Category Archives: K9 travel

Dog laws pros and cons

California has now made it legal for people to break car windows in order to break a dog out of a hot car.

“As of August 2016, Vermont joined forces with Tennessee, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio in passing laws to protect good Samaritans who assist dogs locked in hot cars.”

Palm Springs has made it illegal for people to leave their dogs in their cars.

Many people applaud these measures. Don’t get me wrong, dogs shouldn’t die in hot cars AND there are other issues about this to consider and SOLVE which these laws do NOT DO.

For instance, people like me who take their dogs on trips, who are single and alone and cannot leave their pooches in the motel, and must take their dogs with them wherever they go, sure, these laws are meant to save dog’s lives… but in Palm Springs it is illegal to keep your dog in a car, even if it is COOL weather or night, this goes TOO FAR. if dogs are not allowed in stores, there is NO PLACE FOR THEM TO BE. Where am I supposed to put CICI, tie her up outside a store ????

A woman called the police while I was shopping at Trader Joe’s one cool morning. I usually take Cici inside with me and did not know about the law. She was fine with the windows wide open. As I was at the cashier and leaving, the manager asked if that was my car and told me about the woman and the law.




There are laws that DESERVE TO BE BROKEN or should never have been made to begin with in my humble opinion.  What do you think ?


Speaking of which, MONTREAL’s wrong minded response to an incident and just passed a really horrible BSL law that will put too many dogs lives at stake. Rescues are trying to get dogs out of Montreal ASAP as we speak but families are being torn apart and heartbroken for what ????? outlawing dogs for the WAY THEY LOOK IS JUST PLAIN INSANE and goes against EVERYTHING dog experts agree upon on how to COMBAT effectively dog bites and dog aggression. Breed Specific Legislation does NOTHING but waste taxpayer dollars and has proven to be completely ineffective at curbing dog bites. In fact, in some places, dog bites went up because BREED and dog’s looks have NOTHING TO DO WITH whether  a dog will bite or be aggressive or not.

There are 5 or  red flags that are PROVEN that can lead to a dog attacking or biting.

A dog who is or has been abused, a dog who is left alone in a yard, all day and night and is not socialized nor trained, a dog who is left to roam the streets, a mama with puppies, a dog who is sick and NEVER LEAVE A CHILD OF ANY AGE ALONE WITH A DOG, NO DOG, NONE. These are the RED FLAGS … AND APPLY TO ALL BREEDS of DOGS!!!!!!

“legislators voted in 37 to 23 favor of breed-specific legislation, effectively outlawing any dog that resembles a pit bull — unless owners meet a strict set of conditions.

“Under the ban — which loosely covers American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers — no dog considered a pit bull can be adopted from Montreal shelters.

“For dogs that don’t have an ‘owner’ on the day of the passing of the legislation, the way the legislation is drafted, the dogs have to be euthanized,” Alanna Devine, of the Montreal SPCA, told The Dodo last week.

“…The legislation was proposed after a spate of dog attacks in the city. Among them, the most notorious resulted in a woman being killed by a dog in her yard last June. But, even in that case, there’s doubt whether the dog that attacked her was even a pit bull.

“Under the law, people who own dogs deemed pit bulls have until March to undergo a criminal background check and pay $150 for a special permit. Their dog will have to be sterilized, vaccinated and microchipped —as well as muzzled and on a 4-foot leash at all times in public.”




What you can do:

Sign the petition, write to the officials, speak out against BSL and adopt a dog from MONTREAL asap.






Filed under adoption, all you need is a dog, animal rescue, around the world, breed specific laws, dog rescue, dogs, dogs around the world, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Palm Springs, pet adoption, pit bull, politics, Uncategorized

Wonder woofers

This column article is in the Cedar Street Times this Friday… thanks to Wanda Sue Parrott

see cici on page 14, article about wonder woofers
photo by Mark Anderson, Monterey County Weekly

Wonder woofers and owners who won’t live without them

“Housing First!” If you were a homeless woman, or on the verge, housing would be your top priority.

Alas, affordable housing is so lacking in Monterey County, that “housing first” is the slogan all agencies, both public and private, use in dealing with affordable housing across the board.  (Note: Cici and I wish this were true)

A special category of need exists that involves homeless women with pets, a few being cats and the majority dogs. The exact number of Monterey’s homeless pet owners is unknown.

