The Things We Do for Love: “I Created a Dream Vacation for My Dogs … and Me!”
Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, shares stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.
Janice Costa’s job in the design field requires a lot of travel and time away from her pets. She looks forward to spending vacations with her dogs, Lexie and Jessie, so much that she created her own dream vacation business they could enjoy together — with other dog-loving friends.
In 2009, Costa, of Bethpage, New York, became frustrated that she couldn’t find a good vacation spot that also welcomed dogs. "When you work full-time, you want to spend as much time as you can with your dogs when you’re not working," she says. "But when you go places, no one wants two large dogs. They love to do stuff, and I love to be with them, but there just wasn’t much for us to do together."
So Costa went about creating the ideal vacation for dogs and their people. "I literally sat down and asked, ‘What are my dogs' favorite things in the world?’ and built a whole vacation experience around it," she says.
Soon, Canine Camp Getaway of New York was born. Now, twice a year in June and September, dogs and their owners can meet at the Roaring Brook Ranch for a four-day vacation in the Adirondack Mountains near Lake George, New York.
Costa says at first not everyone thought her business was viable. “Pretty much everyone thought I was insane!” she says. But she ignored the naysayers and continued her work.
A Dream Vacation Spot
Canine Camp Getaway offers numerous activities for dogs of all ages, abilities and temperaments. From swimming and lure coursing to freestyle dancing and agility, dogs and their humans are never at a loss for something to do. The camp staff includes trainers and veterinarians to take care of a dog’s every need.
For humans, there are workshops, craft classes, an onsite spa, horseback riding, and nearby shopping and other options. Of course, at night the crowd gets together for "Yappy Hour" at the bar, and the restaurant is dog-friendly.
Now going into its fifth year, each nearly-sold-out camp session draws more than 70 dog lovers and their best friends. Costa says the "campers" keep in touch throughout the year, and the rate of returning guests is high. “It’s special even though we only see each other once a year," Costa says. "We 'get' each other. This is a place where you can be crazy about your dog and people understand."
What do you do for love? We’re looking for the funny, sweet and special stories that will make other pet parents smile. Email us at [email protected] to share your story. Please put "The Things We Do for Love" in the subject line.