Planning to travel with my dog by train, especially with a big dog like Labrador gave me lot of sleepless nights. From the day I thought to take him along with me to my brother’s wedding, I explored every option and zeroed on train. My 3 year old Labrador is very hyper (not aggressive) and is not used to socialising a lot. He loves to be around people but is moody too. He is high on energy and like a typical labrador, he is a great attention seeker. Before I planned my journey, I did lot of research and spoke to lot many people before deciding to travel with Piku by train. I am journaling my step by step experience of travelling with my Labrador this february.
Travelling with Dog, in 11 easy steps:
1. I booked 2 tickets of AC first class in Rajdhani from New Delhi to Ranchi.
2. I got all the vaccines of my dog updated and got his medical certificate which said, he was fit to travel by train. (It was not required in journey though)
3. Later I booked 2 more tickets, assuming if we didn’t get the coupe. As seats are allotted only 4 hours prior to the journey. It did not help much as PNR numbers were different. We tried converting our coupe allotment to cabin, which was done but we were not allowed to book our dog, due to two different PNR.
4. To book a dog, we need all the seats with one PNR number.
5. We boarded the train without the booking slip of dog, and had to pay fine of 3800 approx , which is six times the booking charge of dog.
6. To travel with a dog in your cabin, you have to pay for 60 kgs of luggage. which was approx. 650 in our case.
7. On our return journey, the train stopped only for 2 minutes at the station and boarding a train is always more difficult than de-boarding. The dog will jump behind you but to make him climb, we had to hold him and push him inside the coach.
8.I kept him hydrated and he didn’t pee in the train, but he did it immediately after reaching the destination.
9. There were 3 more dogs travelling in another cabin, and he did call out to them and they responded but overall my dog was calm during whole journey.
10. I also had to request coach attendant to lower the AC temperature as cabins were kept warm due to winter season.
11. Reason of my anxiety while travelling with my dog was, I had to attend a wedding and we had 16 pieces of luggage with us. To ease that out I hired good number of coolie at boarding station as well as destination. But overall my journey was very smooth and my dog was calm and relaxed during the train ride.
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