Thursday, November 19, 2015

Traveling With Pets: is it Possible for A Singer?

photo courtesy of Simone Osborne

By Lily Guerrero

Are you thinking of getting a pet, but are unsure of how they will fit into your travel schedule? Here are some tips from Sexi Sopranos who have made a lifestyle out of having a +1 for their performances!

1. Elizabeth Caballero and Schumie the Pomeranian: It’s All About the Love!

Liz Caballero says the unconditional love that comes from a pet is the reason she brings Schumie with her: “it's like bringing a little piece from home...these little guys have a way of making a really crappy day no so bad anymore. Say you had a bad day in rehearsal or your performance was not your best; once they see you they jump on you and shower you with love and affection, so then you forget all about it.” Liz also enjoys going on walks with him or taking him to the park during her free time. Liz suggests smaller breeds for their ease of travel. She too stresses the importance of socializing your pup with all kinds of people and animals before traveling, as their boho-dog lifestyle will have them meeting all kinds of people! Next up, Schumie will be making his debut with Opera Coeur d’Alene in their production of La boheme, where Liz will be singing Musetta.

2. Simone Osborne and Gatsby the Morkie: Think Small for International Travel

photo courtesy of Simone Osborne

Gatsby is a frequent travel companion of Simone, and he even has his own Instagram account: gatsbysmommy! Gatsby is well trained, doesn’t bark, enjoys staying in his carrier, and is comfortable around strangers making him especially suited for international travel. This Morkie, weighing under 20 pounds, travels in cabin during flights. Simone has trained him to be adaptable to loud orchestra rehearsals, unfamiliar transportation methods, and the sound of her voice in a small practice room. Logistically, Simone says, “know the rules of international travel. Understand the vaccination schedule and plan ahead, especially in the pet's first six months. There are about three months they cannot fly internationally because their vaccines haven't kicked in fully yet. Every flight will cost an extra $50-200€ to take a pet with you. This, plus all vet bills, including a $50-$100 mandatory pet check up and paper signing EVERY TIME you travel from Europe to North America or vice versa, can get quite costly. Factor this in when considering adding a pet to your life.”

3. Kaitlyn Costello, Beans the Chihuahua, and Bella the Boston Terrier: Leave the Grandpuppies With Your Parents

Kaitlyn usually brings Beans the Chihuahua on jobs with her, but Bella likes to stay in one place with a big yard, like Kaitlyn’s parents’ house. She enjoys bringing Beans because “living on the road can be so lonely at times, and it's nice to have the company.” She suggests that you be upfront with the company about your little companion. Make sure your contract states you will be housed in a place where pets are welcome. “The last thing you want to do is burn a bridge with a company because you were not forthright. Most companies understand and accommodate you!”

4. Daveda Karanas and Koukla the Chinese Crested Dog: Find A Trustworthy Pet Sitter

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Daveda advises that you check quarantine regulations before bringing your dog along. She also suggests finding a trustworthy pet sitter who can come and check on your pet at home multiple times a day, which is easier if you live in a larger city. Lastly, Daveda says, “Bringing a pet with you is a lot of responsibility, but well worth it. For me, it feels like home when I have her with me. I love exploring the area with her, [and] taking in the new sights, sounds and smells!”

Do you bring your pet on gigs with you? Comment below!