Archive for December, 2013
As you may know, we make an annual road trip from Kansas to Texas and back every year for the holiday. This year was particularly adventurous. Did you hear about the ice storm that hit Oklahoma? We experienced it first-hand and Motel 6 was our savior.
We heard an ice storm was coming and had hoped to beat it. Our plan was to get through Oklahoma City before stopping for the night. We had a pet friendly hotel in mind, one we had stayed at before. But travel took longer than we thought and the ice storm hit before we could reach it. For safety reasons, we had to stop a little early.
We were nowhere near the normal hotel chains we stay at – Red Roof Inn or Baymont Inn Suites. So I used our GPS to locate nearby hotels and began making phone calls. I must have called 10 places before I finally found a place that was pet friendly with no size or breed limits and didn’t charge extra fees for pets. That place was Motel 6.
I was very reluctant about calling Motel 6 but I was desperate. I remember Motel 6 as being a rundown hotel with smelly rooms. They must have changed their image because that is not at all what I found.
When I called and asked about pets, they immediately said yes without asking about the size, number, or breed. When I asked if they had extra fees for pets, they said no. Thank goodness! I was so happy about finding a hotel that I didn’t care about the condition of the rooms. But lo and behold, when I walked into our room I was amazed.
It did not smell at all. Generally, when we stay at the Red Roof Inn or even at the Baymont Inn Suites, the pet friendly rooms smell like cigarette smoke! Even when we ask for a smoke-free room!!! My thinking is they converted their smelly smoke rooms into pet friendly rooms, assuming one stinky smell is like any other. Not so with Motel 6.Our room at the Motel 6 was simple, but nice. We weren’t provided with a coffee pot, an alarm clock, or shampoo. But we had a TV, a dresser, a couple tables, and a very comfortable bed. Since we were just stopping over, we didn’t need anything fancy. We just needed a safe and comfortable place to stay the night.
For under $60 a night, the Motel 6 was quite a bargain! We liked our stay at the Motel 6 in Oklahoma City so much that we stayed at Motel 6 in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the way back too. It was just as nice. And it didn’t smell either.
Motel 6 literally saved us. Without it, we had nowhere else to go. Who knows what could have happened if we kept trying to drive through that ice storm. Thank you Motel 6! You are our new favorite hotel chain and we will definitely choose you again on our next road trip.
12121 N I-35
Oklahoma City, OK
12525 East 52nd St. South
This is purely an unsolicited review.
If you want to know more about our trip, check out our Oklahoma! post on AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com. We will also be posting more photos on Wordless Wednesday.
We’re enjoying our stay in Texas for the holiday, so instead of writing a long detailed post we thought we’d share some previous years’ posts. These are from our other blog:
Instead of the twelve days of Christmas, how about singing the twelve shelter dogs of Christmas?
On the first day of Christmas,
The shelter adopted out a puppy:
A great dog with a mixed pedigree.
On the second day of Christmas
The shelter adopted out a puppy:
Two Beagle loves,
And a great dog with mixed pedigree.
And so on with the final verse as follows:
On the twelfth day of Christmas
The shelter adopted out a puppy:
Twelve Setters sitting,
Eleven pointers pointing,
Ten Chows a-wagging,
Nine poodles prancing,
Eight hounds a-baying,
Seven Labs a-swimming,
Six Pugs a-playing,
Five Golden Retrievers,
Four bird dogs,
Three French Poodles,
Two Beagle loves,
And a great dog with mixed pedigree.
(c) Dawn Ross 2009
Here is a fun dog version of the Jingle Bells song:
Dashing through the snow
Loving to go and play
Wagging my tail to and fro
Barking all the way
Bells on my collar ring
While prancing in snow so white
What fun it is to jump and play
On a day so fun and bright
Oh, Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to play in the fluffy snow all day
The following photos are from previous holidays. We will have newer holiday photos soon.
Every year we have a dozen holiday tips for pets to share. But since every pet blogger seems to be doing the exact same thing, we thought we’d share their tips with you. After all, how can we possibly top these other great posts?
