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Dog....or ....no Dog ?

Camino(s) past & future
Finish the other half.......as soon as I think my iffy knee will be able.....I hope :)
#1
Hello All,
I have a dillema that I am sure will seem silly to a lot of you.......I am to walk the Camino in July with my daughter Emma. The problem is, I shall be leaving behind my best friend Ruby the Boxer.
Ruby and I, along with Emma, walk many miles together, and I just feel she should be with us on the Camino. I know this will stop me sleeping at the Aubrgues, I am happy to sacrifice a bed for a place outside with my friend......How would Aubergues feel about me eating and staying outside in their grounds ?
Has any one any expierience that can help point me in the right direction ?
My planning is done, my minimalistic kit is sorted, and I don't mind carrying a little extra water for her; I just need to make the right decision.
Thank You All,
Paul.
 

miamijhp

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Francés
#2
Leave the dog at home.
One of you (your daughter or yourself) will need to be with the dog all the time. Will be a problem when you visit the Cathedrals or any museum . Always one of you next to her. If she drink any infected water she will be in trouble.
Better to walk with her in known environment.
Buen camino.
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#3
I would tend to side with those who would suggest that the kindest approach would be to leave the dog at home. You should be mindful that the dog will have to walk at your pace, for your daily mileage, for an entire month, and this may be more than the dog can manage-- a dog may injure himself out of a loyal desire to keep up with its humans.

Many albergues, especially in towns but also in smaller villages, will not have grounds for you to camp nearby. Of those that do, many hospitaleros will be helpful, but you cannot count on this in every place. The only succesful Camino dog-walker I met stayed in hostales and private accommodation along the way and took short (20km or under) days.

The dire scenario, raised by some, that Spanish dogs will be aggressive in their territoriality, is not likely for most of the Camino, as most guard dogs are chained up or behind fences. However, sheepdogs are not, and this may be a real problem in a few spots.
 
#4
It's not silly at all to me, I have a dog too and I sympathise with you. After all you can explain to others what you are doing but to this familymember you can not. I would also suggest leaving Ruby at home it will be so hot in July it is kinder to her... Best wishes to you in making your decision.
Regards Therese
 

camino77

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 & 2006
#5
Once in Rioja i met a pilgrim who was walking the Camino with a german shepard dog. He had been crossing the Pyrenees with his full-grown dog and was positive he will reach Santiago. I had a conversation with him and asked him about the pros and cons walking with a dog.
He mentioned two major concerns. The first discovery was that the dog was not as fit as expected. At the end of the day, he would have walked more km if he would have walked alone. So he needed to reduce his speed and adjust to the dog. The first concern was the water. The dog needs a steady supply of water. This means he had to carry water also for the dog. Keep in mind we were walking in mid August. And this lead to the 2nd concern. It is not comfortable for the dog to walk on asphalt for many km. Furthermore in August the asphalt gets really hot in Spain.
I learned that a pilgrim and a dog do have something in common. They both don`t like to walk on asphalt!

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
#6
I met a group of young Irish pilgrims who were camping, but negotiating with hospitaleros to use the ablutions and also dine in albergues where they could, and to camp in the albergue grounds in some places. This wasn't always successful, and I know that they stayed in albergues in at least one town where there wasn't an option to camp. I suspect you would need to avoid the larger towns and the cities if you wanted to take this approach.

I also met a blind pilgrim walking with a dog. It was not clear to me whether this was a guide dog or a companion animal. I didn't see the harness I am used to seeing guide dogs wear, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there.

The day that I met him, we were both staying at Albergue Jesus in Mazariffe, and he was looking for a guide for the next section without much success. The person who had walked with him that day was not particularly complimentary about the experience, which clearly deterred others from volunteering. I don't recall any specific issues about the dog, although its owner was taking special precautions with its paws when walking on asphalt, and had leather boots and some lotions he was using on the dogs feet.

