Monthly Archives: July 2009

tails from on the road again…

Enter Go RVing’s Video Contest and Capture Summertime Memories….

If you’ve got an RV and a video camera, and are bringing along your favorite four-legged family member, be sure to capture funny on-the-road events that could win you cash prizes and a new GPS.

Go RVing is reaching out to pet lovers, RVing aficionados, video gurus and anyone with a sense of humor to participate in its first Internet video contest, hosted on Facebook. In an effort to allow contestants to capture more of their summer RV travel experiences and funny clips, Go RVing has extended the entry deadline to August 7.

According to research conducted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, half of the nation’s eight million RV owners travel with their pets. With these furry, winged or scaly family members in mind, Go RVing developed the contest as a social-media experiment designed to discover what happens when America’s love affair with its pets is combined with its love of the great American road trip. Mix in creativity, humor and a video camera and it’s a recipe for some very funny videos.

The grand prize winner of the “Tails from the Road” contest will receive $1,000 and a Motorola Motonav GPS and will have his or her winning video featured on GoRVing.com, Go RVing’s Facebook fan page and YouTube. The second prize winner will receive $500. Prizewinners will be announced on September 2.

The “Tails from the Road” contest asks contestants to create a positive, humorous video featuring a pet traveling in an RV. The video must be no more than 1 gigabyte (GB) in size and five minutes in length, and can even be shot from Fido’s or Polly’s perspective.

Selected video submissions will be posted on Go RVing’s Facebook page for thousands of RVing fans to see. Videos will be judged by the Go RVing Facebook community. Voting begins on August 10 and continues through August 30.

For complete contest details, visit GoRVing.com.

The Go RVing Coalition, formed in 1994, consists of RV manufacturers, component suppliers, dealers, and campgrounds. Go RVing works to provide the public and media with information about the benefits of RV travel and foster customer satisfaction with the RV experience through customer research conducted by its Committee on Excellence.

Here’s RV’er Joanne Hamilton with her dogs and RV…

Joanne Hamilton & RV

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Filed under contest, creativity, dog friendly, dog travel

farm fresh gourmet dinner

The Farmhouse Inn is located at 7871 River Road, in the town of Forestville.

From 101, north or south, you will take the River Road/Mark West Springs Road exit.

Located in the heart of Sonoma County’s world-famous Russian River Valley wine region, this luxurious six acre property is just minutes from Hwy 101, the Sonoma County Airport, numerous renowned wineries, canoeing or picnicking along the Russian River, shopping, ballooning and cycling. The idyllic beaches of the Sonoma Coast are less than 30 minutes by automobile.

The award-winning Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant is the culmination of a fourth generation Sonoma County Italian-American family’s dream of combining warm Sonoma County hospitality with delicious food, fine wine and luxurious accommodations.

The inn has a beautiful and edible food garden…quite lovely. They are not pet friendly so we did not stay but we did walk around a bit though.

The ambiance is very professional and friendly… All of the ingredients are fresh and local, from neighboring farms… such as the goat dairy a few minutes away.

I had the halibut… i have never eaten a piece of art before, but the flavors were blended together artistically and everything was extremely fresh… small portions but very rich and superbly well presented… the gnocchi with mushrooms for starters, was all cheese, no potato or pasta, seared quite deliciously.

I also had the chocolate souffle for dessert. I did not feel like i even had room for dessert but had to have chocolate so i did not realize that chocolate souffle can be heavy but this was the lightest dessert i have ever eaten in my life…

this is a real splurge for the wallet and great for special romantic and other occasions…

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Filed under California, food, gardening, Guerneville

an eco friendly luxury spa…

bardessono spa is a very new eco friendly peaceful upscale luxury property in yountville (10 minutes to napa). We loved the ambiance and the pet friendly staff !!!

The LEED certified property has been built on five acres of land owned by the Bardessono family, who have lived in the Napa Valley area for over 70 years. Reclaimed Redwood recycled from wine casks has been used on ceilings and doors; salvaged California Bay trees have become cut slabs for the desks in the guest rooms, and the dining room tables were also milled from salvaged trees. There is an underground geothermal system that heats and cools the guest rooms, spa, and hot water supply; two gardens that supply some of the organic vegetables for the reastaurant, and 940 solar panels built onto the flat roofs of the buildings that provide much of the hotel’s energy.

