Wyndham Pet Friendly Vacation Rentals

 

Wyndham Vacation Rental

Petswelcome is pleased to announce that we have added more than 1,100 Wyndham pet friendly vacation rentals to our site. The rentals cover 11 geographic locations, including Whistler, BC, Summit, CO, and the Florida Gulf Coast (to name a few) and include both condos and homes in a wide variety of prices. As we have mentioned in past articles, vacation rentals are a great option for people traveling pets because they offer plenty of space and privacy and allow you to live like a local while also spending more quality time with your family in a beautiful, fun, and stress-free environment.

We have invited the people at Wyndham to write a description of the locales and properties so that you will get a better insight into their fantastic offerings. Once you do, we’re sure Wyndham Vacation Rentals will be high on your list the next time you’re planning a trip with your pet.

Bring Your Pets Along for the Pawfect Vacation

At Wyndham Vacation Rentals, we understand that dogs are part of the family too, and no one should have to leave a pup behind when going on vacation. Bringing your furry friend along enhances vacation fun. Bring the whole crew with you as you hike up forest trails or take a dip in the ocean. Plus, cuddling with a pet calms a child who may feel uneasy with new surroundings.  Forgo kennel fees and make sure your vacation isn’t spent wondering if your dog is being cared for properly.

With Wyndham Vacation rentals, we encourage guests to bring along the whole crowd, pets too. With the right pet-friendly vacation rental property, you won’t have to sacrifice your much-needed vacation to stay at home with your pets.

Here are ways that Wyndham Vacation Rentals are pet friendly:

More Indoor Space.Hotel rooms are comprised on space. When you factor in people, luggage, and furniture, there is little open room left for play. With vacation rentals, you have the privilege of multiple rooms. Don’t confine your family and pets to one room, no one likes a crowded space.

Kitchens for meals. Dogs can have picky eating habits. Feel at ease in your own kitchen, store your pet’s food properly, and don’t worry about getting food all over the easily stainable rug.

Easy backyard access.When you can tell that your needs to burn off some energy, take them outside and throw a ball. Dog-friendly vacation rentals with backyards are the best. Don’t worry about waiting for an elevator.

Pet friendly Hilton Head

Hilton Head

On your next vacation with a Hilton Head Island Vacation rental, create memories with the ones you love, including your pets. Along with beach activities, there’s plenty to do in the gorgeous Hilton Head South Carolina. For an island that’s just 12 miles long and five miles wide, Hilton Head not only has fabulous running terrain, but lots of variety for you and your four-legged-friends. About 60 miles of public pathways and nature trails lace the island, making Hilton Head the ideal vacation spot for pet-friendly activities. Whether it’s a session of catch on the beach, or a jog along The Sea Pines Forest Preserve, you and your pet will be more than satisfied with all that Hilton Head has to offer.

When you need to cool off from hours of activity, take a dip in your private outdoor pool and bring your furry friend in too. Some Hilton Head Island Vacation Rentals offer backyard pools, fit for you and your pets.

Pet friendly Charleston

Charleston (includes Folly) 

Charleston is home to five unique beach towns—each one serving up captivating backdrops for your next island escape.This slice of paradise is well-known for being a dream destination for foodies and history buffs alike, but the trendy spot also has a lot to offer for the adventurer at heart. Discover why Charleston was voted the Best City in the World, and make sure you don’t leave your pet behind! Bring them along as you soak in the unique blend of sand and city.

Charleston and Folly Beach have been nominated as some of the best beaches in the South. Take advantage of the smooth sand, open land, and ocean breeze, by throwing a ball around with your energetic pup.Picture your next family vacation relaxing on miles of pristine beaches, watching your happy four-legged-friend splash in and out of the waves, and come face to face with America’s most charming historic district.

Pet friendly Smoky Mountains

 Tennessee

The Great Smoky Mountains is one of the most visited National Parks in the country because it’s a great place for the whole family, pets included, to visit. With crisp air, stunning views and tranquility, the mountains are a source of happiness for people and pets alike. With more than 800 miles of wilderness, Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a wealth of hiking trails opportunities for all skill levels and tastes. These trails are perfect for families with pets who like a little adventure too.

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Gatlinburg is ideal for a nature-filled pet-friendly getaway or bring a big group of friends to enjoy a giant cabin in the woods. There are a lot of things to do in Gatlinburg: world-class hiking, a vibrant downtown area, and excellent accommodations are juxtaposed for a memorable adventure.

Pet friendly Alabama

Alabama

The Gulf Coast of Alabama has sun and sand to offer no matter the season. With mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine, Alabama’s Gulf Coast is a hidden gem of a beach spot in the south. Right at the edge of the Florida panhandle, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have the best of both worlds: a quiet place for the whole family with lots of things to do.

We encourage that you bring your pet along with you to discover the secret of the Gulf Coast that many travelers don’t know: the area’s 32 miles of pristine, white-sand beaches are a true vacation gem. When you have had enough beach make sure to check out the Gulf State Park, a place you and your pets are destined to love. The natural area boasts plenty of trails to explore and various points of interest like osprey nests and overhanging moss trees.