I don't think it would be impossible, but it will be logistically challenging, and I just wonder why you would want to do this to your dog in the first place. There seems to be no practical benefit from the dogs perspective. Other than providing you with companionship, is there some good that will benefit the dog for what might be an arduous and demanding journey?
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#7
Paul, I met one young woman with her dog. She had a tent and was mostly camping, as there were very few albergues where she was able to stay. As the temperature got hotter, the biggest problem the dog faced was with its paws on hot tarmac- so she tended to take a siesta in the hottest part of the day and give the dog a break- then carry on again once it got cooler. Towards the end of the Camino, she was starting to wonder about how she was going to be able to transport her dog home again, and I think she worked out she would need to hire a car.
Margaret
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finish the other half.......as soon as I think my iffy knee will be able.....I hope :)
#8
KiwiNomad06 said:
Paul, I met one young woman with her dog. She had a tent and was mostly camping, as there were very few albergues where she was able to stay. As the temperature got hotter, the biggest problem the dog faced was with its paws on hot tarmac- so she tended to take a siesta in the hottest part of the day and give the dog a break- then carry on again once it got cooler. Towards the end of the Camino, she was starting to wonder about how she was going to be able to transport her dog home again, and I think she worked out she would need to hire a car.
Margaret

Thank you all for for your replies, advice, and opinions.
Your thoughts have helped me make a very difficult decision; and that is, for Ruby's sake, she will stay at home.
I have a very close bond with my Dog, and shall miss her dearly, and I believe she will miss me too, but it is for the good for her.
As some of you say, maybe having her with me will restrict my expierience and interaction.
This is my first Camino, and I believe it will be the first of many more, I havn't looked forward to something with such joy since childhood.
Thank you all.
Paul.
 

dazzamac

Active Member
#9
Paul,

seeing as you live in Wales, you'd probably want to check DEFRA's rules and advice on bringing pets on holiday/abroad. There are a number of steps such as micro-tagging, rabies vaccination, pet-passport and tape-worm treatment that are required. Additionally, only approved airlines/travel companies can transport your pet to and from the UK and only on approved routes. From what I can see, there are only five approved airports that pets can fly into - London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Bristol and Doncaster. Otherwise, your dog will be quarantined upon re-entry.

There is more information at the following link: http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/pets/pet-owners/

Leaving aside the practicalities of accommodation, food and water for your dog along the Camino, there is the more immediate problem of actually getting Ruby to the Camino in the first place.


By the time I'd typed all the above, you'd already said that you'll be leaving Ruby at home while you and Emma walk the Camino. It's no longer relevant to your situation, however, there may be other pet owners considering bringing their pet with them and reading this topic and the information and link may be of interest to them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPP-Los Arcos (2011), Logrono-Sahagun (2012), Leon-Santiago (2013)
#10
We ran into two canine pilgrims and their three human companions last year in Pamplona. They were all clearly having a lovely time. Doggies were happy to pose for pictures; they both wore doggie backpacks and carried their own food and water. However, I have no idea where the pack slept at night.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#11
Pilgrims take smelly crying babies with and somehow manage so a dog can't be that much of a hassel.
I've come accross a few Pilgrims with dogs , but they were single souls. Most of these pilgrims did have tents and Albergues almost always had some place for them to camp - they were content.
Apart from all the other good advice given , the Camino is through agricultural land - some of these people have 'Working Dogs' , dogs bigger than you have probably ever seen, and again , sometimes 2 or 3 together ..could you stop the fighting?? Your little Fifi could be torn apart like a feather pillow.
would I rather be met by a dog with a wagging tail , or a brat child ...... or a miserable screaming infant with a spoiled nappy................. :mrgreen:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finish the other half.......as soon as I think my iffy knee will be able.....I hope :)
#12
RENSHAW said:
Pilgrims take smelly crying babies with and somehow manage so a dog can't be that much of a hassel.
I've come accross a few Pilgrims with dogs , but they were single souls. Most of these pilgrims did have tents and Albergues almost always had some place for them to camp - they were content.
Apart from all the other good advice given , the Camino is through agricultural land - some of these people have 'Working Dogs' , dogs bigger than you have probably ever seen, and again , sometimes 2 or 3 together ..could you stop the fighting?? Your little Fifi could be torn apart like a feather pillow.
would I rather be met by a dog with a wagging tail , or a brat child ...... or a miserable screaming infant with a spoiled nappy................. :mrgreen:

