Senior Rescue Dog Now Travels the World – An Interview

I am thrilled to welcome Scarlett of “Petite Suitcase” (a blog we love!) and her darling Chihuahua Alfie to the Montecristo Travels “special correspondent” interview series — the series in which we prove we are not the only ones travelling with our pet(s) and an attempt to bring together a community of people passionate about both their pets and travel. So welcome, WELCOME! I am extra excited because we are featuring another SENIOR DOG! So… without further ado let’s get this Interview going!

First off can you tell us a little bit about yourselves? Who is who; do you have a basecamp town or country or are you nomads? How did you two find each other?

Montecristo Interview-Rome

Ah Roma!!

I’m Scarlett and I live in Italy with my husband and my dog, Alfie. Alfie and I found each other 5 years ago thanks to the Humane Society in Reno. You know the booths at the mall with the cutest rescue dogs? I saw her little tongue sticking out and knew I had to have her. They were reluctant to tell me she was 10 years old, but I thought, “Perfect.” I was living in a small apartment and I wasn’t interested in a very active dog or training a puppy. I asked how much and I will never forget how she responded, “She’s $25… but if you have a grandma or something, we do free seniors for seniors.” My heart melted. Oh and the byline on her name tag, “Chunky, old dogs need love too.”

Montecristo Interview- Piazza Navona-1

Who you calling chunky? (Alfie at Piazza Navona)

How many countries have you two been so far? Do you have a favourite (I know that is such a tough question!) and where was it the biggest challenge and why?

Since moving from to Europe from California, Alfie has traveled with us to France, Hungary, Germany and Italy. I don’t have a favorite, but staying in Italy is definitely the easiest because it’s convenient to take a train or drive. Matera and Positano were two of the most challenging places we have taken her because she is too old to do all those stairs! We usually carry her in a bag or a sling a fair amount on most trips, but those destinations really stand out to me because there were SO MANY stairs. My husband really got the short stick on those trips!

Montecristo Interview-Budapest

Ah Budapest a city full of wonder!

I have to ask — what do you believe is the best part about having a pet with you while you travel? I know that for us, having a pet brings a variety of enhanced experiences; the most unexpected and best one is that we aren’t treated like tourists. People think we live there and so the entire “vibe” changes. We don’t feel targeted by the tourism industry. What is your take?

I’m usually taking a bunch of photos so I stick out as a tourist with or without Alfie. I do think people can be friendlier and more interested in making conversation when you are traveling with a dog though. One of my favorite things about traveling with Alfie is that I never feel alone when I take her on my solo trips. I love having an aperitivo with her in a piazza and people watching.

Montecristo Interview-Matera

Never alone. Ever! Scarlett and Alfie in Matera.

Do you base your activities on pet friendliness? If you do leave your pet unattended how do you go about making sure your pet is safe?

Whether we are out exploring a new city or wandering a Christmas market, Alfie comes along for most of our activities unless it’s too hot or cold. There have been a few museums she wasn’t allowed in, so we will leave her in the room if we plan on visiting one. Alfie is an older lady and quite lazy, so she’s quite content staying in a hotel room. We have a doggie cam, so I can say with 100% certainty that she literally sleeps all day!

Montecristo Interview-on plane

Alfie waiting for her flight to take off! Hey Alfie HOW did you get out of the bag? Secret?

What is the big #1 tip you would like to share to make their lives easier when they set out for the first time with a small dog?

You know your dog the best. You can gage when they need to rest or when they are scared. Also maybe start with a shorter trip, closer to home. A transatlantic trip might be a little much to start off with.

… and invest in a sling bag! What have you learned about your dog on your journeys? Something you are convinced you would not know had you not taken this adventurous route. For us, it was tapping into fearlessness. The three of us (because I always knew this about myself) know that being 8” off the ground is not an impediment to full out adventure travel. We learned not to underestimate endurance. What about you?

Had I not taken her all these places, I would have no idea how she makes people smile! Of course she lights up my day, but I’ve the faces of grouchy old Italian men melt like gelato in August when she trots by with her Yoda ears flopping and tongue sticking out. And another thing, she HAS to have her head propped up when she’s in the carrier! Her tongue is always sticking out though, whether we are traveling or not.

Interview with Montecristo Travels.

Alfie … proving her tongue is NOT always sticking out. 🙂

How do you choose where to go next? Do you feel boxed in or limited by having your dogs as your travel partners?

