Why I Travel With My Dog

Posted on August 29, 2017

So… people ask me all the time… Maddie, why in he** would you want to travel the world with you 61 Ib husky? Isn’t it risky and expensive? Wouldn’t it be easier if you just gave her away or left her at home?

Honestly, for a while, I couldn’t even give a straight answer to people when they asked me stuff like this. I would say something flimsy like “well I can’t just leave her, can I?” People didn’t really by that answer so much. I’d get a lot of eye rolls and pity laughs.

I began to feel a little hopeless at the prospect of bringing Nukka with me on my travels. Really, she’s a complete pain. She whines she paces, she’s clumsy, and on top of that she shed’s a TON. Anyone who has a husky understands that one at the very least.

I guess the reasoning behind why I felt so compelled to bring Nukka along wasn’t clear until a few weeks ago.

See, my cousin was getting married in New Hampshire. The wedding was a 4-day event and no dogs were allowed. Makes sense.

I remember feeling slightly relieved when I left for the wedding. I would be Nukka free for 4 whole days! No listening to her whine, no having to take her for walks, no yelling at her to lie down, no vacuuming up her never ending fur. It was going to be great.

Well, long story short, it didn’t exactly go that way and it wasn’t until I came home and saw that dopey face that I realized all the reasons why I wanted to travel with a dog.

1. She makes me less anxious.

I have social anxiety. As much as I try and hide it or deny it, it’s true. The thought of attending any sort of party or social gathering makes me cringe.

Imagine what traveling is like? You’re out of your element. You’re surrounded by people and are in places you are unfamiliar with. It’s enough to make any person with social anxiety to run for the hills.

I’m one of those people who had a hard time adjusting to the college life. It was hard for me to balance going out with school work and I would always miss being home a lot.

Well, my senior year I decided I wanted to get a dog. People told me not to because it would be too stressful, but I just had a feeling that wouldn’t be the case for me and I was right.

With Nukka there, I had no problem being away from home for extended periods of time or socializing with different people. When I came home after class or a night out partying Nukka was always there to greet me.

She helped deal with my anxiety more than I could ever know. Why wouldn’t I bring her with me to explore the big wide world? If we can make it through college we can make it through anything.

2. She makes me feel safe.

Now, anyone who actually owns a husky or knows them knows that they are the friendliest dogs in the whole world. Literally, Nukka would probably lick a burglar before even thinking of protecting me.

Despite that, she’s always quick to let me know when she hears something she deems unordinary. I remember one time in particular when she woke me up barking crazily because someone had knocked something over outside. I don’t know about you, but if I heard a dog barking like Nukka does when she’s started I’d stay clear of that house.

3. She makes me feel less like a loner.

Because of my social anxiety and awkwardness, keeping in touch with friends is a bit of a challenge for me.

Sometimes, after a particularly rough day at work or if I have a foggy head, I don’t really want to go out to the bars or out to eat. Since this happens quite a lot, Nukka offers me company when I don’t have any.

Ever since I got Nukka, I have seen a definite change in how I interact with the world. I’m more open to going out and hanging out with friends because Nukka helps me unwind and clear my thoughts.

Nukka is also a great conversation starter. When I go out in public, so many people ask questions about her… it’s ridiculous, but it opens me up more socially, which is nice. I have made so much closer friendships because of Nukka than I would have otherwise.

4. She makes me feel more organized.

When I’m away from Nukka I feel like a complete space cadet. I’m here and then I’m there… I’m all over the place.

When I was at the wedding it was like I wasn’t even in my body for half the weekend. It was someone else’s life that I was watching and I felt very discombobulated.

I was shocked at the fact that Nukka actually kept me organized. With Nukka I have a schedule. Walk in the morning, feed her, play time, go to work, evening walk, dinner, play time, etc. I plan my days around her and that really helps me. My time management skills are on point with her around.

5. We have a closer bond.

This one is a little different than the rest but is part of the main reason why I want to travel with Nukka. I notice after coming home from a particularly hectic and crazy weekend with Nukka, we actually seem closer.

After coming home from a trip to Vermont, I noticed Nukka following me around more than usual. We were completely in sync. When I would go to the living room, she would. When I would go up to my room, she’d be right behind me.

I felt almost like I could hear what she was thinking. It was something along the lines of “yeah, this is my human. We’ve seen sh** together that you couldn’t even imagine.” I loved it.

She’s the perfect companion for me and I am for her. We bring out the best of each other.

I know that traveling with your dog can be hard work and extra time/money, but taking all of these things into consideration, why on earth would anyone want to leave their dog at home?

If your dog is anything like Nukka is to me, then they literally bring out all the best in you and help you get through everything.

If I can’t travel the world with her I don’t think I would want to travel at all.

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