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Has anyone traveled with a dog....how was it ?

Penny Kingma

M.S. Can't Stop Me !
Camino(s) past & future
May 29th to July 4th 2016
SJPDP to Santiago
And many, many more I pray
I’m wondering if any of you on the forum traveled with your dog. I know I saw a few. Would you do it again? Does it pose a problem for train travel....hostels etc.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
There were a lot of "new age pilgrims" in SdC last autumn - many had dogs.

Quite often refugios will not allow them in - we did allow one in when I was working at Rabanal but in the "bunk house" and only after talking to the other pilgrims. In the end the owner tied the dog up in the huerta and it barked all night long (and all the other dogs in the village responded) until I went out at 1:30, untied it and let it in to the bunk house where it settled down by the owners' beds and peace reigned.

We (the hospitaleros) said never again.

I have been strongly against bring a dog along on the grounds that it's unfair to walk a dog that far for that long but having read a story about a wolf released in Germany and migrating to Belgium sometimes covering 70 kms in a day I tend to go with "if you don't mistreat the dog it's up to you".
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I’m wondering if any of you on the forum traveled with your dog.
We thought of it but decided against it. As we walked we saw all sorts of reasons why we made the right decision.

Also, previously a friend moved to Europe and we took care of her dog for a few months before shipping it air freight. The logistics were a hassle. For example having to buy an airline approved crate. Also the airline needed the right weather window. And a certified international vet checkup within so many days of actual departure. It was bad enough taking care of things one way from home; doing it again from overseas would be even tougher. And then you have to ensure you and the dog are on the same flight.
 

Penny Kingma

M.S. Can't Stop Me !
Camino(s) past & future
May 29th to July 4th 2016
SJPDP to Santiago
And many, many more I pray
I guess part of my feeling comes from the fact that while I was walking in 2016 I lost my beloved Harrison. Our 9 year Old English Sheepdog to Cancer. I walked with him everyday at home. My last one the morning I left. We didn’t know he was sick even though I took him for a well visit a week before I left. I told my husband if anything happened to him while I was gone not to tell me. I left on May 27th...Harrison started showing signs of illness almost immediately. Finding a huge cancerous inoperable tumour...they had to make that awful choice. My family as promised kept it from me until my July 8th return. I currently don’t have a dog but miss his companionship immensely. Going through all of my joint replacements and healing...I think of the comfort he’d be. I often thought while I was walking how I’d loved to have him at my side. I dealt with a great deal of pain on my first Camino having Multiple Sclerosis. Sleeping was difficult...if I was lucky enough to fall asleep I’d be woken by the noise of others. I’ve often wondered of taking a little lightweight tent .... pitching it along the way with my trusted new canine companion at my side. Training my new joints and a new dog together .
52276Perhaps I’m just a silly Pilgrim.....with wistful.....memories mixing with dreams of my next Camino....❤👣
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
My words may be a bit direct and sounds rude, but you should answer that question honestly to yourself.


Would you walk on the Camino with someone who is totally dependent on you?

Whose water and food you have to carry, but still do not know if he will eat it at all because he is not used to it.

Who can not ask for help by himself, nobody and nowhere?

With someone who can not go to the restaurant or the supermarket with you, because he is not welcome.

With someone you can never leave even a minute alone, without help from others, because he maybe attacked.

Who can normally never sleep in the same house than you.

With someone you have to carry by yourself in the case he suddenly can not walk, because nearly nobody will let him in the bus, the train or the taxi.

With someone who will be kicked into a terrible place, if you can´t take care of him for days or weeks, because you are ill or have an accident..

For me, I would say to this "someone":

I can not take this responsibility and I don´t want someone treat you this way, because I love you.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
I would not Penny. Over the years I’ve seen many pilgrims with their dogs. There are always problems, for the owners and the dogs. I’ve personally been with two people with their dogs, both had to terminate the experience early - one called her mother to drive down from Belgium to collect her dog, and the other had to fly home early (at vast expense) because of her dog. Dogs are often not allowed on public transport (the “vast expense” was partly the 200€ taxi ride), or in most Camino accommodation.
It breaks my heart to see dogs tied up outside in unfamiliar places, tense and unable to sleep. And I’ve heard so many times from volunteers in the pilgrims office about dogs arriving with matted hair, bleeding paws, and ribs showing.
I’d say if you are only walking 100km and have booked dog friendly accommodation - go for it. Otherwise don’t.
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
I’m wondering if any of you on the forum traveled with your dog. I know I saw a few. Would you do it again? Does it pose a problem for train travel....hostels etc.
In August 2018 we walked on the Camino Podiensis (Le Puy to SJPdP) for a couple of days with two East European walkers who were walking with their dog. They had some difficulty finding accommodation but also had to find alternative paths where the camino goes through hunting areas. Might take more planning if you want to walk with your dog.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
PLEASE don't do it. Your dog loves you far more than you love it. It will follow you anywhere, even into danger.