Summit 

Colorado has frequently been ranked high on lists of the most dog-friendly states. From fun on the slopes to lively alpine villages, there’s plenty to do in these mountain towns, especially with your pets. Breckenridge, located in the heart of Summit County, is well-known to locals and visitors as Colorado’s Playground. Just because you can’t put your dog on skies, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some outdoor fun together. Hike up to incredible mountain views, test your limits with a 14’er, splash some river water on you and your pup, or explore the forest with your four-legged friends in tow. Keep in mind– summer’s not just beach season. In Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, it’s prime time for adventure.

Pet friendly Hatteras

Outer Banks: Corolla and Hatteras

The Outer Banks, the beautiful barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, are famous for their miles of unspoiled beaches. Imagine this: you’re lounging in a beach chair perched along the shore with the sun shining down on your face, your energetic pup running up and down the shoreline, and the sounds of the ocean waves kissing the sand. Sounds amazing, right?

Outer Banks vacations always have families and their pets in mind. It’s for good reason too, since the destination is a hot spot for finding some of the biggest beach home rentals in the Outer Banks. From oceanfront to soundfront and everything in between, when you rent OBX beach homes you can bring the whole crew. Don’t leave your pets behind when booking your next vacation in the Outer Banks. With many vacation rentals either having a private pool, spacious yards, and multiple decks, these glorious amenities are a sure-fire way to make sure that your pet is having just as much fun as you are.

Delaware

Delaware’s Beaches are a popular spot in the Northeast for getting away and recharging with the whole family, pets included. Known for its long stretches of sand and boardwalk, the vacation mecca south of Wilmington and east of Washington, D.C., is the ideal spot to bring your furry friends.

Kicking back and relaxing yourself is only possible when there are activities and amenities on-site to entertain the rest of your crew. When you book a Delaware vacation home you’ll strike the perfect balance between downtime and “go” time, and you will be provided with all the space you need for you loved ones and four-legged-friends. With many vacation rentals either having a private pool, boardwalk access, and multiple decks, these glorious amenities are a sure-fire way to make sure that your pet is having just as much fun as you are.

Pet friendly Northwest Florida

Florida

There is no question that sinking your tired toes into the famous beaches along the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast is what most visitors head there to do. Though, that’s not the only reason to venture to nature’s paradise. Northwest Florida is the perfect place for a pet friendly family vacation. A nearly endless list of both water and land activities offer up some great fun an energetic family can enjoy along with their pets in tow, too.

With Florida’s climate on your side, hiking and biking in the area is great any time of year. Be active and bring your pup along with you. Many Florida biking trails are along the beach, making for some great views, a range of endless space for your four-legged friends to play, and during those hot summer days, great for a dip in the water to cool off. With many vacation rentals either having a private pool, easy beach access, and multiple decks, these glorious amenities are a sure-fire way to make sure that your pet is having just as much fun as you are.\

Pet Friendly Palm Springs

Palm Springs 

Enjoy a fun filled vacation in Palm Springs without having to leave your furry friends at home. There are several attractions in the area that offer something for everyone. What’s better than exploring the magnificent outdoors with your favorite four-legged friend? Palm Springs and its surrounding communities boast some of the most scenic, easy to access and enjoyable trails you’re likely to find anywhere. Hike up a mountain for incredible valley views or explore a lush canyon oasis with hidden waterfalls. Grab your pup and explore a true desert oasis. Upon arrival, you’ll find over 25 miles of hiking trails in and around this remarkable area.

With many Palm Springs vacation rentals either having a private pool, spacious yard, and multiple decks, these glorious amenities are a sure-fire way to make sure that your pet is having just as much fun as you are.

Pet friendly Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach 

Head to North Myrtle Beach for a beautiful place of sun, sand, relaxation and fun, and bring your pets along too! Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a hot vacation spot for families with pets. There is plenty to do for everyone. The beach is a surefire hit. Pack a cooler, grab the beach toys, and spend your day playing catch, swimming in the waves, and soaking up the sun. Or, grab your pup and take an evening stroll along the coast. Feel the sand between your toes and the cool ocean water on your feet as you watch your happy four-legged friend run along the shore.

With many Myrtle Beach vacation rentals either having a private pool, easy beach access, and multiple decks, these glorious amenities are a sure-fire way to make sure that your pet is having just as much fun as you are.

Pet friendly Whistler

Whistler 

Whistler, British Columbia is the ultimate vacation destination for families and their pets year-round. From an array of outdoor activity, no one will be disappointed in a trip to Whistler – your four-legged friends will be wagging their tail non-stop. Beautiful British Columbia lives up to its praise with grandiose mountain ranges, dense forests, and diverse wildlife. While it’s known as a top ski destination, Whistler is also a popular hiking retreat and mountain biking hotspot for outdoor adventurers. Travelers and their pets can find plenty of sunshine, warmer temperatures, and a stunning scene of flora blooming to life.

