Monthly Archives: January 2009

Surf City USA… wagging it at the waterfront…

Wouldn’t it be loverly to learn how to surf with your dog in Surf City USA?

Huntington Beach is a mere 30 minutes drive from the Orange county cities of Costa Mesa, Irvine, Santa Ana and Tustin. With an 8.5-mile stretch of pristine shoreline, popularly known as “Surf City USA” (celebrating its 100th year in 2009), Huntington Beach is home to a world famous municipal pier and is a west coast surf mecca for more than 8 million annual visitors.

The best place to take your surfing dog to rest her paws is The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort www.waterfrontresort.com (AAA four diamond hotel for 19 consecutive years) with 290 rooms and 24 suites with gorgeous ocean views and your own patio. Not all Hilton hotels are pet friendly but the Waterfront has been pet friendly for the past three years. Pet amenities include pet bed, bowl, organic treats (Wagatha’s, yum), and pet doggie tag imprinted with the Hilton name on it, just in case Fido gets lost, presumably. Pet fee is $75 a day and dogs up to 75 pounds are welcome to wag their tail in the lobby and on the grounds. There are plenty of grassy areas to roll around in and bushes for puppies to explore and sniff.

We stayed on the ninth floor in a luxurious delightfully appointed suite with three rooms, bedroom, living room, patio and bathroom (a shower and bathtub combo and a separate shower). We gratefully received a delicious gift of fresh berries, cheeses, bread and waters as well as a handwritten note welcoming us to the hotel from the General Manager JD. Refreshing !

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The Hilton Waterfront’s “It’s a wonderful dog’s life” pet package includes the best room rate plus $100, with all of the pet amenities, the $75 pet fee is waived, a 20 minute walk with one of the managers, as well as two Dog Beach sweatshirts. The pet bed engraved with Wag It at the Waterfront is made from recycled sheets and down feathers.

The Hilton managers each volunteer eight hours at the Dog beach. They’ve also donated a shuttle van as well as an engraved water fountain.

Dogs can dine with their owners by special request at the Surf Hero Deli patio or pool deck at the Hilton Waterfront. And there are numerous dining options in the area, too.

At the Park Bench Cafe, where every dog has a grrrreat meal, dogs can eat at the same table as their owners. Owners Mike and Christie Bartusick have been serving chow hounds for 20 years. The patio is located next to a park with lots of grassy area. Cici scarfed up grilled chicken while I had a spinach and cheese omelette with home fries (yum), rye toast and hot chocolate, the meal was home cooked good comfort food. Two years ago, they opened up a new cafe called Kokomo’s right on the beach on First Street and PCH. It serves the same delish breakfast and lunch dishes (most popular for the pooches are the hot diggity dog and bow wow wow and for humans, the Farm breakfast and Monte Cristo sandwich). They also offer specially baked treats, bones, doggie parties, and fundraise for local animal rescue groups. Mother’s and Father’s Day are the busiest. www.parkbenchcafe.com

Parking is valet at the Hilton and costs $24 a day or you can park on the street (a long block away). If you do, be sure to read the posted signs. The beach is across the street and is open until 10 pm. Huntington Dog Beach where all the puppies hang ten is about a 20 minute walk north of the hotel. There is also Best Friend Dog Park located in Huntington Central Park. It is fenced all around and has separate areas for small and larger dogs.

Each month, the city hosts wiener dog races in the Old World Village, every third Sunday from 2-4pm. www.oldworldvillage.net On the first Saturday of every month, Bassett Hound Rescue of Southern California hosts a Bassett Hound party in Central Park. Owners dress up their hounds in the latest doggy fashionable attire. www.bhrsc.info The Orange County Humane Society in Huntington Beach annually puts on an event to raise funds for homeless dogs.

Humans and their hounds can hop onto the Doggie Bus, a 12-seat bus that is usually available every weekend (Sunday afternoons) for a free ride to the Huntington Dog Beach. The bus route runs nonstop from Tustin to the ocean. www.doggiebus.com.

There are also several pet spas, pet groomers and pet shops nearby at the Sea Cliff Village Shopping Center.

