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Archive for the 'Pet Travel Destinations' Category

January 1, 2014
Maya Happy New Year

Hello 2014!

Happy New Year!

Before we bring in the new year, I want to take a look back at how we spent our holiday.

It was a long drive from Kansas to Texas and back. But it was great to see family again this holiday. We had a great time visiting my parents, seeing my brother and sister and my sister’s kids. You can see those photos of our visit on our other blog through the Wordless Wednesday blog hop hosted by Blog Paws. But first, check out these photos from our road trip:

Maya Pierson Car Kurgo Dec 2013

If Maya wasn’t wearing a dog seat belt, she’d be trying to come into the front seat.

Maya Car December 2013 03

“Are we there yet?”

Maya Pierson Car December 2013 01

When Maya finally realizes it is going to be a long car ride, she and Pierson cuddle together and go to sleep.

Maya Pierson Car December 2013 04

Maya and Pierson use each other as a pillow as they ride in the back seat of the car on our road trip.

Maya Pierson Car December 2013 05

More cuddling. Do you see their dog seat belts? Maya and Pierson can still lie down while wearing them.

Pierson Car December 2013 02

Maya and Pierson usually cuddle up together in the back seat of the car, but they have plenty of room for their own space too.

Car Speedometer 88888

Our 2003 Toyota Camry car reached 88888 miles while on our road trip back from Texas to Kansas.

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Saved by Pet Friendly Motel 6

Author: MayaAndPierson
December 30, 2013

As you may know, we make an annual road trip from Kansas to Texas and back every year for the holiday. This year was particularly adventurous. Did you hear about the ice storm that hit Oklahoma? We experienced it first-hand and Motel 6 was our savior.

We heard an ice storm was coming and had hoped to beat it. Our plan was to get through Oklahoma City before stopping for the night. We had a pet friendly hotel in mind, one we had stayed at before. But travel took longer than we thought and the ice storm hit before we could reach it. For safety reasons, we had to stop a little early.

Oklahoma Ice Storm 001

Our car was too light colored to get a good photo so this is a photo of another car covered with ice during the storm.

Oklahoma Ice Storm 002

Ice coating the brown grass looks like abstract art.

Oklahoma Ice Storm 003

After the ice storm, trees, grass, cars, etc. were coated with over a quarter of of an inch of ice.

Oklahoma Ice Storm 004

This clump of brown grass coated with ice looks like coral under the ocean.

We were nowhere near the normal hotel chains we stay at – Red Roof Inn or Baymont Inn Suites. So I used our GPS to locate nearby hotels and began making phone calls. I must have called 10 places before I finally found a place that was pet friendly with no size or breed limits and didn’t charge extra fees for pets. That place was Motel 6.

I was very reluctant about calling Motel 6 but I was desperate. I remember Motel 6 as being a rundown hotel with smelly rooms. They must have changed their image because that is not at all what I found.

When I called and asked about pets, they immediately said yes without asking about the size, number, or breed. When I asked if they had extra fees for pets, they said no. Thank goodness! I was so happy about finding a hotel that I didn’t care about the condition of the rooms. But lo and behold, when I walked into our room I was amazed.

Maya and Pierson Motel 6 001

Maya and Pierson are so happy about being able to get out of the car and into a nice comfortable motel room.

Maya at Motel 6

Maya relaxes on a blanket I put beside my bed at the Motel 6.

Pierson Motel 6

The floors of this particular Motel 6 were linoleum. I’ve never had a motel room with strictly linoleum floors but it seems like a good idea for pet friendly.

It did not smell at all. Generally, when we stay at the Red Roof Inn or even at the Baymont Inn Suites, the pet friendly rooms smell like cigarette smoke! Even when we ask for a smoke-free room!!! My thinking is they converted their smelly smoke rooms into pet friendly rooms, assuming one stinky smell is like any other. Not so with Motel 6.Our room at the Motel 6 was simple, but nice. We weren’t provided with a coffee pot, an alarm clock, or shampoo. But we had a TV, a dresser, a couple tables, and a very comfortable bed. Since we were just stopping over, we didn’t need anything fancy. We just needed a safe and comfortable place to stay the night.

