Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pet Friendly Hotels

There are sometimes you want to get away and stay in a hotel but can't find one that will take your pet. That's why I was so thrilled to find

Based in England, started out in Europe and later expanded to North America and the other continents. It provides the owner with an overview of the hotel and even has pet travel tips.

It's nice to know that if I ever want to take the dogs on vacation, I'll be able to find a good hotel quicklyThat's why this resource is my Website of the Week.

Let's Discuss!

What's your favorite pet-friendly hotel?

Related Posts

Dog Website Resources
Happy Halloween (Fido Friendly)
At Your Service

Monday, July 25, 2011

Get Up And Go Giveaway

There's nothing like summer for taking your pooch out and about. Sometimes it's a walk, going to the dog beach, going on a hike or even getting away for a couple of days.

That's why I'm happy to announce the Get Up and Go Giveaway. Part of Christmas in July, it's a prize package full of essential stuff for your lovable pooch. It's valued over $50 USD and includes:

  • A coupon for a free 6 pound bag of Innova dog food
  • A Nylabone Frisbee (flexible so it won't harm your dog's teeth)
  • A Chuck It Ball Launcher and extra balls
  • A Zinger toy set made by Kong
  • A portable dog bowl for food made by Outward Hound
  • A portable water bowl (not pictured)

It's everything you need to keep your pooch busy and active during the summer?

How To Win?

One lucky winner will win this by leaving a comment how they like to get up and get away with their dog. If you'd like an extra chance you can tweet:

"I just entered the Get Up and Go Getaway at Too Kool Doggies. #ChristmasInJuly"

Contest Rules
  1. You must have a valid e-mail address.
  2. Multiple comments and/or tweets are appreciated but only one of each will count towards the contest.
  3. This contest is open to the U.S. and Canada only.
  4. It ends on July 31st, 2011 at 11:59P.M.

Below, is a list of other contests being put on by other bloggers as part of Christmas in July. It's definitely worth taking a peak.

If there are any questions, please let me know. Good luck to you all.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Tale Of Three Dogs

Cookie, Gigi and Homer (from left to right)

When you have three dogs, there's never a dull moment. Cookie, Gigi and Homer have all had interesting situations lately.


Some of you may remember a few months ago when Cookie hurt her leg, and the vet's prognosis was that she needed surgery. Yet, a short time later, Cookie was able to walk better. The initial thought was, her CCL was completely torn and that she would need surgery to repair the tear.

It turned out that the x-ray wasn't read as easily as it should have been. Cookie's bone structure can make it difficult to get an accurate reading on an x-ray machine.

Future Steps
While it's most likely that Cookie won't have surgery, I hope to be able to take her to get another x-ray. If it turns out to be a partial tear, then I will do conservative management to get her back to her normal self.

It helps that her activity has been limited and that she doesn't use the stairs much. It has been said that animals adapt to their environment and in Cookie's case, this is correct. I am hoping to get her an x-ray that is more accurate to see the injury more clearly. In the meantime, I'm grateful that her condition has stabilized.


A few weeks ago, Gigi had a huge bulge in her neck. I took her to the doctor that same week and after removing some blood from the affected area, it was apparent she had an infection. The area was drained and there was a sample sent to the lab for testing.

Ten days later, I received a call from the veterinarian stating that there was lab error. Shock that the cost for these tests cost me over 40 per cent of my veterinary bill, I went to the clinic to see if I could get a refund or at least a portion of the money I paid back since both tests were inconclusive.

Two days later, I get a call from the vet tech telling me that the infection "cleared itself up on the way to the lab" and that's why the tests didn't work out. Translation: You're not getting you're money back. Part of me was angry that this happened and felt this reason was fabricated and the other part felt like it was par for the course when it came to the vet.

The Lesson I Learned
In the future, I will be more scrutinizing about lab tests. It's my belief that many doctors take advantage of pet owners' desire to give their pets the best possible care and will suggest extra tests they don't need.

When Gigi had her infection, she was tested for both aerobic and anaerobic infections. If I had only done one test, it would be an accurate enough indicator of what she did or didn't have. The extra test was unnecessary, but I didn't receive the cost breakdown till after I paid.

While this vet has always been caring towards my animals, I will be trying a new vet in the future. I was recommended a vet through a family member and think that at least, this new vet will be more upfront.


Homer is a fearless dog. He will chase any rabbit and chew up almost anything. He loves to patrol the backyard and barks with pride to protect his territory. However, the 4th of July changed all that.

Homer became a different dog. The bold dog who loved to prowl the neighborhood, couldn't wait to get home and wouldn't budge until I headed in that direction. I thought that once the holiday was over, he would be fine. However, the next few times I tried to take him out, he would act the same.

It seemed unreal. Even after the holiday was over, he would still hear noises on his walk that resembled firework sounds.