The gorgeous spa suite we stayed at was furnished with a king bed, fireplace, its own private patio/courtyard, TV and a luxurious bathroom, designed to double as a private spa, featured a concealed massage table, a soaking tub, separate shower, and double vanity.

some of the rooms have a Mr. Steam shower

Bardessono Spa has 62 rooms and 8 are pet friendly. The pet amenities include a nice dog bed and bowl, $75 fee for the stay. I walked cici across the street, since there are lovely fountains (outside the suite in the Magnolia area, including a Stonehenge-like one), which is very soothing and peaceful… and there were not too many places on property for dogs to do their dog business…

Important Alert: if you let your dog outside onto the patio, there is a gap in the fence and inquisitive dogs like cici may sneak out underneath and wind up on the street (which cici did), thankfully she did not run out into the street with the cars, but I did have to walk all around the property to get her back safe and sound… hopefully, the property will soon offer dog owners other options.

For your girlfriends getaway, you have just gotta include an in room massage and spa treatments. There is a very large cabana by the very refreshing pool and jacuzzi for gal pals to party together, dine and get cool drinks from the bar, and the property is in walking distance to shopping, restaurants and wineries and tasting rooms…

http://www.bardessono.com/wine_dine/menu_inroom.html

http://www.bardessono.com/gallery/

here’s an interesting post about the property which tells more about the food and massage and technology….

http://epicureanzealot.com/2009/04/27/bardessono-the-epic-birthday-month-part-2/

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Filed under dog friendly, dog travel, pet friendly lodging

cici is a finalist in photo contest!

please vote for my dog cici, she’s a finalist in this month’s contest at Spoiled Canine Dog Boutique at http://www.spoiledcanine.com… she’s the cutie showing off her belly and polka dots… thank you !

please email your vote for cici #4, to spoiledcanine@yahoo.com, before aug. 1, so cici can win the photo contest!!! thanks… and if you twitter, please RT !!!

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100,000 views, thank you…

cici and I want to thank each and every one of you for sharing our blog adventures. we are celebrating this monumental occasion, her third birthday and six views over 100,000 at the beautiful and pet friendly Rancho Caymus in Rutherford. This is a great location in between Napa and St. Helena and all of the pet friendly wineries. Each suite is like a spacious casita, with its own patio, and pets can play all day. The staff is gracious and hospitality superb. You can walk to several wineries for tastings.

Breakfast is fruit, fresh granola, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, croissants and other breads, muffins and pastries, a nice diverse mix.

join the party !

this is a great place for a girlfriends getaway, too, nature abounds all around here, you can take a bicycle tour throughout the region, enjoy a hiking or kayaking adventure, a day of rejuvenation and relaxation at one of Napa’s world-class spas, a sporty day of golf, or learn to create culinary masterpieces with the chefs of Napa. Or just kick back and go shopping. The local art galleries are abundant with exquisite pieces you will cherish for a lifetime.

Rancho Caymus can be your portal to the “Valley of the Vines.”

and guess what, way back when, I was just reading that this used to be the ta da Hecht barn, that’s righty.

the Hecht barn was dismantled and brought here from Yorkshire, Ohio, by the former owners, Karen and Michael Hecht. Their grandfather built the barn in 1899. Hecht of a story, huh… any relation? who knows… will have to ask my cousin’s grand nephew, the genealogy whiz to find out and let you know…

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Filed under dog friendly, dog travel, pet friendly lodging

happy birthday dear cici…

waiting for my birthday belly rub…

Photo 631

thanks to Dogster, this was soooo sweet… http://www.dogster.com/thumb_page.php?i=195055

Dear Cici,

Woof woof!
We want to wish you a very Happy Birthday full of love and joy and tail wagging. We are thrilled to be able to celebrate it with you!

Cici will be profiled today with other birthday doggies on Dogster’s special Birthday Stroll.

Since it’s your birthday we want to give you something special, so we have given you 25 Dogster bones and one vote of 5 Paws! Dogster loves you!