Hiking, one of Whistler’s best summer activities, can get you up close to nature’s best scenes while fueling endorphins and tiring out your most treasured adventure partner your energetic pup. Don’t worry about traveling far with your furry friend. Simply pack a picnic basket, a towel and a few of your pet’s favorite toys and relax in the sun at any one of the local lakes.

 

 

 

Does Your Dog Sleep Too Much?

Dog Sleeping

If you spend a lot of time with your dog(s), as we do at Petswelcome, one thing becomes very apparent: Dogs spend a ton of time sleeping. It made us wonder if that’s normal behavior or if it might indicate other issues such as boredom or depression, or even symptoms of possible ailments.

After doing some research, we found that dogs do indeed sleep a lot—anywhere from 12 to 14 hours a day, depending on various factors, including age, breed and normal activity level. It turns out that older dogs and puppies sleep the most. With regard to breed, large dogs sleep more than smaller ones, while working dogs tend to stay awake for longer periods due their temperament and the jobs that they are assigned. And, just like humans, active dogs need more rest than those that are sedentary.

With regard to sleeping patterns, dogs are very similar to humans. They move through five different stages of sleep, ending in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep; during this stage their eyes are closed but roll rapidly from side to side as they experience deep dreaming activity.

Two dogs sleeping

The main difference between humans and canines is their sleep-wake cycles. People tend to sleep for a longer duration (7 to 9 hours), while dogs sleep in short intervals throughout the day for approximately sixteen minutes at a time. They also tend to wake easier because they are naturally more alert to the threat of potential predators.

So how do you know if your dog is getting the right amount of sleep? First, if you notice a change in sleep pattern, or your pooch seems very sluggish and apathetic, it might be a sign that there is a larger problem, and you should get them to the vet for a check-up. A change in sleep pattern might also be a reaction to a change in the environment, such as the death of another pet or a member of the family being away for longer than usual.

If your dog snores loudly, it could be that it’s just a loud snorer. However, it might also indicate that it is suffering from sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the sleep cycle, preventing a restful sleep. Sleep apnea is most often found in obese dogs or brachycephalic (or pug-nosed) dogs such as English bulldogs.

No matter what type of dog you have, exercise and play are critical to their getting enough sleep over the course of a day (and night). Some dogs, like sporting dogs or herding dogs, require more exercise, so if you have an area nearby where they can safely run off leash, make sure you get them there on a regular basis so you can be confident they’re getting the exercise they need. Also, playing with other dogs is a fantastic way to expend all that excess energy.

Other factors that contribute to your pup getting enough sleep are having a comfortable sleeping place and establishing a regular and reliable routine of feeding, human interaction, and outside activities. Dogs crave routine, so anything that upsets that routine will interfere with establishing good sleep habits, which are critical to your dog’s health, happiness and well-being.

 

Are Marriotts Pet Friendly?

Marriott, which is made up of more than 30 hotel brands, definitely has a lot of pet friendly hotels. Most of their pet policies within each brand vary from property to property. This means that a pet fee and size limit at a Courtyard in Denver, CO, will not necessarily be the same as a Courtyard in Gettysburg, PA. If you’re trying to find pet friendly Marriott hotels,  you need to do some research.

While some pet friendly Marriott properties charge very high pet fees (up to $250), we’ve found that if you shop around, you’ll discover that there is a wide range of fees and, if you love staying at Marriott properties, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find one that fits your budget. To help you get a sense of the variety in pet policies, we did a brief survey of five Marriott brands—Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites—and compared their policies at properties in different locations–as we’ll as a few in the same city.

One of the surprising things we found is that sometimes there is a big difference between the pet fees of the same brand in the same city. For example, if you’re headed to Boise, ID, with your pet and want to stay a SpringHill Suites, you can go to one that charges $150 pet fee or you can go to one that charges $20. Seems like an easy choice, right? Definitely. All it requires is that you do your homework. Or, of course, use Petswelcome who has done the homework for you.

Here’s our brief survey of five pet friendly Marriott brands and their pet policies*:

 

Courtyard Marriott

Courtyard has 85 pet friendly properties. Some of their pet policies are as follows:

Courtyard by Marriott Denver Stapleton, Denver, CO: $100 pet fee, up to 2 pets.

Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center, Portland, OR: $50 pet fee, up to 2 pets, 80 lbs. max wieght limit.

Courtyard by Marriott Lansing, Lansing, MI: $75 pet fee, 1 pet allowed, $40 lbs. max weight limit.

Courtyard by Marriott Gettysburg, Gettysburg, PA: $30 pet fee, up to 2 pets, 50 lbs. max weight limit.

pet friendly Courtyard

Fairfield Inn & Suites

Fairfield Inns have 85 pet friendly properties:

Fairfield Inn & Suites Kansas City Words of Fun, Kansas City, MO: $50 pet fee, up to 3 pets.

Fairfield Inn Boston Dedham, Dedham, MA: $20 pet fee, up to 2 pets, 75 lbs. max weight limit.

