The Best Interview With Millie La Rue and her Travelling Pose!
I am thrilled to welcome Millie La Rue and her posse to the Montecristo Travels “Special Correspondent” series—the series that proves we are not the only ones travelling the globe with our pets. It’s a first step in building a community of people passionate about both their pets and travel. So welcome, WELCOME!
First, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves: Who is who? Where is home? How did you find each other?
Thanks for having us! I’m Darsey Mitchell and these are my Yorkies! None of our babies are related. They range in age from 4 to 9–1/2 years old. Millie is the oldest and pretty much runs the show around the house. She stays beside me all day long. Addie Mae is so sweet. She loves to play, and she and Tulip are always together. They bonded immediately when Tulip joined our family. Tulip is our rescue baby and is missing one of her eyes due to the severe neglect that she suffered. She also has limited vision in her remaining eye, but she doesn’t know any of this, so we don’t tell her. She is sooo happy now. She runs and plays every day and always has kisses for everyone. Katie is our little shy and sensitive one. But she is also the one who starts all of the fights at home! They all get along very well together, playing and sleeping together every day.
We call South Carolina home, but our immediate families both live in Tennessee so we travel there often for visits, and of course the fur babies come along too!
How many countries have you all been to so far? And how many states? Do you have a favourite spot? (I know that is such a tough question but I’m guessing Paris?) And where was the biggest challenge to travel and why?
Millie and I have travelled the most together. It is only recently, since my husband and I purchased our AIRSTREAM trailer, that we started traveling together will all of the fur babies. Until then, it was impossible for all of us to travel together because NO HOTELS here in the United States will accept four doggies in a room. Maybe two, or even three … but not four. Until recently, we had five, but we just lost our little Elvis a few months ago after 16–1/2 years.
The reason we bought the Airstream was so that we could start vacationing together as a family. Until then, I would take trips with only Millie to visit friends and my husband would stay home with the other pups. Or our grown children would stay at the house and watch them.
Millie and I have been to Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, and Puerto Rico. She is a GREAT little traveler. We have been to many states in the United States together. Last year, I rented an apartment in Paris for one whole month with Millie. We had friends come and stay with us during that time. It was GREAT!
I have found that the easiest place to travel with doggies has been Europe. They just love dogs and don’t have a lot of hang-ups about dogs in general. For the most part, you can take them into many of the nicest restaurants with no problem. The hardest place to travel is right here in my own country: the United States. I don’t understand our problem with dogs! They are not allowed inside restaurants, anywhere! There are many places they can’t even go OUTSIDE at a restaurant.
On our recent trip, I also found many parks they can’t go to as well. So they can’t go inside, they can’t go outside, and there are even some RV parks that limit the number of dogs you can have. So there were a few places where we were unable to stay because the limit was two or three dogs. So you could have two Great Danes that weighed 150 pounds each but you can’t stay with four tiny Yorkies that weigh 5–6 pounds each. There weren’t too many places with those restrictions, but we did run into a few of them. Eating out was a challenge because finding a pet-friendly restaurant was difficult, but with some effort, we did find them! So it IS POSSIBLE. The places ARE OUT THERE. You just have to do your homework.
I hear and totally understand your frustration. The lack of access in North America is why we travel mostly to Europe. I also think that this is why so many North Americans think it’s hard to travel with their pets. When really it’s just hard to travel with a pet (or four!) in North America. I have to ask: what do you believe is the best part about having your pets with you while you travel? I know that for us, having a pet with us brings a variety of perks. The most unexpected and best perk 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?
We just love having them with us. We worry about them being at home when we are away from them. We miss them, just like you miss your “real” children and it makes us want to hurry and get back home so we can see them. When they are with us, we feel that we can enjoy our trip more because we are all together. They all travel so well and are just LOVING travelling together with us for the first time! And yes, we get LOTS of attention everywhere we go! It is quite a sight to see us walking down the street with four little Yorkies dressed in matching harnesses and matching hair bows. Everyone stops to take pictures too!