Sincerely,
Your Friends at Dogster

birthday-bone-cake

is your dog having a birthday? have a pawty !

Dog birthday cake recipes
http://www.pamperedpawgifts.com/products-birthday.html

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Filed under beach parties for dogs, belly rubs, dog dreams, dog friendly, dog parks, dog spa, dog toys, dog travel, dog treats, dogs, healthy dog food, homemade dog food

girlfriends, go to the Ritz !

The Ritz Carleton Half Moon Bay has 52 suites that allow pets, $125 pet fee (nonreturnable), and the pet amenities include a dog bed, bowls and treats… it is a beautiful hotel with exquisite service.

Check-in was a breeze and includes a glass of wine (which I declined) but it was a very nice touch. The valet guy was very sweet and a dog lover and did not mind being enthusiastically greeted by Cici…. The staff are super friendly towards both humans and dogs.

RCHMB Beach and Resort LR

Our lovely suite had a firepit outside on a patio overlooking the golf course and gorgeous beach view… with a telescope inside the living room part of the suite, so you could see near and far as well as a fireplace, two bathrooms (water closets as they say in Europe), jacuzzi tub, as well as shower, and was beautifully decorated.

There was an amazing chocolate sculpture on the desk, which I thought was art and made out of candle wax until I tasted it and found out it was the delicious blissful stuff I love. My tummy was not up to par but it was an amazing gift along with a bottle of wine.

Luxury-Suite

Pets are not allowed in the lobby, on the golf course (except off hours), and food places.

This is a gorgeous place for a Girlfriends Getaway… grab your gal pals and go get spa treatments, massages, go shopping, fine wining and dining, relax by the pool, play with your pooch(es), play golf and more.

Guest Room Features & Amenities

• Most guest rooms offer ocean views, a window seat, fireplace or balcony

• Feather beds with duvets and 300-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets

• 100% goose down and non-allergenic foam pillows

• Marble bathrooms with separate shower and bathtub

• Guest room vanities and finest amenities

• Plush terry bathrobes

• Full-sized desk

• Wireless, high-speed Internet access

• Computer and fax outlets

• Laptop-compatible, in-room safes

• Three telephones with voicemail

• Each guest room has a DVD player

• Lodgenet pay-per-view movies

• Fully stocked honor bar with refrigerator

Property Features & Amenities

• The Ritz-Carlton Club, with a private lounge, a personal concierge staff and complimentary food and beverage presentations throughout the day

• Executive business center

• Technology butler for computer needs

• Signature and sundry shop

• 16,000-square-foot Spa

• A complete beauty salon

• Fitness center with complete Cybex gym and yoga studio

• Outdoor whirlpool and fire pit overlooking the ocean

• Coast side jogging and biking path

• Six lighted tennis courts

• Basketball half-court

• Access to the two Half Moon Bay Golf Links championship golf courses on property

• Golf pro shop and dedicated golf concierge

• Twice daily maid service and evening turndown service

• The Ritz-Kids program and babysitting services

• 24-hour room service

• Valet parking

• Auto rental services

• Transportation arrangements to and from the San Francisco and San Jose airports available through concierge

• Multi-lingual staff

Resort Fee Services
As of May 1, 2006, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay will be implementing a Resort Fee of $25.00 per room, per night.

Services and amenities included in the Resort Fee are:

• Glass of wine upon arrival at the Front Desk from 3 to 8 p.m., daily

• Wireless, high-speed Internet access in the guest rooms and common areas

• Business Center access

• Shuttle service to downtown Half Moon Bay, Main St. (does not apply to groups)

• Unlimited local telephone calls (Calls within a 12 mile radius only)

• The Ritz-Carlton Spa’s co-ed Roman mineral bath, locker rooms and relaxation lounges, whirlpool, sauna, and steam room

• Daily group exercise classes

• Free weights, cardiovascular and Cybex machines

• Bottled water, assorted juices and towels

• Water aerobic equipment

• Recreation: Sand toys and beach accessories, family board games and videos, putter and wedge for use on pitching and putting greens

• The Colony Club tennis courts, racquets and ball machine

• Basketball half court

• Access to swimming pool, hot tub and sauna

Spa

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

Ooozing with Dogitude…

Tied for first of the pet friendliest hotels in California on our list, is the oozing with dogitude Rosewood Sandhill Hotel.
http://www.rosewoodsandhill.com/ This hotel also is one of the best places for total indulgence and luxurious pampering for humans as well as pups. The super pet friendly staff, EVERY SINGLE PERSON, made a big fuss over cici, she loved it, plus there is a lot of grass, greenery and flowers, at this very upscale luxury hotel which makes you and your pooch feel like VIP’s.