While the Camino can be challenging to some humans, it is very challenging to the point of being harmful for most all dogs and other domesticated pets.

I make allowances for the odd person out there who has a pet donkey or burro.o_O
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am walking in March and April of 2019.
I’m wondering if any of you on the forum traveled with your dog. I know I saw a few. Would you do it again? Does it pose a problem for train travel....hostels etc.
If you love your dog leave it home!!! There is no dog In the world who would love this walk. Most paths are made of of pointy, sharp rocks. A dog would quickly be in agony.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Probably my worst dog observation on the Camino Frances was back in 2011. There was a group of young pilgrims traveling together and they picked up a small dog along the Way. Whether it was a stray/feral or originally belonged to someone and followed them I do not know. I do remember they obtained it around Leon I believe or at least that is when I first noticed it. It was like so many people or groups of people you see while walking. You see them, don't see them for a day or so, and then see them again and ultimately see them when you arrive in Santiago. I do remember they would sometimes carry the dog when walking and also told by them of difficulties finding albergues that allowed dogs and even sneaked the dog into albergues at night. On one occasion I was chatting with one of the pilgrims as they held the dog, and I saw fleas on its face (white/brown dog) and the dog apparently had gastro-intestinal problems because during the chat the dog shat on the pilgrim, much to their chagrin. That was a bit gross.
I remember I made it a point not to stay in any albergues those pilgrims were staying in :D .
 
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J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
We met a women who walked from Germany in Santiago. She had a Golden Retriever that was a ESS (Emotional Support Service) certified animal and has her certificate to present to lodging units and she told us she was only turned away 3 times, but those recommended other lodgings available in their communities. Watching them together was inspirational. I think without the dog she would not have walked.
 

jimmyc

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
I stayed at a private albergue in SJPP and was somewhat surprised to see that the man in the next bunk had a dog with him. I met the man again in Pamplona and his dog's feet were bleeding. I thought it was very cruel of him to make his dog walk very long distances over sometimes rough terrain.
 

Tower

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
One of the great realizations a person can make is how little we need to be truly yourself.
The Camino shows us this like a neon light in a dark closet. People's attachment to out pets is one of our societies growing psychosis. The historical prerequisite of many pilgrims is based on sacrifice, fasting, penance and relinquishing our greatest pleasure.
Perhaps going petless might be a great opportunity for interpersonal growth!
Buen Camino Amigo
 

Espee84

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés June/July 2018
VdlP- hatching plans
There was a German girl walking the Frances with a dog last June. She ended up pushing it much of the way in a buggy, had difficulty finding places to stay and eventually flew home halfway through the camino to take it home. (She then flew back again to complete the journey to Santiago).
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
If you are plannng a short camino...like the last 100 km from Sarria then it may be ok for your dog...especially if you break up the distances.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
There was a German girl walking the Frances with a dog last June. She ended up pushing it much of the way in a buggy, had difficulty finding places to stay and eventually flew home halfway through the camino to take it home. (She then flew back again to complete the journey to Santiago).
At a public park I go run and walk in I occasionally see people "walking" their dogs with it in a baby stroller. I am not kidding. I have gotten to the point where I actually do not stifle laughter and just laugh out loud as I run past them. It is so comically absurd. The dog, Canis. Originally evolution developed over millions of years to be superior to us bipeds in long distance travel (reference wolves, jackals, coyotes, wild African dogs). We humans have de-evolved the beasts to these absurd abominations incapable of moving long distance or keeping up with us walking. Short legs. Flat snouts. etc...now subjected to the humiliation of being wheeled around by their human owners.
 

Antomuchacho

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning on startting first time at e d of april start of may
Its a challenge!! If you get accommodation organised its possible! Only thing is you might not enjoy the experience as much yourself!? As youre to busy tending to youre k9 friend!! But still if its what you want do it and try it!! Dont let otheres put you off!☺
A local guy from ireland and two others done the camino with a guy with motor nuerones disease and wheeled him from his wheelchair right from sjpdp to santiago when everyone else thought it wasnt possible ! But up to you☺
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
I would not...if (God forbid) your fubaby needs veterinarian attention, you may not be able to find it quickly enough to be effective. Am glad you have decided against it.
 

