Tips for Traveling with Pets [infographic]
Tips for Traveling with Pets [infographic]
love bites. Ok not talking about vampire romances or zombies dating. Am talking about the fact that there are people who get love marks on their necks (and other body parts) and I cannot think of the name of them at the moment. That is how out of touch I am with a love life.
My day revolves around a certain dog who wanted an encounter with a skunk this morning. No, thanks. Been there, done that. And in Cici-ville, you know all is upside down since that is her perspective from lying on her back looking at the world.
Anyway, romance is not supposed to be dead for those of us over a certain age (50 or even 60). In fact, I wrote a press release for Dr Christiane Northrup, a wonderful woman’s doctor, who had proof that women get hotter and sexier as they age. And our peak sex lives are supposed to happen as we enter our Golden Years.
OK. well, as usual I guess I am missing out on the trend. I never did get REALLY married (well, I did for four years) but I am talking about FALLING IN LOVE, TRUE LOVE marriage for 10 years PLUS with my Prince Charming, I have been divorced for 15+ years now and Cici has been my only companion. That is sad, don’t you think?
So to add a little spice to my life (and yours maybe), I am going to write about my romantic life or lack thereof, attempts to write about romance and singlehood as a pet guardian. I will also include travel into the mix. Just thought that I would warn you that I am going to be taking this left turn into a new topic arena. Just in case you are interested, have tips, advice and/or are offended by romantic/sexy topics. Not graphic nor erotic stuff. Do not want to invite voyeurs, perverts or child molesters onto this blog. Anyone with an unhealthy appetite can leave now. Thank you very much.
But if you are willing to go along on a new track with me, hop on the bus, Gus. And don’t fuss about it. And if you think Baby Boomers, seniors and old people do not have a love life, think again. Valentine’s Day is soon upon us and we expect flowers and chocolates. We will be posting about love gifts for your dog and for the pet guardians as well as romantic retreats that are also pet friendly (our annual Valentine’s Day gift guides).
I have been trying to get through writing ONE romantic comedy book for awhile now. Think Jennifer Crusie meets Janet Evanovich meets Ciciville. Well, I had some of the elements down that I want in the book. But so far, I have changed the locale four times, from Las Vegas, to a made up town in Arizona based upon an actual town in Arizona, to 29 Palms and now we have landed on Virginia City, NV. Back to Nevada.
The setting is because it is about a romance blooming in the desert. And it has ghosts, a haunted B&B, that was a former house of ill repute, and a dog that goes humping everyone’s leg in the night. The heroine has two romantic interests. One her boss, Editor/Publisher of the newspapers she works for. Oh no no, you did not. Yes I did. And a new reporter. The two of them are to write dueling columns about a topic, to bring the gender wars into focus, gin up controversy and to sell newspapers. She is not sure how she feels about any of it. And she has two old aunties, who raised her, who think she is getting married to a dog. She IS planning a BIG gala dog wedding to raise funds for the local animal shelter. But her aunties are Lucy and Ethel on steroids. So what do you think? Would you read a book like this? If I can get passed Chapter 3, perhaps you will be able to do so.
I am also working on the format for the California Travels with Cici guide I wrote, a new travel guide (much smaller) for the Southwest USA, and a chronic pain guide with a pit bull perspective. Perhaps one of these days, I will actually complete ONE of them or ALL of them. It would help a lot to have an agent. But in order to get an agent, I have to complete ONE book. Self-publishing is probably my best option.
In the meantime, if you have any thoughts about dating a dirty old lady (never mind), seniors dating, dogs dating, over the hill writers writing romance novels, (Grandma Moses was in her 90′s when she painted her first painting), then please feel free to comment below (keep it clean). thanks.
oh yeah, love bites… hickeys. That is what I was trying to remember, the word hickey. Do you think it will be in the dictionary? When you were a kid did you look up all of the dirty words in the dictionary like we did? what do you know, it was in the dictionary. Bad dictionary. Sit. Stay. Now Go Fetch me the rest of the plot for this book I am writing. Now I definitely have to include hickeys in it, don’t you think?
HAPPY thanksgiving and Thanksgivukkah (chanukah)
IT has been kind of a canine holiday….
first, watched Lassie Come Home, not with Timmy but a kid named Joe in England… good movie
found out about Woofipedia
had lots of goodies to eat… and Cici gave me lots of kisses, wags and belly showing for some turkey
the dog show winner:
Jewel, a dominant American Foxhound won The National Dog Show during the annual Kennel Club of Philadelphia cluster at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. Jewel was selected by Best in Show Judge Randy E. Garren from among the seven canines emerging from the judging of over 1,500 dogs at the tradition-rich, all-breed show.