Hello again, and thanks to those of you who have added posts since my last post on this subject.
There seems to be so many ways of looking at this, but, I rekon Ruby will be staying home.
It was nice to see some pssitive comment as well, though I have absorbed, and thought about evrything said,
We unfortunately are having to walk the Camino in two halves...first section this year, and the final in the following year; maybe I should of mentioned this in the first instance, so the distance would not be as chalenging for the dog; also, for those who mention the logistics, I should of mentioned that I am driving to Hendaye.
I would so like to hear from someone who has actually expierinced the Camino with a Dog.
In the mean time, I shall continue to relish thoughts of the day I will start my 'Way'.
Paul.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#13
RENSHAW said:
Pilgrims take smelly crying babies with and somehow manage so a dog can't be that much of a hassel.
I've come accross a few Pilgrims with dogs , but they were single souls. Most of these pilgrims did have tents and Albergues almost always had some place for them to camp - they were content.
Apart from all the other good advice given , the Camino is through agricultural land - some of these people have 'Working Dogs' , dogs bigger than you have probably ever seen, and again , sometimes 2 or 3 together ..could you stop the fighting?? Your little Fifi could be torn apart like a feather pillow.
would I rather be met by a dog with a wagging tail , or a brat child ...... or a miserable screaming infant with a spoiled nappy................. :mrgreen:
Hey Renshaw.. tell us how you REALLY feel? :::laughing::: :lol:
 
#14
Hi!

I walked st jean to santiago in May with 2 babies and my 1 year old irish setter RUBY (coincidence!!!). Ruby LOVED it!!! We loved having her - her visible enthusiasm running through the wheat fields of the meseta chasing the birds was infectious and spread joy.

Take your dog!

We didnt forget RUby is a dog and I had no worries leaviong her alone whilst visiting cathedrals etc and of course she slept outside! Shes a dog! She had her own mat and blanket, happy enough. We didnt chain her up, she was free to roam, if not on a main road. She always stayed close. Dogs dont want to lose the pack.

She ate from the butchers and scraps from the restaurants supüplementing the dog food.

It greatly accelerated our relationship building too! She is a very important member of our family. Hope this helps x
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
#15
On my last Camino I kept bumping into a French couple with two absolutely beautiful Red Setters. Usually only one of each species was walking at any one time, and they had a car as backup so when one dog got tired after the morning, they were picked up and the other came out in the afternoon. The couple had obviously researched dog-friendly places well before starting, and with the car could sleep several kms off route when necessary.

The dogs certainly seemed to like it, but despite being well trained and not aggressive they were kept on a long lead quite a lot of the time. One of the signs you'll see most often along the way is 'Coto privado de caza' meaning 'Private hunting ground'. From what I understood from my schoolboy French that was why the dogs were being restrained a bit in case they disturbed the habitats and annoyed farmers.

Buen Camino!
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#16
As a dog lover you will be appalled at the living conditions most dogs face in Spain. Two big concerns mentioned by almost everyone. Those walking with dogs repeatedly said they camped, slept outside, or carried a tent. Many many albergues, hostals, and 1* residencials will not allow a dog on premises. You can hunker down in any one of the pilgrim “rest areas” located just at the entrance or exit of many villages. There are usually picnic tables, a couple of trees, a source of water which however is not always potable. Most bars and restaurants do not appreciate the pets of their own local customers let alone thoseof strangers - will you tie the dog outside while you drink your coffee? And lastly, do you have enough Spanish to find a vet and should you find one be able to explain that Ruby has contracted worms or a sprain or has dehydrated, boxers are usually good sized animals and while they may do a day trip with the extra bit of water you can carry will Ruby make through a month? Seems to be quite a hassle and a source of frustration, exasperation, and even anger, Ruby will be sad to see you go but will be much better off at home.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#17
Hi!

... We didnt chain her up, she was free to roam, if not on a main road.
...
Not even at night, when you couldn't supervise her? Not really what I understand as responsible dog ownership, SY
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
#19
her visible enthusiasm running through the wheat fields of the meseta chasing the birds was infectious and spread joy.
I'm sure the birds loved it too. Keep your dog on a leash please.
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
#20
I put my hat in the ring of not bringing your dog. The mileage per day is an issue, besides the continuous mileage. Think of the Iditerod huskies. Most dogs I saw doing the Camino with their human companions were strong in spirit, bless their hearts, but not so strong in body. There were issues with carrying enough food and water and finding a comfortable place to spend the night (don't forget your human needs). I saw a human who had to take a taxi several villages down the road because his dog had blisters and was limping so badly. I had seen this dog happily carrying his own food and water in a pack on his back days earlier. Your dog is your devoted companion and will do whatever you ask of him/her. But you are therefore responsible for making responsible decisions for his welfare, just as you would be for your children. Since you are planning on doing the Camino in two phases, I think your time separated from your dog will not be unbearable. And think how joyous your reunion will be! I would advise against taking your dog. :(
 
P

Pattii

Guest
#22
I like babies and dogs...and although both would be difficult to take on the journey it would have to be a personal decision.

