Category Archives: K9 travel

A romantic dog away

Finnegan and Blue, the 7 and 15 year old Golden Retriever and Aussie Shepherd mix greeted us at the door. They let themselves in and out of the house numerous times during our stay. And Finn opens guest room doors and lets dogs outside of their rooms upon occasion.

There is also an elusive cat. If your doggie has cat issues, like Cici, you might want to let them know in advance.

We enjoyed the lovely wine and cheese afternoon refreshment as well as the delicious breakfast of eggs benedict with country fried potatoes and fruit parfait, orange juice and our choice of hot beverage (tea or coffee).

Our room was cozy with a gas fireplace for heat as well as individually controlled heat and air conditioning unit on the wall. We had our own patio although it was too chilly to sit outside. The bed was nice and big and Cici of course joined me on it.



Michael and Finn




From the beginning, in 1996, the McCaffrey House B&B in Twain Hart (about 10 miles north of Sonora) was pet friendly. Husband and wife Michael and Stephanie moved to Twain Harte from San Jose. He was a graphic designer seeking to retire and paint watercolors and Stephanie was an event planner. They often spent time in Twain Harte during the summers at Stephanie’s family cabin. When they moved onto the property, they tore the cabin down and designed the house that “we’d love to be a guest in.” There are eight guest rooms, three downstairs are pet friendly.

Some secrets to their success as innkeepers are to always take time off, make your home a sanctuary for your family and hire a housekeeper and innsitter. The best part of having an inn, Michael explained, is that they get to meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world and it’s a great place to live. Living in a tourist area is fun. There are no traffic jams. It is stress free, A slow leisurely pace of life.

People from all over the world have stayed at this B&B (countries: England, Germany, Asian countries, people who want to visit Yosemite, go hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, wilderness adventures, repel down the rocks, go fishing and enjoy the outdoors at nearby Pinecrest Lake). Yosemite is about an hour away.

According to Michael, every season is different in this rural community and there are many pet friendly hiking trails, lakes and dining options including the Ephernson House, The Rock (a tavern) and Cafe Blossom that allow dogs on their patios.

The Sugar Shack is a yummy bakery about three miles up the road. In Pinecrest, Cold Spa Village and Mia’s restaurant are pet friendly. About 45 miles away, Kennedy Meadows (5,000 feet elevation) provides cabins, camping and a restaurant, (known for its Sunday night prime rib dinner), all are pet friendly.

The sugar Pine Trail is a good flat trail walk on with dogs.

McCaffrey House: 23251 Highway 108 – Twain Harte, CA 95383
The Inn is located 11 miles east of Sonora and one-half mile above the East Twain Harte exit on Highway 108. Do not turn into the town of Twain Harte) Turn right off of Highway 108 just beyond the 4,000 elevation marker sign. The McCaffrey House is approximately three hours from the Bay Area, four hours from the Monterey Peninsula, and one hour from the Central Valley

TUESDAYS ARE FREEStay any three nights that include a Tuesday and pay 1/2 price for Tuesday. Stay any four nights that include a Tuesday and it is FREE.Must call to book. Request at time of reservation. Holiday periods excluded. Subject to availability.

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Filed under All you need is love, B&B's, big dogs welcome, California, camping, dog friendly, dogs, Gold country, K9 travel, keep pets safe, pet friendly dining, pet friendly lodging, pet travel, travel with dog, travelwriting, Uncategorized, Valentine's Day

Gold country pet friendly

There is still gold in them THAR hills. When you are looking for a peaceful, quiet, and relaxing getaway, you will definitely want to visit the Courtwood Inn, high on a hill, overlooking the forest and the town of Murphys. It is a new lovely modern and spacious log cabin home with a tennis theme. The pet friendly room is downstairs (the Davis Cup) so that you and your pooch can come and go through the outside patio door.

Each of the five rooms offer Microsilk spa tubs and fantastic views. Our bed was so high, I needed a step stool to get in and out of it. And Innkeeper Chris Parker provided wonderful wines and cheeses for an afternoon refreshment and a delicious fruit parfait with yogurt and Dutch baby egg dish for breakfast.

Cici was very fond of Chris from the start. She slobbered on her and just followed her around to be near her. Of course Chris DID give her lots of attention and a toy and treats.

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Innkeepers Chris and Larry Parker, former tennis instructors, are planning to offer tennis courts and lessons by summer of 201. They also offer wine tours to some of the 23 wineries in the area.

Pet friendly wineries include Twisted Oak, and others.