Fidose of Reality has some great dog travel tips Dog Travel Dos and Don’ts
They also have some great tips on how to make sure holiday visits are comfortable and safe for your pet 8 Ways to Help Your Dog Survive Holiday Visits
My Brown Newfies talks about how to protect your dog’s paws in winter Keeping Pawtstic Paws Protected in Winter
That Mutt talks about giving cats as Christmas presents
And Wag the Dog reminds us of some holiday pet hazards Top 5 Holiday Pet Hazards
What are your holiday traditions and how do you make sure the holidays are both fun and safe for your furry friends?
Hello everyone! I hope you all are looking forward to the upcoming holiday. I know I am. We’re heading out to Texas later today. Maya and Pierson are excited about the car ride. They love having their seat belts put on because they know they’re getting to go somewhere fun. The problem is they think we’re going to the park, pet store, or somewhere close by. Their excitement won’t last when they realize it is going to be a long long drive. We will be staying in Oklahoma City overnight at a pet friendly hotel in order to break up the eleven hour drive. So what are you doing this holiday?
I wasn’t initially going to write a Follow Up Friday post this week. But all your wonderful comments on the Meet the Bloggers blog hop inspired me. My packing is done, so why not. Let’s follow up! Thank you to Jodi with Heart Like a Dog for hosting this blog hop.
Last Week’s Follow Up Friday
Donna and the Dogs says, “Great follow up. It WAS fun going on a road trip, [referring to her two day trip to Florida] and surprisingly, Leah and Medi were really well behaved…both in the car..and in the hotels we stopped in going there and back.”
Other than Maya whining for the first 10 to 15 minutes, she and Pierson do really well too.
Hawk with Brown Dog CBR and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs love Maya’s facial expression. Jodi with Heart Like a Dog says Maya looks sad. She’s actually rather bored. I love how expressive she can be, just like a Lab to put on those sad puppy-eyes. I mean seriously, just look at this pathetically cute face:
Seat Cover Contest
Congratulations to Jason D! He chose the tan paw print cover for the back seat.
How to Adjust the ClickIt Utility
Roxy the Traveling Dog says, “The hardest part I had with Torrey was all her fur. Once I got it done though, it’s good to go. I gave her a hair cut, I think i better adjust it again. I do love this harness though.“
LOL! – one of the many facets of having a dog with long hair. When Pierson’s winter coat fills out, I may need to do a little adjusting too.
Meet the Bloggers
Thank you for all the wonderful comments! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about you too. It’s so nice getting to know you better. I feel like our community is even closer than before. We have a lot more in common than just our fur pals. 🙂
A couple of you mentioned about how busy I must be with being both an artist and a writer, on top of being a blogger. Yes, I am busy. I like to be busy. But there is not enough time in the world to do all the things I want to do. Besides, I’m an artist. I have to be “in the mood” to do certain things. This means the art and writing are often set aside until an inspiration hits me.
I’ve done four pieced of art work this year, which is more than I’ve been doing since I started PetAutoSafety.com in 2006. And my novels were actually written a decade ago. I’ve written since then, but not nearly as often or as much as I used to. I really want to get back into it. I have another great novel I’ve been working on that is about 1/5 complete.
Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews asked if I would eat head cheese. Yes I would. I don’t care what it is made from. I love food almost as much as Maya and Pierson and am willing to try anything at least once. I can’t wait to try some of your Polish food when we stop by on our way back from Texas. 🙂
Well, gotta go! I still have a little packing left to do before we go. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you all have a relaxing Friday, a great weekend, and a joyous holiday.
To see what other pet bloggers are up to, be sure to check them out on the Follow Up Friday blog hop below:
A Face Behind the Pet Car Safety Lady
Hi! My name is Dawn Ross. I generally put Maya & Pierson in front of the camera when I talk about pet car safety. But thanks to an idea from Amy with GoPetFriendly.com, perhaps I should tell you more about me. There are four things I love to talk about the most… Maya, Pierson, my husband, and myself! 😉
What’s your favorite non-animal related book?
I love the world of fantasy with dragons, knights, wizards, and castles. My all-time favorite fantasy novels are the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.
What’s your favorite non-animal related movie?
Action/adventure, sci-fi/fantasy, and Disney movies are what I like best. Trying to choose one movie is very difficult, so I will choose one from each of my three favorite genres. Action/adventure – Indiana Jones. Then again, I could watch the Transformers movies over and over again. Sci-fi/fantasy – Star Wars or perhaps Lord of the Rings. Disney – I absolutely loved Tangled.
What’s your favorite non-animal related food?