For under $60 a night, the Motel 6 was quite a bargain! We liked our stay at the Motel 6 in Oklahoma City so much that we stayed at Motel 6 in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the way back too. It was just as nice. And it didn’t smell either.

Motel 6 literally saved us. Without it, we had nowhere else to go. Who knows what could have happened if we kept trying to drive through that ice storm. Thank you Motel 6! You are our new favorite hotel chain and we will definitely choose you again on our next road trip.

Oklahoma Motel 6 Maya Pierson

Two very happy dogs at the pet friently Motel 6 in Oklahoma City.

Motel 6
12121 N I-35
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 478-4030

Motel 6
12525 East 52nd St. South
Tulsa, OK
(918) 254-1626

This is purely an unsolicited review.

If you want to know more about our trip, check out our Oklahoma! post on AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com. We will also be posting more photos on Wordless Wednesday.

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September 17, 2013

Even though I don’t have much of an opportunity to travel with my dogs, we go places together all the time. Traveling is a great way to bond and to get out of the house for some adventure. It is also helpful in making sure Maya and Pierson enjoy car rides. Because if the only time your dog rides in the car is when he is going to the vet, he is not going to like riding in the car much.

Maya Vet Caption

Actually, Maya loves the vet. She’s weird.

Visiting places around town is also a great way to help socialize your dog. While Pierson still has dog aggression issues, his ventures away from home have really helped lessen his reactions. He is more comfortable going to new places now that it is part of his regular routine. So if you enjoy spending time with your dogs as much as I enjoy spending time with mine, here are some great places you can go that are just around town.

Drive-Through
I never take my dogs with me if I have to leave them in the car. But there are places I can go where I don’t have to worry about leaving them unattended. Let’s say I am craving ice cream. Well, Maya & Pierson, let’s go to Sonic! I can get ice cream for me and a free ice cream doggie dish for them. If you don’t have a Sonic, there’s always Dairy Queen, Sheridan’s, Andy’s, and other such places. Not all of them have a free sample for the dogs but it wouldn’t hurt to ask. If you don’t care for ice cream, go to another fast food drive-through for a hamburger and fries. Share a fry or two with your dogs. Just a little bit, though. You want to make sure your dog doesn’t get too fat for his dog car harness or pet travel carrier!

My Dog Pierson Eating Sonic Ice Cream

Pierson enjoys a free dog dish from Sonic!

Sometimes I will take my dogs to the bank too. Lots of banking transactions are online, but there are still plenty of times when I need to go to the bank. Most times when we use the teller drive-through, they give Maya & Pierson a dog biscuit!

If you have prescriptions you need to pick up, why not take your dogs and use the prescription drive-through? Or the drive-through dry cleaners. Can you think of any other errands around town that have a drive-through service?

Parks
My dogs’ most favorite places to visit around town are the parks. There’s not just an abundance of city parks but there are also some great nearby county and state parks. Maya loves Shawnee Mission Park which is a park in Johnson County, about a 45 minute drive from here. We don’t go there often because Clinton State Park is closer and nearly as nice.

Shawnee Mission Park

Shawnee Mission Park

Maya and Pierson at Clinton Lake

Maya and Pierson at Clinton Lake

Off-Leash Dog Parks
If your dog gets along well with other dogs, take him to a dog park. If he doesn’t have a good recall, make sure it is a fenced dog park. There is a nice dog park that Maya goes to near Clinton Lake. It isn’t fenced, but Maya is good about coming when called. She loves this particular dog park because but there is also a nearby stream for her to swim in.

