People often ask where the dogs stay on dog show weekends. With us, of course! They stay in the motel room, or sometimes in the car if the parking lot is safe and well lit. Although careless dog owners have soured some motel owners or chains on dogs, many of the moderate priced or low end chains are fine about dogs in the room. Motel 6 even advertises that dogs are welcome. Some chains charge an additional fee (this is typical of Super 8s), and we are fine about paying an extra $5.00 or $10.00 for that. It's important that guests with dogs follow the rules though, to insure that we continue to have this option. In some areas there are no motels that will accept dogs - it may be due to local regulations, but is often due to negligent dog owners.
Argus always stayed in my motel room when he was being campaigned. He probably stayed in over 100 motels with never a problem. I always packed an old sheet to put over the spread so he could sleep with me. He's extremely trustworthy, but if I left the room for more than a few minutes I'd bring up one of those soft crates for him, and leave the TV on to keep him company. Weather permitting, he went along in the car if I went out to dinner, but if I left him behind I knew that he would be quiet and well behaved in the motel room.
It's important to follow the motel's rules on where dogs may be walked, where poop bags may be deposited and what areas of the motel might be off limits to the dog. Sometimes the lobbies are OK, at other times dogs must be kept out of all public areas. In motels with restaurants or breakfast areas, dogs need to be kept away, and they are normally not allowed at poolside. It is particularly important to ALWAYS clean up after your dog(s), never allow them to bark and disturb people in neighboring rooms, and never ever to leave them unsupervised. Always report dogs when you check in, even when motels advertise that dogs are OK, and always report IMMEDIATELY any damage. Dogs in elevators should be told to Sit and kept under control at all times.
If we are traveling with multiple dogs and staying at a motel in a safe area, we may leave two dogs (never just one) in crates in the car. Because our dogs are used to being crated and are comfortable traveling, they are fine in the car if weather permits. We check from time to time to be sure they are not making noise and disturbing anyone, and if they fuss we are careful not to park right next to any guestrooms.
Fern went along with us last weekend and stayed in her first motel, along with her Grandpa Argus. We brought up her small crate, and she slept there at night. We let her play in the room, but always kept a close eye on her, and when we took her out first thing in the morning we carried her down the hallway and out the door, to be sure she did not have an accident. Her manners were perfect.
An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who wrote: SIR: "I’ve been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I’ve never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, silverware, or pictures off the walls. I’ve never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I’ve never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And, if your dog will vouch for you, you’re welcome to stay here, too."