Traveling with a pug is not easy

I’m a big fan of traveling. Prior to the pandemic, I did it a lot.

I’ve only flown a few times, so most of my traveling involves road trips, and my destinations tend to be within about eight hours of home. Let’s be honest, most of those trips have had NASCAR races as destinations.

Growing up I did a bit of camping. My mom bought a popup camper after my dad passed away when I was little, and we took that to several state parks and campgrounds (and even a NASCAR race). When my stepdad came along, we upgraded first to a big travel trailer, and then to a big fifth-wheel.

We did not have many hotel stays during that time. So when I got older and started taking trips on my own, I did not have a camper nor a truck to pull it. I tried a tent once – my wife and I camped at a NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway. It started raining Saturday night and did not stop until Tuesday. It was miserable. So after that I started doing hotels, which I learned I much preferred.

I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels in the last 10 years. A couple of years ago, I spent a good part of my summer following some of the Midwestern NASCAR races as a member of the media, and I became a platinum member at the hotel chain I was staying at due to all the days I spent there .

But that was all pre-pandemic.

I’ve always had this dream of having a motor home and just traveling the country. I once wanted to be a travel journalist so someone would pay me to do it. But during the pandemic, our office was closed and all of our staff was working from home. Internet connectivity has gotten so good in many places that I realized it would be the perfect time to have a motor home, because I could travel anywhere and still do my job during the day.

Around this time I also discovered #vanlife. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a big thing on YouTube where people convert a sprinter van into a mini motor home and live out of it for a year, two years, maybe longer. Now, I do not have a dream of being homeless, but something about doing that seems amazing – making the entire country your backyard.

However, I have a wife, two kids and a dog, so #vanlife is not very practical. But I’m back on the motor home kick.

I’ve watched so many motor home reviews on YouTube in the last six months. I’ve viewed countless walk-throughs and dreamed of buying my own.

This weekend we are taking just our second trip that includes a hotel stay since the pandemic.

We’ve had a dog for the last 11 years. Our previous pug, Bella, presented us with no problems because we had plenty of people willing to watch her. Other than stealing tissues whenever she had the chance, she did not cause a lot of trouble.

However, our 1-year-old pug Mac is a bit of a different story. His mannerisms could best be described as Tazmanian-devil-esque. As I write this column, he is trying to get attention in the other room and so far has stolen papers four different times, pulled my wife’s belt out of her robe and dragged it across the floor, stolen one of the boys’ sandals and ripped the squeaky out of one of his toys.

Most of the time he’s a good boy – it’s just that 1% of the day that he’s not.

Needless to say people have been a little bit less willing to watch him when we travel. This weekend, Mac is going to stay in a hotel with us for the very first time. It’s sure to be an adventure. If we had a motor home, we would not need to worry about it.

But while I’ve been shopping for a motor home, it’s also quite apparent that I can not afford to buy one. So I guess we’ll see how the dog does this weekend at the hotel.

If that does not work out, does anyone want to pug-sit in the future? He’s really well behaved.

Eric Young is the editor of the Huron Daily Tribune. He can be reached at

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