Maya at Clinton Lake in Lawrence, KS

Maya really likes the stream at the dog park in Lawrence, Kansas. (Part of Clinton Lake)

Hiking Trails
A lot of parks have nice walking or hiking trails. Hiking is a fun on-leash activity that Pierson really loves. There are so many scents and sights to check out. He recently went to the Rotary Arboretum here in Lawrence and had a great time. Except for the lady who had two small dogs running around off-leash, it was a great experience for him. For the most part, he didn’t react to seeing other dogs around. (But I did have to pick him up away from the small dogs so that he wouldn’t hurt them.)

Pierson Group Walk 003

This is another hiking trail in Lawrence. We are on a group walk organized just for helping to train leash reactive dogs.

Pet Store
Feel a need to spoil your dog? Let’s go to the pet store and buy a new toy! When Maya and Pierson get low on food, I take Maya with me for a trip to the pet store. Sometimes I take Pierson, but I have to be careful with him because he doesn’t like other dogs. Both love the pet store. Even though I go to get food, most times I end up getting a dog toy too. The main pet stores here in Lawrence where I take my dogs are Petco and Pawsh Wash. The people at Pawsh Wash are awesome and know Maya and Pierson on sight. Sometimes they recognize me too. ;)

Dogs at Pawsh Wash Lawrence

Maya plays with Hercules and Bean at Pawsh Wash.

Pet Events
Your local humane society most likely participates in a number of events for dogs all throughout the year. Perhaps they have a gathering for adoptions or microchipping. Whatever the main theme, you will also probably find food and drinks for you and treats for the dogs. There may even be some fun dog activities going on. Check out my previous post on the three upcoming pet events that Maya gets to go to this fall. One of them will have a dog park like setting for her to run around and socialize in. The other one has lots of fun activities like dog agility and disc dogs. I bet your community has several pet events a year too.

Dogtoberfest 2012 003

This is a photo I took to show how crowded it was at Dogtoberfest 2012 despite the chilly weather. The Greyhound Rescue was right next to us.

Don’t be bored at home. Enjoy life and enjoy it more with your dog. You won’t regret it!

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August 20, 2013

Artistic View of Seattle Washington

Despite having lived in Oregon, I have amazingly never made it to Washington. And I’ve heard Seattle is super pet friendly so I thought I would do a little research. Here is what I found.

There is no lack of pet friendly accommodations in Seattle. Hotels and vacation home rentals are abundant. Multiple modes of transportation are also available for you and your dog. Check out all these options: city buses, the Seattle Ferry Service, Dog Gone Taxi, Argoys Cruises (water taxi service only), and Emerald Country Carriages. In fact, most of the ferry services are dog friendly. While browsing online, I think I even saw a seaplane tour that allowed dogs!

If you love gardens, Seattle has some astonishingly beautiful places to visit. And many will welcome your best friend. There is the Carl English Jr Botanical Gardens, Woodland Park Rose Garden, and Kubota Garden.

Check out this dog enjoying his visit at the Kubota Garden:

There are also a ton of off-leash dog parks, stores, and restaurants in Seattle. Even many of the farmer’s markets welcome dogs. And don’t forget the many parks in Seattle. A few fun parks to visit include Discovery Park, Blake Island State Park, and Green Lake Park. There is also the Sand Point Magnuson Park which also has a wonderful off-leash dog park where your dog can go swimming.

For a more extensive list of things you can do with your dog in Seattle, Washington, visit DogFriendly.com. Also, check out a blog article about Seattle from GoPetFriendly.com where they recommend a number of places, including Norm’s Eatery and Ale House as a dog friendly restaurant.

Do you live in or have you been to Seattle, Washington? Tell us what you do with your dog when you’re there. Have photos you want to share? Email us at naturebydawn@aol.com.

Also, if you’d like to be featured in an article about your favorite pet travel destination, let us know.

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Perkasie Covered Bridge

Perkasie Covered Bridge

This post is for all of you who love your pets and are captivated by Colonial America. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has a number of early history sites that you can visit without having to leave your dog all alone in the hotel room.

