The best road-trip pawtner
In the summer of 2018, 24-year-old Parker Wilson decided to take some vacation time from his career as a firefighter to fulfill his dream of road-tripping Canada with his four-legged best friend, Oakley, a two-year-old Vizsla.
Outfitted with a yellow, vintage 1980 Volkswagen camper van, Parker packed himself and Oakley a bag full of the necessities, which obviously included peanut butter and some chew toys, and then set off for their two-week adventure.
They drove 3,905 kilometres from Caledon, Ontario all the way to Kelowna, British Columbia. The trip consisted almost entirely of hiking, swimming and exploring dog-friendly breweries. Every evening after sunset, Parker and Oakley would retreat to their camper to curl up together to recharge for another day full of new adventures.
Parker describes one of the most essential qualities a pet parent can have while travelling with their dog is patience. You need to ensure you plan ahead and give yourself more time than normal because your dog still needs to follow their daily routine.
Every time I stopped to get gas or have something to eat, I would make sure he got an opportunity to stretch his legs. If Oakley was getting restless, I knew I had to pull over so he could sniff, run and do his business. You can’t expect to travel with a high-energy dog and make the same time you would on your own.
However, Parker says that devoting the extra time is definitely worth it. Oakley provided opportunities for Parker to socialize with people that otherwise he wouldn’t have interacted with. Oakley also gave him lots of company, whether it was at night keeping each other warm or during a desolate stretch of the drive. Nevertheless, Parker stated that the best part of having Oakley on the trip was the happiness he felt while watching Oakley live his best life sprinting through mountain trails or paddling in glacial rivers. Watching an overjoyed Oakley was better than the views of the Okanagan Valley.
Parker is counting down the days until he can do another road trip with his best friend, but em
phasizes that heavy planning should be considered before taking off. This includes planning routes, food and budget. Road tripping in a camper van is definitely a cost-efficient method of travel and very pet friendly but Parker said gas prices set him back quite a bit.
To help Parker and other people aspiring to travel with their furry mates, you can apply for a No Fee* BMO® OSPCA CashBack® Mastercard®*. Not only will you get up to 5% cash back in your first 3 months*, but with every purchase you make, you will be supporting the life- saving work done at the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society. Already have a No Fee BMO CashBack Mastercard? Pawsome! Add the Ontario SPCA option onto your existing account by calling the number on the back of your card.
Travelling with your pet is a life-changing opportunity that should never be restrained by a fuel gauge and earning cash back can help! Visit www.bmo.com/ospca to take the first step towards planning your trip on four wheels with your four-legged best friend.
For every animal you save
For every animal you save, every animal who feels loved in their last moments, and for everything else you do; thank you and God Bless.