I take a look at our bucket list and see where it is feasible to travel with Alfie. I am so excited to bring her to Strasbourg for Christmas this year. I only feel limited by airline companies. Alfie is not an emotional support dog, so we are limited by the airlines that will allow her to fly. Popular budget airlines like Easy Jet and Ryan air don’t accept dogs… and some airlines charge a hefty fee. I’ve actually paid more for Alfie’s two square feet on the floor than my actual seat on a flight a few times. I feel like these fees are only enforced to discourage passengers from brining pets, and that’s a shame.

I totally agree!! We feel that way about the fees too! In hotels as well as airlines. Do you have your favourite photo ever with your travel buddy while travelling? What’s the photo and why?

As you can imagine, I have several! : ) One of my favorites is our photo in front of the Eiffel Tower. I just loved the rags to riches subtext: senior rescue dog tours the City of Lights.

Montecristo Interview-Paris

Senior rescue dog tours the City of Lights!

Oh that is a good one! I wish we had more time and I hope we meet up someday! THANK YOU so much for taking the time to chat with us today. I can’t wait to see where you are off to next and I assure we will continue to follow you! I love that you are showing the world that having a dog and travel are not mutual exclusive!

Thanks very much, stay tuned for our trip to Cinque Terra. You can follow our everyday on Instagram and on the blog.

38 Comments on “Senior Rescue Dog Now Travels the World – An Interview

  1. Hi, Alfie! What an amazing new life. It’s so nice you are able to take so many adventures with your family. Dexter and I are limited to the US since he’s too big to fit in a plane carrier. I love all your wonderful photos and smile.

  2. Alfie is adorable. What a great way to live out your twilight years traveling and seeing such wonderful sites with your loved ones. Couldn’t ask for anything better. I love the candid smiling pics and the Eiffel Tower one too. That’s on my bucket list!

  3. I think I’m in love with Alfie! It warms my heart to see senior pets get adopted, and it makes me even happier to see them get to live a life of luxury. Great interview, and fantastic photos.

  4. I love reading these stories of senior dogs travelling the world and experiencing new (global) adventures with the people who love them.

  5. What a fun interview! Alfie is such a little cutie. She has the best life with her new mom. I love when people adopt seniors and help them live grand lives in their golden years!

    • Hi Debbie,
      The lady at the Humane Society almost teared up when she saw me adopt Alfie. She hugged me and said, “You just don’t understand.. no one ever wants the seniors.” Then proceeded to walk me to my car with a dog bed, a leash, a collar, and a whole bag of dog food! Thanks for reading our story!

  6. Oh, I am so happy to have been introduced to Alfie and her family today. I love senior rescue dogs, so it makes me extra happy to see Alfie enjoying the world!

    • Hi Beth,
      Now that I’ve adopted a senior, I can’t see it any other way! They are just so precious. Thank you for reading our story 🙂

    • Hey Tenacious Little Terrier,
      I use a sling from Amazon. It fits my husband better because I am quite short. I also have another large purse that works great too 🙂

  7. Hi Alfie, you are one lucky pup to be travelling this way, Layla woofs she is jealous and wants to join in. Great interview thanks for sharing

  8. These are some awesome places to visit. Though I don’t know how much a pup can appreciate such things, it’s always great to be included. And, of course, there are always new smells and sights.

    • I have seen enormous change in dogs when they travel so I am certain there is a form of appreciation. I know one pup that goes NUTS when the airline carrier gets taken off the shelf!

    • It certainly has it’s challenges, but we are blessed to have Alfie and bring her along with us on our travels. Thank you for reading our story!

  9. Aww, Alfie is such a cutie pie! I love that photo of them at the Eiffel Tower, it’s classic. Great idea to have a doggie cam with you when traveling to keep an eye on your dog if they need to stay in the room.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  10. Thank you for being a good mom, a good friend. Your heart is large enough to hold her pain and joy. You never fails to go that extra mile to make the holiday memorable. You owns a magical way to raise her spirit and make everything feel better. You are a true friend in every sense of the word.

  11. What a great travel team. I was actually having that feel-good, Cinderella story moment when I read “rags to riches”. Beautiful story. Thank you.

  12. I love reading these stories of senior dogs travelling the world and experiencing new (global) adventures with the people who love them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.