Cheese. I love cheese. Any kind of cheese will do. Cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cheese cake, goat cheese, Munster, Havarti, gouda, brie, parmesan, cottage cheese, okay maybe not blue cheese.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Free time? What’s that? I used to do a lot of crafts. I enjoyed beading. At one time, I was even making my own beads out of rolled up paper. I also like to use plastic canvas. Plastic canvas can be cut into shapes. You can then thread designs on it using yarn, and then sew the shapes together to make something three dimensional.
Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy?
1. Drawing – If you follow my American Dog Blog, then you probably already know I am an artist. I love to draw nature and animals. In fact, I have a website dedicated just for my artwork at NatureByDawn.com.
2. Reading – I love to read about ancient history. Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ancient China, Greece, Rome, the Dark Ages, Renaissance, etc.
3. Writing – My love for history led me to a love for mythology, which in turn led me to a love for fantasy. In fact, I have written three fantasy novels, “The Third Dragon”, “The Raven’s Fire”, and “The Dragon & The Lion”. As is common in fantasy, these three novels encompass a trilogy I call “The Dukarian Legacy”. Each book has its own story that can stand on its own. But the characters are all the same throughout and there is a grander tale tell. You can buy my books on Amazon in either paperback or e-book version. I also have another blog for my writing, although I haven’t updated it in some time. Still, you can read a couple of my short fantasy stories there along with some of my writing and publishing tips.
What drives you nuts about your pets? What melts your heart?
Now, back to talking about my dogs. Dogs really are my passion. I’ve had dogs my entire life and cannot imagine life without them. My dogs bring me more joy than the three things mentioned above combined. Regardless, there are still things about my dogs that drive me nuts. For one, I would love to travel the world. I’d love to see the ancient Greek temples and other things I’ve read about in my love for history. But my dogs make it difficult for me to do these things. Let’s be truly honest, though, it is also lack of time and money that keep me from being able to travel.
Another thing that drives me nuts about the dogs is all the shedding. You’d think that because I’ve had dogs my entire life I’d be used to it. And to be sure, I am probably more used to it than most other people. But it still drives me nuts.
I also dislike having to stand outside in adverse weather waiting to pick up Maya’s poop so Pierson doesn’t eat it. I don’t like the fact that Pierson is dog aggressive, that Maya still pulls on a leash despite six years of training, how Pierson barks at everything, and that Maya knows she is not supposed to jump on people but does it anyway.
Despite all those things, they pale in comparison to the joys Maya and Pierson bring me. I love playing with them, cuddling with them, training them to do fun tricks, taking them for walks, taking them shopping, and so on.
If you didn’t have your current pets, what pets would you choose to have?
I would still choose dogs. I like cats okay, but prefer dogs. I’ve never had the same breed or breed mix twice, so I suppose I would choose a breed or breed mix I haven’t had before. I tend to prefer medium to large dog breeds, so whatever I choose probably won’t be a toy breed. But I don’t always choose the dog I want. Sometimes they choose me.
Have I talked about myself enough yet? Are you bored now? Well, perhaps it is time to read about other dog bloggers. Check out this blog hop below to read about some of my favorite dog, cat, bunny, and bird people:
It so happens that the best dog seat belt on the market seems to be the most involved. Getting it adjusted for the first time has been difficult for some people, including myself. Thankfully, Sleepypod has made a video to help us.
Don’t let the fact that the ClickIt Utility can be difficult to adjust discourage you from buying the best. The good news is that once it is adjusted, you probably won’t have to adjust it again. And once you get used to putting it on your dog and securing him in the car, it’s easy.
Is it Friday already? Where has the week gone? Well, let’s see by checking out this week’s edition of Follow Up Friday hosted by Jodi from Heart Like a Dog.
Flea from Dog Treat Web with the delicious Jones Natural Chews said, “I’m so glad the bark control collar works for Pierson! Hoorah!!! He sure does look miserable, but my babies give me the same look.“
Isn’t it just the most adorable look? No, I don’t like my dogs to be miserable, but he is miserable from having to wear the antlers for an entire half minute while I took pictures. He doesn’t seem to be bothered by the bark collar except when he wants to bark but has to exercise self-control.
Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs said, “Hubby and I have spent many a Thanksgiving by ourselves when family has been far away. Those can be fun too.“
To be honest, I kind of like the relaxing holidays at home when I don’t have family obligations. But then again, being with family is nice too.
