Pet-Friendly Newport

Rhode Island is named the Ocean State for good reason: everywhere you turn you seem to have amazing vistas of the ocean, including Block Island Sound, Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay. And Newport puts you right in the middle of it. It’s also one of our favorite cities because it’s extremely pet friendly.

Taking a walk in Fort Adams State Park.

For an outdoor adventure with your dog, try Cliff Walk. Cliff Walk is a 3.5 mile long trail along the Atlantic shoreline in Newport’s National Historic District. Dogs are permitted throughout the trail, provided that they are leashed and supervised at all times. Another popular outdoor trek is Newport’s Ten Mile Drive, which snakes along the southern shoreline and displays the history of the city’s wealthy community. It also contains numerous public parks and public-access shorelines. Dogs are permitted, but must be leashed when they are outside of vehicles. There’s also Fort Adams State Park, which is located along Newport Harbor and offers such activities as swimming, fishing, boating, soccer and picnicking. Brenton State Park is another scenic park equipped with hiking trails, picnic tables, and gardens that allows dogs of all sizes for no additional charge, provided they are on a six foot leash and have a valid license tag.

If you’d looking for more low-key place to bring your dog for quick exercise, Newport has a fenced-in dog park that welcomes dogs of all sizes and allows them to run off-leash.

A happy shopper at Wag Nation.

There are also multiple dog-friendly tours and tourist attractions in Newport.  Newport Tour and Guide Company is an attraction that caters small group tours around Newport and provides pet-friendly vehicles. Dogs of all sizes are permitted on these tours for no extra charge, provided they don’t require any extra clean up.  Another popular dog-friendly Newport historical attraction is Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the United States. Leashed dogs are permitted throughout the grounds, but are not allowed in the buildings

If you’d prefer to tour Newport from the water, Gansett Cruises offers dog-friendly harbor tourist. Dogs are only allowed on the main deck of the boat and must be leashed and supervised.

Although the city of Newport does not permit dogs on their beaches between Labor Day and Memorial Day, there are a couple of pet-friendly beaches in the surrounding area: Teddy’s Beach in Portsmouth and East Ferry Beach in Jamestown both allow leashed dogs.

Newport has a plethora of pet-friendly eating establishments ranging from cafes, pubs, ice cream parlors, seafood restaurants, and more, so you’ll never have to worry about leaving your dog alone while you eat:

There are even two restaurants that have a menu items specifically for dogs: Canfield House Restaurant and Pub, and The Landing at Bowen’s Wharf.

If you’d like to treat your pet while you’re in Newport, visit Wag Nation. Wag Nation is a pet boutique sells pet products such as food, leashes, toys, and pet apparel. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are permitted in the store.

For a list of pet-friendly hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts in Newport and booking information, click here.

Petswelcome Dog Toy Review

Beyond performing their regular jobs around the office, our dogs–namely Rusty and Hobbes–also demand serious playtime with their toys. So when we suggested they be the principle testers in our Petswelcome Dog Toy Review, they were very game.

Both dogs really enjoy bringing a toy with them when they travel–it reminds them of home and keeps them calm and less distracted–so we chose 4 soft cloth chew toys, ones that can easily be packed in a bag or played with in the car and/or hotel room without causing damage to the surrounding environs. Our testing criteria was to see how the toys fared overall, how safe they were, and how long it took a 60 lb. Vizsla and a 90 lb. Bracco Italiano to eradicate them from the face of the earth. Not long it turns out.

Keep in mind that if you have a smaller or less tenacious dog, these toys could last significantly longer.

Skinneeez:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initially, Rusty and Hobbes loved this toy. Because the duck is so long and limp, it functioned well in their game of tug of war, and managed to withstand this without ripping in half. However, Hobbes quickly learned that he could stuff the entire toy in his own mouth, and proceeded to trot around with his mouth closed, thus ending the team activities.

After fifteen minutes, the squeaker stopped functioning, and sizable holes had started forming in the toy. Not long after, the squeaker fell out of one of these holes, and we had to pry it out of Rusty’s mouth, as he’d started gnawing on it.

After 48 minutes, the dogs had torn the head off of the duck, and there was stuffing scattered all around the office.

