Monday, August 10, 2015

The Test That Makes Others Smile

Mama loaded me up in the car and we went for a ride, just her and I together. It's always an adventure with her, because the places she goes are so random and I get to meet a lot of fun people. This day was no different. Right up front

Saturday, August 8, 2015

What It Is And Why You Need It

Notice: This is a guest blog by mama, because she went out of town this weekend and didn't take me. She also took the computer with her. Not that I can use it, because of that whole lack of opposable thumbs thing, but we all know that I tell mama what to write and she makes the magical things happen. So... I'm home stressing because mama is gone. She has the computer. She's in charge of thinking of all the things to say this time.

I think Louie is disgruntled about being left at home. Geez. Take a dog for a weekend getaway once, and he thinks he's entitled to go every weekend. This time I'm on a business trip. I have a booth at a market somewhere or other almost every weekend, selling our dog collars and candles. I'm able to take Louie to a lot of these with me, and he's been loving them, but this one clearly stated, "no dogs allowed."  I'm a rule follower, so I didn't allow Mr. Entitled to come with me. The good news is that he's a dog, and he'll forgive me. Dogs are epic that way.

Since I have a rare opportunity to talk here, I'm going to share one of the most under valued listings in our stores.

Friday, August 7, 2015

I'm Looking At Some Changes Coming This Way

frenchie wearing nautical starfish collar by the water ocean sea lake
Louie has been wearing the Starfish collar all summer. We love nautical things here.

We have this brand-new Etsy store, appropriately called The French Dog. Guess who that's named after? Yep, nailed it. I actually voted for the name of Louie's on Etsy, but mom said no. (MOM NOTE: He didn't actually suggest that. He probably should have. I may have to now open another store just to name it that. For crying out loud.)

Mom has been on Etsy for years. Nine of them, as a matter of fact. Etsy was 15 months young when mom opened her very first Etsy store in 2006. She made shirts for the 2-legged variety of kids for a long, long time, and had fun doing it.

Mom has been raising 4-legged kids for 15 years, and last year she had the epiphany that she could sew for dogs. Mom is slow sometimes. It's why she hires me to do the thinking. (MOM NOTE: I never hired Louie to do any kind of thinking. The dog fabricates

Thursday, August 6, 2015

There's No Shame In My Game

I love my human. A lot. I show my loyalty by never leaving mama's side. (Rarely ever.)

If mama goes upstairs, I go upstairs, too.

If mama goes to the workshop to make collars, I go to the workshop too.

If mama goes to the bathroom, I sit at her feet.

If mama goes for the mail at the end of the driveway, I, too, go for the mail. Mostly. Mama makes me stay a dozen feet inside the driveway so I'm not near the road. But I faithfully wait for her there, because I never leave mama. Hardly ever.

When mom and I are running or speed hiking, she lets me off leash, because it's just easier to run without a leash attached to you, whether you've got 4 legs or 2. Mama she knows she can trust me to never leave her side.

When we were on vacation this past weekend,

Monday, August 3, 2015

All Under One Red Roof

We were contacted recently by Red Roof Inn, asking if we knew that they were a dog friendly option to spend the night away from home. We did not know that, and were quite thrilled to hear it. I don't always get to travel with the family, but on the rare occasion that I do, it's nice to know that I'll be welcome somewhere, you know? Nothing like being told you can't stay because you have 4 legs and fur. It's the height of discrimination.

Red Roof Inn gave us a night's accommodation to see first hand exactly how accommodating they are for pets.  This was a huge bonus for us, because my family hadn't planned to vacation this year due to many circumstances, including the fact that there are so many schedules in this house that a dog gets dizzy watching that door revolve with the in-and-out-and-in... It took the family a week to clear schedules and block days and change plans and coordinate with each other, but they finally figured out that they could all take an entire 2 days to spend together. Wasn't that nice of them? Except that wasn't true, because one of the teen boys ended up being out of town.

This past weekend, the family loaded up the van, packed a bag for me, and we went for a drive. We ended up at a place called Centralia, that's got a lot to offer in the way of exploring. There was a fire there, back in the '60s (whenever that was) that caught an underground coal seam on fire. The fire raged on, taking a severe toll on the town (which has been evacuated) (mostly) (there are some people who refuse to leave) and making a road unsafe for driving since the burned coal left emptiness under that road, creating sink holes. A bypass has been built, and this original road is just there, abandoned, but not forgotten. It's now a place for teens to vandalize. And boy howdy, do they ever.

It was interesting to walk down that road, reading graffiti, pointing out some fun artwork, and sniffing all the things. (Okay, I was the only one sniffing. It's an art the family can't fully appreciate.) We were grateful that the road wasn't hot. We were told that it was, due to the raging underground fires. It wasn't any hotter than any other pavement in summer, which does get hot when you're on it for a long time in your bare feet. Just an FYI, because a lot of dog owners don't think about their dogs being barefoot on the concrete. Our feet have feelings, too.

After sniffing all that spray paint, we drove some more and ended up at the Poconos. I was afraid I'd get my nose poked, but turns out I was safe. I stayed in the van while the family had dinner with friends, and picked up the teen boy who was out of town. It rained while they were eating, so it was nice and cool in the van; no worries about a dog in a hot car! Mama loves me too much to do that. Plus she checked on me frequently, even locking herself out of the house once. That's how much she loves me.

We drove to our Red Roof Inn accommodations, and mama took me inside with her to check in. I know they love dogs, because the lady at the front desk got all excited when she saw me. She even forgot to code our door keys because she was that happy about a dog there to visit. No worries, though, dad just took the keys back to the desk and the kind ladies there took care of it, and offered many apologies. 

Our room came equipped with a free water bottle for everyone in our family (they offer one free per day!) and a snack box. How fun is all that?! The snack box contained some granola bars, a bag of popcorn, a trail mix snack bag, and some juice. It was a wonderful thing to have the next day as we were hiking the wooded trails.

The hotel offered free WiFi for the family to enjoy (with no annoying per-day limits), a mini refrigerator and microwave in each room. Red Roof Inn doesn't charge a cleaning fee for pets (because they mean it when they say that pets stay free), and they don't have a size limit for pets, either. Giant dog breeds are just as welcome as purse pups! 

Mama also signed up for the Redi Card Rewards Program, because it's a smart thing to do, and there is no fee to be a member. After your family stays at a Red Roof Inn 6 times, they'll get a free room the next time they book if they're a card carrying member of the Redi Card Rewards Program. You can't beat free!  

After we woke the next morning, refreshed and ready to go on with our day, we said goodbye to Red Roof Inn and found a state park to get lost in. Pennsylvania is quite a beautiful state, boasting so much nature that state parks are abundant, protecting all the beauty for everyone to enjoy. State parks are also pet friendly, so we love them a lot. This park was called Ricketts Glen, and had a lot of waterfalls on the one hiking trail. We didn't hike the whole 7 mile loop, because my boy has a hard time walking that far due to his weak hips. Down syndrome, sometimes, is not to his advantage. We did see some really awesome things, though. Like this.

Me and my boy, Luke, in front of a huge cascade of water. 
The kids just loved this place. I drank some water, followed mom, and sniffed all the things. It really was a great place to take the family. Mom and dad know how to have fun! But sadly, after just one night and two days, we had to head home. That thing where the family has to cancel plans and block schedules only lasts so long before real life happens again. But we are very grateful to Red Roof Inn for allowing us some family time this past weekend, and have promised (paws over heart) that we'd spread the word about how amazingly friendly they are toward pets.

Should you be in need of a hotel accommodation for your dog, feel free to click the Red Roof link in the sidebar there. Best rates, guaranteed!