TRAVELING BY CAR WITH OUR DOGS
Ann with My Pawsitively Pets says, “Great tips! I think the tire thing is pretty important… I remember going on a trip as a kid with my parents and we got a flat tire in the middle of no where. After the spare was on, another tire decided to go flat not long after lol.“
OMD! A car breaking down on a long road trip is a terrible experience. Sephi and I got stuck in Idaho once on a road trip from Kansas to Oregon. I was not married at the time so it was just me and her. Scary.
Donna and the Dogs said, “I just love that first photo! And I totally understand about wanting to drive so you can have your pups with you. We drove all the way to Florida – a two day drive – just so we could bring two of them along. We would have brought all three if we could have fit them!“
Wow! A two day drive? I bet it was interesting seeing different parts of the country. Thanks for the compliment about Maya’s picture. She really is so photogenic, isn’t she? Here is another one of her riding in the car:
Snoopy with Snoopy’s Dog Blog said, “That’s a lot of organizing, but planning is the best way to ensure it all goes smoothly for all.”
We do it every year so it all goes smoothly now.
Lindsay with That Mutt said, “Great tips! It definitely helps if the pets are used to traveling, and it helps if they don’t get car sick. I have one cat that tends to get car sick, so he doesn’t get to eat breakfast the morning before a trip.“
Pierson can handle highway driving pretty well. I didn’t have problems with him getting sick on our trip last year. So I will probably give him a little bit of breakfast before we go.
WIN A SEAT COVER
This contest for one of our paw print seat covers ends on Sunday so if you haven’t entered yet, you better go enter now. Plus, you can get at least three more additional entries by tweeting daily. There are only 176 entries so far so your chances are pretty good.
Thanks for stopping by for Follow Up Friday! 🙂 I hope all of you have a Wonderful Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
(This is a very busy month for me, so I may not be blogging as much for the rest of it. But I you will see more of me next year, for sure!)
There is nothing wrong with getting a puppy for Christmas, so long as you are truly ready for one. ( I got Maya right after Thanksgiving. She was my gift to myself.) Check out this great infographic from TheUncommonDog.com:
It’s almost time for our annual road trip from Kansas to Texas to visit family. The drive takes about eleven hours. Taking such a long trip with two big dogs requires careful preparation and planning.
Why Do We Drive?
An eleven hour trip sounds intimidating. But when you have two big dogs, visiting family for the holidays doesn’t leave many options. Boarding kennels and pet sitters tend to be booked up this time of year. Flying can be expensive, not to mention a very stressful situation for pets that need to ride in the cargo area of the plane. Winter weather can also prevent your dog from being able to fly.
While driving requires several hours of our vacation to be spent on the road, for us it is the best option. I’m not sad and worried about Maya and Pierson because they’re with me. And the gas expense is less than one flight ticket.
PREPARING FOR THE TRIP
Now that we know we are going to drive, we just need to work out the logistics. Is our vehicle in good shape, including the tires? Is a car enough, or should we rent an SUV? Last year we rented an SUV because our friends went with us and four adults and two big dogs just wouldn’t fit in our sedan.
This year it is just my husband and I and the two dogs so we can take our car. We’re not taking mine this year, though. We are taking my husband’s. My car is already fitted with all the dog gear, but it is an older model vehicle and I don’t want to risk it breaking down on the way. So before our trip, I need to outfit my husband’s Camry for Maya and Pierson. The first thing it needs is a seat cover. I will also install the Backseat Bridge because it covers the floor and gives my big pups more room to stretch out for the long trip.
Will we do the entire drive all in one day, or will we stay overnight at a hotel? Most times, we drive straight through. But this year, we are visiting friends in Tulsa and so will stay in a hotel. To prepare, we need to find a pet friendly hotel in Tulsa and make reservations.
Health & Temperament
Maya and Pierson are in good health and so will be fine on this trip. But depending on your pet, you may want to consider his health before going on your road trip. In addition, think about how much or how little your dog likes to ride in the car. If he doesn’t like to ride, you may need to start getting him used to it now by taking short road trips to somewhere fun. You can also ask your vet about possible pet anxiety treatments you can give him.