Overnight dog housing needed

Landlords don’t want pets and agency-housing doesn’t usually allow them.

Homeless women don’t want to give up their dogs, so they sleep in their cars or on the street to be with their animals.

One reason for temporary suspension of the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program for Women (I-HELP) was the fact female guests weren’t willing to give up their canine  companions in exchange for food, personal amenities and shelter.

Suggestions have been made that an I-HELP for Pets program be devised through which pets can be sheltered at a designated location, then reunited with their owners during the daytime hours.

Between 400 and 500 homeless women were estimated to live on the Monterey Peninsula before the Soberanes Fire dislocated residents who were burned out over the past three weeks. Of this number, an unknown percentage includes pet owners who consider their four-legged friends as more than just canines. They’re their Wonder Woofers.

A few words about Wonder Woofers

Cici is a poster-dog for this column. She’s a loving Dalmatian-Pit Bull mix seen here celebrating her 10th birthday last month. Cici is a Wonder Woofer. Along with her Wonder Worker owner, Cici is homeless.




Since Cici can’t define Wonder Woofer, I’ll try.

A Wonder Woofer is a warm-blooded furry friend who speaks from the heart in arfs, ruffs and woofs we humans call barks. A Wonder Woofer is on the job 24/7, never complaining.

A Wonder Woofer likes to snuggle and wiggle and lick, as well as serenade his or her human with  love songs sung unconditionally through squeals, whimpers, whines and hums.

A Wonder Woofer’s vocal range is extensive, also being capable of issuing protective warnings by yipping, growling and snarling if danger exists.

CeliaSue Hecht, Cici’s loving owner, is a former journalist who’s so devoted to her pet that she defines herself as a “dog traveler.”

Unlike many homeless women who don’t know where to turn or how to get started to solve the housing crisis, CeliaSue is a 66-year-old articulate activist. Despite having survived breast cancer and being in need of medical care and housing, CeliaSue is seeking solutions to the housing crisis. A current example is this ad in Craigslist:

RVs for Seniors with Dogs





If you live on the Central Coast of California and have an RV, camper, or trailer or know someone that does and would like to provide a home for a senior or veteran, please call CeliaSue at 702-225-8206…we have a list of those in need of housing.

Hundreds of senior women have been displaced with their pets. Single women without children, women who are not mentally ill, not drug addicts, not alcoholics, with low income, not working or cannot find work, veterans, and other seniors with dogs, over 50 years of age, some ill and whose health has deteriorated without shelter. 

Thank you for your kindness.


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Filed under affordable housing, big dogs welcome, California, Carmel, dog travel, dogs, donations, four paws up, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Monterey, news, pet press, pet travel, Uncategorized

Xmas 2015 gift guide

Well, this year has been the year that we will be glad when it is done and it is over, my year started off with breast cancer, then progressed to blood clots on lungs, bashing my head which led to a concussion, a dear friend of 40 years in hospital (serious operation), several friends dead, no home for me and cici to live in. I have been getting sicker and sicker and sicker and on and on and on and on, that has been my year…


so pardon me, if I am not exactly filled with a lot of holiday cheer…


Here are some great gifts for the pooches and pooch owners:


Eco Dog care

Love the fragrance (all natural essential oil ingredients), even washed my own bad self and hair with it and my hair was all soft and good. Cici does not like bathing so the goodness of this shampoo and wash was wasted on her dog self.






The Total Dog Manual: Meet, Train and Care for Your New Best Friend by David Meyer, president and cofounder of, the world’s largest nonprofit homeless pet adoption website.

If you have a dog, know a dog, want a dog, you have got to get this doggie manual. It is the how-to of canines. (Do doggies come with instructions? Now they do !)  It is very easy to navigate and fun to read.


From understanding a dog’s anatomy and those deep-down doggie instincts to training methods and grooming tips, all the information you need to understand your dog is now at your fingertips. Broken up into three sections–behavior, training and care–and easily organized from puppy-hood to old age, you will learn tips on curbing bad habits, teaching basic commands, vacationing with your dog, communicating effectively and much, much more. The Total Dog Manual’s easy to follow format and step-by-step training methods makes this your foolproof guide to dog care.