 

Price: $7.51
Description: A limp, stuffing-free fabric duck with a squeaker inside
Advertisement: “long lasting play,” “flip flopping action”
Destruction Time: 48 minutes
Petswelcome Safety Rating: 1 out of 5
The flexibility of this toy makes it easy to fit in a medium-sized dogs mouth, and it in conjunction with its long, slim shape, we consider it a choking hazard. Additionally, the squeaker was very quickly torn out of the toy, presenting an even more prominent choking hazard that we encountered as a problem very quickly in our experiment.

 

Bottle Buddies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although we disregarded Bottle Buddies’ warning and gave this toy to two very aggressive chewers, this chew toy lasted the longest of the bunch. It’s lack of stuffing made it possible for the dogs to chew it aggressively and even tear holes in it without making a mess. Although the squeaker stopped working early on, it appeared to be stuck inside the water bottle, so it didn’t become a choking hazard for the dogs. The empty water bottle inside compensated for the lack of squeaking, make a constant crunching noise that Rusty and Hobbes appeared to like and inspired impassioned gnawing.

The fabric covering the water bottle was not very durable, and consequently one of the toy’s ears was ripped off after 40 minutes, and large holes began forming soon thereafter. This didn’t cause much of a mess, though, so we continued to let the dogs play with it until a hole in left side of the toy became so large that the water bottle started to fall out.

 

Price: $6.91
Description: A fabric stuffing-free dog-shaped toy with a water bottle and squeaker inside.
Advertisement: “Designed for supervised play only. Not designed for aggressive chewers”
Destruction Time: 3 hours
Petswelcome Safety Rating: 5 out of 5
This toy was soft and consequently didn’t present any threat of of scratching the dogs or causing discomfort. It was also very difficult to tear apart, and encased its primary choking hazard (the squeaker) inside a water bottle, making it inaccessible to the dogs.

 

American Wildlife:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Wildlife admits that the toy is best suited for “moderate” chewers, and Rusty and Hobbes are certainly a grade above moderate. Fur was being ripped off of the toy in chunks almost as soon as they were given the toy, and within 20 minutes the ears had been chewed off and the squeaker was no longer functioning. The fur that remained on the toy was evidently very absorbent, and became completely saturated with drool, making it unpleasant to touch. Although the squirrel was rapidly falling apart, the lining did not initially break, so most of the stuffing stayed inside of it, as opposed to scattered around the office. Even when the tail came off—about 45 minutes in—there was minimal mess, save for all of the fur.

An hour and 15 minutes in, this changed and stuffing was everywhere. We decided it was time to confiscate the toy when we found Hobbes outside digging a hole to bury it in.

Price: $8.99
Description: A furry, stuffed, squirrel-shaped toy with a squeaker inside.
Advertisement: “tough, durable dog toy,” “will stand up to moderate chewing”
Destruction Time: 1 hour, fifteen minutes
Petswelcome Safety Rating:
 2 out of 5
This toy was plush and thick, not presenting any sharp edges that could hurt the dogs. However, the insides came out fairly quickly, and that made it possible for the dogs to swallow the stuffing and discarded parts. The fur also started coming off in chunks alost immediately, creating yet another thing to get stuck in the dogs’ throats.

 

Tuffy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rusty was particularly fond of this toy. He became incredibly territorial over it, and consequently we had no way of assessing whether the chew toy was suitable for group play. The shark had thick outer lining, which appealed to the dogs, as they could chew at it more aggressively than they could the other toys. However, this increase in the fervor of Rusty’s chewing resulted in the the toy’s stitching being undone very quickly. There was no gradual destruction of the toy: within the span of ten minutes it went from being apparently intact to having its stuffing strewn everywhere.

Price: $9.59
Description: A soft but firm shark-shaped dog toy with a squeaker (but not a very active one) inside.
Advertisement: “World’s Most Durable Soft Dog Toy”
Destruction Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Petswelcome Safety Rating:
4 out of 5
Like the other toys, there were no hard objects in this toy that could injure the dogs, and it was tough enough to stay intact until its complete annihilation, giving the dogs a very small window to consume any parts of it that could be potential choking hazards. Still, we detract one point because the stuffing and squeaker were eventually exposed.