Pet amenities: a gift basket filled with a toy that Cici chewed up immediately. There were also some gifts for me. A few samples were held for me at the Art on Main store (a necklace) and a spice sample at the Spice Tin. And a collapsible water bottle that can be filled up.

Louise, the K9 Personal shopping Assistant at the Dog Store on Main Street is an extremely gracious, knowledgeable and kind shopkeeper. She fitted Cici with a brand new harness and leash (purple) and we discussed tips on handling dogs (which I will write about in another blog post). She offers a full range of dog items and accessories from food to treats, toys and clothing. She totally believes that dogs are miracles with paws.

You can read more about the inn and/or book your reservation here:

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Filed under California, dog toys, dog travel, dog treats, dog wear, dogs, K9 approved, K9 travel, pet friendly lodging, pet friendly winery, pet travel, travel with dog, Uncategorized

Relaxing Spa in the Desert

If your dog could speak s/he would tell you to Leave the hustle, bustle, traffic, noise and smog behind and bring them to The Dog Spa Resort and Wellness Center for a fun time together. The DogSpa is the pet friendliest place on the planet, never mind Palm Springs and it is for both humans and canines. Talk about dogitude. The place oozes dog friendly vibes. For one thing, dogs go unleash everywhere, there are no pet fees, no restrictions in terms of size, weight and breed, and you can leave the dog in the room if the dog will behave.

That does not mean there are no rules. Guests are reminded not to feed their dogs in public, no treats in common areas, to pick up after their dogs, and to supervise their dogs at all times. The DogSpa is the brainchild of Paula Terifaj, a holistic vet, who knows dogs, knows dog body language and she watches out for any problem dogs. She wants the DogSpa to be a really fun relaxing place for everyone. She also rescues dogs and wants to get the many dogs in shelters adopted into forever homes.

“I wanted to create some place unique, different, a really dog friendly place for people and their four legged family members, to unwind, unplug and relax with fresh air, sunshine and mineral water pools,” she explained. The soothing mineral water is what really attracts people to this area. Year round swimming in a hot springs pool and getting a stress-releasing massage, who could ask for anything more?

Paula bought the intimate hotel in 2009 and spent two years renovating it to her specifications. There is a dog park that is fenced that dogs can enjoy. Dogs Vacation Free here. And if your dog happens to fall into a pool with you, well then, whoopsie. This resort takes dog friendly into a whole other realm.

The point is for you and your dog to share the experience. You do not want to have your dog stuck in some kennel or room while you are away having fun. People benefit from the whole experience and their dogs get to be part of it, too.  Imagine lazy days lying in the sun, swimming in the pool, enjoying the hot tub, and your dog is lying on a towel next to you relaxing, too.

A dog named black lab mix named Jake greeted Cici and I. He was running around the pool with a ball in his mouth that he would not let go of come heck or mineral water. Cici also met one of Paula’s dogs, Brad Pit, a brown beagle and pit bull mix. He was guarding the area between the kitchen and the dog park (a relaxation area). We did not get to meet her other dog, Black Beauty.




We stayed in a luxury Suite 4 (with café kitchen).Cafe Kitchens feature a full sized refrigerator, ice, coffeemaker, microwave, toaster, sink, and dinnerware. There are only six unique rooms including Wellness rooms with purified water, air, magnet beds and so much more.




  • Two hot mineral pools kept at the perfect temperature year around. Large swimming pool at a comfortable 88° F and Jacuzzi at a therapeutic 102° F. Both heated without gas by an underground hot water well.
  • Complimentary health conscious buffet breakfast from 8am until 10am.

If you live in LA or San Diego and want to spend a weekend or vacation and enjoy the mineral hot springs pool in Desert Hot Springs (a few minutes from Palm Springs), then this IS the place to visit. It is only two hours from LA and San Diego and you can bring your pooch(es).


Speaking of dog parks, Paula suggests:

l. Be prepared and be vigilant.

2. Bring a spray bottle of water, know where there is a hose, or bring an air horn or a whistle to use if dogs are not getting along.

3. Be mindful

4. Keep your eyes and ears on your dog at all times.

5. Be aware of the weather. Dogs should NEVER be left along in a hot car and in the summer, the pavement may be too hot for their paws and can burn their pads.

If you are seeking a small intimate healthy environment to do workshops or seminars or retreats, you may be able to rent the entire property for a yoga workshop, a cooking, meditation, or healthy retreat.

Ask for the Double the Fun special as well as a dog spa gift certificate. You and your dog deserve stress-free pampering time!   Click on the link below to find out more.

