Kodi meets the hotel staff

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Kodi bone 2The Best Western Marina Grand  Hotel in Corpus Christi is our final destination. Kodi has stayed here before.

After Kodi has done what he has to do outside we all check in together.  I find it very beneficial for the staff to meet my pup. Most are dog lovers and having the staff like your dog can be a big help. I also make a point to say hello to every staff member I meet when he and I are out of the room.

The staff gets to know us as we walk through the lobby on our way to the grassy area. This is my opportunity to show them what a great dog he is. I do this by keeping him on a short lead as we walk past the front desk and by always carrying doggie bags whether tied to the handle of my leash or in one of those containers that holds a roll of poop bags.

If left to himself Kodi would greet everyone. Since he is shorter than everyone this requires jumping, something many people do not appreciate. It is common for us to hear “oh a Corgi” followed by “can I pet him?” We always oblige but I stay in control even if they say they don’t mind if he jumps. I hold his leash down by his collar so petting can begin.

Pick up after your dog. It’s the right thing to do and a way to show the hotel that you appreciate being able to have your pup with you. Yes, some do charge extra, Best Western is $20 a day, plus tax, but that’s for the room not for cleaning up after your dog. The charge is still less than what you would have paid to board the dog. A good staff is not going to say anything if you don’t pick up the dog poop but they notice and appreciate it when you do, believe me.

So why make sure the staff knows your dog? Because even though it is a pet friendly hotel, and there are plenty of hotels that do not allow pets, there will be that one person who checks in and complains because your dog barks. The first night we came back to the hotel to let Kodi out before we went out to dinner. He was quiet until he saw the leash and then let out a couple happy barks. It was 5:45 pm. We leashed him up, walked him, put him back in his crate, turned on the tv for background noise for him and went to dinner. I always pause a few feet down the hallway from the room just to make sure he is settled.

Upon our return I was told a woman checked in and immediately complained about incessant barking and had to be moved to another floor. Excellent, I certainly didn’t want to be defending my dog the entire week. To satisfy the woman the desk called our room but of course we were gone by then. What they didn’t know is that Kodi often barks when the phone rings at home. Whether he does this when we aren’t there I don’t know but I unplugged the phone just to be on the safe side. They have my cell phone number if they really needed to call me.

This was the first night so the front desk staff had met Kodi but hadn’t seen whether we were responsible owners. The best way to deal with these people who don’t like dogs but insist on staying in hotels that allow them is to be a responsible dog owner. Kodi never barked early in the morning or at night and was a friendly hotel guest. We never heard of another complaint during our stay.

Kodi crate

CRATES:

Crates are a must when traveling. When Kodi is left alone in the room he is in his crate. We travel with a large wire crate that folds flat. It is three feet long, two feet wide and about three feet high. Plenty of room for him to move around in and the stretch out with his toys. Crates are important for your pet’s safety, to ensure he doesn’t get out of the room, and to allow the staff to come into your room to clean.

Knowing the triggers that cause your dog to bark is important. For Kodi it is phones and door knocking. What does the cleaning staff do before they come into your room, they knock. And Kodi will respond. Because of this I let the housekeepers know early on that Kodi would always be in a crate if we were not in the room.

CRATE PLACEMENT:

Some dogs live in condos or apartments and are used to people in hallways. We live in a single family home so I place Kodi’s crate as far from the door to the hallway as possible. On this trip I moved a chair so I could position his crate between the bed and the outside wall, an area that provided the most buffering from the hallway. If we expected to be out after dark I closed the shades and turned on a light.

NO UNWANTED GUESTS:

Never, ever try to sneak your dog into a hotel that doesn’t allow them. It just isn’t worth it and there are so many that do allow pets it isn’t necessary. We like to stay at Best Westerns (fantastic breakfasts included) but not all Best Westerns allow pets. As I understand it, all La Quinta do and at no extra charge.

Even if the person at the front desk says no pets ask if they know of a nice hotel in the area where you can stay. This happened in Lake Charles, LA. After checking out a couple of hotels we took a chance at a Comfort Inn right off I-10. The lady was sweet, her hotel policy was no pets except for service animals (remember she didn’t make the policy but if she wants to keep her job she needs to enforce it). We both knew of a hotel across the highway that allowed pets but it was a bit run down. She checked Sulpher, LA, about half an hour further, and found a La Quinta. She looked up the phone number and even showed me photos of the hotel online. Now that’s service. I wish I had gotten her name.

By the way, don’t try to pass your dog off as a service animal unless you have the documentation. Different areas have different fines and do you really want to spend your vacation money and time with this?

Next:

How to make sure your pup is enjoying his vacation too.

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