that includes me! I was developed in Scotland as a gun dog with extraordinary retrieving skills and an exceptionally cheerful nature. I won’t complain about cheap motels, cramped car quarters, or rainy vacation weather. But speaking of water, I relish aquatic vacations. Oceans, rivers, streams, and lakes satisfy my passion for swimming. I’ll retrieve sticks all afternoon whilst you relax on the shore. And we can forget the tropical drinks. In my destination dreams, the swim-up bar offers meaty treats!
Originally a hunting dog, I also worked for peasants and shop owners in Germany. During the world wars, we channeled our strength and courage into messenger and pack-carrier jobs. Despite my work ethic (and my occasional worried brow expression!), I have a playful, merry temperament. Not surprisingly given my renowned versatility, I have diverse vacation dreams. How about we tour Minute Man National Historical Park? Or romp at White Sands National Monument? I’m keen on any destination, but prefer moderate climates. I’m sturdy and tough, but sensitive to extreme temperatures. If the Arctic Circle is on your bucket list, pack me a cozy sweater!
4. Alaskan Malamute
No warm sweaters needed for me in Alaska, my home state. I’m a large sled dog, developed by the Inuit tribes to haul loads in cold conditions. We helped with the hunt, pulled carcasses, and watched over camps. These days, we’re still notorious adventure seekers. Our idyllic vacations involve chilly air, snowy ground, and active days followed by peaceful nights. If snow doesn’t suit you, we’re ready for hiking (we can carry quite a load!) or swimming adventures on hot days. Wherever I venture with my family, I’ll find excuses to sing. We’ll howl at the stars, woo-hoo from the porch, or grumble along with you about traffic delays. As long as we’re part of the pack, we rate the adventure a 5-star success.
How about we hike in the Rocky Mountain National Forest, shop Santa Fe’s outdoor markets, or stroll along Chicago’s lakefront? Developed to protect and herd, I was bred by the French to work as a moveable fence, keeping flocks within boundaries. J’aime la France, bien sûr! My dream excursion would be visiting my ancestral home. Do you have a private yacht to take us overseas? Ah well, no worries; a French café here will suffice. After a busy day walking or working, I fancy lying by my human’s side while he enjoys an alfresco beverage. (Check out this classic photo of just such a scene!).
Top photo: Boxer, courtesy Robyn Ginther