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Moving Cross Country...With My Beagle!?!?!?

2789 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  cheerio
I thought I posted this but I cant find it.

Anyway, in 3 months we are moving from Chicago to Southern California to start a new life. (FI is from Cali).

Originally we really wanted to just put him under the seat on the airplane, but he is just too big! I bought the large Sherpa and he would have to be stuffed in there...so that isnt an option!!

Cargo: He would come out dead! Snoopy is still jumpy in the house when we open the trash can, even with Comfort Zone plugged in at all times, terrified in the elevator, and still wont let any human pet him other than us and the doggie day care people.....NOT NOT NOT an option!!

Pet Airline: Companion Air is still not back up yet and they say 3 months but who knows? This was going to be my choice to fly with Snoopy on the aircraft, but that doenst look like it is going to happen.

Driving: Ummm...it is a 30 hour drive, and I do not trust myself not to fall asleep...I get really tired driving, and FI really doesnt want to do this either.

Pet Transporters: At first I was very sceptical, but now that I have looked into it a bit there are 2 that we are actually thinking of.

Pro Pet Transporters:
TLC Pet Transport

The first is a group of 2-3 people who have a bed in the back to sleep, walk your dog on leash every 4-6 hours, and there is always someone in the back with your dog at all time.

The second is only one person who drives 12 hours at a time but then stays at a pet hotel and your dog sleeps on a bed.

We dont care about the cost. I was about to even charter a private plane if I needed to. And If they would let me buy a first class row on a pland and put him beside me in a crate, I would but they wont allow that.

I wanted to see if anyone had any other suggestions or have used any other transporters in the US.

We are going to have to make a decision soon.

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I have to admit I wouldnt fancy handing my dogs over to strangers.
Here in Germany, there is a system whereby one can get a lift or give one to people registered with a 'share 'office. That is normally for long distance travel. Do you have such a system in the USA? Maybe you could find someone who also needs to get to S.California, who would be prepared to share the driving rather than pay for the lift. Just an idea.
I take it there is no rail system?

We also have a long journey ahead of us, all the way to the UK and back. We shall be doing over 4000 kilometres. This time we are going in our camping-car, so when we get tired we can pull over and sleep.

Hope you find a solution.
Boy oh Boy I dont know what to tell you!
I didnt quite understand all the terms you used with the flying-as I have never flown, etc. But for me personally it would be driving. That is the only way I would have complete control and know that my pup was with me the whole way there and back. I would even set it up like an adventure with your FI and take turns driving and find some pet friendly hotel along the way at least for one night. Could be exciting adventure?

I guess I would have to meet the ppl that ran those other services, or at least speak with references of theirs or previous customers of theirs. If you spoke with 4 or 5 customers of theirs and they all say good things-that would make me feel tremendously better at least about handing over pup. But you mentioned he would be upset in the cargo area-I just wonder how upset he would get about being handed over to strangers for a long ride?

Anyhow-please let us know what you pick and how it goes, ok? This has been a big reason we have not taken many trips. Really dont even have a good doggy sitter around here-the vet is somewhat pricey and they definitely are OK-but dont give the beags any love or attention much. So I wont do that again unless its an emergency.

Good luck!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
Judi and the gang in Iowa
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How does Snoopy do in the car? If he enjoys trips, perhaps a family cross-country journey would be a great memory (take lots of pictures!) as you begin your new life in California.