Fairfield Inn & Suites Raleigh Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC: $50 pet fee, up to 2 pets, 50 lbs. weight limit.

pet friendly Fairfield suites

Residence Inn

Residence Inn is one of Marriott’s extended stay brand and has 775 pet friendly properties:

Residence Inn Long Beach, Long Beach, CA: $100 pet fee.

Residence Inn Bloomington by Mall of America, Bloomington, MN: $75 pet fee, up to 2 pets allowed.

Residence Inn New York Manhattan Midtown, New York, NY: $250 pet fee, 1 pet allowed, up to 30 lbs. weight limit.

Residence Inn New York Manhattan Midtown/Times Square, New York, NY: $100 pet fee, up to 1 pet.

pet friendly residence inn

 

SpringHill Suites

SpringHill Suites has 21 pet friendly properties:

SpringHill Suites Mount Laurel, Mount Laurel, NJ: $15 pet fee, 1 pet allowed,

up to 75 lbs. weight limit.

SpringHill Suites Boise, Boise, ID: $150 pet fee, up to 2 pets, 35 lbs. weight limit.

SpringHill Suites Boise Park Center, Boise, ID: $20 pet fee, 1 pet allowed.

pet friendly Springhill suites

TownePlace Suites

TownePlace Suites is another extended stay brand and currently has 340 pet friendly properties:

TownePlace Suites Birmingham Homewood Birmingham, AL: $100 pet fee, 1 pet allowed, up to 50 lbs. weight limit.

TownePlace Suites Jacksonville Butler Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL: $75 pet fee, 1 pet allowed, up to 30 lbs.

TownePlace Suites San Diego Downtown, San Diego, CA: $150 pet fee, 1 pet allowed, 50 lbs. limit.

pet friendly Towneplace suites

*please note that Marriott does not always state the number of pets or weight limit for some of their properties.

 

How I Became a Cat Lover: A Tribute

Cat looking friendly

Hey, I love cats as much as the next guy. But you have to admit that there’s an otherworldly, mysterious, and mischievous vibe about them that, if you were initially a dog person like I was, takes some adjusting to. I never grew up with cats (my parents were not feline enthusiasts) but when I bought my first house, a cat came with it. Her name was Jill. We had an uneasy relationship in the beginning, observing each other at a distance as you might a spaceship that ominously lands one night in your backyard. Eventually, though, we developed a mutual liking for each other which deepened to the point that I always spent at least a part of every evening with her ensconced on my lap, petting her and finding a deep contentment that only cats can offer.

As the years went by and my kids were growing up, they brought an alarming amount of rescued cats into the house. At first, it made me feel that we were being overrun or, worse, one of those crazy families that, as my father might have said, had more cats than brains. But no matter how many we had, they always seemed to fit in nicely and added a happy and cozy sense of domesticity to our everyday life.

So cute, right? Yes… and no.

Another thing I love about cats is that they are also great to travel with. That’s why we have a dedicated Cats page on Petswelcome. Because they are small and generally quieter than most dogs, there is less of a chance of a “bad” interaction or reaction from other travelers. And there are plenty of hotel chains that accept cats like La Quinta, Red Roof and Kimpton Hotels. Cats are also easy to take on planes so it’s not a hassle to go long distances with them. Most importantly for me, though, is they offer a little slice of home while I’m sitting in a hotel room in a distant city. All I have to do is turn on a movie and let Stripes hop into my lap and I’m good. Feeling far from home but not far from home at the same time is one of the true pleasures I experience when traveling with a cat.

But, of course, there is that other side to cats which many people find unappealing but is what I like about them most: They mess with our heads. They are independent and do not exhibit the sycophantic traits that dogs do to be accepted into our homes. To the contrary, cat behavior sometimes seems intended to be obnoxious.  Cats expect to be accepted and understand that our reward is to be graced with their presence. Who am I to argue?

So here’s my tribute to cats in all their self-absorbed glory. Long may they keep us in our place.

Cat Karma

My cat stares at me. Would not
be a good character witness
if I ever needed one.
I don’t know why.
I never did anything to it.

Its furry mind rubs against
my patience and its snake-
slit eyes spin daylight into
a spider’s nest of affection.

It strides between my wife and I
like a reason for me not to exist.
And goes next door and smiles
at the old lady who always
gives it sardines. It sharpens
its claws on her welcome mat.
Sleeps in her armchair and dreams
of larger fish in the world.

My cat stacks dead birds like Jenga
blocks and munches on mouse heads
and tiny toads between crisp
butterfly wings. My cat says things
about your mother. That’s right.

Your mother.

Climate Change and Pets

Dog sitting out storm

Now that we’re in the middle of hurricane season, it got us to thinking about climate change and pets and the reality that our weather patterns are drastically different now than in the past. Yes, we’ve always had hurricane threats toward end of summer and in the fall, but they seem to be getting worse: more powerful storms hitting with a frequency that departs from the norms of previous decades. Obviously, the number of high impact natural disasters is one of the results of climate change that affect people and their pets. That’s why Petswelcome created a Hurricane Emergency Preparedness section so that you can be ready when the storm hits. We cannot emphasize enough the need to prepare and have an emergency evacuation route ready ahead of time. As of this writing, Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Carolinas and, as we noted in an earlier article on Hurricane Preparedness, leaving your pet behind is not an option. Finding a pet friendly hotel that you can safely relocate to during the storm is a critical step in ensuring that your whole family will be safe. Shelters are only a last resort and may not be able to accept you once the hurricane is in full force.