Even if you did have to leave your dog at the hotel, he’d really have it made at Hotel Bethlehem! This hotel has a number of fantastic pet services. And best of all, the size of your pet is not an issue (unless it is a horse, of course). While you go out and see the sites that are not pet friendly, your best friend can lounge on the plush hotel pet beds. He can get delicious biscuits from Bone Appetit. Pet services include pet sitting and walking services.

Oops, that hotel is so nice I almost forgot about the dog friendly Colonial America sites you can see! Visit the Burnside Plantation and check out a colonial farm. Walk a historical colonial town in the Colonial Industrial Quarter. And take the Dutch Hex Tour to see some barn art. You’ll have to read more about these sites on DogFriendly.com.

Want to see some gorgeous Pennsylvanian scenery? About an hour north is the Lehigh Gorge State Park. See what Buster with GoPetFriendly.com has to say about his visit there. A closer destination (about 30 minutes north) is the Nockamixon State Park. Bucks County is just an hour south of Bethlehem and there are a lot of scenic sights there.

Check out the New Hope Towpath trail and find a lot of pet friendly restaurants along the way. The above photo of the historical bridge is in Perkasie, Pennsylvania in Lanape park. Near the park is also a dog park.

Be sure that while you are driving around and visiting all these great historical and nature sites that your dog is secured in the car. Wear a dog car harness or ride in a secured pet travel carrier. As always, be safe and have fun! :)

* Would you like to share your favorite pet travel destination? Email us at naturebydawn@aol.com. Share your experience, share photos, and we will post about it on our blog with a link to your own website or blog.

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Buckingham Fountain, Chicago

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago

Since I don’t have the opportunity to do much traveling, I’m so happy I get to visit other dog bloggers who’ve been to some great pet travel destinations. Please go check out these other great blogs by clicking the corresponding links in red:

Sugar the Golden Retriever finds pet friendly activities in Chicago, Illinois. Sugar gets to take a tour boat cruise and take a stroll along the Chicago riverwalk. Both posts are full of many wonderful photos and fully share Sugar’s experience.

Rocco with ToDogsWithLove gets to go to Woody Gap at Chattahoochee National Forest in Dahlonega, Georgia. This is about two hours north of Atlanta, Georgia. It really looks like Rocco had a lot of fun on his visit. There are many great photos to see on this blog too.

Ty and Buster with GoPetFriendly recently visited the Black Hills of South Dakota. If you’re not familiar with Ty and Buster or GoPetFriendly, this is the perfect blog to follow for pet travel destinations. Ty and Buster get to travel all over the United States and their parents are always taking great pictures. And did I tell you that Ty and Buster wear the Kurgo seat belt for dogs when they travel?

Once you’ve checked out these great places through these pawsome bloggers, come back and tell us about your favorite pet friendly travel destination. If you’re a blogger and have a post about you and your pet visiting someplace special, feel free to share the link. And ask about being featured on our Pet Travel Destination Tuesday series.

 

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Follow Up Friday #5

Author: MayaAndPierson
August 2, 2013

Follow up from Pet Safety Saturday’s post on Why My Dog Wears a Pet Car Harness:

I was in a rear end collision last Thursday. My dog Maya was with me. I was really sore the following Friday and Saturday but felt much better on Sunday and was 100% better by Monday. Maya seemed not to have been affected at all. She and Pierson were playing as normal on Friday and she has been just as rambunctious on her walks. The auto repair shop told me it is not just the rear bumper that was damaged on my car, but the frame as well. They also told me the cost to repair my car is likely more than my car is worth. So instead of getting my car repaired, I will most likely only receive a 2k check from the other insurance company. My car is a 1998 Ford Contour and doubtedly not worth more than 2k. Makes me wish I had a Toyota instead. :(

Follow up on questions received on the blog this week:

Jodi from Heart Like a Dog asks, “How frequently should you stop when driving with dogs?  You should you keep to your regular feeding schedule?  Typically our thought is we stop to let them eat and then when we stop for gas or to use the rest areas, they get a quick walk too.”