Steps To Getting Past The Fear
After talking to one of my friends on Twitter(@fearfuldogs), she informed me that you have to be proactive with sound phobias since they only get worse.

While I can't control how Homer feels about darkness, I can control how he goes outside. Last night, I took him for a car ride before sunset. He loved being in the car and being at the park put him in a neutral environment. Other options are taking him to the off-leash dog park, the dog beach and the local pet store. While I can't do that all the time, it's good to know that's an option I can use.

I think it will take time, but with persistence, I hope to get his phobia more manageable.

Let's Discuss!

Have any of you experienced problems that were similar to the ones written in this post? If so, how did you handle it?

Related Posts

A Rough Road Ahead
Cookie Update
The Unforeseen Affliction
One Little Firecracker

Friday, July 15, 2011

At Your Service

We've all known dogs are very useful doing work outside. This may include, search and rescue, policing the neighborhood or even detecting bombs in war zones. Yet there are some dogs who have taken another route, working indoors for hotels.

Two dogs are rolling out the red carpet. At the Fairmount Hotel, located in San Antonio, Texas, this yellow lab has been welcoming guests from near and far in this historic hotel. Originally built in 1906, this independently-owned, exquisite hotel was restored in 1985 and moved on wheels to it's new location. It actually set a Guiness World Record for being the largest structure to be moved on wheels.

On the coast of the Atlantic, in the fair city of Boston, there's a lovely female black Labrador retriever who serves the hotel guests during their stay as well. This Fairmont Hotel is part of a group of hotels owned by the same company but is still distinctive, due to one of its most famous employees, Catie Copley.

Meet Luke Tips

First as a stray, who found his way from the city pound, Luke now calls this quaint 37-room hotel home. Before that time, he suffered from from worms and other ailments. It was almost certain that he would be euthanized. Yet, he got a chance at a forever home by Dick Tips, the hotel's owner. It was love at first sight.

After given extensive veterinary care and time to recover, this golden boy was officially adopted by the Tips family and called the Fairmount Hotel his home back in 2005.

A New Routine
Already trained when he joined the hotel, this 10 year-old dog keeps busy by greeting the new guests, accompanying them on guided walking tours and has been taught to deliver newspapers to guests' rooms.

For guests missing their own dog, advanced requests can be made for Luke to stay overnight in their room. Other times, you'll find Luke in his bed at the concierge desk.

All visitors are thrilled to meet Luke and a few may have a treat in their pocket for him. But, Luke has to eat a special diet since he would gain weight from the gourmet food he was given in the past. Any food donations are matched by the hotel and given to SNIPSA, a rescue group run by Dr. Shannon Espy.

Not only is he an animal advocate, he's a great representative for the hotel industry. "The biggest difference is that he makes our hotel feel like home" says owner Katie Tips. Guests tend to agree as some will stay at the hotel just because of Luke.

To keep himself in peak condition, Luke visits the hotel groomer once a week and gets a monthly checkup by the vet.

Serving The Boston Public

Originally used to promote the hotel's renovation, Catie Copley (pictured above) officially joined the Fairmont Copley in Boston seven years ago. This midnight beauty was initially trained to be a guide dog but had to drop out of the program due to small cataracts that had developed. Yet these cataracts have not prevented her from finding work. The Fairmont Copley was looking for a dog and Catie fit the bill.

Keeping Tabs On Catie

Equipped with her own business cards and e-mail (, this jetsetter is always keeping pace with the crowd. Guest can schedule a jaunt with her in the appointment book at the concierge desk. She's available for up to four walks per day and has a two-hour nap to stay refreshed. Some guests will call as early as three months in advance because her slots fill so quickly.

When not around guests, this 8 year-old will appear around local spots in Boston as an ambassador to the hotel. Catie makes appearances at schools, book stores, libraries and community events. In fact, two children's books have featured this pooch as the main character — Catie Copley and Catie Copley's Great Escape. Both were written by Deborah Kovacs.

At the end of her workday, Catie accompanies her caretaker, Joe Fallon home for a good night's sleep. In her downtime she enjoys a swim at the beach and playing with her favorite toys.

Both of these dogs show how they can make an ordinary day extraordinary.

Read More About Them

If you'd like to learn more about these guys please see the links below:

Luke Tips from San Antonio

Catie Copley from Boston

* Special Thanks to Kristin Tips and Suzanne Wenz

Let's Discuss!

Have you meet a concierge dog during your travels?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cesar Sampler Giveaway Winner

Hello everyone! As you know, we had a giveaway for Cesar dog food & treats. Now it's time for the winner.

The winner was selected using
Mami2jcn was #1
Katie was #2

and the winner is

#1 Mami2jcn

Congratulations! You won the Cesar Giveaway. I hope your new puppy enjoys everything. You will have received an e-mail to the information needed to ship the product out to you.

