Wednesday, March 30, 2016


We’re visiting Iceland for a couple of weeks this summer—but Trooper isn’t going.

The Icelanders welcome service dogs, but they, like all animals, have to endure a 30-day quarantine at Keflavik airport before being allowed into the country. The Icelanders are very careful about visitors.

We’d planned (and largely paid for) the trip last fall before we knew Trooper was coming to live with us. Not that we wanted to cancel. We had an ace in the hole: my son Conan and his family, who live in nearby Chicago with their lolloping vizsla/Plott hound, Ginny.

Conan and his crew said they’d love to host Trooper whlle we were gone.

Would he miss me too much? We decided to experiment with an overnight stay. And so he spent last night at Conan’s house.

When Debby and I left, Annie said, he spent a short while sitting at the door and looking up for us. But then he fell into the joyous scrum of life with a young family—and thrived.

Of course he gave me an exceptionally big hello this morning when I picked him up. But we expected that.

He’ll be fine this summer. Family is much better than jail at PetSmart.


  1. I've been a bit reluctant about getting a service dog because I had read that a service dog being away from their person is like torture for them (I can't remember where I read this?)--they live to work and when they can't work they're miserable. The article said it's recommended you're not separated for more than three hours from your service dog, and I do things where I'd likely not be able to take a service dog with me. I'm anxious to see how Trooper does. I guess you shouldn't believe everything you read. ~~Michele

  2. I think it depends on the dog. Many dogs handle separation from their owners with aplomb--some might fret a little in the beginning, but when they know their owners will always return, they take the separation in stride.

    What things wouldn't you be able to take a service dog with you? I can conceive of only a couple, such as a hospital operating room and a swimming pool. (You can take dogs to swimming pools but not into the water.)

    1. Going places without my service dog would likely be infrequent, but sometimes I do wilderness treks (hiking, biking, kayaking, etc.) where having a canine along wouldn't be a great idea. The thought that I'd be torturing my partner when I had to be away from them, or feeling guilty--and I would--doing something I enjoy that had to be done alone, would be a negative. I also worry I might put limits on myself because of not wanting to leave my partner. As usual, I over-think things. :o) ~Michele