I’ve conducted many interviews, but my latest one with the world’s most traveled dog, Mr. T, has been one of my most enjoyable and fun ones. Mr. T has seen the world. In Italy alone, he’s visited more cities and taken more selfies than I have.
On a cold January afternoon, Mr. T, his mom and I sat down in a quaint Manhattan coffee shop on the Lower East Side and talked about his travels. In the interview, Mr. T opened up about his favorite destinations, least favorite airport and most embarrassing travel faux paws.
Do you remember when and where you caught the travel bug?
I was four months old when mom told me that we needed to go to Toronto for my uncle’s wedding. I was very scared and excited at the same time. So I mustered up some balls (that I had back then), sipped on some beer from my neighbor and jumped on a plane. The airport, plane, table scraps, being carried around by numerous relaxed, vacation mode humans—my entire trip was nothing short of being in la-la land. I learned two things from my 1st trip. I was born to travel. Never drink beer again.
So how often do you travel?
At least six trips a year. In 2016, I did ten trips; excluding travelling to over 15 cities in Italy alone. I like to keep myself busy, you see.
Switzerland! I hear we have our own public restrooms!
Do you typically travel by yourself or with others?
Usually, it’s just mom and I. I would love to travel by myself but mom doesn’t let me. Some nonsense rule says that if you have paws, you need to be accompanied by a human (eye roll). I have also travelled with friends, both human and canine. I am part of the family. A very extended family.
What is the place you most like returning to and why?
Boston. Although born on Long Island, N.Y., Boston is where I grew up. I love meeting up with old furry friends and going to my old stomping (peeing) grounds. Everyday is like walking down memory lane.Of all the places you’ve been to, what’s your least favorite? Why?
Siena, Tuscany Italy. Blame it on bad timing but mom and I were there the day of the Palio (famous horse racing). Not only did we get hosed in Campo (customary pre Palio), but we also got stuck in between the narrow streets of Siena while the historical costume parade put on by the different families/heritages was being held. We could not move at all for 30 minutes and it was getting claustrophobic, so mom propped me up on her shoulders. Later we went to a pizza joint where the server was rude to me, unlike my excellent experience in the rest of this hospitable country. Needless to say, I looked like a drenched rat and was having one bad hair day during this all.
What was your most embarrassing travel moment?
I have a few. But my top two would be in Paris and Puerto Rico.
I was in a restaurant in Paris when this elegant looking woman came up to me and asked to take a picture with me. I obliged and she picked me up. Right as she shot our selfie, I thanked her by kissing her nose and burping at the same time. I am pretty sure that she smelt my exquisite lunch, Beef Bourguignon.
I love beaches. Who doesn’t? But after I visit them, I have a hard time… you know… pooping. So right after chasing the waves in San Juan, I was straining myself, in a corner, to get it out of me. The straining was so hard that my long, wilted red lipstick made its entry and was hanging the whole time I was trying to poop. However, what I thought was a private moment, was not. I had onlookers pointing at me and laughing as they took pictures of me in my most vulnerable state. I lost my dignity that day.
What’s your least favorite airport?
Chicago O’Hare. It is too big and chaotic. My little paws take forever to go from one terminal/gate to another. Mom and I have to date, never flown out of that airport on time—the flight is either cancelled or delayed—and I hold it from not peeing all over myself. On the other hand, I have made some friends during our long transits. So there is a trade-off, I guess.
What are the top 3 places you’re burning to go to?
Switzerland, Brazil and Sicily. Australia was on this list but after Boo and Pistol (Johnny Depp’s dogs) got kicked out of there, I lost interest.
Can you share some of your travel secrets and tips?
- Be well behaved and well socialized, especially in public places like planes/trains/ferries, restaurants, bars, cafes, etc. No one likes a cranky child—human or furry.
- Everyone knows about the world famous pet-friendly hotel chains like Four Seasons, Hilton, W, Kimpton, Loews, etc. But in addition to these there are many cozy accommodations where the likes of me are welcome. Have your parent do the research before your trip. Some hotels require a pet fee or deposit. Most do not allow for pets to be left in the room unattended. Newer options such as Airbnb may or may not include details such as whether the accommodation is pet-friendly. I have stayed in few Airbnb accommodations where it was listed as not pet-friendly but upon inquiry (along with my adorable picture in a bow tie and beret), the hosts were happy to host me. Some even ensured that bowls, treats and toys were ready upon my arrival.
- Make sure you are up to date on all your veterinary shots. For international destinations, ensure it is taken within the time frame specified and you have the right microchip number (15 digits for international). Do not squander money and time only to be turned away at airports. Get the right medical paperwork from your USDA approved vet and attestation from the FDA before jumping on a plane and flying across the ocean to pawwwwrty!
You can follow Mr. T’s travels on his Facebook page: T Munde