You can also go shopping with your dog at The River (a dog friendly shopping mall in nearby Palm Desert, yes indeed)…

and there are hiking trails. Click the link below to find out all about the trails, dog park and where to eat with your pooch, too.


There are some other dog parks in the area in case you want to visit (but you will enjoy the one at the Dog Spa Resort more than any of the others, we betcha plus who wants to drive all the way to Palm Desert or Indio when you and your pooch came here to stretch your paws and woof it up !

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Fall is fun

Frost on the car windows and various colored leaves on the trees… that’s right, we finally made it back to Idyllwild and stayed at the Strawberry Creek’s pet friendly Bunkhouse. We’ve never been there before and not stayed in Idyllwild during Fall. The air was cool, crisp and fresh and our cabin was red-flanneled log cabin cozy with a small kitchenette and patio. Every morning, there was a knock on the door and a basket filled with yummy scones, apple juice and multi-grain oatmeal was my breakfast.


Unfortunately, my tummy did not enjoy the elevation and innkeepers Rodney and Ian had to leave due to a family emergency, so Cici got to watch me sleep and moan and groan for a few days. Not much fun for her. She would have much preferred chasing squirrels.




Along the way we discovered an amazing drink at Starbuck’s, something I will try to recreate… hot lemonade with passion flower tea, the best taste sensation EVER.

We also enjoyed a free night at the Red Woof Inn San Diego.


Idyllwild seems to have more pet friendly places than when we visited there a few years ago. And the page with listings are right on the Bunkhouse’s website, here….


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Summer Fun in Doggie Heaven

Enjoying Carmel with your best friend

Canine travelers and their best friends love Carmel for a good reason. It is the epitome of a dog friendly place. Rated #1 dog friendly town in USA. Below are some of the most dog friendly places, events and activities you can enjoy during your stay. And what better time to visit Carmel then during the summer when the living is easy. Temperatures in Carmel year round are in the 50-70’s so if you wanna get away from the heat, Carmel is the place to take your pooch to paradise.

Fun facts about Carmel

Every year around Halloween, the city of Carmel has a dog friendly parade to celebrate the city’s birthday. This year’s bash is their 98th anniversary. The Carmel Chamber of Commerce hosts this event.

Carmel beach

Carmel Beach. Ocean Ave and Scenic Road.  Carmel Beach is a doggie paradise and one of the few leash-free beaches in California. There are 120 parking spaces at the end of Ocean Avenue. It can be a very busy place and chaotic with lots of doggie pals to meet and play with. Spanning from Carmel Beach to Carmel River Beach, the Scenic Road path offers some of the area’s most incredible views of Carmel Point, Point Lobos State Reserve, Pebble Beach Golf Links, and Carmel’s famous Cypress trees and white-sand beach.


Hiking trail and park 

Mission Trail Park

Rio Road and Ladera Drive, Carmel CA  93923

Hiking skill level: Easy


This is Carmel’s largest park at 35 acres, and features 5 miles of well maintained trails.  The trails wind through canyons and hillsides with five different habitats.  Mission Trail Park is a great place to take your dog walking and a wonderful place for bird watching.

There are five park entrances: Rio Road, 11th and Torres, Crespi Avenue and Mountain View Avenue, Martin Road, and 25800 Hatton Road, the location of Flanders Mansion and the Lester Rowntree Native Plant Garden.

Mission Trail Park has a forested canyon fed by a small stream, hillside meadows on the east, and views of Carmel Point and the Pacific to the west.

You can also hike with your dog at Garland Ranch Regional Park, just eight miles east on Carmel Valley Road. Waterfall Trail has lots of steps to get Fido good and tired or take Mesa Trail for a leisurely ramble. Dogs can be off leash if they are under voice control and there is plenty to sniff and explore.

Wine tasting

A Taste of Morgan wine tasting room is super dog friendly. It is located at Rio Road at Highway One in the Crossroads Shopping Center.  831.626.3700

Doggie shopping

Diggidy Dog at Carmel Plaza has all the doggies woofing and woofing, about all of the wonderful treats, dog food, toys, fashionwear and more. A place to pamper your spoiled fur brat. Be warned that there is a huge selection of delicious-treats strategically displayed at “K9-level” so keep your pup on a short leash or you’ll wind up wrestling things out of their mouth and then buying them.

Southwest Corner of Ocean Ave. and Mission St.

Carmel, CA 93921     (831) 625-1585

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Don’t Miss

The Fountain of Woof is right across the street (sort of) from Diggidy Dog at Carmel Plaza. Besides all of the shops and places to eat at Carmel Plaza, there are two major shopping centers in Carmel, at the Crossroads and the Barnyard. Many of the shops are dog friendly including The Cheese Shop, Pet Food Express, and others.

