Woofus was born of our love for dogs and our enjoyment in meeting and sharing ideas with other enthusiastic pet parents. We feel that dogs should get out of the house more – whether for walks, vacations, or a simple trip to the local pet store, they are social animals and need a change of scenery just as we do.
My father always called dogs “Woofuses” – hence the name of our site. His dog Shelby was such a joy to him in his later years, that we dedicate this site to him and his love of his “Woofus”.
When our Siberian Husky Sabrina turned ten years old, my husband and I said to ourselves, gosh, she won’t be with us for much longer. We should take her more places, travel with her, expand her little horizons, enjoy more time with her.
Sabrina happily travelled with us to BMX races all across the country, from Virginia, to Connecticut, to Kentucky. She was an honorary Irish dog at Irish festivals all across the East coast when I had my “traveling Irish book store”. We took her to Washington DC on vacation, walked up that long flight of stairs and stood together at Abe Lincoln’s feet (we later learned that dogs are not allowed so this was a rare opportunity – sorry Abe!). She dozed in the sun, with a flowered corsage around her neck, at our outdoor wedding on Cape Cod at the Highland Lighthouse in North Truro. When Sabrina passed on at sixteen years of age she was a dog well loved and well travelled.
Perhaps we were inspired by author John Steinbeck, whose “Travels with Charley” was a favorite of my youth. Steinbeck travelled all over the US in his camper truck with his standard poodle Charley, sharing the road and the journey together- doesn’t that sound like an incredible adventure?!
We continued the travelling tradition with our pups Fiona and Shelby. Fiona came to us at the tender age of 8 weeks old. Shelby lived with my Dad, his constant, loving companion. When he passed on she joined us at seven years of age. The two of them were fast friends despite their age difference and made excellent travelling companions for my husband and myself.
In 2012 our sweet Shelby dog became sick and we lost her at the young age of nine. It was very tough as she was so very dear to my father, she had been like a part of him. Dogs have that knack of entering our hearts in ways you would never imagine.
Fiona was lonely without Shelb and we adopted 2 year old Secret later that year. Travel is new to Secret. We realized that as our first rescue dog, who had had several homes before her forever home with us, that she needed to know that travel meant leaving for a while and coming back to her home again, each time. It took a year of anxiety on her part every time we travelled, but on our recent jaunt to Amish country, something definitely clicked. Secret knew that we weren’t leaving to take her to another home, that she was merely leaving our house for a short while to have fun and travel, and then return back home with us.
Our newest addition to the family is Lobo. A rescue dog who had bounced around quite a lot before he came to us, he is a sweet boy, obedient and loving. We were told he has separation anxiety and we can see a hint of it, but we leave him alone all day with Fiona and Secret and he is just fine. The poor guy just needed a pack! We can’t wait to take our first trip with him.
It’s not always easy to travel with dogs. When they are part of your family, you adjust your plans accordingly. Life on the road is much more fun with them along, after all! We have many suggestions to expand your horizons where travelling with your pet is concerned. There are some responsiblities, which we will discuss here, and there are many, many joys, which we will happily illustrate in great detail.
We encourage you to become a part of Woofus in any way you choose. Whether it’s to read articles about life with dogs, to find pet friendly places to visit, to list your pet friendly business, or to simply see pictures of dogs having fun with their people, you are very, very welcome. Feel free to send us a message from our contact page – we love hearing from you!
Janet, Rob, Fiona, Secret and Lobo