Evacuating With Pugs

by Ginny A.
(Key West FL. USA)

Hurricane Ivan was heading right to my home in Key West FL several years ago. There was a mandatory evacuation called and I was going to heed it because all the tropical storm websites I checked showed it as a direct hit on our little island.

I live with two pugs and an old friend of mine happens to live in the downstairs duplex with her two pugs! We would be evacuating together in my car.

Desperate to find a place where we could actually stay with four (count'em, four) pugs, we drove to the mainland and headed to the Fort Lauderdale Days Inn on Oakland Park Boulevard. There we found out that Days Inn does not usually take pets. But because they felt compassion in our situation, they allowed us each to stay in a room with our two pugs. Then, when they saw the look on our faces at what it would cost for each of us to stay separately for an indeterminate amount of time, they actually allowed us to stay in a room with two beds AND the four pugs.....albeit we had two cages with us and put two each in them.

They did charge us an extra $10 per night per dog, but we felt that was more than fair. We kept the "do not disturb" sign on the door and told the housekeeping staff that if they needed to clean the room or change the linens, we would like to know beforehand so we could be there with them. They were so accommodating that they would notify us each morning and ask if we needed anything.

The hotel was on a main avenue, so there were plenty of places to shop if we chose to do so. We were able to walk the dogs on the perimeter of the hotel's property (we always pick up after them, of course) which was heavily wooded, even in such an urban area. We knew they were a little tense with the change of scene and the hotel and the long drive, all being new to them. However, as with most pets, they were fine as long as they were with us.

I cannot say that I would pick this situation as a "vacation" with my pets, but I can say that Rikki and Maggie I will always be very grateful to the staff and management at that Days Inn for their concern and special service to two very worried and anxious pet owners. We were especially grateful when we found out that Days Inn is not a pet friendly chain, although I can't say that about them.......

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