Viscount Gumpy of Ol'

Try to be as good as your dog thinks you are.
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping, planning, dreaming of my first.
At a public park I go run and walk in I occasionally see people "walking" their dogs with it in a baby stroller. I am not kidding. I have gotten to the point where I actually do not stifle laughter and just laugh out loud as I run past them. It is so comically absurd.
There are many reasons for people to do this. The dog may be old or ill but still benefits from the mental stimulation from getting out and about.

For many people a dog is their best friend. If they need to walk their dog in a pram then they should be permitted to without being ridiculed.
 

cbacino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
I’m wondering if any of you on the forum traveled with your dog. I know I saw a few. Would you do it again? Does it pose a problem for train travel....hostels etc.
Leave Fido at home. Everyone will be happier.
 
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Starseeker54

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francis (2014). Camino portugese (2015).camino via francigena (2016) camino norte (2017) .

MilosWay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many
If you love your dog leave it home!!! There is no dog In the world who would love this walk. Most paths are made of of pointy, sharp rocks. A dog would quickly be in agony.
There is at least one:
And I'm sure there are many others.
What do you think a dog prefers?
Walking, running, discovering half the day or sitting 23 hours in an apartment with nothing to do?

I walked almost every Camino in Spain with Milo. Since 2013 we are walking every spring/summer and chances are good that Milo is the dog with the most Camino kilometers and I can assure you, he loves the Caminos.
Yes, it can always happen something, but this counts for everyone on the Camino and Spain is not the Himalaya.
And as I wrote in another thread, walking the Camino Frances with a dog is really not that complicated anymore. There are now many Albergues/Hotels/Casa Rurales/Airbnbs on the Frances that accept pets.
They even sell tours for dogs now.
Probably with backpack transfer for the dog too.
 

MilosWay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many
I would not Penny. Over the years I’ve seen many pilgrims with their dogs. There are always problems, for the owners and the dogs. I’ve personally been with two people with their dogs, both had to terminate the experience early - one called her mother to drive down from Belgium to collect her dog, and the other had to fly home early (at vast expense) because of her dog. Dogs are often not allowed on public transport (the “vast expense” was partly the 200€ taxi ride), or in most Camino accommodation.
It breaks my heart to see dogs tied up outside in unfamiliar places, tense and unable to sleep. And I’ve heard so many times from volunteers in the pilgrims office about dogs arriving with matted hair, bleeding paws, and ribs showing.
I’d say if you are only walking 100km and have booked dog friendly accommodation - go for it. Otherwise don’t.
I always feel sorry for all the chained and caged Spanish dogs that get treated like sh*t. They really have a miserable life.
I don't doubt that there are people who shouldn't walk the Camino with their dog. But these people maybe shouldn't have dogs at all. Milo would never walk around with a bleeding paw. We immediately would take a rest day (or more) and if needed I would buy dog shoes/paw protectors for him (Amazon Prime to a pick up point/shop, no problem), I would even use a silly stroller or a shopping cart if necessary.

Pets are allowed in trains and buses. For both a transport box is needed and there is a weight limit. But in reality nobody cares for this as long the dog has not the size of a pony. The box must be closed and there is a size limit for it too. But nobody cares for this either. Once I used a big cat toilet, because in this town, I couldn't find any box big enough for Milo. The woman at the train check in looked a bit strange at my “transport box“ but didn't say anything. Sometimes I really love Spain.
When traveling by bus the box goes into the luggage compartment. The Alsa Supra buses have an extra space for pets there and the Premium even one with ac. But of course still very stressfull for a dog and I only use buses if there is really no other option. Also dogs are allowed in the Cercanias Madrid/Malaga/Valencia/Barcelona and in the Feve trains in the north. For all these a basic muzzle is enough. No box needed.
Another option is always blablacar. Some driver accept pets at all and if not you can always ask and negogiate.
 
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hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
[QUOTE="Penny Kingma, post: 70911] Perhaps I’m just a silly Pilgrim.....with wistful.....memories mixing with dreams of my next Camino....❤👣
[/QUOTE]

Not silly at all. My old dog dies last year and I share your pain. He walked many miles with me in training, which we both enjoyed immensely but as a 14yr old Boxer he'd never cope with the heat and rocks of the a Camino (let alone the quarintine / travel) nightmare of getting him to and from Spain.

Never to worry, there are plenty of local dogs, some may even escort you briefly on the way, or just sit in the local square at the end of a day's walk and one is bound to pass you by and you will get your canine fix.
 

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