After successfully defending her 2012 Hound Group win at the show, Jewel edged out an ADORABLE with personality Bearded Collie, a Pekingese, a Norfolk Terrier, a Standard Schnauzer, a Bichon Frise and an Irish Water Spaniel on the Best in Show stage. Jewel also won the Hound Group at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this past February.
last Friday was my birthday and I had planned to drive down to Morro Bay with my dog and this gal who has been my driver for the past six months. Things started not seeming right with this person on Halloween and I began a search for another driver. After a couple of weeks, there was time for things to cool off. I decided to give the person the benefit of the doubt and a second chance and hired her again to take me shopping. More problems and she was having personal issues. OK. stuff happens, right.
Well, I realized that there was actually something completely else that I wanted to do on my birthday (rather than go to Morro Bay) and I did not know how to get it all worked out yet it came together very easily. There was even a Wags Hotel in Redwood City (where the event I wanted to go to was being held) and they were offering a FREE first stay for the dog. Next, my roommate decided he wanted to go to Redwood City to visit a friend of his and he would rent the car. Then he changed his itinerary to San Jose, but we could still drive together.
The Hotel Sofitel where the event I went to was being held is pet friendly and offering a discounted rate of only $99 but with all the other expenses I could not stay over. The hotel charges $20 a night per pet. So we decided to drive up and come back after the event (which ended around midnight). The Wag Hotel required more vaccinations than Cici has plus their hours would mean that instead of Cici playing with other dogs, she would mostly be in a strange room by herself. So I opted to leave Cici home. I figured that she would do better in her own home environment with familiar smells and items, toys and food.
It did not occur to me to look for a pet sitter. I called upon the driver gal (since she knows my dog and has worked with dogs) and my neighbor to look in on Cici. If the gal would walk Cici and feed her around 4 pm and my neighbor would check on her about 9 pm, I thought she would be OK. She mostly sleeps from 5 pm on most days/nights.
On Thursday, the gal drove me shopping and to dinner and I paid her and gave her the key and instructions.
On Friday, we left around noon and arrived back home around 3 a.m. Imagine my shock, when I saw that she had not bothered to show up and feed and walk my dog. Thankfully, Cici was just fine. I had left the door to the backyard open for her so she could do her business any time she wanted. And she must have spent the time sleeping away. Still, she was VERY happy to see us. And was rewarded for NOT tearing the house apart with some bacon and sausage we had brought back from breakfast at Denny’s.
The next morning, after a few hours of sleep, I discovered there was NO message on my phone, email or Facebook page from this person. What the heck was going on? I expected that at the very least there would be an explanation and apology. Instead there was nothing. As time went on, I became more livid. My neighbor came by and told me he just plain forgot to come by. He apologized and gave me the key back. I should have gotten his phone number to remind him since I knew that he has a bad memory. But what was up with the driver??? I sent her a nasty Facebook direct message and received no reply, no phone message.
By Monday, I decided to call the police and/or a lawyer (I have Legal Shield) for advice. Thinking about things this person told me about themselves had me more and more concerned. She has an arrest record for shoplifting and is not allowed to go into Target. She is very young with a five year old daughter who lives with her mother but she lives with a drug addict friend. She was concerned about being evicted and on her Facebook page she put up very strange, provocative (sexual) images and sayings. She was supposed to be going to Heald college to become a police officer yet this is how she conducts herself?
The lawyer said that he would call her and tell her to get the money and key back to me by Wednesday. She told him that her car broke down and that she would get me the friggin key and money whenever she could. Nasty and cursing at a lawyer. The lawyer did say that he managed to tell her that if anything happened to this house (if it were to be broken into while she still has a key), that she would be liable.
Now I do not believe for a minute that her car broke down. If so, and she were an honest and responsible person, she would have called and left me a phone message and apologized at the very least. Otherwise, she should have found a way to get here and GET THE JOB DONE (a ride from a friend, a bus, whatever). I have been told that people with arrest records cannot ever become police officers. And so I now believe this person to be a liar and a thief.
I sent her an email (after unfriending and blocking her on Facebook) letting her know that I do not believe her and that she needs to get the key and money to me by tomorrow. If she is unwilling to do anything else, she can MAIL the key and money.