 

Conclusion:

Obviously, the most important factor in choosing a toy for your pet is safety. Many toys with squeakers or excessive stuffing are not a good choice because the dogs can swallow these pieces and choke, or have them get caught in their throat or windpipe.

Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

As of Friday, October 26th, Hurricane Sandy–the 19th named storm, and 10th hurricane so far this year–is barreling up the east coast and predicted to make landfall on Monday/Tuesday morning somewhere between the Chesapeake Bay to the south and New York’s Long Island to the north. With 38 lives already lost in the Caribbean, Sandy, now a Category 1 storm, is not to be taken lightly. In addition, forecasters predict a rare mix of three huge weather systems, including a wintry storm coming from the west and frigid air streaming south from Canada.

With winds of 75 mph, the storm is currently moving parallel to the coast at approximately 7 mph. Emergency officials up and down the eastern seaboard are warning people to be prepared. If you haven’t already started taking precautions, now is the time to get ready. Keep track of the storm using one of the many storm trackers on the internet including the one on petswelcome’s own site at http://www.petswelcome.com/articles/h-e-l-p-for-people-and-pets. You should also review the CASEY (Caring for Animals Safety in Emergency during the Year) Plan, drawn up by the Disaster Response Team of the Humane Society of the United States to help you make informed decisions regarding your pet when storms, or any other emergencies, threaten your area.

Don't wait until the last minute. Be prepared.

Finally, if evacuation is necessary and you need to find a place to stay with your pet, use our Search by Route feature to plan an escape route. It will give you directions to your destination along with pet-friendly lodgings along the way.

Above all, be safe and be sure to take care of every member of your family, including the 4-legged ones. In times of emergency, it’s the most helpless among us that need special attention and consideration.

Kimpton Hotels 2nd Annual Paw-parazzi Pet Photo Contest

Pets are so loved by Kimpton Hotels that they’re throwing a contest to find the most photogenic creature out there. Here’s a few tips on taking a stellar pet photo and entry details:

How to Take a Pet-tacular Photo

  • Photograph your pet in natural light and avoid flash or harsh light – outside early in the morning or late in the evening work well
  • Get down on their level
  • Aim to keep your pet’s eyes in focus
  • Convey their personality – use toys or treats to hold attention and encourage playfulness
  • Find a complementary background to your pet’s coloring – dark fur against a light background or vice versa
  • Fill the frame – use a zoom to get their full face or full body in the shot (or crop later)
  • Use patience – happy pets are busy pets, so try not to be in a rush

Paw-parazzi Contest Details:

Anyone can upload a photo from April 1 through May 31, 2012. The contest has four rounds, each lasting approximately two weeks. The five photos with the most ‘Like’ votes at the end of each round will win prizes from Olive, Polka Dog Bakery, and FIDO Friendly magazine.

From the 20 Finalists, judges from Animal Radio will select one Grand Prize photo to win the Ultimate hosPETality Getaway including:

  • A three night stay at a Kimpton Hotel of your choice
  • Two round trip tickets on JetBlue for human passengers
  • One $100 Kimpton Restaurant or in-room dining gift certificate
  • One in-room spa treatment for two
  • Quaker Pet Group & Republic of Paws Ultimate Legacy Pet Carrier
  • Pet amenities such as dog bed, bowls and treats during your getaway

Enter here: http://www.kimptonhotels.com/services/pet-photo-contest/index.aspx

Win a Portrait of Your Pet!

Petswelcome.com CEO, Smudge Kingsley, has been toying with the idea of immortality. Of capturing his esteemed legacy. Let’s face it, we all do at one time or another. But now that he’s 42 in people years–and in just one more year will be 49 (Yikes! What’s that about?…)–he thought he’d better get on the stick and  start thinking about posterity. So, with no further delay, he got out his Droid and texted Cara Wood-Ginder over at Petimento Pet Portraits. It was time to become immortal.

And what better way to defeat the gods, to throw a dog bone into the ever-grinding cogs of time than getting a portrait done? And not just any portrait, but one that truly captures his doggy essence, his inner Smudge. We’ve all seen ads for pet portraits. A lot of them are kind of rough, catching the general breed type but not necessarily the personality of the pet itself. At Petimento Pet Portraits, Cara takes the time to find out what makes your pet special. “Being a pet portrait painter is a calling that I think is as important as any other in the art world,” she said.  “There is something about capturing these animals that is very satisfying. Each one is different. Dog portraits, cat portraits, cockatoo portraits…they all have their stories.” Petimento is a play on the world pentimento, which is a painting term that means an image that shows through earlier paint. “I’ve always liked the idea of a another story coming through, so to speak.”

