Monday, May 16, 2016

Nola International: It Never Crossed My Mind Not To

Hey, everyone!

It's the third post in our Nola International saga, and I'm going to answer a few questions I've gotten, mostly via Instagram and Facebook messages, since announcing our journey. Let's jump right in!

Why Take Nola?

It never crossed my mind not to take Nola. Truly, it didn't. I've been toying with the idea of traveling abroad for about two years now, and it was never a matter of "hey, I could take Nola", but rather "I will take Nola". There's a few reasons for that, but it boils down to this: I don't have to leave her, so why not bring her? She's young, healthy, well trained, socialized, and stable. There's nothing preventing us, so...why the hell not? :D

Where we're going has no quarantine, and it's a fairly straightforward process to travel with a small dog overseas. Taking Nola means making accommodations and viewing things in a way I wouldn't if I were traveling sans-canine. Dogs are one of the best ice breakers, and that will come in handy, especially given the language barriers. Add in how much she helps me in managing my anxiety (more on that in another post), the photo and blog opportunities, and it was a no-brainer.

Aren't You Worried Something Will Happen?

I worry something will happen to Nola all the time. During her tooth problem, I was convinced she was going to die when she was put under. I worked myself into the first near-panic attack I'd had in three years, and spent the morning (before the vet called and confirmed she was fine) crying on and off. Not to mention how sick with worry I made myself in the week before the extraction.....

Anyway, my point is that I worry, about everything. It's just how my mind works, and Nola's presence helps me calm myself down. Traveling with her doesn't increase my worry, it just shifts it to new concerns. It's a constant effort to weigh legitimate concerns against me being me, but once I can separate the two, I just plan accordingly. It's no different with this trip. I'll take precautions, but I'm not going to let fear dictate our lives. 

How Do You Think Nola Will Handle So Much...Everything?

Another frequent question is how do I think Nola will handle so much change and activity, not to mention exercise. I'm not worried at all about that. As I've said, Nola has a solid temperament and is well trained. She isn't fearful, shy, reactive, or aggressive. She's never balked at anything life has thrown at her, and we've done a lot together.  I don't foresee any problems. Things could always go wrong, but I trust my dog, and how much I know my dog. 
As for the level of exercise, I'm not concerned there, either! We're already very active, and tend to walk 6-10 miles a day as is. We're both very adaptable to increased activity.

How Will You Handle Pottying?

I'm going to assume this is about how Nola will be pottying, haha. ;) This is one I'm not 100% certain on yet, but I'll give it a go in answering as best I can.

Nola, despite being a dachshund, is fully house trained. It was a difficult and longer than I expected process, but she is fully potty trained, and goes outside. This means that she'll simply potty outside as normal while out and about once we're there, but I think this question is mostly about en-route bathroom options, given transatlantic flights are looooong. 
I will likely be following my favorite small dog travel bloggers' leads, and teaching Nola to use a potty pad of some sort. Pad training her will enable me to take her into the plane bathroom, set a pad down, and give her the option of going if she needs to, with easy clean up and no fuss. In addition to that, pad training makes it possible to take Nola into the airport bathroom for a pee break in the event the airport doesn't have an indoor pet relief station. Most (if not all) outdoor pet relief areas require you to go back through security once your dog is done with her business, and let's be honest: ain't nobody got time for that. ;)

Hope that clears things up! If you have a query, feel free to share it below and I'll address it in our next Nola International post this coming week. :) Have a good day!

- Dachshund Mommy 


  1. Great answers to some great questions!

  2. So exciting you are taking Nola with you!! I would do the same with the pugs.

  3. Good questions and answers. I apologize if you already answered this, I will look back on prior posts but how will she do on the plane and in a carrying bag? Has she ever flown before?
    Lily & Edward

  4. I'm so excited for you!! It's funny how people tend to jump in and try to be 'helpful' by making you question everything.... I've flown with my dogs many times before (when I picked them up as puppies and now as ESAs) and flying/traveling is much more enjoyable with a dog along. People in airports are so much nicer to you and they are great at making the flying process so much less stressful. Sounds like you have already thought of pretty much everything. I've even traveled/flown with dogs that didn't have a rock solid temperament like Nola and they were just fine.

  5. It sounds like you've pretty much thought of everything! I'm sure it will be fine! Lots of dogs travel abroad with their owners! I had a maltese that I regularly groomed who went all over the place with his owner!

  6. You have thought everything through and I am sure that you and Nola will have a wonderful time

  7. I'm anxious to hear more and to follow your trip. I know what you mean about travelling with Nola. I love travelling with Bentley - taking a trip without him next week and I'm already missing his company!

  8. Hi hi hi! Ojo here! Dogs are family, we do not get left behind! Nola, I'm sure your person will take great care of you, and help you move, and help you adapt, and everything will be fun and you will find new places to explore! Happy travels, friend!

  9. I just know you and Nola are going to have such a wonderful adventure!!


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