For more info, contact the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau at www.surfcityusa.com.

pet photo below:

Chef Jeff Littlefield’s Weimariner Skipper, and Hotel Manager Paulette Fisher’s Lab Brit

dog-photo1

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Filed under dog travel, K9 travel, pet friendly lodging, pet travel

Interview with Raising a Green Dog blogger…

1) tell me a little about you (your background) and your dogs (Ages, breeds and how they came into your life) and how you got started your biz/dog blog… including what do people say when you tell them that you are a dog blogger?

My name is Leslie May, I am a marketing consultant to pet businesses by
trade (http://marketingmypetbusiness.com), here in the Indianapolis area. I
am fortunate enough to have two amazing dogs in my life, Johann (who we
lovingly call JoJo (pronounced YoYo)) and Gracie. JoJo is a four year old
sheltie who I adopted from the Southside Animal Shelter here in Indianapolis
at 12 weeks old. Gracie is a three year old border collie, who I adopted at
8 months. Gracie was originally rescued from a hoarder in a rural county of
Indiana. We also have two great cats in our family, Wolfie (Wolfgang), and
Wiggy (Ludwig), who are 9 and 8, respectively. All my pets are named after
classical composers.

Johann, Gracie and I love to do agility in our spare time. Johann is an
accomplished agility dog with many titles and qualifications to national
championships. And Gracie is just beginning her agility ‘career.’

When Johann was just about 5 years old, I thought it would be fun to create
a website for him, to share his life with his friends and create a diary of
his life. That site opened up a whole new world to me. Soon the main website
(http://JohannTheDog.com) was becoming popular and we began to offer products to other active dog families like ours. Johann also began to blog, first with his own personal blog The Days of Johann, an agility dog (http://blog.johannthedog.com) and then with Rescue Me
(http://helpingpups.com) , a blog that showcases a dog in need from a shelter or rescue every day of the week.

Beginning last year, we began to get a lot of questions from our blog
readers about our ‘green’ lifestyle. Dog lovers wanted to know how they
could be more green and get safer pet products. So Johann started another
blog, called Raise A Green Dog (http://raiseagreendog.com to share information about how a dog can be more green, live a happier, healthier
lifestyle and help the environment at the same time.

2) How has blogging changed your life?

With three blogs, blogging is a big part of my life, and I wouldn’t want it
any other way. Through blogging, we have met some of the most amazing dog
lovers, not only in the US, but throughout the world. We exchange laughs,
information, training tips and tricks, health and wellness information, and
have a great time together. I have made some of my now best best friends
through blogging.

3) Where do you get your ideas for blog posts?

A lot of my ideas come from Johann’s and Gracie’s life. We have a pretty
active lifestyle and there is always something going on to blog about.
Whether it be a new trick Gracie has learned, or what happened at our
agility training class, or agility trial, or what funny thing Johann did
that day, I am never at a loss of things to blog about. And we like to blog
about current events about dogs in the news, programs that are on television
that our readers may like, or tips, trick and information we learn from the
wide variety of websites and other blogs we read, that we would like to
share with our readers and friends.

4) Have you noticed a shift in attitudes towards bloggers, dogs, dog
travel ?

Some of my friends that don’t have dogs were somewhat skeptical of our dog
blogging. But once they saw the blogs, their attitudes changed dramatically.
They love our blogs, and now our non-dog friends come to visit our blogs,
they can’t wait to see what Johann is blogging about next.

5) What are your favorite blogs ?

I have so many favorite blogs that I like to read I couldn’t begin to
mention all of them. I would say that throughout the week I read over 100
blogs, visiting friends, finding out about their lives, and reading
information about dogs, tricks, agility, health and wellness, diet, and much
more.

6) Do you have any tips for pet owners and/or pet business owners or
pet bloggers?

That’s a big question. For pet owners: enjoy and have a lot of fun with
your pets while you have them, their lives are much to short. For pet
business owners: you are the lucky ones who get to spend their life helping
and providing for other pet owners like yourself. Enjoy every bit of it. And
listen to your customers, provide what they want and need and you will be
much more successful. For bloggers: be yourself, it’s the best way to be.