The official portrait.

Indeed, when Smudge went for his sitting, he was expecting your standard portrait of a successful Fortune 500 CEO, one that befits the leader of such a glorious institution as petswelcome.com, Inc. And that’s what he got….but not all he got. Yes, Cara did the official portrait, one that can be hung in our offices in the “Hallway of Fame” along with our other luminaries, including petswelcome founder MacDuff Grayson, and “Sticky Paws” Palermo (an early CFO who nearly bankrupted the company but, after a brief stint in Sing Sing, led us through a questionable era of unparalleled prosperity). Even in the official portrait of Smudge, Cara caught his kindness and vision. Check out how his whole posture says, “Oh, okay, you can have another raise…”  And look how alive the light is in his eyes. For most painters, that would be enough. But just as our esteemed CEO was about to hop back into the company limo, Cara asked him to sit a little longer. And what followed is what makes Petimento Pet Portraits so special and why petswelcome is having a contest so that one of our incredibly lucky visitors can win a portrait of their own pet, or give a portrait to a friend or family member as a gift for Valentine’s Day.

“Do you like boats?” Cara asked our CEO. The question pierced his soul. That’s because for years he’d been sitting on the dock at our headquarters in Key Biscayne and watched as his own employees took out the company yacht, FatCat, for parties and company celebrations. But because Smudge is a little clumsy and has tendency to get seasick, he had to remain back on land, and was left to listen to the wafting of party music from the boat and dream of what it must be like to be able to sail on the ocean.

The inner Ahab.

So when the portraits arrived at the offices a few weeks later, you could imagine Smudge’s surprise at the second painting. Somehow Cara had caught his true self, his inner sea captain. And now he walks around the office with a new spring in his step. Of course, the spring in his step is due to the wooden peg he now wears to emphasize his new persona. He also hired a parrot named Rufus just to sit on his shoulder. We’re hoping he’ll get over it.

Hired, well, because he's a parrot.

In the meantime, though, to help you immortalize your own pet, or somebody’s you know, petswelcome is having a contest to win a free pet portrait by Petimento Pet Portraits. The contest starts Wednesday, November 23rd, the day before Thanksgiving and runs through midnight January 15th–enough time to get the painting done or to give it as a gift certificate for Valentine’s Day. And all you have to do is add a Fun and Cool Place to petswelcome and you will be automatically entered to win. That’s it. Just let us know about a cool place–a cafe, park, beach, museum, whatever–that you and your pet have discovered and/or love to visit and you’ll be eligible to win a wonderful portrait.

Also, Felix and Buddy from our mailroom.

Visit petswelcome.com regularly for more updates and details.

Is Your Dog a Republican?

I think mine is. I’m a Democrat so it’s a little disheartening to suspect he’s playing for the other team. Of course, I could be imagining it. We all know Democrats are generally a pathetic lot—very insecure yet still acting superior and thumbing their noses at everybody. Even other Democrats. But it’s the way my dog looks off into the distance and rolls his eyes when I’m using the bathroom. I know he thinks it makes me elitist. Or when I’m voicing my “bleeding heart” views regarding non-registered AKC breeds and their right to use animal shelters. On the positive side, his family values are definitely less suspect than mine. Despite these opposite leanings, though, he keeps his dissatisfaction with me muted. He knows who keeps his biscuit box topped-off so he’s not about to split our ticket, if you know what I mean.