A week before the trip, I compile a packing list. I add to it as things come to mind so that by the day of the trip, I know everything I need to take. For the dogs, I need their food, treats, food and water bowls, water, toys, blankets, beds, leashes, veterinary records, poop bags, their dog seat belts, first aid kit, and I need to make sure their id tags are secure on their collars. Since we are staying in a hotel, I should think about bringing their pet crates too.
Right Before We Leave
Besides checking off the packing list and making sure our vehicle has gas, I also like to administer Travel Calm to both Maya and Pierson. Maya gets excited in the vehicle and the all natural Travel Calm really helped keep her relaxed and quiet on our trip last year. Pierson sometimes gets car sick and Travel Calm helps with that too.
The next thing we do before we go is let the dogs go potty. And the final thing is to make sure our house is secure. If we didn’t already have someone watching our house, we’d be talking to our neighbors to ask them to keep an eye out. We’d also reduce the thermostat and make sure we didn’t leave any unnecessary appliances turned on.
THE ROAD TRIP
When traveling such a long distance, it is a good idea for us and the dogs to make plenty of pit stops. We stop at rest areas or gas stations to stretch our legs or use the restroom. For the dogs, I make sure their leashes are secure before letting them out of the car. It helps that they are already secured in their dog seat belts. All I have to do is attach their leash, then release the buckle that keeps them secured.
When I take them to go potty, I make sure they only go in designated pet areas. And I always pick up after them. If we’re in a public area, I am careful about not imposing my dogs on other people. I keep control of them as much as possible for both their safety and for the sake of others.
While it would probably be much more convenient if we could travel without having to worry about the dogs, I really enjoy taking them. For me, the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without my Maya and Pierson. If you’re traveling by car this holiday and taking your best friend with you, consider our preparation plans and apply them for your situation. And send us pictures! 🙂
Dawn with Maya & Pierson
Welcome to Follow Up Friday where we recap the week… in this case, the past two weeks. I did not participate last week because I was still stuffed from Thursday’s meal. 🙂
This week’s follow up is hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog. Be sure to check out her blog to see what Sampson and Delilah have been up to.
You may have already heard about the contest in November for the cute dog figurines. Winners have been announced… Kate V, Jodi E, Lindsay, Jenn B, and Theresa S. Congratulations all! If you haven’t already received your prize, you should be receiving it within a day or two.
Now for the December contest giveaway! On December 2nd, I started a contest for a paw print seat cover. If you haven’t already, go check it out and enter the rafflecopter. There are multiple ways to enter, and I’m sure most of you already meet the criteria by liking my Facebook page and following me on Twitter. You can also add additional entries by tweeting daily. There have only been 38 entries so far, so your chances are good. This contest ends on December 15th. I want to make sure the winner can get their cover in time for Christmas.
Speaking of the paw print pet car covers, Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews did a great review for me. I heard she got a new Prius and thought she might like one. Check out the review from Flea.
THE RIGHT PET TRAVEL PRODUCT FOR YOU
Posted on the same day as the seat cover contest was an article about selecting the best way for your dog to travel; not based on what everyone else says is the best, but what works for you, your situation, and your dog. The best dog seat belt on the market may not work for your best friend. Some dogs might prefer riding in a crate. But then again, if you have a big dog you might not be able to fit his large pet crate in your small car. There are a ton of different situations and other options besides harnesses and crates. Be sure to go check out this article.
I haven’t posted about this yet, so I thought I would share it here today. We didn’t travel this holiday. Since my dad and stepmom are 11 hours away, my mom and stepdad are 5 hours away, my husband’s parents are in another country, and since my husband couldn’t get Friday off, we stayed home. Neither of us have any family nearby, but we have some good friends. We had a nice afternoon meal, ate some traditional and also nontraditional food, then took a nap. All-in-all, a wonderful day to be thankful for.
I didn’t post about Black Friday on this blog, but I did a little bit on my other blog. On Black Friday, I went to Petco and bought Pierson a bark control collar. I also got him a free pair of reindeer antlers with the purchase. I thought it was a fun trip, but Pierson was not at all pleased:
If you want to know more about how the bark control collar worked for Pierson, be sure to visit my American Dog Blog. The short version of this story is it has been peaceful this week.
Thanks for stopping by. And thank you, Jodi for hosting the blog hop! Happy Holidays everyone. 🙂
Dawn with Maya & Pierson