Beyond, high impact natural disasters, there are other ramifications when it comes to climate change and pets. Disease is one of them. With the warming weather (we’ve just experienced the two warmest winters on record) comes a huge increase in the flea, tick and mosquito populations which elevate the likelihood of certain diseases such as Lyme disease (which is carried by ticks) in both people and pets. Recently, in the Hudson Valley, where Petswelcome is located, an exotic tick, the longhorned tick, was discovered, one that previously was only found in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  According to the New York Department of Health, it has been associated with various forms of hemorrhagic fever in Southeast Asia, though more research is needed to see if it transmits the same, or any, disease in the US. Other illnesses that are spreading beyond their prior geographic and climatic boundaries are heartworm—which was primarily a problem in the southern US but is now in all fifty states— and West Nile, both transmitted by mosquitos.

Cat and girl watching approaching storm

Another climate change factor that may impact your pet is a longer reproduction season which especially effects cats, potentially leading to an explosion in feline populations. Heat is another issue. Dogs, in particular, are vulnerable to rising temperatures and are more likely to suffer heatstroke unless preventative measures are taken. Also, as climate change affects sea levels and precipitation intensity (causing draughts and/or flooding), people will be displaced, which is never a good situation for animals, potentially leading to large-scale abandonment and/or an inability to properly care for household pets. While these scenarios may seem like science fiction, many of them are already occurring and should be faced with a vigilant attitude and adaptive measures. For example, instead of treating your pet with flea and tick medicine during the “high” season, adopt an annual strategy that covers them throughout the year. Also, be more alert to your animal’s behavior and look for signs of physical impairment that may be caused by climate change and its many consequences.

Finally, as with most subjects, there are two sides to the issue. Did you know your pet might actually be contributing to climate change? Sounds crazy but, according to a paper  by geography  professor Gregory Okin published in the journal PLOS One, dogs and cats are indirectly responsible for nearly 64 million tons of carbon dioxide that is emitted during the production of their food. Because the production of meat—especially processed meat—is a significant contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, a dog’s carbon footprint is substantial due to the way their food is manufactured and transported. On the other hand, scientist say the evidence is not conclusive that pets do contribute to climate change when compared to other lifestyles. That’s because they foster low-carbon activities like walking versus high carbon activities such a flying on an airplane. We say Amen! to that and suggest that before you trade in your pooch for Chip the Robotic dog, maybe you should sell your 2004 Jeep junker and think about a Kia Soul EV.

I know that, to Jeep owners, it may a seem sacrilege. I own a Jeep and am having trouble wrapping my head around making real sacrifices when it comes to climate change. However, the very hard reality is that times are changing and meaningful action is called for, a reality that we all need to heed for our own–and our pet’s–well-being and security.

 

Five Great Things to do with Your Pet in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Basilica in Santa Fe

Since it’s been a while since Petswelcome last reviewed it, we thought we’d take a fresh look and see if we could come up with five great things to do with your pet in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Known as the “City Different” in the Land of Enchantment, Santa Fe has a unique vibe that offers visitors and their pets lots of great places to visit and things to do.

Of course, there are plenty of pet friendly hotels in Santa Fe, including great chains like La Quinta , Quality Inn and Motel 6, as well as wonderful inns like Alexander’s Inn and the Santa Fe Sage Inn. If pet friendly vacation rentals  are what you’re looking for, then check out Two Casitas Vacation Rentals which offers a great selection of beautiful properties that welcome you and your pet.

View from Sun Mountain Trail
View from Sun Mountain Trail.

1. Head for the Outdoors

As far as things to do, you will probably want to hit the great outdoors, so we suggest hitting the Arroyo Hondo Open Space Trail  which offers 86 acres of beautiful rugged terrain with views of the Jemez and Sandia and which is bordered by a seasonal stream, the Arroyo Hondo, along its southern boundary. Also, the Sun Mountain Trail which starts at the base of Sun Mountain and leads to the summit, offering amazing views of Santa Fe and providing access to 249 acres of open space on Sun and Moon Mountains. If you’d like meet some other dogs and their owners, you can also check out the Frank Ortiz Dog Park which has an off-leash area.

The Nedra Matteuci Sculpture Garden.
The Nedra Matteuci Sculpture Garden.

2. Hit the Galleries

Santa Fe is an artist community, so be sure to check out some galleries. Walk along Canyon Road where you’ll find more than 75 galleries, some with outside exhibitions. And don’t miss the Nedra Matteucci Sculpture Gardens where you can wander around and see 19th and 20th century works, many featuring artists of the American West.