I tried calling some professional pet sitters for tips how to avoid such a situation. One tip was to get references. Another was to not pay the person ahead of time. What would you do? I think that this situation is unique and I am endeavoring to learn from it (while processing my anger). I am thankful that I never drove down to Morro Bay with this person. And thrilled that Cici is such a rock star. I have left her alone for 2-4 hours maximum in the past. I would not ever leave her alone for 14 hours but next time, she will be with a reliable pet sitter who will love her and do the job.
Does a pet sitter need to be bonded and insured in order to be hired? Would you have a written contract even for a one time situation?
The Marriott Hotel nearby the Sofitel charges a $100 nonrefundable pet fee. There are other less expensive hotels in the area that are also pet friendly (Good Nite Inn, Motel 6) but not nearly the same quality of hotel accommodations and amenities for humans.
I have another driver in my neighborhood taking me shopping tomorrow. But so far, the drivers have not been very reliable. One gal could not even drive her own stick shift vehicle. Should I find another source to hire people other than craigslist? I cannot pay much but I try to go above and beyond (fed the other gal, took her to the movies one time, and accommodated her schedule and requests). A courteous, responsible and professional person communicates honestly and GETS THE JOB DONE NO MATTER WHAT. At least that is my standard. No More Flakes Need Apply.
DogVacay.com and other organizations provide in-home dog care while you are away. What do you do when you travel and cannot take your pets???
These days dogs are getting married, are involved in dating, are participating in weddings (from best man to ring bearer to flower girl), and more. So why not have your dog help you POP the question?
We’ve created a list of 99 romantic ways to pop the question for couples.
Below are 25 ways from the list.
1. at a wine tasting
2. at the (your name) B&B breakfast
3. at the jacuzzi/hot tub or swimming pool
4. with a marching band
5. flash mob
6. up up and away on a hot air balloon
7. at a picnic lunch
8. at a romantic restaurant over dessert
9. with a cupcake bouquet
10. with flowers
11. with a singing telegram costume cupid
12. sailing on a yacht
13. in a rented limo
14. on a hike
15. at an art show or painting / craft activity
16. at a nearby attraction (museum, botanical gardens, etc)
17. in a tree (house) or yurt or geodome
18. by the wishing well or wishing tree or gazebo or garden
19. serenaded by a favorite singer (or someone or you dressed up as their favorite singer)
20. at a wedding dress store
21. at the beach
22. have your dog/pet wear a sign, will you marry me?
23. have a blimp, balloon or t-shirt, wear a sign, will you marry me?
24. at a ballgame
25. on TV
If you’d like to discuss our POP the question PR package, how it can benefit your pet business, pet product business or pet friendly Inn, call or email me. Thanks.
People are dressing up their pets for Halloween next week and it is getting crazy out there… and here…
You have just a few more days to send me your pet photos for our Howloween contest… You might just win a cool scary prize BOO…
Now, here is the skinny on how much pet parents are spending on Halloween costumes for their pets. It could make you HOWL…
“Trends for 2013 show that the most popular pet costumes are the following: a pumpkin, a hot dog as a close second, cat, and devil.
“….According to a National Retail Federation Spending Survey, Halloween is second only to Christmas in spending and since 2005 spending on Halloween has increased 54.7 percent with total spending estimated to reach $6.9 billion in 2013.
“A good portion of the spending for Halloween comes in buying human costumes, but of the people surveyed, an additional 13.8 percent of pet parents plan on dressing up their four-legged companions as well.
“An estimated $330 million will be spent on finding just the right costume for Fido or Fluffy. This number has jumped an astonishing 65% since 2010.
“…Pet parents could once count on their favorite retailer only carrying a few selections of pet Halloween costumes, but today, there are literally hundreds of choices. This is especially true when you add online retailers into the equation”.
(and I would add and you write a whole blog about it, ha ha ha)…
We’re so excited to announce the 1st annual Halloween Costume Photo Contest! We’d love for you and your pets to join us!
The rules are simple. Check it out:
It’s your chance to show off your pet in her Halloween best! We’ve got great prizes for the 3 pets that win!
Prizes include your very own copy of The Sound and the Furry by Spencer Quinn. And to honor the book, please dress your pooch up as an ALLIGATOR…can be a homemade costume, store bought or whatever, use your imagination ! Creativity will be rewarded.
Spring Naturals dog food and other treats will also be given to the winners.
