On the Road with Groovy
My partner and I normally write about film, culture, and art, but today we wanted to introduce a very important member of our family who often accompanies us as we travel the world doing what we love. Meet Groovy, our four-year-old Maltipoo dog who is exactly what he sounds like—pretty groovy. And not to mention, very spoiled; even Groovy’s vet jokes that our pup has been to more places than he has. But his life is short, so why not treat him well—after all, he’s part of our pack!
Groovy is an easy travel companion. Not only is he allergy-friendly but he’s also a very practical size. Whenever we travel, the first thing we do is pull out his travel bag—into which he immediately jumps. He loves new adventures. We always make sure to pack his essentials: food, water, plastic bags, emergency kit, toys (aka friends—when we’re about to leave for a big trip, Groovy will bring over a few of his toys to pack. He insists on a stuffed pink whale and a stuffed lion he politely took from our nephew), and, most importantly, his seat belt. When we’re on the road, we take frequent breaks so he can stretch his legs. Liv tends to pre-plan a bit more, while I’m more likely to search for places along the way. We’ll often just see one of those brown ‘history signs’ and pull over to explore! From historical landmarks and beaches to national parks, as long as Groovy gets to run around a bit, he’s happy—and, frankly, so are we.
He adds so much joy to our days, but it wasn’t all ease from the beginning. Rescued from an animal shelter in Los Angeles when he was just about a year old, he moved in with us, and it quickly became evident that we had a lot of work on our hands. We immediately hired a professional dog trainer, brought Groovy along on car rides, introduced him to all of our friends. After about a year of patience and focused and persistent work, he transformed—he was a different dog. He trusted that we would keep him safe and had learned that most encounters with four-legged and two-legged strangers would lead to positive experiences.
And, of course, his safety will always be important to us—the prince must be taken care of! We have a dog seat belt that attaches to the back seat so he can sleep when he’s not in the passenger’s lap. We also always travel with his folding cup—which fits right into his bag.
If time permits, we try to break up longer trips into more than one day. During our most recent drive down the East Coast, we stopped last minute in New York City. We called a few hotels to find the best place for all three of us without having to spend a fortune to bring Groovy. We found a great hotel that allowed pets for free, right in the Village, which is our favorite place to explore when we visit. Groovy—always a charmer—greeted everyone as he entered the hotel. At night he slept in his favorite spot: right under the bed. Why? We don't know—but happy Groovy is groovy to us.
My partner has had other dogs that sometimes got sick on drives or became afraid along the way and would put up a fight—a howling concert—or just generally fuss on the road. Groovy is the opposite—surrounded by his pals, his treats, the fresh breeze on his face, and the relaxing rumble of the tires, he’s about as happy as can be as we explore the country with our little pack.
Traveling the Planet and Reducing Plastic Consumption
Patricia Santos & Miguel VazFirst / Episode 1