Loretto Line Tours

3. Take a Tour

You and your pet can hop in an open air tram and take in the sites with Lorretto Line Tour Company. They cover an 8-mile loop that includes Canyon Road, the Museum Hill area, the Palace of the Governors among many other locations. Another tour guide is Custom Tours by Clarice, that takes you on a 90-minute romp around town, also in an open-air tram, covering important historic sites as well as shops and restaurants.

4. Eat Eat Eat

After a busy day taking in the sights, you and your pooch will be hungry. If you want to eat like a local, head to Casa Chimayo Restaurante, where you can enjoy New Mexican cuisine on the patio, featuring red and green chile, pozole, flour tortillas, tamales and much more. Also Vinaigrette, a salad bistro, where most of the produce they serve is grown on the owner’s 10-acre farm. Soups, sandwiches and homemade desserts are also part of their healthy offerings. Sage Bakehouse also has a pet friendly patio and serves up tartines (toasted open-faced sandwiches), panini, cold sandwiches and pastries.

Vineyard at Black Mesa Winery
Vineyard at Black Mesa Winery.

5. Imbibe

Santa Fe has many nearby wineries such as the Black Mesa Winery which is 45 minutes from Santa Fe in Velarde. You can hang out on their pet friendly patio and taste their award winning wines while listening to local musicians on Friday and Saturday nights. They even have a feline CEO named Sola. If you’d like to sip wines right in town, there are a number of wine bars including the 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar which allows leashed pets in their outdoor dining area. Also the TerraCotta Wine Bistro located in the historic district near the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, serving great wines at moderate prices, including a Happy Hour that runs all day until 6 pm, offering wines at $6 a glass.

 

 

 

 

Top 12 Weird and Wacky Things People Do with Dogs

Dog and man in sky

I know there are a lot of weird and wacky things people do with dogs. But I keep it on the straight and narrow with mine and, in general, do normal things: go for walks, do road trips, play fetch, roll around on the grass and howl, try to catch birds in our mouths, urinate on my neighbors’ flower gardens, dry hump the living room furniture, etc.  Actually, now that I’m writing this, it doesn’t sound all that normal (and I really apologize to my neighbors…), but that’s my point. The great thing about dogs is that they take you places you wouldn’t normally go, make you do things you wouldn’t normally do without even realizing that it’s very weird behavior. These things include not only organized activities but also daily interactions, things that, while you’re doing them, feel normal but, seen from the outside, look like you’ve been sucking on the insane root. Of course, it’s a two-way street. More often than not, we’re making dogs do things that we like to do—or not do—ourselves and they put up with it because, well, we feed them.

So here, in no particular order, is Petswelcome’s top 12 weird and wacky things people do with dogs.

dogs waiting for dressage
Some dressage fans waiting for the show to begin.

1. Canine Dressage

If you’ve ever watched the Olympics, you’re probably familiar with Dressage, which is a French word that means “two otherwise intelligent and dignified mammals going out of their way to look silly.” Usually it’s done with horses, getting them to do very fancy unnatural steps, prancing as if on tiptoes, going sideward and backwards, or basically making them move like my Uncle Frank trying to find his car in the parking lot after a long night at the Alibi Bar & Grill. But some people do it with their dogs, too. And, as seen in this video it’s positively riveting. Or not.

dancing dogs
Who’s better?

2. Freestyle Dancing

Okay, now that you’ve gotten your breath back, let’s take it one step further and look at Freestyle Dancing.  I don’t know about you, but whenever I judge good dancing, it always comes down to one question: is the dog as good as John Travolta?

Headed for the green room, Dude!

3-6.  Boarding

Turns out dogs are good on boards of all kinds: skateboardssurfboards, and snowboards are three that they seem to have a natural feel for. But I like a dog that takes it a step further and manages the impossible: hopping on a hoverboard without immediately looking like a dorky nerd.

dog and skis
I’d rather ride on your shoulders.

7. Skiing

There are some activities that are really not enhanced when you do them with your dog. Synchronized swimming and Jenga are two that come to mind. And I thought skiing was another. But this dog seems like he’s really enjoying it and has the serene look of an animal that just got to spend a day on the slopes while using his owner as a sofa and making him spring for an absurdly expensive lift ticket. Turns out humans are really gullible. Hot toddies for everyone back at the lodge!

dog doing squats with owner.
This isn’t so hard.

8. Exercising

There are some things dogs are better at than humans. That’s because they’re smarter. Beyond getting your owner to pay for everything, it also includes pretending you’re into working out with him while you’re actually leaning against the wall and getting a good back scratch.

talking dog
Why don’t you go fetch the damn stick?

9. Talent Shows

Talking dogs scare me almost as much as drunk clowns so when I see one at a talent show, I get the creeps. Maybe it’s because we’re putting words in their mouth which, well, is just wrong. What I want to see is a dog that really talks and speaks her own mind. In this case, I get the feeling Miss Wendy would tell Simon Cowell to cut with the fawning, gee-whiz-ain’t-I-cute looks and stick his mic where the sun don’t shine.

dog doing laundry

10. Helping Out Around the House

I’ve taught my dogs to sit, lie down, shake hands, rollover and not to jump on people. Of course, they don’t do any of those things and, on top of that,  I was wasting my time. I could have had them doing the laundry and generally cleaning the house  while I was out on the slopes skiing without them.

dog feeling guilty
I didn’t do it. Really.