Babies are definitely easier than dogs tho. My biggest concern would be if the breed was meant to travel all day long on foot. Many breeds are not meant for long distance travel and it could be very hard on them not to mention costly if something were to happen while you were so far away from home and your own vet...although probably costly at your own vet to.

I would think...that for a dog it would not be more than a very long drawn out walk. The reason to go on the Camino is different for a human obviously as this is a pilgrimage and for most quite spiritual. Back in the beginning I would think it would be common to see a dog but I also don't think people would be in the kind of time restraints put on us now when we walk and would need them for protection so it would be much easier for the dog and safer for the human. But now...in the days of schedules and time restraints...getting away at all for a pilgrimage is a blessing. I would think that the care of a daughter and yourself would be sufficient and in order for you to gain a true deep understanding of what you need to learn on the Camino in the end maybe the dog would be a slight distraction. The best stories I have heard of the Camino...the biggest revelations and changes came from those who were dedicated to each footstep and their time was put aside for these footsteps...and they stayed away from most distractions. They were able to forget the world around and hear from God or your higher power or what ever your belief systems is...or even the universe itself and they were able to go deep within themselves and really hear and learn and cleanse. Distractions from this of any kind can sometimes lessen the lesson.

And just think of the glorious reunion when your dog see's you again...and how much deeper a love and understanding you will have of what this animal means to you in your life. The dog will miss you but she/he will be happy when you get back and they forgive very freely so I don't think it would be held against you. If anything the dog will sense the peace you come back with and be happier too.

Just my take...

"Bless the beasts and the children"

...smiles...

Bueno Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk As Soon As Possible!
#23
During my training I've been accompanied by my dog, who is an Australian Shepherd, a work dog. He loves coming, especially when we are on forest paths and he can be off-leash. He likes it a lot less on roads. We've done some long distance hikes, one of roughly 40 kilometers, but it took us a LONG time because he doesn't know he's supposed to go in a straight line, and he needed lots of water breaks, including lying in streams for long periods cooling off. Yesterday, I went on a 15km hike by myself and noted that I could do an extra kilometer an hour without him. But my wife said he howled for over a half hour when he saw me leaving with my pack on. I love his company, and hate it too, because when he's with me I am constantly concerned with where he is and ensuring he is safe from oncoming traffic. I really doubt my Camino would be anything like it could be if I were to take him with me! I have no doubt he could handle it as his pads look like inflated inner tubes, but it wouldn't be worth it for me. It just wouldn't be what I am hoping it will be.
 

Eykis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Still a Virgin, want to do it in autum 2015 with my dog
#25
Hi!

I walked st jean to santiago in May with 2 babies and my 1 year old irish setter RUBY (coincidence!!!). Ruby LOVED it!!! We loved having her - her visible enthusiasm running through the wheat fields of the meseta chasing the birds was infectious and spread joy.

Take your dog!

We didnt forget RUby is a dog and I had no worries leaviong her alone whilst visiting cathedrals etc and of course she slept outside! Shes a dog! She had her own mat and blanket, happy enough. We didnt chain her up, she was free to roam, if not on a main road. She always stayed close. Dogs dont want to lose the pack.

She ate from the butchers and scraps from the restaurants supüplementing the dog food.

It greatly accelerated our relationship building too! She is a very important member of our family. Hope this helps x
Hi there,
I would really appreciate if we could talk regarding taking my dog with me. Can we email?
regards
Eykis from Denmark
 

waveprof

Enthusiast
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013, Camino Frances
#29
I realize some of this has been said in jest. However, as someone who brought a baby on the Camino (who only cried once and was often sniffed by smelly pilgrims who loved his shampoo scent), I really think people should be less judgmental of what kind of Camino people should do and what and whom belongs on it. Bringing a baby and/or a dog on Camino is no small task: it requires a serious amount of planning and consideration for yourself and your fellow peregrinos. I would have NEVER allowed my baby to disturb others' sleep, which is why we slept in private accommodations or private rooms in albergues. For the record (and there are a million photos to prove this), my baby loved the Camino and many people loved seeing him (far more so than not).

