Last summer I did some traveling to research the area where I set my forthcoming novel, Shattered Ice. This third book in the Melting Hearts series takes place near Aspen, Colorado. It’s a gorgeous area with majestic mountains and lush forests, and one I’d never been to. Road trip!
I’ve been a fan of car trips since I was a little kid and, like everyone else, I’ve been cooped up for far too long. But a road trip means packing up the writing companions I affectionately refer to as the Insane Pound Posse (IPP). Dora, the senior member by two weeks, is a sixty-pound German Shorthaired Pointer with the temperament of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. She’s the happiest dog I’ve ever known and greets each new day with leaps of joy.
Lulu—the younger, but significantly larger—is a ninety-pound red Doberman. Her idea of the best way to greet the day is to start her first nap. She likes to conserve her energy for barking at delivery drivers, dog walkers, and everything else that passes by. This requires loads of rest, preferably on a bed or couch, depending on how her royal highness is feeling that day.
I’ve become pretty skilled at road trips with the IPP, but we usually go to our favorite hotels where they know us. I had to find a place in Colorado that could accommodate one hundred and fifty pounds of spoiled-rotten canine.
Thank goodness for vacation rental sites like Vrbo and Airbnb.
I started searching, and quickly realized that rentals in Aspen are not like rentals anywhere else. We’re talking big huge dollars. I’m a little bitty writer. So I found a place in Carbondale, about 40 minutes west of Aspen, and it was still fabulous. It had a caviar view on a fish-and-chips budget. And the best part was that they allowed dogs. Perfect.
Still, my four-legged companions had to be on their best behavior—no scratching the furniture or breaking lamps. But unlike kids, dogs are completely impervious to threats. (Ask me how I know.)
So how was I going to manage the IPP in a tricked-out house with wood floors, floor to ceiling windows, and luxury linens?
The key to this, like most challenges, is to be prepared. With that in mind, the IPP and I put together this fabulous graphic should you decide to try a rental with your furry crew. FYI, they made me add the toys and the bowls. They still haven’t forgotten the time they had to use an unfamiliar water bowl.
“It was awful,” howls Lulu.
“But she remembered our blankets, and treats!” Dora is much more forgiving, although she still hates having her nails done on spa day before we go.
Shattered Ice, the third book in my series, will be released May 31, 2022, just in time for summer vacation reading. And, if you’d like to keep up with the occasional antics of the IPP, subscribe to my newsletter at jordynkross.com and get the free prequel to the series: Jack’s Frost.