11. Feeling Guilty
Feeling Guilty is less an activity than a way of life. An art form. But we’ve included it on this list because people and dogs spend a lot of time engaged in it. In many ways, it’s the glue that binds us. For example, I feel guilty when I have to go out for the day leaving my dogs alone for many hours. They feel guilty when they snarf the Oreos I left on the counter and then regurgitate them on my bedroom pillow. The only difference between human and canine guilt is, since dogs are much more honest and upstanding than people are, they feel more guilty.

dog and man
You will be leaving again soon, won’t you?

12. Reuniting
Next to feeling guilty, one of most common things humans and dogs do together is jump up and down, fall on the floor, howl and drool on each other when, after a long time away, they finally get back together. In my case, because my dogs seem to have no sense of time, it could just be a 30-second absence: walking out the door to my car, realizing I’ve forgotten the keys, and then walking back into the house and being greeted again in a 30-minute love frenzy as though I’ve just returned from a tour in Afghanistan.

We really hope and encourage that you do totally ridiculous things with your dog(s) and would love to hear about them for our next Top 12 list.

Why Dogs Howl

howling dogs

Well, Labor Day is behind us, which means summer is almost over, which makes us sad here at Petswelcome. And when we’re sad, we feel like howling. Actually, when it comes to the doggoes here, Rusty and Hobbes, they actually do howl. Though we’ve got to say that Hobbes howls more than Rusty; Rusty is more of a barker. Hobbes can’t stand it when someone leaves the office, and expresses that with very forlorn and persistent howling.

So back to the passing of Labor Day and feeling like we want to howl–it got us to thinking about why dogs howl. A bit a quick research unearthed the main instigators of howling–loneliness, separation anxiety, communication. It also led us to something more fun and intriguing, research that indicates when canines howl in groups, it’s for enjoyment, kind of a form of musical expression. In fact, researchers posit that canines have a sense of pitch, and when they howl with others (check out this video of a wolf joining in a chorus), they purposely change their pitch so that they are not howling in the same register–apparently everybody wants to be a soloist!

And we know from our own pup pack at Petswelcome that everyone has their own particular sound. Here are some of our favorite howling dogs from youtube: basset hound; vizsla; corgi; doberman; and bracco Italiano.

This also led us to discover that various composers have written pieces that include dog howls and barks in them, including “Sonata with Piano and Dog,” by Kirk Nurock, who performed it on The David Letterman Show.

So if you’re also sad that Labor Day has come and gone, why not make some music with your best buddy? Just get down on the floor with him and howl at the soon-to-be autumn moon!

How I Met Dante

Ever notice that a dog is a great way to get a quick handle on a person or family that you don’t know very well? A big claim, maybe, but I’ve found that canines can clue you into a lot. Put me in a room with a person (or family) and their dog and I can figure out more about them in an hour than spending a week with someone who doesn’t have a pet. Just the type of dog they own is a huge insight. Then there’s the level of interaction and the general attitude of the dog—its playfulness and attention to its owner and vice versa. These are all pieces of a puzzle that reveal a lot about the people who own a pet.

Dante before chemo
Dante in his prime.

I bring this up because I recently met someone extraordinary. Someone I never knew existed and who suddenly popped into my life this year with great consequence. It was my sister, Gay, who we discovered because of a DNA test my brother took with 23 And Me, a company that does DNA testing for ancestry, wellness and genetic health risks. Given a test kit as a gift from a friend, my brother followed the directions and sent it in, hoping to find out something about our ancestry mix and what parts of the world we originally came from. Little did he imagine it would lead to finding out that we have a half-sister, a daughter that my father had before he married our mother and raised a family of four sons—a daughter that he probably never knew about or, if he did, never acknowledged.

To find out I had a sister at 60 years old was quite a revelation. It was even more stunning because I had just lost my best friend to lung cancer two months before. It was an incredible reversal of fortune, moving from tragedy to joy in losing a friend and then suddenly gaining a family member. Next thing I knew I was on the phone with her and we’re both laughing and crying, amazed at this gift that had suddenly been bestowed, as if fallen out of the sky. I could only imagine how it was on her end, an only child finding out she now had three brothers. Suddenly there was a desire to get to know each other as soon as possible to make up for lost time, leading to endless Facetime chats and trying to figure out how this all came about. But, since it all happened so long ago—and everyone who could answer any questions had long since passed—there was no getting to the bottom of it. No real clarification. Only one faded old picture of our father with Gay’s mother, which made it somehow even more mysterious and wonderful.