I will have a bigger giveaway at the end of the month. Thanks to you guys for entering. I hope you have a great weekend.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

One Little Firecracker

Some dogs will hear the sound of fireworks and not even flinch. Other dogs will hear one pop and they will hide in terror. Last night, I had that experience with Homer, my beagle.

I recently learned that he didn't like the sound of fireworks. It just takes the slightest sound when we were out for a walk. I tried to take him fuarther and he refused to budge. I turned around to go home after just reaching the corner and Homer couldn't get home fast enough. The same thing happened today and it wasn't even sunset yet.

Luckily, once Homer is back at home, after his initial scare, he calms down and will not go outside until the noise stops. One good thing about the 4th of July is the fact that after one big night, things go back to normal. But, if your dog gets anxiety easily, it can be unbearable for that dog as well as the owner. They will pant, shiver and drool until the noise is gone.

How To Manage Anxiety

Up to 20% of dogs suffer from noise anxiety. However, in time, it can be desensitized. Here are some tips:

  • Don't coddle your dog! While we think our words and praise will be comforting, it's just reinforcing that it's okay for the dog to act that way. It's best to ignore the sounds, because if you don't make it a big deal, then your dog is more inclined to follow your lead.
  • Let them hide. We may worry about our dog being isolated, but ideally, dogs will want to be in a safe place when they are fearful. You can even arrange a bed or a pile of blankets as a haven for your dog.
  • Close the windows and draw the drapes. Insulate and drown out the sounds. Dogs won't see the flashes of bright light as much, and the sounds will be more muffled. Also, sounds from the tv, radio or even living in a noisy area will distract your dog too.
  • Take 'em out early and frequently. The extra walks will get rid of their excess energy will tire them out and may even help them to sleep through it.
  • Use an anxiety aid. Some shirts like the Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap are great for alleviating anxiety

Let's Discuss!

Those are my thoughts for dogs with fireworks anxiety what are yours?

Holiday Wishes

Wishing you all a very happy and safe Independence day.

Related Posts

Anxiety Under Pressure
Scared Dogs
Thundershirt Review
When Your Dog Is Fearful
4th of July Tips

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Unforeseen Affliction

Hi Everyone,

I haven't been posting as much because I recently started a full-time contracting job and am in the middle of redesign of a website that is pretty work-intensive. With my schedule on overload right now, I'm going to try to blog on the weekends only until I finish this website.

The Mysterious Bulge

Which brings me to today's topic. On Monday, I came home from work and went to greet Gigi. While I was petting her on the back of the neck, I hear a tiny cry from her. I felt around and felt a hard lump that was about three inches long. It didn't help that she didn't have much of an appetite either.

My first thought is the lump came as a result of Homer's roughhousing. He loves to play with Gigi because she's so easygoing and she's only a year older than he is. However, because Gigi is so docile, Homer never knows when to let up.

Originally, I heard that dogs will tend to get a little rough but they monitor themselves and one will tell the other when it has had enough. Yet sometimes that isn't the case. As it turned out, with Gigi's curly hair, it was hard to notice the lump was there and when it actually appeared.

Time For A Vet Visit

I wound up taking her to the vet with my mom today. We also brought Cookie for her routine shots. The doctor said that bulge was soft in some parts and hard in other parts. After taking a blood sample, it was obvious that it was an infection.

The doctor took Gigi into another room to drain the pus and excess blood from the affected area. After 15 minutes, she came back and told us that she had to send the samples out to be tested. There were two types of infections: anaerobic infections (which are caused by a bite) and aerobic infections (which comes from within the dog itself).

While it isn't 100% certain that Gigi's infection is from Homer, it was a huge wake-up call for me. Since Homer seems to pick on Gigi when I come home, I have to watch him much more closely. He's come a long way since we've first had him, but he still has some time till he matures.

The Road Ahead For Gigi

The doctor gave us these steps to take with Gigi:
  1. Give her antibacterial medication for the next two weeks.
  2. Watch her so she doesn't scratch it. She was itchy at the vet office, so I had to really watch her.
  3. Get her a t-shirt! Because she is itching from the infection clearing out, it's best for her to wear a t-shirt. Also, since Homer has such a strong nose and tends to lick, it would make it harder for him to do that.

Heading for Healing

I went to the pet store and picked up three t-shirts for Gigi. It was even better that they were on sale. The red one that you see in the picture says "What part of woof don't you understand?"

One thing I noticed is that the incision came very close to her collar. Until the wound recovers, I'll be keeping the collar attached to the leash, since she's so well-behaved in the house. Right now, Gigi is resting comfortably and living a dog's life.

Accentuating the Positive!

Cookie's weight is down to 26.3 pounds (11.9 kg) and is in excellent health. I really have to step up her teeth brushing because she seems to get tartar easily. Still, the weight loss is reason to celebrate.

Gigi's infection will heal in the next couple of weeks, and she'll be able to make a 100%recovery.

Let's Discuss!

Have you ever had a mystery illness happen to your dog?


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