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As many pet owners know vacation time can bring up a number of problems. What to do with the pets? Do we leave them or bring them with us? Who will look after them? Will we be able to afford pet sitting? How will we enjoy our holiday knowing our pets are probably missing us? Instead of a nice week or more of relaxation and fun one can get stuck worrying how your pets are faring.

Richard and I have come across these problems. Last year we prepared for our annual trip to Cornwall. In previous years it had been care-free and a simple ‘lets pack and drive over to Cornwall’. Now it isn’t so easy. This time we had 2 pigeons and 2 gerbils living with us.

So… Thinking caps on… Maybe we should take our pigeons with us? Mum can pop in to feed the gerbils and give them fresh water. Their care is fairly hands-off.

Note: Our gerbils live in a long fishtank and have many tubes and containers to run around in. Suri and Petra came from a rescue centre so we don’t really know how old they are, and they aren’t very tame (they don’t really like being handled). Unfortunately we lost Petra late last year to a tumor.

Ok, the gerbils care was settled, now what about the pigeons? Taking them with us didn’t seem like a bad idea. We’d be staying in a static caravan so they’d be protected from the elements and from predators. We bought a wire cage run so that they could be out on the grass in it. The only problem was that I had discovered that Georgie gets car sick. Yep, you heard me, car sick! For some reason I never really thought birds could get motion sickness but I had clear proof of it when I took Georgie to the vet and on the way back she had had enough and vomited up her breakfast. Nice.

This happen a few more times whenever I had to take Georgie somewhere in the car. The thought of subjecting her to a 5-6 hour drive to Cornwall was too inhumane to us so we asked a friend if she could look after her while we were away. With that settled we turned our attention to Elmo. I asked his previous carer if he ever got motion sickness and the answer was ‘no’. Great!

Elmo in travel cage

Elmo in the car

So with a little bit of an anxious mind – we didn”t really know how Elmo would take to being in the car for 5-6 hours – we put him in the voyageur carrier (with a towel for him to grip onto and a bowl of seed at the back), secured the carrier with a seatbelt, and set off to Cornwall. We made regular stops to give Elmo the opportunity to drink and to make sure he was alright, and eventually we made it to Cornwall with our pigeon. The holiday went brilliantly and Elmo enjoyed it too. He didn’t seem to mind the car journey at all.

We think that we might take both pigeons this time since I have now noticed that Georgie has stopped vomiting after a car journey. Hooray!