A little more than three years go, we were footloose and fancy free! We had an apartment and jobs, but absolutely nothing else to tie us down in terms of the day-to-day. Then we decided to buy a house in April 2016, a date we’ve celebrated by going to Europe each year—2016-Norway, 2017-Netherlands, 2018-Portugal. (We’d be in France this year, but Kyle is recovering from surgery and I have a broken arm. Ugh!!!) I love the idea that we showcase the “roots and wings” theory so literally!
But this post isn’t about the joys of homeownership, or even how travel changes when you theoretically “settle down.” I want to tell you about two furry additions that have filled our days at home with joy.
I had always joked that I wanted to buy a house so we could get a sheltie puppy. We’d had Zebulon, our cat, since we started living together in 2011, but I had dreams of snuggles from a beautiful, longhaired, smaller version of Lassie.
Not even a month after we bought our house—and two weeks after returning from Norway—we were on our way to pick up our adorable girl. But what to name her? Travel is such a huge part of our life, and I wanted that reflected in her name. We’d just visited our new favorite city in the Southwest, Sedona, and Kyle suggested it and another Arizona town for a name: Sedona Page. It was perfect! Every day, I think of the red rocks when I pet her sable fur.
Our family was sure having a dog would slow us down, but as I said early on, dogs are portable! That summer, we visited Ogunquit, Maine, one of our favorite oceanfront towns in the U.S. Sedona loved digging holes in the sand and chasing seagulls.
But we knew we weren’t always going to limit our travels to drive-to destinations. In fact, we had a major National Parks trip planned, and Sedona couldn’t come with us. We found an absolutely awesome doggie daycare organization, and after orientation, Sedona started going a couple of times a month in anticipation for boarding during our travels. It warms my heart that she still gets SO excited when we pull in the driveway. She adores playing with her fur-iends, and we get to watch the pups spring through the play yard on webcams.
But soon, Sedona needed a fur-iend at home! That’s when our 2.5-lb baby boy came into the picture. I saw his adorable face on social media and I couldn’t stop showing him to Kyle. Eventually, he obliged, and we brought home the tiniest dog I’d ever seen! We gave a lot of thought to travel names before we picked him up. I liked the idea of naming him after Italy—the country that kickstarted my obsession with travel. And Kyle wanted his name to have a National Park’s tie, since we’d recently come home from an incredible road trip out west. We had it: Trevi Roosevelt! Trevi for the famous Roman fountain that always grants my wishes to return to Italy, and Teddy Roosevelt for the founder of the National Parks System. (Kyle thought he was brilliant for coming up with a very clever name!)
That first summer, we did a lot of local travel as we got to know our pups’ personalities. Sedona is sassy, incredibly smart, and hyper aware of people and her surroundings. She needs anyone and everyone to pet her at all times. Trevi, while smarter than your average pup, is oblivious to his surroundings. He’s a follower, a licker, and has absolutely no sense of personal space. And at 9 lbs full grown, we’ll let it slide. (He’s the smallest sheltie ever!)
In August that year, we were set to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary—an occasion always marked by travel. But Trevi was still too small to be boarded. Where to go? Another beach vacation! We rented a house in Emerald Isle, NC, and our pups joined us for a relaxing week on the sand and in the waves.
Since then, we’ve traveled to many far-off locales, and have been so grateful to family and friends who look after our furry babies while we’re gone. Having pets makes travel a bit more logistically challenging—we can’t just pick up and go the way we used to. And we miss them terribly while we’re away. But it’s not impossible, and it makes us think about trips they can join us on, as well. Plus, those 49 weeks a year that we’re not traveling? They’re filled with sheltie snuggles, a million games of fetch, and the kind of unconditional love that only a dog can make you feel.
I mean, look at those faces!