Halloween Safety Tips For Pets
Pet costumes are cute. And Halloween can be spooky for dogs. Be sure that your dog is safe in the neighborhood when you head out with her on Halloween. Pets do not always enjoy the sights and sounds of Halloween. Here are a few precautions to take to keep them safe:
1. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with an ID tag with your current contact information and that the microchip has up to date info, too.
2. Keep your pet on a leash. There may or may not be a lot of kids or teens where you live outside going trick or treating door to door. But be safe and control your pet with a leash. You never know when your dog might see a cat or decide s/he wants to chase or run off and scavenge or explore.
3. Make special Halloween treats for your pets. Give your dog a new bone, some doggie biscuits, dog jerky or dog cookies. But do not give candy to dogs or cats. Chocolate, nuts, raisins and candy with ingredients like xilothil and other “sugar-free” chemicals can be life threatening and even fatal for dogs.
4. When you are at home entertaining trick or treaters or having your own party, keep your pets in a safe place behind a closed door or gate. Otherwise, your pets might quickly get outside without a leash and get spooked, stolen or get into trouble.
5. Pets should stay indoors on Halloween night, especially black cats and even dogs that are outside. There is a high incidence of pets being stolen during the month of October, and you do not want your pets to become a statistic.
6. Have your own Halloween party for your pets and invite the neighborhood pawpals. Give out baskets of pet treats, play games and give our prizes for the best costumes !
BOO ! Share your plans for Halloween, the spookiest night of the year in the comments below and on our Facebook page, and be sure to send us your pet’s photo.
Pet communication comes in various forms. It is amazing what we can learn from our pets when we are willing / open to listening to them. Sometimes, we just don’t know how or are so busy worrying or scattered, filled with our daily lives that we miss the subtle and sometimes not to subtle messages.
Here are a few of my experiences communicating with pets here and also some who have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge…
* a dog I hardly had a relationship with passed… and he came to me in a dream, he was a German shepherd, I think he just wanted to let me know he was safe and at peace…
* my cat Abundance of five years came to me in a dream a number of years after he had run away and he came to me sitting on my belly purring like he used to do in life… it was a visit that was very healing for me because i was devastated when he left and i felt at peace that he had come back to me after he had passed on
before Abundance left the earthly plane, we were having some amazing communications… I had interviewed Susan McElroy who taught me a bit about pet communication. She said to use images rather than words… I was practicing with my two cats Abundance and Precious while I was working at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary… one morning, I was sitting at my computer and Abundance kept meowing and bugging me… finally, I decided to tune into what he was trying to tell me. Immediately, I saw that I had accidentally put my other cat Precious in a room with a closed door with no litter box, no food, nor water… Abundance was meowing to let me know to get Precious out of there. I opened the door and sure enough, he was in there and scooted out.
* a white cat that i was feeding in the neighborhood, i found out a few others were feeding her too…. got that she was very sick, she was very very skinny… took her to a vet and the vet said she had cancer and not much to do for her, and would be very expensive but not much hope… suggested euthanasia as the humane choice, i cried all the way to the spca in pasadena with this cat… they let me be with her in a room before the procedure…. I prayed with her and saw her being lifted up into my father’s and family’s arms/hands into heaven while the procedure was going on… she was met by loving people when she passed…
* with my dog Cici, she responds MUCH MUCH better to me when I communicate telepathically to her than when I verbalize. She actually listens and does what i ask her to do (usually not always)…
how about you? are your pets psychically attuned to you? do you listen and decipher their messages easily? is your pet telepathic? Can you use your intuition with your pet to understand what they want/need?
I believe that we are all intuitive, people and pets. And that we can learn to “tune in or tap into” the messages. Just like learning to listen to a sound from a frequency that we are not used to being able to hear. We can become quiet within and within that stillness hear messages, see message and more. Our loved ones including our pets love to “speak” to us and love it when we listen to them.
The loss of a beloved pet can be truly painful and difficult to deal with. A compassionate ear and heart and having been there can help a lot. When I lost Abundance, a “friend” kept telling me, it’s just a cat. She surely did NOT understand what I was going through. To me, Abundance was MUCH more than “just a cat.” He was a beloved companion of five years and a family member. He was my heart and soul and every little thing reminded me of him. I was in a lot of pain and did not think I could bear it. The sadness and grief was overwhelming.
Have you longed to hear from a pet who has crossed the bridge? I’d be happy to do a session with you and your pet(s). It can be one of the most healing experiences for a pet parent that is going through the grieving process.
Email or call me to set up a time (over the phone) at 702-225-8206.