Now, I know my suspicions are based on cliches about what each party stands for, ones that we’ve been told over and over again and which don’t necessarily have any basis in reality. And that’s a problem. Like my fear that he has more Fox in him than I do. Of course I’m referring to the channel, not the animal. I’ve seen him sneaking in some Sean Hannity when he should be outside protecting our house from rabid squirrels, or whatever it is his breed is supposed to do. It’s what initially raised my eyebrows with regard to his political bent. Not that I believe that Fox represents all Republicans—just like I don’t think MoveOn.org represents all Democrats. It’s just that it’s all gotten so left/right extreme these days that it’s hard to imagine we’ll ever agree on anything.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Sometimes I fantasize—and in my better moments, actually believe— that we’re all more centrist than we let on and that most Democrats and Republicans are fair-minded people with well-intentioned differences. I even think that if we all tried our hardest to fetch our true Inner Patriot, the same dog would come running to us all.  In this scenario, we actually have something in common, a shared pool of beliefs and behavior, of likes and dislikes that we can use to bridge our disagreements and maybe even learn from each other.

Find your Inner Patriot.

There is no better illustration of this than my relationship with my dog. For example, when people walk into our house, he immediately runs up to them and sticks his nose into their nether regions. Now, I don’t know where you think I’m going with this, but I want to make clear that it’s not an example of our shared behavior. I don’t do that. Have never done that. Well, maybe once on a job interview. But what I’m trying to say is that I can still learn from him and bridge the gap by trying to understand why he does it. He does it, not because he’s a Republican but because he’s a dog. Breakthrough! It’s the way they get to know a person quickly and to get a better measure of the man or woman, no matter their party affiliation.

True democracy in action.

Now I’m not suggesting that Democrats and Republicans should cross the aisle and start sniffing each others’ crotches. But I’m willing to learn from my Republican dog and suggest that maybe, between humans, a firm handshake and an honest look in the eye would accomplish much the same thing and go a long way in getting to know each other and solving our differences. Who knows, it might even be more bracing then sticking your head up a skirt. Probably not, but I’m willing to try it. The handshake that is.

The notion that I, a Democrat, understand my dog—who is, let’s face it, a dog and a Republican—better than President Obama understands House Speaker John Boehner is troubling. If my dog and I can bridge millions of years of DNA mutations, as well as broad societal and political differences—not to mention the daunting gulf that separates our preferences for Alpo Chop House (he likes the Savory Sauce while I’m all over the Gourmet Gravy)— then surely the politicians in Washington can do the same.

Now what’s this got to do with pet travel? you may be asking yourself. Well, nothing. And everything. If we want our politicians to get along, then we as a people need to get along. It’s easy to blame them but we need to set an example. And what’s the best way to this? By taking your pet with you when you visit different parts of the country–no  matter whether your destination is “red” or “blue”. Ever notice that neither color exists under your dog’s feet? To the contrary, he probably gets you talking to people you otherwise probably wouldn’t.  It makes no difference what your political positions are. You are just dog lovers. Human beings. You talk and you laugh. You take joy in what you have in common, rather than in your differences. Voila! Now that’s a grassroots revolution worth joining.

Even my cat agrees with me on this issue. I know this because my cat is a Democrat. Though, come to think of it, she’s been wearing a Ron Paul button on her collar lately and questioning my right to exist.

Uh, oh. A Libertarian. Never mind. That’s another bag of kibble altogether.

Top Ten Presidential Dog Facts

Smooged: Notes from a Bracco

The occasional observations from petswelcome.com CEO, Smudge Kingsley


With President’s Day upon us, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of our Presidents and uncover interesting, lesser-known facts about their dogs. After all, a majority–26 of 43 presidents–have had dogs so maybe their relationships with their pooches could offer useful insights into their characters.

Here, then, are the Top 10 Little-Known Presidential Dog Facts for President’s Day:

Sweetlips.

1. It’s a known fact that George Washington named his dogs, Drunkard, Taster, Tipsy, Tipler and Sweetlips. Lesser known is that they were named after his buddies down at the old Chesapeake Baths. Also not generally known: He also had 3 cats named Toasty, Roach and Bong.

Once had a dog hanged.

2. Thomas Jefferson, usually thought of as our most liberal-minded president, actually practiced “tough love” on his pets. He was the first president to require dogs be licensed. He also had a dog hanged (for attacking his sheep). After public outcry, he secretly hired Ben Franklin to invent lethal injections. Franklin failed but, during the clinical trials, he discovered the stump speech.

