Why didn’t I do it before? I have repeated it to myself during the whole drive back from Austria.

When I was young, I always went on holidays with my Maremma shepherd Dado and my Labrador Bea: I had great swimming with her while I laid under the sun with him because he didn’t like water at all, he only had his paws got wet. Beautiful memories!

Many things have changed since then, I am now mother of two girls and of a lively boy, we have four dogs, six cats, two horses: in short, we are a big family! After the children’s births, I have brought the dogs on holiday with us nomore. With three children I had to attend a good survival class, I could not bring the dogs at all. This is what I was convinced of.

Therefore, we left on holidays and they went to their nannies’. They had big yards at disposal, the wood where to walk with the other dogs and, if holidays were in winter, Chanel also had a nice heated bed.
They were well and treated like princes! Our drives have always been awful, with children questioning and always repeating: Are we in? Are we in? How long is missing? I am hungry! I am thirsty! Need the toilet! My gosh!! Can you think about the small donkey in Shreck? Well, I have three donkeys in the car! Ahahahahah.

But this year I have decided to bring Chanel too, our Dachshund! We load the car , we take Chanel and her beauty case SIM PET with all that she needs, water and food for children in case of lines on the motorway and then go!.. Austria, we are arriving! The outward journey has been fantastic. In the car silence reigns, everyone is worried that Chanel is well and at the end.. all fall asleep! Fantastic!
Once in Stubai, the children and Chanel go exploring the hotel, joyful small paws sound everywhere and I don’t know why but this sound puts all of us in good mood. The morning after I get up early and bring Chanel out for a walk, a great breakfast and then away, towards new adventures!

>Read Cristina’s article about holiday tips with pet

The first place we visit is a lake around which big white and brown spotted cows pasture, Chanel wags her tail happy. She likes those big animals, while they look at her curious going on chewing grass. The water has a spectacular color, a mix between emerald green and sugar paper blue. A group of ducks swim quiet, all is silence, we only hear the children’s laughs. I am enjoying the moment, while suddenly I hear cry, then laugh, then cry…

Mum, mum, run, look, Chanel has escaped and she in water chasing the ducks… ahahahah.
Chanel in water? Impossible, the only time we brought her to the swimming pool, she went down like plumb and I had to dive to recover her, how can it be possible? She is there instead, swimming behind the ducks, they also get amused and anytime she goes nearer, they divide themselves into two groups and make her swim to the right and to the left, we can’t give up laughing!

When she has dived, she has brought the leash with her with two small red bags attached, to be used in emergency need, so that now it seems she has a small red buoy following her! A comic movie! The rest of the day is a total new discovery for Chanel: goats, black and white cows, sheep, two porcupines, many dogs of any race and she has even eaten blackberries and blueberries by getting her mouth stained in purple!
Mum, mum look, it seems Chanel has a purple lipstick on for Halloween!
And go ahead with a river of laughs! No need to say that at night all sleep like logs! The sound of silence! How long I have not heard it! It is wonderful.

In the following days, we have long walks, we take several cable railways, we have lunch in retreats, we visit a couple of cities and we even go to the cinema, always with Chanel. Children take care of her at shift and they have no time to argue.
Chanel has a funny way to approach new things, she wags her tail very strong, so strong that her small jags move rhythmically to the right and to the left, it seems she waves her back and we all can’t help laughing! She seems a toy hippopotamus! Ahahahah

The whole vacation is a: look what Chanel is doing, Chanel here, Chanel there and nobody has got annoyed. In the evening then they are all so tired that they fall asleep immediately after dinner, so that my husband and I can have some time together, a true holiday for everyone in short!
All perfect? Sure, but to go on holiday with a dog requires particular cares: she has to be brought out to have her needs, often at unusual times and therefore it happens you have to wait at 6.00 o’clock in the morning because she really can’t hold. We must have always water with us, the bowl and the towel to dry her in case of sudden baths ( like at the lake), but however we have to bring water, wipes and snacks for the children and doing that also for Chanel has been a pleasure!

The week goes by fast, even too much I would say. And the way back home? Incredible, but real: in the car silence reigns! Why didn’t I do it before??? I don’t know, or maybe I do, but Chanel will always come on holiday with us, this is sure! Our small dachshund has confirmed herself to be a value added to our family!
And the other dogs? The Labradors and the Caucasian shepherd have stayed at home cared by the nannies and when we have come back, they have welcomed us with joy and feast!