What happened when I took my playful dog to a luxury hotel
We spent two nights here, Bear and I, to have some space; halfway through a 2,500 road trip across Europe in my slow, small, packed-baggage Fiat 500. Most of our pit stops so far had been cramped motel rooms. What a treat to languish in this opulent lair, lined with velvet, decorated with chandeliers and dotted with antiques. And what a responsibility.
I wouldn’t have brought Bear to a hotel like this, let alone left him alone, if he was the destructive type. It doesn’t chew, dig or scratch furniture. He doesn’t scream. And although he didn’t approve of my going anywhere without him at all, I had taken care to get him used to it; a few hours here and there to avoid the lockdown-induced separation anxiety that plagued many dog owners at the end of this pandemic.
What I hadn’t expected, having rechecked the doors before leaving it, was this particular act of escape. No more deceiving myself to underestimate his ingenuity. As for my afternoon plan – a leisurely stroll through Baden Baden, without Bear, so I could get in and out of stores – that rather put a wrench in the works. I couldn’t even make my usual pilgrimage to the local supermarket to buy a non-exorbitant bottle of wine since I couldn’t leave it behind and dogs are not allowed in supermarkets.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel trapped, being Bear’s human at times like this. I’m a travel writer, not done traveling, not quite ready to be tied up. I have intentionally avoided having children until now for this very reason. My last dog, Pringle, used to join me on the road with no problem – probably because she couldn’t operate the doors and didn’t have a death wish for all the other dogs. She died of old age at the start of the lockdown and I had Bear shortly thereafter from an unscrupulous scammer as it happened who assured me there was no behavior problem. , deposited it and then disappeared.