The hotel is owned by Stanford University, (and provides complimentary transportation to the university) as well as provides technologically savvy suites in all of these cottages on property. Plus, there is a swimming pool, spa, restaurant, a bunch of meeting rooms, a fitness center… and pooches can even sunbathe on the grass next to the pool…

Cici and I went to the spa, although I did not get a massage, the aroma was divine (a special aromatherapy made just for the spa), and cici continued to receive a lot of attention, and gave a lot of love and kisses to someone on staff who just lost her dog. There is a spa cafe outside the spa. Sense, A Rosewood Spa® features 13 treatment rooms and personalized spa services to pamper your body, mind and spirit.

And you’ve simply got to check out the girlfriend’s getaway package…

A Girl’s Gotta Get Away: Daily Package for Two

• One night of accommodation
• $100 spa credit
• $50 breakfast credit at Madera
• Bottle of champagne upon arrival

Rates start at $370. Subject to change and based on availability. Valid Thursday-Sunday. Must be booked 72 hours prior to arrival.

For girlfriend getaways packages, you can have a massage in your room (and if you want one for the dog(s), that can be arranged, too) …

We stayed in Suite 2707, with two bathrooms (water closets), jacuzzi and walk-in shower… nice patio overlooking a garden and fountains and the spa was downstairs from us, and there was an honor bar, expresso machine, and gas fireplace…

the pet amenities included a gorgeous pet bed that cici loved sleeping on, very comfy and they gave it to her as a gift, a bowl filled with food and a bowl for the fuji water for the dog. Usually, they only accept pets under 25 pounds… the pet fee is $50 and they also offer dog walking services…

There is one cottage building that is pet free, and there are a total of about 17 cottage buildings with various suites in each, plus villas where people live.

Dogs are allowed in the lobby, can eat / dine outside, as well as be on the grass by the swimming pool…

specialoffers1

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Filed under dog friendly, girlfriend getaways, luxury travel, pet friendly lodging

Top 20 Pet Friendly Inns in California with Dogitude

You may recall that back in March we created a list of the top Pet Friendly Inns with Dogitude in California… well, we have to add a few and change the list… and please do go on and read about our travels to California dog beaches at bodega, carmel, half moon bay, huntington, mendocino, newport, san diego, and so much more!

we have some exciting new developments traveling along the K9 highway… to be announced soon…

Visit each Website for Very Important Pet packages. Bring your best
friend with you and you will always have a paw-fect time.

Ratings:

five bones, Superb Exemplary brimming with Dogitude
four bones, Excellent service, lots of Dogitude
three bones, Average accommodations, amenities and Dogitude
two bones, Less than Average, little Dogitude
one bone, lacking Dogitude. fur washing


Top 20 Pet Friendly Inns in California with Dogitude

Visit each Website for Very Important Pet packages. Bring your best
friend with you and you will always have a paw-fect time.

1. Rosewood Sandhill, Menlo Park
http://www.rosewoodsandhill.com/
This magnificent property is owned by Stanford University. Every single staff member we met made a big fuss over Cici and the customer service was unmatched / simply superb. Pet amenities include a lush dog bed (that they gave us to take home), treats, bowls and dog bone mat.