7) What types of articles on your blog receive the best traffic?

The types of articles I write for my blog that get the most traffic are the
personal ones – the ones about our life, what we’ve been doing lately, about
the hike we went on recently, what happened at our last agility trial, how
we organically fertilized our lawn, or safely clean our house, and the like.

8. How do you cope with juggling all of the various balls you’ve got
going in the air?

Well, juggling is never easy. I am lucky enough to work at home, so I can
adjust my time to work and my time to play with my dogs; and I don’t have to
take the time to commute to an office. And we have agility equipment in the
backyard for us to take a break from work or blogging and practice some
agility. But I admit, I work long hours.

9. As a dog lover, do you have a favorite product or service that EVERY dog owner MUST get for their pet (besides yours)?

I have a lot of favorite products that I use. I think the main thing I can
suggest to pet owners is buy the very best quality of food you can afford.
Not all pet foods are created equal, do your research and feed your pet the
most healthy food you can.

And another important and my most favorite thing to share is I encourage dog
lovers to find a special activity that you can do just with your dog.

Johann, Gracie and I have a sport (agility) that we love and just can’t wait
to do, together. And many of my dog loving friends also have an activity
that they love doing with their dog, whether it be learning and doing
tricks, running together, Frisbee, dock dog, obedience, or just taking hikes
together. There is an incredible bond that you form with your dog when you
are doing something special together, and I would love to see every dog
owner share in that special bond.

10. Have you noticed any trends in the pet blogging/pet business recently related to the economy? In other words, are innkeepers more open to pets (or less), are pet owners still buying products (or not)?

I’ve seen a real trend toward ‘green’ dog products and services. With the
recent and past recall scares and tragedies, dog lovers are very concerned
with the safety of their pet’s foods, toys and other products. Dog lovers
are seeking out advice on what is safe and turning toward organic,
all-natural, Made in the USA and fair trade products and services not only
for dogs, but other pets as well, to keep them healthier and happier.

gracieleslieandjohanncropped_cl

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National Polka Dot Day … in honor of polka dots everywhere…

According to Every Day a Holiday by Silvana Clark, it is National Polka Dot Day. it should be polka dot dog day since Cici is my polka dot dog… it is a day to celebrate her dots … and Cici is wearing Dottie, the traveling dog bikini… (not really)…

so here are some fun polka dot doggie photos… have a polka dottie dog day !

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Filed under dottie the traveling bikini dog panties, polka dots

Obama family’s puppy inauguration …

this is a historic moment in time… take a deep breath… let in the achievement, celebrate and bring in the dogs, woof woof !

“A New Birth of Freedom” commemorates the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The words, echoing across 200 years from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, express Lincoln’s hope that the sacrifice of those who died to preserve the United States would lead to “a new birth of freedom” for the nation…

it is now up to us to move our country forward with Barack Obama at the helm… he cannot do the humongous tasks by himself… so everybody, it’s your turn to SHINE and CHANGE the good ol USA to a country we can be proud of again, YAY!

and that means no more inhumane animal shelters … no one deserves to live in cold, hard, impersonal puppy jail cages… and human beings should not be relegated to cold, impersonal, inhumane shelters, either… bring on a GRAND project in your own home town… let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work, people !!!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/11/obama-finding-puppy-tough_n_156914.html

big-fam1

are labradoodles the cutest dogs?

booboo1

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interview with Mary Puppins…

1) tell me a little about you and your dogs and how you got started Mary Puppins Pet Sitting and dog blog…

was strolling through the park one day in the merry month of May, no seriously, I have always loved animals. Worked at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (when it was a sanctuary not a society), Animal Foundation and other animal rescue organizations years ago when I had cats. Was sitting around one day brainstorming with my dog and she thought it would be great for me to pet sit and dog walk, earn money and she would be able to meet other dogs to play with. Writing a dog blog is also a fun labor of love. When you love animals, it is easy to write about the animals. Having a dog provides much fodder / grist for the mill. Every day things that happen become fun, interesting, educational and entertaining blog posts.