Once busy with your new jobs, it might be awhile before you could do any traveling like that, and the pics of Snoopy in each state would be a great scrapbook!
What an exciting change you have planned? Where in Southern Calif. are you going? When my in-laws retired they moved from NYC to San Diego and absolutely loved it! My youngest son is also planning a move to Calif. in a few months. He's an aspiring actor and wants to give the Hollywood area a shot.
Sorry, I got myself sidetracked! :rolleyes: I think probably making the trip by car would be my first choice, and my second choice would be the pet transporters. But there is the consideration, as some have mentioned, of turning him over to strangers for a few days. How does he react around strangers? But I sure agree with you--flying him in the cargo hold would not be an option!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif
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I would definitely opt for flying him. A flight is a lot shorter than a Pet transporter. Furthermore, you have said yourself that he is really afraid of other people, and jump out at any noise. Pet Transporters involve people, flying your dog does not. Airline does not open the cage, which they usually lock with plastic ties because this is how dogs are lost. By opening the cage to take your frighten dog for a walk, a Pet Carryer could lose your dog.
Most dog do sleep in the plane ride just as they tend to sleep in a car ride. Although there is no doubt that the experience can be a difficult one, it is by far a much shorter one, with no immediate threat such as people approaching, talking, other dogs being taken in and out, crate being opened... By the time your dog worries a little, falls asleep, her you will be, greeting him at the other end of the trip.
You have 3 months to prepare. This is what I would do:
1- go to your vet, explain the situation, and ask that your dog be put on a psychotherapy (antidepressant) drug 1 to 2 months prior to the trip. They work well for humnan and they work well for dogs.
2- try to fly direct. If this is not possible, avoid changinf airline even if it means for you to have to drive to an airport a little further away from your homecity.
3- if you do not have one, get your crate right away and teach your dog to stay in the crate a little time each day, wqithout closing the door at first.
4- DO NOT drug your dog before the flight. This is actually now illegal. Drugs designed to make the animal sleepy lower the heart rate which put a dog in danger. It also lower the body temperature, and the dog needs his warmth to be comfortable during the flight. Compartment for live animal is not heated and is about at 5 to 10 degree celsius depending of the season.
5- rather than cargo, put your dog as an accompanied luggage. This mean that you will fly in the same plane as your dog, will be the one putting him at the belt as you check in, and will be able to get him immediately as you get your luggage. This also allow you to ask the airhostess to double check that your dog is in the plane as soon as you board. If you need to change flights, you can do that for each flight.
6- finally, don't be nervous. People travel with their dogs all the time and although you hear of the occasional story, there is far less chance for something to happen to your dog while flying than there is for the Pet transport to have a road accident. Further, if you are anxious, so will be your dog. Moving is an exciting time, especially to California. I'm jalous already. So make it a happy time. Talk happily to your dog about it, especially when you will start packing.
Remember that I am going in April to a Seminar who will be dealing with the issue of travelling with your dog. So if you have any particular question you feel no one has answered to your satisfaction, please don't hesitate to let me know. I will be happy to ask the specialist on your behalf.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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If I couldn't have Jersey on the plane with me I would not fly. Like Snoopy, she's very jumpy. Today, for example, the SPCA was at my apartment complex for an adoption event. They had balloons outside and Jersey freaked out when they blew in the wind. Flying cargo would give her a heart attack.

I would, without hesitation, drive myself. Plan on taking 2 or 3 days and take turns driving. Jersey is a great passenger so this would be no problem for us. I'd pay to have someone move my furniture so that I could take my time and enjoy the trip. You may not get the chance to see our country like this again any time soon. Treat this like a little vacation and enjoy the trip.
THanks guys for all the responses...i have a lot of thinking to do.

What timing! I'm getting ready to move to Alaska from the Gulf coast, and the trip for me is about 11 hours on the plane. Can my girls take this? Can they travel together? Or do they have to be in separate crates? Theya are always together. Any info would be appreciated. They do pretty well with being left alone if together.
We"ve never flown with our pack and so our only experience was when Popcorn flew out here alone from Newfoundland - which was I think about eight hours plus a change in Toronto (and is about as far as you can fly place to place in Canada). Knowing now how scared she is of pretty much everything, I would have expected her to come out of the crate a complete physical and emotional mess - but really she was absolutely fine... relieved to get out and not fond of all of the airport noise, but fine.

I still don't know if I would be comfortable flying them if we had a choice (other than from absolute necessity...) We do have lots of friends who do it and have no problems (including one with a very timid vizsla who flies a lot, no problems). I read somewhere that one of those really big new planes has a small third deck on it, and the story I read said they could put pool tables or the like there - my thought was that it should be doggie class (even with a little grass patch..), so that people could fly with their pets and not "bother" any of the other passengers!
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Wow, you are doing the exact opposite of what I did. I left So Cal for Wisconsin 13 years ago. I love the midwest. Anyway, what city are you going to be in? One thing you may want to check into is the rules the California State Agricultural Dept has about bringing pets into the state. I believe you just have to have his shots up to date, but I would still check just in case the rules have changed since I left.

If I were you, I would drive. It took 36 hours to get from Riverside, CA to where I am at now. But, we didn't do it in one shot. We would drive about 8 hours or so a day, not pushing things. We found many pet friendly hotels along the way. It's a great way to see the country. Nebraska is kind of flat, so that was the only boring part. But, we would stop and let the dog out and stretch our legs about every three hours or so. It wasn't too bad.
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I don't have recent experience, but in our years with USMC, we traveled across country often with our Boston Terrier (and two children). The Boston Terrier was easier. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif We also traveled from
California to Georgia with our first beagle mix, Gunner, and had no problem at all.
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Although the international regulations for flying dogs allow for 2 dogs to travel in the same kennel where the dogs are the same size and approximate weight and where the dogs have enough room to move around, you do have to fight with many airlines when shipping 2 dogs together via cargo. Now, when you take the plane with your dogs, it is a lot easier to have both in the same kennel. The problem is that you cannot ask ahead because the person answering you is likely not the person you will be dealing with when checking in. The best is to arrive with your dogs in one crate early enough so that if they make a fuss you can purchase another crate from the airline.
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