|A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it|
Hi Carol, last year I met three pilgrims with a dog.Hello,
Just curious has anyone ever done a Pilgrimage with their best friend, their dog? If so was it welcomed by others, and is it difficult to find places to sleep for small dog.
A lovely story indeed. Unfortunately lots of dogs get abandoned ( by their two legged friends) once they get to Santiago de Compostela, Muxia or Fisterra. This causes a serious problem in those towns.
This is just one of the many articles in the local press. http://www.mundicamino.com/noticias/8575/logran-63-000-firmas-para-salvar-a-los-perros-del-camino/
Ondo Ibili !
Little Dog has just reminded me that while her race may be our best friends we are not always hers. Leave your dogs home in their own territories.
@Tuesday Wildchild I could have elaborated but chose not to in my earlier post. Little Dog goes, nearly, everywhere with me. You may have seen or will be able to find a photo of her on the Hadrian's Wall path. I take her everywhere I can. She comes with me when I am foraging for elder in the spring, seafoods in summer or fungi in the autumn. She walks to heel unless told to "scream and shout and run about". She'll hunt to her own standards in season and sit quietly in the pub and join in the banter when she can.
What I won't do to her is put her through the traumas of vets, airports, cages and kennels. A massive and sudden climate change that she will find bewildering. And the constant threat of other dogs who have been raised and trained to be territorial.
@alexwalkerCompletely out of control, and completely mad. When i try to confront the owners, they all claim that their dog is well-behaved, and that it is other dogs
You will not get into (most) albergues with a dog.
I would protest and demand you sleep outside: I am allergic to dog (and cat) hair.
I didn't get dogs just to abandon them so I could go off on my own.
So, in most cases, advice to better leave the dog at home while walking the Camino should be good advice. Still, I do think it unfair to generalize and say no, never, and everyone who thinks about it must be "stupid".
Because, there really are responsible dog owners out there, with well behaved, friendly dogs, capable of not only doing the Camino with their owner, but enjoying it. I met one of those, so they do seem to exist. It was a joy meeting the two. That kind of dog accompanying their owner can be a gain (certainly was, for me, even though only walked with them for half a day), and it saddens me to think that someone would think this pilgrim to be doing something "stupid", because quite obviously, that was not the case.
Exactly. In fact, I worried about one of my two cats, who was very distrustful of anyone but me, and how he would do while I was gone. Rather than the cat sitting service I usually used for the odd night I worked late, I convinced a very nice fellow cat-lady neighbor to watch them. She enjoyed it because her house was being renovated so she could get peace and quiet three doors down. And Tammuz learned to let someone else into his life. Dogs and to an extent cats live in the moment. They will miss you, but won't realize how long you've been gone, and won't remember once you return.There is a huge difference between abandoning a dog/dogs so that you can go off on your own and leaving them with caring people instead of taking them to an environment (the Camino) that is potentially extremely stressful to them. Buen Camino, SY
Some good points but one my two are off lead running 95% of the time, t put them on a lead is as alien as me putting anything other than flipflops or sandels on.For the many excellent reasons listed I applaud your decision to leave your little friend safe and happy at home. I do want to say that I didn't see Spain as less dog-friendly than the US. Perhaps it's perceived as such when people try to do things that wouldn't be allowed at home (e.g. take them into stores, restaurants, grocery markets, museums, public transport, many hotels, let run around off-lead, etc), because otherwise they'd miss out on pilgrim experience/fun.
My sister breeds/shows English mastiffs and I've always loved being around dogs--so I'd often stop and talk to locals about theirs. I think Spaniards may not object to dogs so much as health code violations and bad behavior.
Uh, Beau was peeved with us for a week once we got home and now when we pack to go camping or backpacking he is insistent that we take him with us.Dogs and to an extent cats live in the moment. They will miss you, but won't realize how long you've been gone, and won't remember once you return.
I am writing this as someone who was adopted by a small dog last year on my way to Corcubión. Due to various circumstances, I brought Guapito home with me to The Netherlands but transportation in Spain - at least on buses - was a real problem.
Renfe does allow dogs on the train but you will need to buy a ticket which is around €5 euros. I had a dog bag which I bought at a Chinese bazaar. No problem but he is only 5 kg. Buses are another story. As another poster mentioned, no matter the size, they must be transported with the luggage!!! I ended up taking a taxi from Finisterre to Santiago!