That’s a great question, Jodi. When we took a long road trip to Texas with Maya & Pierson we stopped every couple of hours or so. This coincided with the stops we made to get gas, at rest stops for our own potty breaks, and stops we made for food. I would start out with this as your plan. But watch their behavior. If they are generally quiet on the ride but suddenly get restless, it may mean that they need a break. Also, more active dogs may need more frequent stops.

For feeding, it really depends on how your dogs handle car rides. Do you know if they tend to get car sick? Pierson tends to get car sick so I gave him several small meals instead of his normal two big meals.

Hawk, Brown Dog CBR says, “Buying a seat belt really perplexed my Human. I ate one. She bought a different brand and I chewed the seat belt. I prefer my crate but it’s too big to go in the sedan. Now she’s talkin’ about gettin’ a different strap attachment that is longer. Do you think she thinks I won’t find a way to outsmart the dang thing? (smirk)”

LOL! Chewing through harnesses is a common problem. We usually provide a tip sheet for people who buy a pet car harness in order to give some ideas on how to keep a dog from chewing through or escaping from it. One tip is training the dog to get used to the harness. This can take time. A short-term solution is to use a no-chew spray on the harness. And your idea of a longer strap is a good one too. Here’s a link to an article we wrote on the subject a couple years ago – Tips to Keep Your Dog from Chewing on His Dog Car Harness.

Just so you know, there is no such thing as a safe chew-proof or escape-proof pet car harness. The only chew-proof material I can think of is Kong material or metal. I can’t imagine metal being safe. I don’t know how safe a hard rubber one would be. One hasn’t been invented or tested yet, as far as I know. Escape-proof is difficult as well. Imagine if the harness is too tight. This would be uncomfortable for the dog and the dog would be even more likely to try to get out of it if he is uncomfortable. And if he did try to get out of a pet car harness that is too tight, he will be more likely to hurt himself.

Follow up on questions received by telephone or email this week:

Sarah asked whether I like the Kurgo or the Bergan brand pet car harness the best. This is a very common question and it is difficult to answer. I like both of them for different reasons. I like how the Bergan fits Pierson. He has a small frame and both the neck and the chest straps are fully adjustable. I also like the Bergan’s tether for Maya because she likes to move around a lot. I like how the Kurgo fits Maya. The large size is like it was made just for a Lab. But I don’t like the Kurgo tether for Maya. It works well on Pierson and I like how it is shorter and safer for him. But the Kurgo looped tether just won’t work for Maya.

If someone asks how I like the Ruff Rider Roadie, I honestly haven’t tried it on Maya and Pierson yet. I really like how padded the Bergan and Kurgo is. The Ruff Rider isn’t. But the quality if the Ruff Rider Roadie is obvious. It has a lot of features that the Kurgo and Bergan don’t seem to have. It is pleated under the dog’s legs so that it doesn’t cause irritation. The strap can be made short or long. And the strap can be used with the seat belt of the car as well as in the cargo area of the SUV (The Bergan tether can too).

Follow up on southern Florida as a pet friendly travel destination:

Gizmo from Terrier Torrent loves Florida and says his favorite part is the Jupiter dog beach. Flea from DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews has only experience central Florida and was not at all impressed. She says central Florida was not at all dog friendly. Pamela with Something Wagging This Way Comes says that she’s had luck finding dog friendly tours up north, but not dog friendly sailing tours. That’s too bad because I’m sure her dog Sunny would love to go.

Do you have any pet travel safety questions? What about a favorite pet friendly travel destination? Feel free to chime in on the comments below or email us at naturebydawn@aol.com.

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July 30, 2013
Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Last week, we had a review from Lily Grace’s mom on the Ruff Rider Roadie seat belt for dogs. Lily Grace went on a long road trip from Florida to Connecticut. So our pet travel destination that Tuesday was for Hartford, Connecticut. This Tuesday, we’re reviewing southern Florida, where Lily Grace rode from.