Quincy's of Hollywood

3. John Quincy Adams didn’t have any dogs but he had pet silkworms. By the time he finished his first walk with them around the White House, his term was over. He did have successful post-presidency, though. Using his favorite pets, he opened the first Quincy’s of Hollywood boutique in Bethesda, selling frilly potato sacks to frumpy ex-first ladies.

Pete ran off with the French Ambassador.

4. Theodore Roosevelt had a Bull Terrier named Pete who almost caused an international scandal when he ripped the pants off the French Ambassador, Jules Jusserand. It took a Gitanes and a stiff shot of cognac to calm the situation, after which the ambassador and Pete eloped to the island of Elba. Lesser known: Roosevelt also had a one-legged rooster named Mr. Salty whose off-the-record comments and hen house debaucheries were largely responsible for jump-starting the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Only the flatulence remains.

5. Woodrow Wilson had a tobacco-chewing ram named Old Ike. Ike was one of the last farm animals to live at the White House. He was the end of  a long line that included Benjamin Harrison’s goat, Old Whiskers, his cow, Sukey, Taft’s cow Paulie Wayne, and Zachary Taylor’s horse, Old Whitey, to name a few. Old Ike’s passing ended a colorful era of head butting, flatulence and foot-in-mouth disease rarely seen today except at modern political conventions.

Created the FDA.

6. Though his whole administration was considered a dog, President Warren G. Harding also had an Airedale Terrier named Laddie Boy who used to sit in on cabinet meetings. While the other cabinet members were busy being prosecuted for various scandals, Laddie Boy got down to work by creating the Food and Dog Administration, as well as initiating the Equal Rights Amendment for Dogs.  The amendment stipulated that dogs were no longer required to Sit, Stay or Roll Over for their masters. To this day, when you command your dog to do something and he just looks at you with that look and you’re wondering what he’s thinking, he’s actually thinking: “I don’t have to do that. Look it up.”

Did you say, Gulf of Tonkin?

7. When Johnson’s favorite beagle, Him, was mysteriously run over and killed by an FBI truck on the White House grounds, J. Edgar Hoover gave Johnson another beagle that Johnson named J. Edgar. Besides needing to be plugged in, J. Edgar was often heard asking Johnson to “Please speak louder…”

"Oh, Dick, I love this collar. Where did you get it?"

8. It’s well-known that Richard Nixon made a famous speech in which he said he was not going to give back Checkers, a Cocker Spaniel that was a gift to his daughters. Strangely, after the speech, Checkers was never seen again. Or was he?

Blind leading the President to another foreign policy meeting.

9. I’ll bet you didn’t know that Ronald Reagan had a dog named Blind.

Bo with with Pong ball.

10. It’s well-known that President Obama’s dog Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog, was given to him by the late Senator Edward Kennedy. In addition to being a great swimmer, Bo can pass sweeping social legislation, find hot babes in a Nantucket fog, and has yet to be beaten in a game of Fuzzy Duck or Beer Pong.

*Please note that these observations do not reflect the political or corporate beliefs of petswelcome.com. We are a company run by dogs and cats and therefore have no political leanings or preferences. We say whatever is on our mind at the time. We say them to get  treats.

Petswelcome to Bribe Visitors (with Great Prizes)!

It works for unscrupulous politicians . Which is a tautology.  Which is the opposite of an oxymoron. So why not for petswelcome.com?

OK. He liked pets, too. Or said he did. But that's where our similarity ends. Really.

What we’re trying to say is that we’re desperate for people to like us. Not for any financial gain, of course. No way. Just because, well, we’re needy and insecure. Also, because we like seeing people and their pets have a good time. And that’s what our Wonderful Westminster Weekend Giveaway is all about: You having a fantastic experience that involves pets. In this case dogs. Lots of them. At the 135th Annual Westminster  Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It just happens to fall on Valentine’s Day to make it even more extra special. So bring your partner along and have a romantic time and drink some champagne. Because champagne is also part of the give-away. Besides giving you tickets to both days of the Dog Show, we’ll also be giving you tickets to an after-show champagne celebration being thrown by Take The Lead (www.takethelead.org).

Competing at Westminster.

