A lot of people have asked about Cisco – “How’s he doing?” “Is he enjoying himself?” So, I thought I would write a short post about Cisco’s experience so far (from my perspective anyway). Cisco and I on a rest break.
I’m pretty sure that at about a week into our trip, Cisco thought we were crazy. We had left behind the good life to do this? Every day was a different hotel, with his bed and food in a different place. For a dog used to his routines, it was a big change. And, riding in his chariot every day was a big change as well. Although we had taken him on several training rides and a bike-camping trip prior to our departure, it’s a different thing to do every day (for Cisco and for us as well!). At first, he was often quite tired out by the time we arrived at our destination. We have lots of pictures like this one.
When he rides in the chariot, Cisco spends most of his time looking around – either sitting or standing with his head out to enjoy the view. Sometimes he lays down for short periods of time to rest. He’s always on the lookout for other dogs, kitty cats, bunnies or deer. He genuinely seems to enjoy riding in the chariot and I know that he likes that he gets to GO every day.
Riding through the vineyards in Austria.
At this point in the trip, Cisco has thoroughly adjusted to the new routine. He makes sure that we get up at 6 am to take him for a walk. Then, after his breakfast, he takes a snooze while we eat breakfast and then pack everything up to go. He waits patiently in the hotel room until everything else is carried down to the bikes and then he knows it’s his turn to go. Cisco’s favorite times of day are snack time and lunch time. As soon as we stop and he gets out of the chariot, he makes a bee-line over to me to see what I will pull out of the food bag. Of course, Cisco gets to partake in whatever we are having. It’s one of the perks of being Cisco.
One of Cisco's biggest fans in Hungary.
Another perk of being Cisco is that Europe is filled with people to hit up for a belly rub. When someone shows any kind of interest in him, he lets them pet his head for a minute and then flops over to the belly rub position. He actually gets quite a few takers – especially here in Hungary.
Fellow camper obliges Cisco with a belly rub.
Having Cisco along on the trip has been fun. He provides some comic relief from time to time. Of course there was the infamous “shower scene” early on. Then there was the 4-star hotel we stayed at for one night that had these sparkling clear glass doors. Every time we took him outside, he kept running straight into these doors leaving a big wet doggy nose streak. Sometimes he’s not the fastest learner. Then, just a few nights ago we were walking him along the banks of the Danube. He was sniffing around this clump of grass when suddenly he yelped as loud as I have ever heard him yelp and jumped about 3 feet in the air. I thought maybe he had been bitten or stung by something except that he didn’t appear to be hurt at all. Then this tiny frog hopped away from the clump of grass. Needless to say, that was Cisco’s first experience with the amphibian species.
Rest break on a rainy day.
In general, Europe is a very dog-friendly place. Dogs are allowed at most outdoor cafes and even allowed inside many restaurants. Many trains, trams, ferries and buses allow dogs. Finding accommodations which allow dogs has not been a problem, although sometimes we have to pay a nominal fee for him.
Hanging out in the chariot.
Now that we are getting ready to leave the EU, we made a trip to a veterinarian while we were in Budapest. Barry’s former co-workers in Budapest helped us find an English speaking vet that we could go to which was a huge help to us. It was quite exciting for him as he got to take a ride on the metro and on a bus to get there. Doggies in Europe must have a dog passport showing their vaccination history. Although these are not required for dogs that came in from the US (there is another set of paperwork that we had to bring to get Cisco into Germany), we figured it couldn’t hurt to have a doggie passport for Cisco. Hopefully it will make the border crossings easier. Cisco also had a blood test that will help us get him back into the EU when/if we need to do so.
When people see Cisco in the trailer when they are expecting a kid or maybe some gear, the reactions range from surprise to laughter to amusement. Many people snap pictures of him and some comment that he is a “lucky dog.” I think Cisco would agree.