1. The Island Hotel, Newport Beach
http://IslandHotel.com (exemplary service, large grassy area, delicious handcrafted bones and pet amenities including in the Spa)

2. Stanford Inn, Mendocino
http://stanfordinn.com (extremely dog and animal friendly, including dining with Fido indoor lobby, delicious sweet potato treats and gourmet vegan cuisine)

3. 3 Peaks Resort, South Lake Tahoe
http://www.lake-tahoe-california-hotels.com/lake-tahoe-coupons-deals.php (organic treats in a doggie jar in the lobby), dogs are welcome to be in the lobby and by the swimming pool plus there is lots of grass, trees, bushes all over the property and various types of suites and motel log cabin-like rooms at various price ranges, all clean, fresh and nice furnished

4. Hotel Solamar, San Diego
http://www.hotelsolamar.com/ (excellent concierge and staff customer service, dog bed, dog bowls and treats)

5. Casa Carolina, Sebastopol
http://www.casacarolina.us/
Casa Carolina is 5 minutes from wineries and 5 minutes from downtown, so you can enjoy all of the shops and restaurants, the location is in the Russian River Wine Country, too. The innkeepers, Lila, Josh and Trevor are very friendly and helpful. There is a wonderful home away from home atmosphere that is very rare. Plus, there is Olive, Cici’s dog pal.

6. Luxe Hotel Sunset
http://www.luxehotelsunsetblvd.com/ This pet-friendly hotel is just 12 miles from LAX Airport. There are 160 spacious upscale and modern non-smoking guest rooms and suites and a Doggy and Me package, guest and their dog both receive an in room massage. There are 12 pet friendly suites and they are all on the upper floor for access to the grassy area plus a doggie menu.

7. Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, Huntington Beach
waterfrontresort.com (gorgeous ocean views and dog beach sponsors)

8. Seafoam Lodge, Little River
www.seafoamlodge.com on site boxer dog (Lucy) who loves to play with other dogs…and they deliver breakfast to your door every morning (hot muffins, cool orange juice)

The Andiron and Seafoam Lodge, Little River
The Andiron is a very dog and eco friendly property, refurbished in FUN ways, perfect for girlfriend getaways, romantic weekends, and/or a peaceful and quiet relaxing beach vacation…

9. Casa Cody Inn, Palm Springs
http://www.casacody.com/
this is the ONLY pet friendly inn that I HIGHLY recommend in Palm Springs, in the heart of downtown … inn has four huge grassy courtyards for dogs to sniff around and explore, when the cats are sleeping, that is, there are three cats in residence, big mama, biscuit and marmalade… four paws up !

10. Harmony Ridge Lodge, Nevada City
http://www.harmonyridgelodge.com/dog_friendly_vacation.php
fabulous forest, spacious suites, on site dog, as well as great homemade dog and human treats and cookies, the food is wonderfully yummy, too…

11. Blue Whale Inn, Cambria
bluewhaleinn.com (dog lovers delight, across from the ocean, scrumptious dog treats in doggie jar in dining area), dog bed, dog bowls and toy

12. Union Hill Inn, Sonora
http://www.unionhillinn.com/
treats, treats and more treats, from steak to ground beef and more… need I say anything else? cici loved the special treatment…

13. Beazley House, Napa
http://www.beazleyhouse.com/petfriendly
lovely suites, on site dogs, wonderful cookies and treats for humans and dogs, beautiful gardens, as well as pet friendly staff…

14. Fleur de Lac, Lake Arrowhead
www.fleurdelac.com quaint inn with five cozy suites and very pet friendly staff…

15. Rancho Caymus, Rutherford
http://www.ranchocaymus.com/
location, location, location, and wonderful pet friendly staff…

16. Cambria Pines Lodge, Cambria
http://www.cambriapineslodge.com/
gorgeous gardens, lovely forest in back, with deer, grass, great place to walk the dog… and doggies can eat outside with humans…

17. Highland Ranch, Philo
http://www.highlandranch.com/
a 3-4-5 doggie day/night experience, plus horses, cats and other critters, and three meals a day, an awesome getaway resort, with pool, lots of green grass and trees to explore, roam and canine party…

18. Svensgaard Inn and Hofsas House, Carmel
http://www.innsbythesea.com/svensgaard
Svensgaard Inn has a grassy courtyard and pet amenities galore including the barking treat jar in the lobby.

