Makaron is something more than just a dog. He is a member of our family. He’s just one of us. He accompanies us with almost everything: he motivates us to get up early, he helps Jaś learn how to eat, catching everything that falls off the table. He is a fearless guard, loudly warning us from potential dangers: suspicious movements of curtains in the wind, new traffic sign or a bird, that unexpectedly, in the middle of the night, sat on a window.
If we can we take him with us. To the mountains, to the woods (he loves it!), to the river (he could sit in the river all day), to our friends. But sometimes we leave for a long time, somewhere far away. For such a long time, that we start to miss him when we pack our suitcases. And to places so far away, that we can’t take him.
Makaron knows when we’re going without him. He sits sad. He is sad and dispirited, if only he could, he would drown our flat with his tears. In moments like that our hearts are breaking. We start to wonder… What if we take him with us? Pack him up into a suitcase and travel to the other side of the planet? Would it be possible?
We decided to ask. And not just anyone. A human legend. The true oracle in cat-dog issues. Dorota Sumińska – veterinarian, writer and publicist.
Do airlines like dogs?
Unfortunately, what airlines provide to dogs is far from what dogs would want. That’s why I’m absolutely opposed to taking dogs on the plane. Unless, we are leaving for good and it’s the only way to get there.
How should we take care of the dog when we are leaving?
Dog’s home is where his owner is. Usually dogs like to travel, that’s why it’s best to take them with you. There is no problem in taking him to a bus or a train (as long as he is used to it). The danger arises when you travel by car. In our country, when there is an accident, there are no developed standards on how to deal with injured dog, or how to take care of him when he does not suffer any injuries. Ambulance will take us to the hospital, someone will take care of us, but animals are often left to themselves.
But if we can’t take dog with us, I recommend one – according to me – best solution. When I travel, and I travel a lot and I’m often away from home, I always leave at my house a whole bunch of people, who perfectly know my animals, that are liked by them and know everything about them. Animals stay in their own home with people they know. They miss only their owner, not their whole world.
We had similar situations with our Makaron – we had our friends, family stay in our home. But it’s not always possible to do that.
If there is no other solution, it’s best to leave a dog in a place that he know, with people he likes. But, we have to reckon with the fact that our dog will mourn. A dog is like a two year old baby. You can explain to him that mommy and daddy are leaving, but it won’t help with his sense of security or feeling abandoned. A two year old may stay with his grandma, but most likely he will start to cry in the evening, wanting his mother. That’s why a person, that he will stay with needs to be very carefull not to let him escape. He will probably look for every possible way to find his owner.
The worst, but sometimes inevitable, soultion are dog hotels. Everything in there is unfamiliar. Caretakers, place, dogs. Let’s be serious. A dog perfectly understands what is happening and often knows more, that we think.
It’s actually true – we saw it for ourselves. When I was at the end of my pregnency with Jaś, our Makaron was the first to indicate that something is wrong. He was sad all day, sitting by my side, laying his head on my tummy and staring expectantly. When the same day we went to the hospital to do a checkout, it turned out that we have to pull out Jaś as soon as we can, because he was endangered with hypoxia.
I’m not surprised. Dogs obviously know, when a woman is expecting a child. That’s why I think that we shouldn’t prepare our dog in a special way for arrival of the new member of our family, bringing home diapers from hospital or taking him for a walk when we come in with a baby. Everyone in the world reproduce. Dogs are with us for over 10 thousand years and they got used to it. You don’t need a special training for him. You just need to live normally.
Dorota Sumińska – veterinarian, writer.The author of books for adults and for children. She published „Autobiography on four paws” and „Further on four paws”. Lately was released her book for kids „Why is hippo fat?”. In TOK FM radio she leads a broadcast „I believe in animal‘. Wegeterian. She shares her suburban house with twenty animals rescued from their misery.