You mentioned that you are currently on the road with an Airstream? With ALL the dogs? How is it going so far?
Well, we are on a 6-week WESTERN ADVENTURE with all four Yorkies! Travelling from the East Coast to the West Coast and back again. We started on June 1st and will finish mid-July. We will have been to Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and back to South Carolina.
Millie has been “blogging” about it on her Facebook page since the trip started. She is reporting on “the good, the bad, and everything in-between,” so the posts are quite entertaining! We tell about some of the funny things we are seeing and the little spats that happen behind the trailer walls, and we’re even giving little historical lessons on some of the sites we are seeing.
That is fantastic! What a nice way tot engage with your fans!
People are commenting back that they are really enjoying the posts! At almost every stop, we have met up with some of our Facebook friends whom we have only known through comments, but are now meeting in person! This has been one of the highlights of our trip. It has been so much fun to put a real face and voice to the people we have been chatting with for so long on Millie’s Facebook page.
We have even met up with several people on the road. We met the greatest group of motorcycle ladies when we stopped for gas. We were taking pictures of the four doggies and the motorcycle gals saw us and came up. They were travelling across country on their Harleys, raising money for an injured female veteran so they could build a new home for her! Of course Millie had to have her picture taken with them as well! They are all huge doggie lovers and many of them had stuffed doggies on their motorcycles since they were unable to bring their real dogs with them on this cross-country trip! How cool is that?! If you want to check them out, you can find them on Facebook at Women’s Freedom Ride.
What have you learned about your pets on the road—something you are convinced you would not have known had you not taken this adventurous route. For us, it’s the fearlessness that seems to come out when on the road and the fact that we are far less likely to coddle the small dog. We learned not to underestimate endurance. What about you?
I think that this trip has taught both of us that our little babies really don’t care where they are, as long as they are with us. They are not fragile little things. They are really very sturdy and do all that we expect of them. Of course, they are very spoiled and we always tend to their needs before our own because they can’t do for themselves. I guess that it the one thing I would stress about travelling with your little doggies: even if you might want to go somewhere, you need to tend to your babies FIRST, and sometimes that means that you will miss something that you wanted to do. But that is part of travelling with them. They offer us all of their love and we have to take care of them.
Our little Katie got sick during the first week of our trip. She wasn’t feeling well one day and we sort of held back on the touring for that day, just keeping it low-key. By that night she still wasn’t acting quite right. We called an emergency vet first thing the next morning (of course it was a weekend: these things never happen on a workday … lol) and took her in to the clinic which was over an hour away from where we were staying. It turned out Katie was severely constipated and was going to require several enemas. She needed to stay at the clinic for the entire day. We didn’t do anything that whole day and just waited around for the vet to call. We drove around in the vicinity near the vet, so we would be right there when he called to say, “Come and get her.” Katie has been fine for the rest of the trip, but things like this are sure to come up on trips, so be prepared.
Absolutely, and I am so glad she was ok! When overseas I always recommend looking up and contacting ahead of time a local vet. So you pre-establish a relationship and possibly find one that speaks a language you can communicate in. How do you choose where to go next? Do you feel boxed in or limited by having your dogs as your travel companions?
Our next trip is a beach trip for a week in September. It will be a much more relaxing trip because we will be parked at the same place for the entire week. Packing up and moving every few days does get exhausting. I think that when we plan another long trip like this again, we will learn from this trip and try to stay longer at each stop. It will make for a more relaxing experience.
Slow travel is something we are embracing as well. THANK YOU so much for taking the time to chat with us today. I can’t wait to see where you are all off to next and I assure you we will continue to follow you on the Millie La Rue FB page, and on Instagram. I love that you are showing the world that having multiple dogs does not mean you can’t travel! Maybe all this travel will lead to another cookbook!