Andy Cohen knows what it’s like to be a busy dog dad.
When he isn’t working on his radio and TV shows, including Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” and FOX’s “Love Connection,” Cohen is the loving owner of a 5-year-old beagle-foxhound mix named Wacha (named after Cardinal’s pitcher Michael Wacha).
And if there’s one thing that’s important to him and his faithful companion, it’s feeling at home wherever you are.
“When you have a dog, you’re very conscious of, you know, ‘where can I bring my dog?’” Cohen said in an open Q&A for Residence Inn’s “Dog Days of Summer” pet adoption and event series. The hotel chain teamed up with Cohen and the North Shore Animal League to both promote its dog-friendly accommodations and also raise awareness for pet adoption — an issue close to Cohen’s heart. “I always knew that when I got a dog that I would rescue him or her.”
As a busy traveler, Cohen had some sage advice for pet owners who are always on the go. Travel + Leisure sat down with Cohen to talk about how he travels with his dog.
T+L: How did you get involved with North Shore Rescue League?
Andy Cohen: “I got involved through Beth Stern who turned me on to it. I went there when I was looked at a bunch of dogs and they helped me out like crazy. And I ended up finding Wacha on PetFinder ... He was from West Virginia and so this rescue organization called See Spot Rescue was flying him in from West Virginia. I just fell in love with his picture and said, ‘I have to have him. I want to meet him.’ I met him a day after he got here.”
How long have you had him?
You mentioned that you don’t like taking him on planes — can you elaborate?
“He loves cars, he loves road trips. He’s taken one plane ride in his life which was from West Virginia to me ... If I’m going to travel with him, I want it to be fun and easy.”
What’s one road trip that was really memorable?
“Basically, any road trip out to the beach. He loves it there. I love it there. And I have to say, he loves being in the car, too. It’s like he’s definitely a dog who’s fine with being in the car. He either curls up and goes to bed, or he looks out the window, or sits up with me.”
What’s your best advice for traveling with a pet?
“Figure out where the pet friendly places are ... [Wacha] likes going where he’s welcome, so Residence Inn is great for him because they actually love having dogs and they make it very easy for you to have a dog. They have kitchens in their suites and they coordinate grocery deliveries so you can get pet food and they tell you where the trails are.”
“And just make sure you have everything you need — bring a toy and bring a treat and bring water, and all that stuff. But make sure you know where you’re going. I just think when you know where you’re going, you’re going somewhere that’s going to work for him.”
How do you like to travel when it’s not for work?
“I love to travel when it’s not for work. I love traveling. I like going anywhere tropical or anywhere with a beach.”
What do you never travel without?
“Sunblock, camera, music. I’m pretty simple...I carry-on everywhere. I haven’t checked a bag, I think, in 20 years.”
Where is one place you’ve gone that surprised you?
“There’s a place called Raja Ampat, Indonesia, that’s in the middle of nowhere that is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. It’s the most untouched by man and the diving is spectacular and the nature is spectacular. You won’t see a lot of people, and it’s hard to get to. I would go back there in a second...I went twice, actually. I went three years ago and before that, eight years ago.”
Where is one place you’d love to go?
“I’ve never been to Africa ... I’d love to go on safari.”
Where else does Wacha like to go?
“I mean, he’s a dog, so it’s pretty simple. Anywhere he can run around.”
Window or aisle?
Do you like airplane food?
“Yeah, I’ll eat airplane food. The food is fine; I’m not going to complain. The good thing is they bring you the nuts first so you can fill up on nuts.”
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.