2) When did you start your blog, and what inspired you to get into blogging?

Started the blog in October 2007. Being cooped up with my dog and wanting to write about traveling with her was the initial inspiration. Plus, everyone kept telling me ‘you’re a writer, write a blog’ so I did and now lookie what we’ve got going on here!

3) What’s your favorite thing about blogging?

Meeting other bloggers, innkeepers, dogs and animals. Plus writing about our travel adventures ain’t too shabby either. And traveling to fun places, staying at wonderful inns is the icing on the cake.

4) Have you noticed a shift in attitudes towards bloggers, dogs, dog travel ?

People always ask me what is a blog whenever I tell them I have a dog blog. I thought everyone knew. It is an opportunity to educate folks about the Internet. People are techie in some ways, everyone has email (almost). Every day, new hotels and motels and inns and lodges, B&B’s are opening their doors to the dogs. They start realizing that a lot of people (millions of Americans and people worldwide) want to travel with their pets. And the manager/innkeepers realize, hey, am missing out on a lot of business. So they join the bandwagon… Jump on board ! And find out that the dogs are fun and not as much trouble as they might have thought. Most worried about people with allergies, kids and liabilities, which are understandable concerns. But find out through experience that dogs are a blessing and an addition. People love our fur babies ! And there are a lot of dog lovers out there who want to travel with their pets! So catering to the pet loving community can be a great source of REVENUE (ie, CASH), especially in this economy.

5) What are some of your favorite blogs ?

MinaandCeleste, Olga the traveling bra are so fun… K9 Chronicles, Mollitudes, and How to Raise a Green Dog.

6) If there was one tip that you would recommend that pet owners and/or pet business owners or pet bloggers follow, what would it be and why?

Animals are animals not furry humans. I do not really like most dog blogs where the human speaks for the dog or cat. Too cutesy for me. On occasion, some do it very well and it works. But the language is awkward. Let dogs be canines, bunnies be rabbits and cats be felines and humans be humans. Each specie is different and lovable in its own unique way.

7) You have different types of content on your site. What articles generally receive the best traffic/ reception?

People love to read about celebrities and their dogs, watch fun videos and check out silly photos as well as read about hot topics that every dog owner is concerned about (training, pet food, health care and playing with other dogs).

8. How do you cope with juggling all of the various balls you’ve got going in the air?

Cici juggles the balls while I watch her play catch on the beach… :-) She recently received a lovely new chewy ball… it’s like one of those braided toys only it is fluffy and a ball… she can chew and catch all at one time… which keeps her occupied which makes me happy.

9. As a dog lover, do you have a favorite product or service that EVERY dog owner MUST get for their pet (besides yours)?

That chewy fluffy dog ball toy… will have to find out the name of it and/or where to get it… (I think from the grocery store Ralph’s)…

10. Have you noticed any trends in the pet blogging/pet business recently related to the economy? In other words, are innkeepers more open to pets (or less), are pet owners still buying products (or not)?

I think that people are downsizing their shopping but not for their beloved furry friends. Dogs and cats gotta eat and play. And us humans are suckers for those cute, adorable, sweet eyes and faces. People constantly take photos of Cici when we are at a mall or wherever, and they just love to rub her belly and ears. Dogs and cats are warm loving creatures who we can learn a lot from and do on a daily basis when we are pet owners. Share the wealth ! Rent out your dog or cat to non-pet owners ! Am only kidding, but I did see an ad recently in the yellow pages, where you can rent a dog by the day, hour, week or month. Gimme a break, folks !

If you are in central California Carmel, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Seaside, California), visit Mary Puppins Pet Sitting and we will come to your house and play with your dogs and/or sit with your kitty cats !

http://house.petsitting.googlepages.com/home

maryp-cover14

just a spoonful of play makes dogs happy !

