We met Camille on the commuter train, as we made our way into work one morning from outstretches of Sonoma County. We were instantly intrigued by her two little travel companions, Muppet, a Maltese mix of 12 pounds, and Cricket, a Chihuahua mix of 7 pounds. Together, they rocked the morning commute, looking calm, cool and collected. Their adorable backpack—just their size, with a compartment for each—only added to the effect. No doubt, these were two dogs who knew their way around a train. Our Cute Pet-dar was blaring its siren, full blast.
We soon discovered that our suspicions were on point. This wasn’t the pooches’ first rodeo. Taking the train and going wherever Mamma Camille goes is the norm rather than the exception. And while you may think the dogs’ petite size is what drives Camille to take her dogs with her nearly wherever, it’s not. Rather, it’s her “why not?” attitude that makes it happen.
“My previous dogs were more like 30 pounds, one was 50 pounds,” she reflected. “I’ve always had the expectation that if a dog can be good and sit there, then you can take them along with you.”
Of course, it helps that Camille works at the Marin Pet Hospital. She’s a nurse, so she does everything from taking blood, explaining procedures to pet parents and assisting with anesthesia. Marin Pet Hospital also has a kennel facility, which gives her the opportunity – and the space – to bring her little pals with her to and from work.
“It’s an hour commute, and they never really get freaked out,” she said. “Occasionally, they get excited. But overall they are very happy-go-lucky.”
To get to the train, Camille often places the dogs in the basket of her bicycle. Even the rain won’t stop them from doing so. She notices many of the same travelers on the train, and her little pooches have amassed quite the fan base. Her biggest motivation for taking the train: her mental health. Why waste time in stop-and-go traffic when you can relax on the train? (Obviously, Muppet and Cricket agree).
If you’re looking to have your furry friends tag along more, too, here’s a few tips from Camille:
Camille’s pet backpack is made by Pet Gear Inc. She loves the two-compartment style, but we notice that Pet Gear also offers a slew of cool totes and car accessories. Traveling with your dogs gets a heck of a lot easier if you have the right tools to help you. Camille’s dog, Cricket, even has a selection of jackets for those especially chilly NorCal days.
Get Them Ready
Get your dog used to being out in public. Don’t just assume it’s going to go smoothly from the get-go. You must start socializing your pet at a very early age. This could mean taking them on more walks, to parks, and to pet-friendly restaurants.
Live The Life You Imagine
Just like Camille didn’t think twice about bringing her pets with her, think about your own aspirations and how they interact with your lifestyle. Do you want your pets with you all the time? How much will they get out if they are stuck at home? What options does your community offer for pet-friendly places, such as restaurants and shops? If you want to get out with your pets, just do it—you may surprise yourself at how easy it is, and how well they do.
Plan For The Unexpected
Just like gearing up for a day out with your human kids, think about may come up. It’s not a bad idea to pack treats and poop bags and extra water, for example. These things may seem overkill for a short outing, but when you need ‘em, you need ‘em.
Scollar, too, hopes to make your pet outings easier. Our smart collars are Wi-Fi-enabled and powered by the cloud. That means that you’re constantly connected to your pets, even when they’re not in sight. So, you can worry about making that morning train, and we’ll worry about tracking your pet should you become separated. (We’ll also remind you about all the other fun stuff throughout your busy, busy day like medication reminders and vet appointments).
So you've made the decision to get a dog or cat. Hooray! Pets are a lot of fun, can be exceptional cuddlers, and offer emotional support. There's a lot to do to prepare for your new furry family member, so let's get planning!