And that’s not all. You’ll also be staying on us for 3 nights at one of the nicest hotels in New York: 70 Park Avenue: A Kimpton Hotel. They are very luxurious and very pet-friendly. We can’t think of a better combination. And, oh, yeah. We’re also sending you to the William Secord Gallery which is having a special art exhibition and sale of 19th-century dog paintings to coincide with the Westminster Show. And we’re going to give you a $400 stipend to cover your transportation to New York City so you can choose the method of travel that works best for you. Or you can hitchhike and spend it once you get here. That’s what we’d do. But we’re cheap. And needy.

The beautiful lobby of 70 Park Avenue.

Which brings us back to this give-away. All you have to do to enter is fill out a form at http://www.petswelcome.com/articles/westminster-weekend-promotion. Nothing else. You don’t have to purchase Petswelcome.com stock or contribute to our pension plans or wrap money in tin foil and stick it in the lunch meat drawer of our office mini-fridge. We’re not saying not to do this. But you don’t have to. Nope. You just need to take 5 seconds and fill out a form.

Hey, this is our first bribe. Next time we’ll make you do something. Or profit from it. Or whatever it is bribes are supposed to achieve. In the meantime, though, we’ll take great pleasure in you having a wonderful time!

How to be a Good Guard Dog

from the desk of the CEO, Smudge Kingsley

A few yoga classes will help.
A few yoga classes will help.

As dogs, there are just a few things people expect of us: follow a few commands (sit, stay, lay down…), maybe do a couple of tricks (rollover, shake hands), and, always, guard the house. Now the commands and tricks are easy and harmless. It’s the silly price we have to pay for being pampered, fed and easing our owners off their own bed after they’re asleep. But guarding the house–especially if you’re a chihuahua or shih tzu–can be a tricky business. So I have a few suggestions to get your game on for those breeds that are not known as great guard dogs:

  • Bassett Hounds: When a stranger approaches, do something crazy like lifting your ears. That’ll get’em running the other way. It’s not easy. But after reading The Dummy’s Guide to Raising Your Extremities (skip the dirty parts), and a few yoga classes, you should have it down (or, more precisely, up).
  • Chihuahuas: Just think Cinco de Mayo–as though you’ve been drinking a boatload
    Just be yourself.
    Just be yourself.

    of punch and fireworks are going off under your paws. Jump high. Bounce off the walls. Swing off light fixtures. I recommend a well-placed trampoline to scare the hell out of would-be intruders.

  • Newfoundlands: Even though you’re big, you’ve got to get up. Just stand up. I know it’s hard. But that’s all you gotta do. Or just move a little bit. You can do it. Really.
  • Mexican Hairless: Just be yourself.
  • Old English Sheepdogs: Fight your better instincts. Just lie in front of the door and don’t try to lick the perpetrators. That’s key. Remember, they hate you. Want to hurt you. Alright…you can lick them once but then lie down again quickly.
  • Shih Tzu: Just think about your breed name. About the person who is responsible for it. Think about what you’d do to them if you ever met them. Keep thinking about it. It won’t be pleasant but no one will want to go near you.
  • Irish Setters: I know you can’t read this so I’m just going to say, I hate you,
    Pack heat.
    Pack heat.

    Shannon, for stealing that poodle away from me all those years ago. There. I feel better now.

  • Toy Poodle: You’re smarter than your master. So have him guard the damn house. Think of it–all that leisure time with Trollope and The New York Times.
  • Dachshunds: Just pack heat. There’s really no other solution.

Next week: Smudge  preaches Tweety Bird– How to be as mean to cats as they are to you without your owners throwing you out of the house.

Found Hounds

When you travel with your pet, eventually you begin to see animals everywhere. Maybe it’s due to the intense focus you need to keep on them while you’re in unfamiliar territory. Or, more likely, it’s the 3rd Margarita you drank after your 4th Ten-Meat Taco. Still, you begin to see dogs in hedges, in reflections, in the sky, wherever.

Check out some of the Found Hound sightings we received and please send us any you’ve come across so we can share them with our visitors. You might win a cool petswelcome.com t-shirt….

In the sky....
In the sky....
At sea....
At sea....
At the foot of trees....
The root of a tree....
A quartz and rock formation...
A quartz and rock formation...

Actually, this last one is our CEO, Smudge Kingsley, trying to act like a natural rock formation. His expression is very Igneous, don’t you think? Anyway, he fooled us…

Send us  your Found Hounds…..