If people want to know more details on the procedure let me know. In Finisterre a private albergue allowed me in with Guapito but I of course needed to pay for a private room.
I would love to walk a part of the Camino with him (he ran the 22 km we did together and regularly walks with me in The Netherlands) but believe that you need to plan accommodation very carefully. Also if an albergue accepts a dog they will need to sleep in separate, unfamiliar quarters. Depends on the dog but I am not sure that it is nice for them.
Hi Kanga, thanks for replying and caring . If I conclude that walking the Camino will harm her in any way, I'm just not going. Simple as that. After reading different stories, the harmful part could be having the dog walk the whole Camino (in that heat) and having the dog sleep separate from the owner. I got solutions for both. What are more reasons, you think I shouldn't take her with me? Please know, I take it very seriously. Hope to hear from you also!
@Mhel walking the Camino is not easy. Unless you are used to walking 800km it is a long, long way. Many people do not make it. This forum is made up of people who have walked and survived, and those who are in the planning stage and so are enthusiastic. The ones who have started the Camino but dropped out early (and there are many) don't tend to be among our members. So I think sometimes new members get a rather slanted view of the Camino. At 8 kilos, your dog is not a "pocket dog", and you are not going to be able to carry her and your own pack (average about the same, i.e. 8 kilos), plus supplies of dog food and additional water, for any great distance. So your dog will have to walk a long way too. People get blisters, swollen knees, hip pain, tendonitis, sunburn, suffer from exposure to heat, exposure to cold, pouring rain, endless mud, wind and dust. Your dog will face the same conditions. And, additionally, for dogs there are the problems of hard rocky surfaces, sore (raw) paws, terrible burrs on some parts of the camino, and the stress of unfriendly local dogs protecting their patch. Plus not being admitted into any accommodation in which you may sleep - your dog will always have to sleep apart from you unless you are planning on taking a tent - which will add further weight to your pack.
You could get your pack transported all the way, that would help, and you could spend lots of money on taxis. But you will still have trouble with accommodation (dogs just are not accepted inside, pretty much anywhere on the Camino). And is that the Camino you want?
I have seen happy dogs on the camino, it is possible. But I also had the experience of walking with someone who finished up by calling her mother to drive all the way from Belgium to collect her dog and take it home. And I have also seen some very miserable, very stressed dogs.
I just think that it makes more sense to walk the camino by yourself first. Then you could think about a second camino with your dog.
Peg and I considered taking our dog with us but decided against it. During our camino we could see where problems would occur. I recommend not walking with a dog.I just think that it makes more sense to walk the camino by yourself first. Then you could think about a second camino with your dog.
Hi LTfit, loved reading your story! I want to walk the Camino Frances this year (may, june, july) and I'm preparing like crazy to get everything ready. I want to take my 8 kg (ok, 8,7 kg) small dog with me. She won't be walking the camino all the way, I'l take a dogcar or something with me. I'm trying to figure out the best way to gat to St Jean Pied de Port with dog and dogcar and I'm really interestes in this procedure you're talking about. What do you mean with that? Hope to hear from you!
Since writing my above post I walked a week on the Norte with my dog (Santillana del Mar - Gijón). He did wonderfully, walking between 20 and 36 km a day. We ended up doing several 30+ km days in a row simply because I couldn't find a hostel that would accept us. I found that to be the biggest deterent and the reason that we didn't walk further. No municipal albergue will accept a dog and only some privates do. Gijón with its train station was a logical place to stop. I loved walking with him (and other pilgrims always stopped to pet him and have a chat) but will probably not do it again. For me the Camino is sharing communal life with other pilgrims, not sleeping alone with my dog in a private hostel.
I met a young guy walking with his dog too but he had a tent and they slept outside.
Re dog health issues: when I returned home I took my dog to the vet (for something else) and told her about the long kilometers. Her comment was that it was a lot but looked at his paws and said "they look fine so I wouldn't worry".
I guess that you just don't know how our furry friends will adapt. By looking at my 5 kilo ball of hair I would never have expected him to be so strong and enjoy walking so much. He literally ran around like a nut along the beach after our 36 km stage!
Let me know if you are still thinking of this option or need help.