All that was left, then, was to make plans to get together, which we did. First, she flew to New York with her husband, Allen, where my brothers and I spent three days together with them, mostly in a Marriott, starting to get to know each other. Who looks most like who? What physical traits do we share? What did we all do for a living? How many kids, if any, do each of us have? Do we have any personality similarities? And, finally, the big question: Do we actually like each other? The answer to the last question turned out to be a resounding Yes, so much so that we made plans to visit her at her home in Arizona in the very near future.

Dante during chemo.
Dante fighting the good fight.

And that’s where Dante comes in—her amazingly smart standard poodle who greeted us at the door when we arrived. He was tall and alert, but a little wary of our presence, as if quietly assuming protection mode for Gay and Allen. After a short time, though, he warmed up and was licking our legs and happily taking the treats that we offered him. Unfortunately, though, Dante, who is 10 years old, has a very aggressive form of lymphoma. Gay found out about the cancer after we met and I could tell she was devastated, though committed to taking the right course of action. No treatment if it would make him sick or cause pain, and only pursuing it if it would extend his life—all compassionate and intelligent considerations that gave me a better insight into my new sister. After she met with the vet, she decided to go ahead with the treatment and, as of now, Dante is in complete remission, though the cancer cannot be cured. The only real visible sign of the chemo is that he’s lost his beautiful dense, white curly fur and now has the look of a tough but ever optimistic streetfighter. Otherwise, he’s nimble and quick and concentrated on Gay and Allen’s every move, as they are on his.

On the last morning of our visit, as I watched Gay serve Dante a breakfast of freshly cooked eggs, I wondered if our love for animals was another one of the many genetic traits we shared or whether it was just a coincidence.  Who knows? In the amazing saga of our coming together, it would have to be just another unanswered question. One thing is for sure, though, is that watching my sister and her husband take care of their dog in such a loving way made me realize that no matter what life throws at us, it is short, sweet, tenuous and, above all, endlessly full of surprises.

 

 

Pet Friendly Mystic, CT

As the summer winds down to a close, there’s always the desire to get in one more trip, to find a pet-friendly town that offers a variety of activities that will allow you to take advantage of the last bit of warm weather before the cooler days of fall arrive. At Petswelcome, that means heading to the coast, the New England coast, specifically the coastal towns in Connecticut, which are just a couple of hours drive from our office. And one of our favorites is pet friendly Mystic, CT.

pet friendly mystic seaport village
The Mystic Seaport Village.

Mystic, whose name derives from the Pequot term “missi-tuk,” which means a large river that is driven by tides and wind, has a long history as a leading seaport, and was first colonized by Europeans in the 1630s. The story of Mystic’s maritime heritage is preserved and brought to life at the Mystic Seaport Museum, which is situated on the Mystic River and is the largest maritime museum in the United States. The museum is comprised of a shipyard, historic vessels, museums, shops and, best of all for pet owners, a recreated 19thcentury seafaring village made up of actual buildings that were transported to the Seaport from all around New England. We can think of no better way to spend a late summer day than by strolling through the village with your dog while taking in the historic sites and beautiful water vistas that the museum has to offer. Leashed pets are welcome, though they are not allowed in the restaurants, exhibit buildings or on vessels.

There are many pet friendly hotels in Mystic to choose from, including the Harbour Inne & Cottage. Dogs and cats are welcome and there is no pet fee or weight limit. Other pet friendly hotels include the Quality Inn Mystic-Groton  (which accepts dogs up 50 lbs. with a pet fee of $25 per night), the Econo Lodge Mystic-Groton (accepting dogs up to 50 lbs. with a $20 pet fee per night), and the Hampton Inn & Suites  (dogs welcome with no weight limit or pet fee), among many others.

pet friendly snack bar in Mystic, CT
The Sea View Snack Bar.

When it comes to pet friendly dining, Mystic has many options, including the Sea View Snack Bar, which offers delicious fresh seafood, soups and sandwiches with outdoor seating and views of Mystic Harbor. And, if you can’t get enough seafood, you can also head for Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock, which is located in New London, about a 20-minute drive from Mystic. For those looking for something other than fish, we recommend Pizzetta Pizza, where you can enjoy soups, salad, pizza and paninis on their dog-friendly patio.

Pet friendly Bluff Point State Park
Bluff Point State Park.

Of course, we’re talking about enjoying the last warm days of summer, so getting some fresh air and exercise should be a priority. To that end you can visit Pequot Woods Park, which is a 140-acre park with hiking trails, a pond and picnic grounds. Bluff Point State Park in nearby Groton is a beautiful 800-acre coastal reserve that has been designated as the last remaining significant tract of undeveloped land along the Connecticut coastline. It offers incredible views of the Long Island Sound and is a great place to while away the last few days of summer with your best buddy in tow. The Copp Family Park is also pet friendly and is a former family farm with 240 acres of fields surrounded by wetlands and forest. It’s a great place to meet other pet owners as it has its own dog park with chairs, tables and shade trees where you can rest while your dog mixes it up with the locals.

If you’re thinking of a last-minute summer jaunt with your pet, we think pet friendly Mystic, CT, is a fantastic choice that will reward you and your favorite animal with great places to stay, visit and enjoy.