We briefly considered bringing our dog. He is a border collie. He could do it, we are fairly certain. But, I would be sure I spoke enough Spanish to converse with a vet (there are a ton of hazards to a dog that must be considered). I would keep said dog on a leash (it's the law in most places and a good idea in farm country). And I would be prepared to curb my experience to ensure the welfare of my dog (since he did not ask to go). For a host of reasons, not just the baby, we did not bring our dog. I would probably never bring my dog as it requires so much thought--far more than our baby ever did.

People seek this forum out for help and assistance. Being dismissive, even if one is trying to be funny or snarky, just isn't helpful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles ('15); SDC-Finis.-Muxia ('17); Bilbao-Sant. ('17); SJPDP-Logrono ('18); Logr.-Astor. (tbw'18)
#30
Hi,

This is a bit late coming but hope it helps

We drove to Galicia in September 2015, taking our very fit, then 5 year old Wicklow (border) collie to walk the Camino Ingles. It was mostly an enjoyable experience to have Jack with us. We stayed in hotels, many of which are dog-friendly on the continent (unlike at home) and these were located by applying a pet-friendly filter in Booking.com. We used the very good CSJ guide to plan our daily itinerary and booked accommodation through Booking.com. When booking, I mentioned the dog in the comments section of the booking form, i.e that he is quiet, house-trained, would be very tired each evening and to contact us well in advance if this would be a problem. I dropped my wife and dog to the hotel in Ferrol, left the car in the airport in Santiago for the week (cheap and safe, long-term parking), and got a bus back to Ferrol to start the walk the next day.



The pluses:

-Having our furry friend with us and enjoying his company

-Watching our furry friend enjoy himself greatly – the excited low growls each morning prior to setting off; he availed of the comfort of private hotel / hostel rooms each night – and may have been on a bed or two when our backs were turned

-The therapeutic effect of Jack for us as well as for some pilgrims /locals we met along the way


The minuses:

-Pet insurance bought in Ireland did not extend to France/Spain (Ireland & UK only)

-Having to carry extra food and water (for those that camp, the extra weight of a tent would be a pain, not to mention putting it up after a long day’s walking and taking it down again next morning)

-The constant minding that is required and the associated restrictions, especially if you want to wander around towns/cities, go into non-dog-friendly establishments in the evening

-The extra expense of taking a ferry and driving to Spain (just getting to Ferrol /Santiago took days)

-The extra expense of staying in hotels

-The risk of negative interactions with other dogs / livestock. We had no issues with other dogs as they were mainly behind gates but on recent stages along Santiago –Finisterre – Muxia, (without the dog) we saw lots of German shepherd-type breeds roaming freely near farms (they didn’t bother with us but may have taken issue to our dog if he was with us). We did however take a while to get past a tied-up horse on one section of C. Ingles – he took exception to the dog and was raising his front leg.

-Limitations to movement in the evenings, ideally one person should be in the room with the dog or they shouldn’t be left for very long – many hotels will insist on this too. You may just want to do your own thing some evenings, sans chien…

-He won't get a compostela - we tried!


Advice:

Keep it to a short Camino?

Make sure your dog is used to long hikes and can tolerate some heat (short nosed breeds will dehydrate quicker)

Start as early as possible – before sunrise even

Bring a spare leash (ours dropped off my pack and I had to improvise using my belt for the last stage before getting to Santiago on Sunday – had to wait until Monday for the pet shop to open to buy a new one)

Bring extra water and snacks for your canine companion

If your dog has ‘pink bits’ exposed to the sun, use dog/child friendly sun factor – in our dog’s case, the tip of his nose was covered each morning

Check paw pads regularly - find a route that doesn’t involve too much road walking - better for them to walk on tracks than tarmac where possible, grass verges (they will make the choice themselves where available)


Our decision not to take Jack on a recent Camino probably speaks volumes. Our CI experience, although we don’t regret it made us think about future costs and inconveniences. We had hoped to take him again on a longer walk in the future but a strong deterrent for me, based on our recent walk, is the risk of ‘ negative interactions’ with local dogs – you just don’t know what’s around the bend..

We are very grateful for the kindness and friendliness of the hotel and hostel staff and many locals we met along the CI. For example, we stopped for lunch once and the cook – an elderly lady, gave Jack a big lump of prime lamb! Can’t remember the bar or town but if you need to know it, I can find out – the food is great food for humans too and it gets a mention in Johnnie Walker's CJS guide.

Anyway, sorry for the long post; feel free to email me if you have any queries specific to our CanIne experience

Slán

J.
 

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