There are so many pet friendly accommodations in southern Florida that finding one will take almost no effort at all. Just visit DogFriendly.com to get a list.

Take your dog for a walk along the Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk. Also in Fort Lauderdale, shop along the Las Olas district and stop for a bite to eat at an outdoor cafe. Some are dog friendly. Or you can shop along the Worth Avenue shopping district in Palm Beach.

And OMD! There are a number of parks and beaches in southern Florida. I’m just going to name a few.

Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound, Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

The Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

There are lots of dog parks too. Here’s one in Boca Raton:

Check out this other video of dogs having fun at the beach in Fort Lauderdale:

Doesn’t southern Florida look like fun? What would you and your dog do if your pet travel destination was southern Florida?

 

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Lily Grace Ruff Rider Roadie

Lily Grace wearing her Ruff Rider Roadie dog seat belt while on a 1,300 mile trip to Hartford, Connecticut.

We just received a wonderful review of the Ruff Rider Roadie dog car restraint:

“We just completed a 1300 mile trip from Bradenton, Fl to West Palm Beach, Fl to Hartford, CT with my 11 month old Australian Labradoodle Lily Grace.  I loved the Ruff Rider because there is no way she could pop it open and get out of it and I knew she was protected from sudden stops.  I ordered a size three and it fits her great because of the pleats underneath the chest.  She weighs abut 35 pounds but has a deep chest.  As you can see Lily Grace was very comfortable in the seat belt.  Lily Grace also has a hammock in the car.  Safe dogs make happy pet Mommas.”

We couldn’t agree more! Thank you so much for sharing this great review of your new dog seat belt. And thank you for sharing the adorable photo of Lily Grace. :)

Now that you’re in Hartford, what are some things you and your dog can do? We checked out DogFriendly.com and found a couple of things. There are some great scenic walks through Talcott Mountain State Park. Also, there is a very long trail that goes all the way through both Connecticut and Massachusetts. Get on the Metacomet-Monadock trail, part of the New England National Scenic Trail, from 3022 Albany Ave in West Hartford. There are other entrances to this trail as well.

We found a few more things for you and your dog to do on CBS Connecticut – Best Places to Take Your Dog in Hartford. One place mentioned is the Wethersfield Dog Park. Here is a cute video of dogs at the dog park.

Another place mentioned is the Farmington River Trail. There is an entrance from Sperry Park in Avon, CT (about 20 minutes west of Hartford).

And you have to go see Bushnell Park! There is always something going on there. Dogs on leashes are welcome in most areas.

Bushnell Park in Hartford Connecticut

Anyone who’s been to the Hartford, Connecticut area, are there any other dog friendly places you can go? What are some other great pet travel destinations?

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We don’t have much of a chance to do any long distance traveling. So we live vicariously by GoPetFriendly, Roxy the Traveling Dog, and other dog blog travelers. Where have they been lately? Some very beautiful and interesting places. See where these dog bloggers have been, then visit their site for more fantastic photos.

Colorado Springs

Ty & Buster with GoPetFriendly.com go to Salida, Colorado – The above image is actually of Colorado Springs. Salida, Colorado is two hours west and just as beautiful (as is most of Colorado). Go check out GoPetFriendly.com to see Ty & Buster in some gorgeous scenery in Salida.

Yellowstone Geyser

Roxy & Torrey with RoxytheTravelingDog.com go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming – The above image is actually from Yellowstone National Park. Jackson Hole, Wyoming is known as the gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks. Go visit Roxy’s blog at RoxytheTravelingDog.com to see Roxy & Torrey in the beautiful area of Jackson Hole.

Waterfall in Highlands, North Carolina

Rocco with ToDogWithLove.com go to Highlands, North Carolina – The above image is from a waterfall in the area of Highlands, North Carolina. This photo does not do justice to the photos on Rocco’s blog, ToDogWithLove.com. Go check it out!

Have you been on vacation with your dog yet? Where is your favorite pet travel destination? Share and show us some pictures. :)

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