Ask A Cougar: Traveling With Your Younger Boyfriend (and a Dog)

When I told a friend that Michael, my younger boyfriend, and I were taking a road trip to San Diego for the weekend, I could see her eyebrows arch even though we were talking by phone. Then I heard her question even though I was the one talking, “What, Pam, could you possibility have to talk about on a 10 hour car ride with a guy nearly half your age?”

Well, Cougarites, let me tell you what I told my friend. Finding something to talk about is the least of your problems when traveling with your cub. It’s keeping up with all the action that really counts. Because if you’re traveling with a younger boyfriend, you will always be on the move and the word, “risk,” will lose all meaning.

Here’s an example from our trip. First off, be prepared for the action to start early. Michael picked me up at 6:30 AM, just as I was falling asleep. So I was kind of grumpy and whiny. I forgot to pack my toothbrush, clothes, underwear, dress shoes, makeup and face cream.

Eventually we hit the road – just the three of us. Yup, Michael insisted on bringing, Nyxi, a puppy that we share in a happy joint custody sort of way (don’t ask). Nyxi is a Border Collie/Lab mix and frankly, she is not only the cutest little thing in the whole world, but also the sweetest, the smartest, and the best behaved. I could hardly say no.

By the time we rolled into San Diego over five hours later, it was late at night so we headed right for the pet hotel. But there was a little hitch concerning the little bitch and they wouldn’t admit her. Something to do with not having papers showing she’d had all her shots. Another thing I'd forgotten to pack.

So there we were, a tired cougar and her cub, and one homeless pup. We drove to The Hilton where we were staying and parked in the main entrance to strategize about what to do with Nyxi.

Michael checked his cell phone for the time and then looked at me somberly. “Okay, here’s the plan,” he said. Suddenly he turned to the pup sitting alert in the back seat, one ear up, one ear flopped over. “Get down! Down!” he ordered. “The valet might see you!” Nyxi yawned widely and started licking her crotch.

“Okay,” he said turning back to me. “It’s 21:25 hours. I’m going to check us in with the bags and maneuver to get a room on the main floor with a balcony. That way we can pass the dog over.” I blinked pretending to follow his plan. “You drive out and pull into the service entrance we passed on the way in," he continued. "I’ll call you at approximately 21:34 at which point, we rendezvous in the back alley. You got that?”

I blinked again. “Why don’t we just ask them if dogs are okay?”

Michael looked as though the pup had just ordered a double shot of Tequila in Spanish. “When have you ever heard of a Hilton letting dogs in?” he said.

“Just a thought,” I shrugged.

“Look,” he said, “I know this is some serious G.I. Joe shit but we have no choice here.” He slapped my knee making me jump. “Let’s make this happen.”

“Now I know how Barbie feels,” I thought to myself as I watched him jump out of the car and race into the lobby, bags thrown over his wide shoulders.

I drove away from the hotel to find the service entrance. In true Barbie fashion, I missed the turn three times because I was talking to a friend on the phone. When I at last pulled in, I spotted a shadowy figure waving me over to the darkest end of the driveway.

“What the hell took you so long?” said Michael opening the door. Nyxi jumped up and down like she hadn’t seen him for 7 years and he bundled her up in my yellow Ralph Lauren towel like a sausage. All I could see was her little white tipped black tail wagging crazily. Without a word, Michael turned and darted back into the shadows, scurrying over some bushes and disappearing into the recesses of the hotel grounds. “Barbie needs a martini,” I muttered to myself as I headed back to the main hotel entrance.

As I walked through the lobby, I couldn’t resist asking the concierge, “So, what’s your policy on pets?”

“Oh, we love pets,” she said excitedly. “We’re a pet-friendly hotel.”

I gave her a big smile and the thumbs up. “Cool,” I said. “Thanks.”

I was still grinning stupidly by the time I made it to the hotel room. I imagined Michael would be wearing camouflage gear by now, with an UZI over a shoulder and warrior markings on his face. The pup would be sporting a lopsided helmet and growling fiercely. Instead Michael opened the door butt naked. The pup was drinking water out of the ice bucket.

“What are you grinning about,” Michael said scratching his balls as he held the door open for me.

“It’s a pet friendly hotel,” I said almost regretting telling him. I would loved to have seen how he’d get the pup out again.

“Oh, I knew that,” he said waving me away.

“You did not!” I said suspiciously.

“Sure I did,” he said laughing. “I thought you needed a little excitement, that’s all. Got to keep you on your toes!”

I pushed my way past him and dropped on the bed. The weekend had not even started and already I was exhausted. "Next time, it's a spa with the girlfriends," I promised myself.