Friday, June 28, 2013

Dogs on Vacation

In the past month the boo and I have explored two of America's greatest cities:  Chicago & Boston.  On our travels I pined for Harry.  As we walked around, at least every 20 minutes I'd comment how Harry would like this or that or worse if I saw a dog I'd have to say hi and also talk to the parents about my Harry at home.  
Farewell for now friend!
Because of this, on our 6 hour drive home from Boston I researched where we could actually take Harry on vacation with us.  Although he probably wouldn't be able to accompany us internationally (I'd love to take my little gentleman to foggy London town) there area  lot of long weekend options available across our US of A.  Cities, like Boston & Chicago, in fact, are increasingly dog friendly offering up dog friendly hotels and a multitude of dog parks.

You can find dog friendly hotels in your city of choice here.

Better than a dog friendly hotel is renting a dog-friendly apartment or home for your stay.  Most rental sites like vrbo and airbnb will tell you whether or not their home is pet-friendly, and in that case you may be able to come and go as you please; taking your pet where he/she can come with.  

When Harry came camping with us, there were stipulations regarding his presence.  He had to be on leash at all times, and we couldn't leave him alone - he had to come with us everywhere.  Luckily they had rafting activities where he could be included.  If you find that you can't accompany your pet 24/7, a local pet sitter may be able to handle your pooch while you sight see.  

That said, DogVaycay is a website connecting thousands of pet sitters from all cities.  Unlike kenneling, dog vaycay is more of a vrbo site for pets.  Your dog stays in the comfort of their sitters home and in most cases has company all day long.  Your pooch may share their sitter's attention with a resident animal or could be hosted solo; either way it's a much more comfortable transition vs kenneling.

We used DogVaycay in our hometown of Philadelphia while we vacationed in Boston.  Harry stayed with his sitter for 2 overnights and one day.  Not only was it convenient, it was affordable, and we received updates from our sitter throughout each day (some via picture below).  We were able to meet our sitter before making a reservation and read reviews from others who have left their precious pups with her.  Harry even got to interact with the resident animals so we could ensure they'd get along.   The site is great for last minute reservations, and since payment and reservations are handled directly through DogVaycay, your dog is covered during their stay with DogVaycay insurance.  Of course, Harry came back happy and tired - thanks to his awesome babysitter.

Our next long weekend we fully intend to include Harry.  He's proven his stamina in car rides these past 3 months - we're on a barf free streak - so we think he might be good for a road trip.  I'd love to take him to some dog-friendly beaches in the South.  I hope you found the info above helpful and can use it to include your hound on holiday! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DIY: Doggy Muscle Tee

As the seasons have turned over, we've been cleaning out our closets.  In Harry's case, his closet has been getting fuller...because as his Dad throws things away, his Mom (me) turns them into Harry clothes.  Enter the beer belly tee that is perfect for a pooch:

The boo wasn't interested in this jokey t-shirt for teens, but Harry was intrigued by the attention his belly would receive if he convinced his audience that his belly was in fact lucky.  We started by measuring the belly in question.

Harry's lucky belly is a whopping 24 inches.  This was my guide as to how much I would cut the boo's t-shirt down to make it Harry size.  I wanted room for give and a seam allowance, so I trimmed 3 inches from each side to give me 27.5 inches overall.  
I think it fits...

Using fabric scissors, I cut three inches and removed the sleeves from the t-shirt.  I was left with the neckhole, creating almost a t-shirt dickie.  The next step would be sewing the bottom and sides.  The hem of the shirt needed to be trimmed as well, and I drew a line for where I thought it should stop - a hoinky line, so that Harry's hoink wouldn't touch the tee.  This is what it looked like before sewing:

The t-shirt dickie was turned inside out and pinned together.  I left openings for the arm holes, which I made about five inches wide and finished the edges before sewing both sides of the t-shirt together.  

I also folded the edges on the bottom of the shirt and sewed them straight through one side at a time.  The sides were sewn straight on my sewing machine.  No crafty sewing pics this time, sorry folks!
The project took about 20 minutes, and then it was fashion show time.  Harry walked the runway and posed for numerous pics.  In hindsight, I think I still need to make the arm holes wider, like a real muscle tee.

The tee fits like a glove, minus the tight arms.  Plus, Harry has tricked strangers into rubbing his mystical belly.  I can't wait to start going through the boo's t-shirts and Harry sizing them!  Hopefully he doesn't mind...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Doggy Dining: Bacchus Market & Catering

Nothing beats an iced coffee on an early Sunday in a hot dog park.  Harry, the boo, and I made a discovery this past weekend that we will likely be revisiting.  As per our usual routine, we visited the Schuylkill River Dog Run on Sunday morning hoping to completely poop the pup.  Harry's endurance has lightened as the weather has heated up, so he tires out in much less time than he did in the fall.  Or maybe his puppy energy is fading...noooooo!  
On base...obviously.
Cherry picker!

After thirty minutes of intense tag and resting on base, we wanted to take advantage of Harry's lethargy and the good weather.  So we walked up Spruce Street only a couple of blocks to Bacchus Market to grab some coffees and sit outside.

Bacchus is extremely close to the dog park and quite convenient.  The owners show their love of their furry neighbors with water bowls, complementary treats, and leash hookups so you can get your snacks without worry.
The leash hookups at Bacchus Market & Catering
The iced coffees were refreshing and peppy and the service was both human and dog friendly.  It's always a treat to see people fawn over my scruffy and badly behaved mutt.
The small shop also features baked goods like cupcakes, lemon bars, and cookies as well as bagels and muffins.  In another refrigerator they sell homemade salads filled with fresh vegetables and delicious combinations.  Our next trip will likely include some lemon bars, and some more of their chuggable iced coffee.

Harry's Sunday Funday wrapped up with a visit of Doggie Style where we browsed leashes (Harry's is disintegrating) and picked up a cookie for our little guy.  It only took a few hours of our day to show Harry an extremely good time, which makes for a good time for us too.