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Yappy hour

Doris Day’s Cypress Inn

Lincoln Street, Carmel, CA 93921

(831) 624-3871

Yappy Hour at Terry’s Restaurant & Lounge from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  The event is open to the public, locals and visitors alike.

Scenic drive and dining out

Pebble Beach 17 mile drive

  • Carmel: The toll booth is on San Antonio Ave
  • $10 per car
  • walk your dog and dogs are allowed in cars

2700 17 mile drive, pb, ca


At the Inn at Spanish Bay at Pebble Beach, you and your pooch can stay on the patio firepit area outside, have a drink at the bar and eat some goodies

From 5:45 to 6:30 PM, as you watch the sun set, you can also listen to the bagpipers play

 Pet friendly accommodations

Hofsas House

Between 3rd & 4th Ave
on San Carlos Street.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

Phone: (831) 624-2745

Screen shot 2014-07-08 at 8.25.20 AM

38 Bavarian style rooms, some with fireplaces, others with ocean views, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, meeting rooms and yummy fresh continental breakfast. Dogs are welcome in some of the rooms, for a pet fee of $25 per night for one dog, $40 for two. Pet amenities include dog treats and frisbees. Close to all of the shops in Carmel village, in walking distance to everything.


Filed under Bay area, beach, California, Carmel, dog friendly, dog parks, dog toys, dog travel, dog treats, doggie fountain, dogs, family friendly, K9 approved, K9 travel, keep pets safe, pet friendly dining, pet friendly lodging, pet friendly winery, pet travel, spoil your dog rotten, Uncategorized

Pet-friendly red white and blue

in northern california:


Fireworks of any kind are prohibited in Monterey and Carmel but are allowed in Seaside… so if you bring your pooch with you to these locations, be prepared with ID tags and calming collars or Rescue Remedy. Hold onto the dog’s leash at all times and also bring poop waste bags to clean up after your dog.


City of Monterey’s annual 4th of July Celebration. The Admission is Free Big Little Backyard Bar-B-Que and Entertainment Extravaganza will be held on the historic grounds of Colton Hall on Pacific Street on Friday, July 4th from 11:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Featured bands include Monterey Community Band (11:00 a.m.), Foreverland (12:00 p.m.), Red Beans & Rice (1:30 p.m.) and Lovefool (3:00 p.m.). Children’s entertainment includes free carnival booths and games, face painting, balloon artists and jump houses. Lots of great food provided by non-profit food vendors will be on sale all day.

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For more information, call 646-3996 or go online to or

The Old Monterey Business Association will be providing a 4th of July Parade on Alvarado Street at 10 a.m. For more info, please call 655-8070 or

the Monterey County Pops! will be offering an evening concert at the Golden State Theatre in downtown Monterey. For more info, please visit

Please remember fireworks of any kind are prohibited in Monterey. Have a fun and safe 4th of July

Downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea

July 4, 2014, 12:00 PM-4:00 PM

Phone: (831) 620-2020 • website

Open to the public

an old-fashioned, family-style celebration in Devendorf Park across from Carmel Plaza on Ocean Avenue from noon to 4pm. Mayor Jason Burnett welcomes everyone at noon followed by entertainment by “Cheeky Spanks” with lots of fun and games for kids! Bring a blanket or chairs at the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea.  technically dogs are not supposed to be there but no one will mind, it could be loud, be prepared with poop bags, have dog on leash, in a doggie stroller, walk around and visit the fountain of woof at carmel plaza, and go to the beach.

There will be hot dogs, cold drinks, chips, ice cream, watermelon, and cookies! Get there early, supplies are limited!  All food and festivities are FREE! Food will be provided by local service clubs and groups such as Carmel Host Lions, Mission Trail Lions, Yes for Carmel!, Carmel Heritage, Carmel Woman’s Club, Carmel Chamber, and much more!

For more information please contact (831) 620-2020.


SLO/Morro Bay

July 4th Weekend Art in the Park, July 4, 5 & 6, 2014

You can bring your pup with you to this free event. Attendees will witness art created live, and have the opportunity to purchase beautiful works of art made by fine local artists. The event takes place at Morro Bay City Park and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days.


10 Pet-Friendly Boutique Hotels and B&B Inns in California

California boutique hotels and B&Bs make it easy to travel on vacation with four-legged friends.  There are more than 70 pet-friendly member inns of the California Association of Boutique and Breakfast Inns (CABBI), many of which go out of their way to pamper pooches with special treats, blankets and more.