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Kinn Kleanbowl–a stainless steel frame which fits over compostable refill bowls. Included was the bowl with several inserts, and a package of extra bowls.

The Kleanbowl Challenge was created to show a pets preference to eat or drink out of the Kinn Kleanbowl when compared to their average pet bowl. The Kleanbowl reduces health risks to pets with the disposable and germ-free Nourish Pet refills which provide a healthy bowl alternative to regular pet bowls that may be unsanitary and filled with bacteria. To set up for the challenge, pet parents fill both the Kinn Kleanbowl as well as their pet’s regular bowl with the same food or water, place the two side by side and let their pet choose which to eat or drink out of! Kleanbowl Challenge pets are not incentivized or influenced to select the Kinn Kleanbowl.


Santa poop bags:  A nice red clip-on-the-leash (collar) carrier for dog poop bags with extra rolls of bags to fit the carrier. The brand is Boty Dogs.


It was a bad spring in my  neighborhood for people NOT picking up after their dog.  We all stood around complaining about how it gives a bad rap to all dog owners.

We got to talking about what we could do and who always picks up.  The
conversation got a little silly and someone suggested Santa Claus
would always pick up, as a result I created the “Picking Up In Good
Company” poop bags with Santa reaching down to a dog who is pooping.  Carla
Here is the link to the product on Amazon;


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Barkworthies, yummy elk antler and 8 oz. of sweet potato chips.  “Naturally Healthy, Naturally Happy” All Natural Dog Chews. The sweet potatoes the ONLY ingredient.  The website is
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Sweet potatoes are a canine favorite because of their flavor and are: 

– packed with vitamin A, B6 and C, plus minerals manganese, iron, potassium, fiber, and zinc 

– great for senior dogs (because they help fight the effects of aging) and puppies (because they’re a high source of calcium) 

– natural dental aids, since the chewy texture helps remove built-up tartar and plaque 

– vegetarian and vegan friendly

A note from the Elmakis Family: “We love our pets and know that wholesome nutrition is essential to their health and happiness. This is why we started Barkworthies.
“We wanted dog lovers like you to have access to the highest quality chews and treats without additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients.
“Today, we’re proud to offer an exciting line of products that are as nutritious as they are delicious. We source our ingredients globally, selecting only the best for your family. When you choose Barkworthies, you can feel confident you’re giving your canine companions what they need to  eat, live and love.”
Pet Safety ID Tags with Links-It
Even the most well trained pet can have a bad day. A frightening noise, natural disaster, car accident or other unexpected event can trigger a dog or cat to run for the hills leaving owners devastated and frantically searching. Unfortunately, while 80 percent of pet owners report that they believe it is either very or extremely important for animals to wear ID tags, only 33 percent report always having ID tags on their pets. While many owners have their pets chipped today, a collar and ID tags are still an important visual signal that a dog or cat is lost from home and not just a stray. Pet IDs with a new technology to help keep them safe.
Many pet owners don¹t keep tags on their animals because it can be hard to get them onto the metal ring without breaking it, pinching a finger or wasting twenty minutes of a day. A new gadget called LINKS-IT solves the problem by eliminating the need for the ring. Made from an ultra-durable polymer, LINKS-IT snaps apart so tags can be slid on and attached to a collar, then snaps and locks in place. LINKS-IT can be used with existing tags or upgraded further with Pawdentify tags which are more durable than metal, virtually silent, and can be custom printed with up to 15 lines of ID information that will never rub or scratch off. They are available in over 100 designs. 

and a wonderful holiday gift guide by our friends at Kurgo



Happy, Merry Ho Ho Howlidays and Happy New Year to you and yours !!!!

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Filed under au natural dog, dog health, dog training, dog travel, dog treats, four paws up, gifts for your dog, happy holidays, K9 approved, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Uncategorized

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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Filed under CA, California, dog friendly, dog rescue, dog spa, dog travel, dog treats, dogs, four paws up, holistic vet, K9 approved, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Palm Springs, pet adoption, pet care, pet friendly dining, pet friendly lodging, Uncategorized

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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Filed under dog friendly, dog travel, dogs, four paws up, Idyllwild, K9 approved, K9 travel, pet friendly lodging