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a GRAND project…

Grace

Respect

And

New

Dignity

a GRAND Project…

since NO ONE deserves to be exiled in a shelter, not animals nor humans… am putting out that women of means over 50, women like Oprah, Suze Orman, Shirley MacClaine, Tina and others support women with low and no income over 50 with pets… giving a new leash on life… One on one, a woman of means can Adopt a Woman and help her get back on her feet, ( giving her a strong support system)…

the mission is to create a community of women supporting one another…

l. Eco friendly Home/B&B with gardens …. each woman has her own room and bathroom (whenever possible)… and works a rotating job on site such as answering phones, taking reservations, tending the gardens, housecleaning, pet sitting and dog walking, fencing the property, doing construction, renovation and home improvement tasks as needed…

2. RV/Mobile home park, each woman has her own RV/mobile or park model and works a rotating job on site such as answering phones, taking reservations, tending the gardens, pet sitting and dog walking…

3. Yurt Motel, each woman has her own Yurt and works a rotating job on site such as answering phones, taking reservations, tending the gardens, pet sitting and dog walking…

In addition, women can choose to train a dog from an animal shelter/rescue to give the dog manners and get the dog adopted…

If you are a 501c3 organization (animal rescue, shelter or other), pet business owner, have land you would like to invest in a GRAND project or would like to donate items such as gardening supplies, fencing, computers, food (dog and human), prepaid cells phones, prepaid phone cards and more, please contact me and I will send you more info…

An Idea Whose Time Has Arrived…

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Filed under affordable housing, self help, sustainable travel, women with dogs, women writers with dogs, yurts

bunnies running amok at the mall!

Cici and I have been hanging out at a mall recently (there is Panera, Pet Smart, Office Depot, Whole Foods and who could ask for anything more plus the weather is deliciously warm) and lo and behold, she saw a bunny rabbit (and went nuts)… then, later on, I saw another one and then later on, another one, they are all over the place !

dilemma, do I tell anyone?  if animal control knows, what would they do to the bunny rabbits?  how do bunny rabbits survive in a mall?  what do they eat?  I did not see any feral cats but I would imagine that if bunnies are romping around then so must kitty cats.

sometimes Cici eats at the doggie buffet, so maybe the bunnies are eating there, too. They scampered away quickly at the sight of my ferocious dog so are not dog or human friendly. The mall is not a zoo after all. And Cici definitely had chow time on her mind. Chasing prey. Yum, bunny stew for dinner !

well, I ruined her plans and she was not a happy camper. Just call me the Bunny Rescuer!

I’ve also seen deer at malls, and other critters… it would seem that we humans have usurped the wild ones habitat and what happens to the indigenous animals?  just saying…

here’s an article about what to do if you run into wild bunnies… seriously…

http://www.petplace.com/small-mammals/orphaned-wild-rabbits/page1.aspx

Also, I was sitting on a lawn couch at the mall with Cici in tow, and she wanted to run around licking people and showing off her belly, (she actually got up on the couch and sat across these people’s laps and they were pretty cool about it, it was a first). So there I was, sitting and checking my email and she barked a couple of times letting me know that she disapproved and wanted to do what she wanted to do. The security guard came over to me and said she wanted to let me know that some crazy lady (my words, not hers) complained about my vicious out of control pit bull. The security guard laughed about it, and said that she was not particularly worried about Cici, she could see that my dog was not a threat to anyone. In fact, a couple of kids came by and Cici licked their hands and the parents were fine and the kids loved it. And several people around there agreed and said that the woman who complained looked really mean and vicious, so am thinking perhaps we should ban vicious mean people from the mall (and planet) !!!

I understand some people are afraid of dogs and some people are afraid of pit bulls specifically because of all the erroneous media hoopla and I keep Cici on a short leash. And when she barks, I shhhh her.  I talked to a gal at Pet Smart the other day, a trainer, and she worked with Cici a bit and was impressed with how trainable Cici is and what a good girl. She was amazing actually. There was a tiny little terrier dog and Cici went into submission mode (she has done this on numerous occasions with tiny dogs) to show them that she is not a threat to them… makes me so proud !

cute photo: the tagline says… so what are you doing in the basket? heh heh heh…

http://cute-pets.net/category/bunnies

in-cos1

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