10 of the most pet-friendly inns in the state; many more can be found at


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Filed under California, Carmel, dog travel, dogs, fountain of woof, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Monterey, pet travel, pit bull, Uncategorized

Happy Dog Travels

Whenever we travel, Cici has her own bag filled with goodies just for her… these are gotta haves, bring with us items that are crucial for a safe, happy trip. And below, we are sharing some of these items with you.


Some these items came in Cici’s Pet Box (the ones with a *)…a wonderful pick and choose pack filled with items that doggies love and need. One of the things we LOVE about PetBox is that PetBox gives you the option to pack your own box. And the items you have to choose from are not just any old products. They are premium products such as the ones below. Monthly subscriptions … we also love the cardboard box that the items come in. Another cool thing is that for every PetBox purchased, they feed a rescue animal. Oh and cats are not left out in the cold either. There are cat boxes, too.

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Here is what makes PetBox unique, compared to other monthly doggie boxes:

All products are made in the US

– Toys and treats are customized by dog or cat size

– When you order a PetBox, it ships within 2 business days

– For every purchase, the company feeds rescue animals with the help of a new partner called Bogo Bowl


* bowls such as Outback Double Diner, two bowls in one, water and food, zips up easy, dries quickly

dog food/treats

pet naturals calming treats

pet naturals breath bars   spirulina, parsley, mushroom, cinnamon powder and yucca schidgera extract

*dog toys, a ball to chew on

a few bones and chews to slobber on

blankets, sleeping bag

towels to clean up muddy wet paws

green doggie first aid kit including Bach Flower Rescue Remedy, qtips, essential oils and more

photo, license, vaccination records and ID tags (microchip number)

*waste bags

extra leash, just in case

CritterZone Air Purifier and Odor Eliminator

supplements such as:

* Honest kitchen’s Perfect Form herbal digestion aid

 ASEA, herbal internal powder to keep fleas away, flea comb, and

shampoo, Miracle 2 soap and/or dry shampoo

* an O’Tom tick Twister to remove those icky ticks

* Slurp n Fresh oral hygiene and Kissable breath foam

Kurgo barrier and safety harness (doggie seat belt)

Keep Fido in her place

Cici loves to jump into the driver’s seat when I run into the store. I come back to find you-know-who drooling on the steering wheel and getting the front seat all hairy.

Here is where the Backseat Barrier™ comes in. Super stylish, this cloth barrier attaches to the back of your front seats, creating a soft wall between you and Fido…blocking that little space above your center console. She can still sit and peer through the mesh top; you can even reach back for a scratch if necessary. Most importantly, this barrier helps to keep you distraction free while driving, and keeps your pup safely out of the front of the car.

if I had a small dog, I would bring this to carry my dog in:

Sherpa bag


Available colors:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Plum
  • Gray

Available in Small, Medium & Large:

  • Large – 19” long x 11.75” wide x 11.5” high
  • For pets up to 22 lbs.
  • Airline approved  **restrictions apply
  • Top & side entry
  • Mesh panels for ventilation
  • Locking zippers
  • Rear pocket
  • Padded hand carry straps
  • Adjustable, no-slip shoulder strap
  • Machine washable faux lambskin liner
  • Seatbelt / luggage strap

If i had a hairy dog, I would use this:cleaning mitt

Dual-sided Cleaning Mitt can be used wet or dry. It quickly and easily removes dirt and mud from all sizes of pet and all types of fur, leaving it clean and shiny. Use it at bath time too.

if I was traveling with children, I would also bring:

Pansy  in Paris: A Mystery in the Museum by Cynthia Bardes

What an enchanting little picture book about a little girl named Avery and her best pal Pansy (toy poodle). They go on an adventure, discover the joy of travel and solve a mystery. Written from Pansy’s point of view, adorable.

and two books for guardians:

Life’s a Bark by Larry Kay


What can you learn about love and life from your dog? This book is filled with 60 hilarious and heartwarming tales and tips and tons of great photos…  Play Fair, Praise Me, Listen Well, Honor my Feelings and more… Try this: pretend you’re a dog and look in the mirror…laugh out loud funny book

Medicine Dog book by Julia Szabo is an inspirational true story about a miraculous cure. One ailing woman’s journey to cure her best friend ends up healing herself. Julia Szabo’s dog Sam was very ill with osteoarthritis. Stem cells restored him to his former and younger self. She went to her doctor and asked to be treated like her dog. She suffered from a chronic inflammatory bowel disease and it took four years for her to become the first American to obtain the stem cell treatment herself.


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