Hofsas House http://www.hofsashouse.com/ is a Bavarian-style, four-story house built on a hill with ocean views. There are 38 rooms, 19 are pet friendly. Dogs are allowed by the pool with their owner. An inn with a sense of what Bavarians call Gemutlichkeit.

19. Surf Motel & Gardens, Fort Bragg and the Andiron Seaside Inn
http://www.surfmotelfortbragg.com, in my humble opinion, this is the pet friendliest motel in the area with beautiful gardens, a great location and a pet fun run on the property.

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Filed under dog friendly, dog travel, dogs, luxury travel, Mendocino, pet friendly lodging

girls gone wine…

Napa River Inn
http://www.napariverinn.com

500 Main St
Napa, CA 94559-3353
(707) 251-8500

we stayed in the captain hatt suite, with fireplace, a living room with couch, claw foot tub and shower, plus king bed, the room had brick walls, like an apartment in a city, on the second floor, elevator, small lobby, very friendly and helpful staff, walking distance to the visitor center and river walk in downtown napa…

pet amenities included treats, bowl and mat, as well as a little blanket…

They offer a fun Girlfriend Getaway package called Girls Gone Wine… and a wonderful Spa package, too…

Girls Gone Wine! For anyone looking for a little escape in Northern California‘s beautiful Napa Valley, lush with world-class wineries, restaurants, spas and activities, the Girls Gone Wine package is a perfect option. Designed to enhance one‘s wine experience, this package is full of winery excursions, great cuisine and plenty of time for a little girlfriends gossip. Four girlfriends will enjoy two nights in a guest room with two double beds.

Additional options are available for the Girls Gone Wine getaway including exclusive discounts and the assistance of personal shopper at Cake Plate, downtown Napa‘s trendy shopping boutique full of the hottest fashions. While shopping, girls will be pampered while sipping champagne and munching on fresh baked cupcakes. Guests may also enjoy exclusive discounts at Napa Massage and Body Care such as a 15 minute add-on to any massage or a complimentary brow wax with any facial. Once the getaway comes to a close, guests will be given a “Wine Girl” shirt upon departure, as a take home momento of the great girlfiends getaway in the world renowned Napa Valley.

The Girls Gone Wine package,
is available through July 31 and includes:

* Two nights for four people in a guest room with two double beds
* Complimentary bottle of Sophia Coppola sparkling wine upon arrival
* Catered breakfast from Sweetie Pie‘s Bakery each morning delivered to the guest room.
* Reserved VIP table and complimentary cover charge at SILO‘s Jazz Club
* Full-day wineries excursion with transportation and picnic lunch from Platypus Tours**
* Exclusive discounts to Cake Plate clothing boutique and personal shoppers**
* VIP coupon books at the Napa Premium Outlets.
* Exclusive discounts at Napa Massage and Body Care.
* Complimentary “Wine Girl” shirt upon departure.

The downtown river walk is a short trail from First Street to the Mill…

there are numerous restaurants, shops, bars and more… check out downtown Napa activities…

http://napadowntown.com/activities.html

breakfast is delivered to your door at an appointed time and you have a choice of different entrees, food is from the bakery next door Sweetie Pies… the fresh fruit parfait was really good and you have a choice of a hot sandwich with your choice of meat or no meat with egg and cheese, or quiche… plus a scone or muffin, quite filling and yummy… and it makes it really easy when you have a dog to be able to eat in your room.

nri_historic_room

The nearby Larson family winery is very pet friendly… and is along the way from Napa to the Bay area.

there are three on site dogs, sunny, bubba and don’t remember, but cici was more interested in the treat jar and barked at Leigh, to give her some tasty biscuits. cici’s tummy had been upset from all of the treats she acquired over the july 4th weekend (hot dogs and hamburgers in mendocino at the craft fair) so I did not want her to have any treats or much food …

the winery also has sheep, goats, horses and Seabiscuit the famous horse once trained there…

http://www.larsonfamilywinery.com/

at the crafts fair in Mendo, we also found out that cici may be related to a famous legend of a dog, named dot dog, mendocino legend that is… this dog apparently lived in mendocino and had puppies in vegas, so cici may be a descendant, she certainly has lots of dots and dots and spots and a very cute pink belly…

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