Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sharing My Close Up and My Tips for Traveling with Your Mom

I know, I's been a long time. But Mom has been busy traveling (without me if you can believe that - she said it was business and she wouldn't have time for me!). Since I need her to type for me, I've had to be patient and wait.

I have great news! Jessica finally sent my picture. I am a handsome boy if I do say so myself! And now that I finally have my photo, I want to share it with all of you. Here it is!

What do you think? Pretty sharp looking, don't you agree? Especially for 11 years old. That's like 77 in your years. You should look this good when you're 77!

Mom says we aren't going to be taking any trips for a bit. She is redoing her kitchen and she wants to get it done before we go anywhere else. It's really a mess right now and I don't like having strange men in the house but Mom says she needs them to fix her cabinets and build her breakfast bar. The only good thing about it is that Mom isn't cooking so much right now, which means I get to sneak treats from her doggie bags. Not as much as I used to - I'm still on that "diet" - but at least it's better than those "greenie" things she keeps trying to feed me!

Since we aren't going on any adventures right away, I thought I'd share some basic tips on making sure your mom and dad have everything you need when you travel with them. You want to be comfortable, safe, and have a good time so it's up to you to make sure your humans are well trained and prepared. If not, ask them to leave you with a pet sitter or a boarding kennel!

Whenever possible, tell your mom and dad you want to travel in the car. While it is possible to travel by plane, I wouldn't recommend it. Would you believe they treat us like cargo?! And if you've ever traveled in the cargo hold of a plane, then you know it's not much fun. Since I'm small, sometimes I get to sit on the floor under the seat in my carrier with Mom, but that's still very scary and cramped. Always encourage your mom and dad to take the car unless there is no other choice.

If your humans aren't used to driving with you in the car, then they need to take you for some short practice drives. When they get nervous, they can make you nervous so some nice short rides to the park, or to PetSmart, (or for hamburgers!) will help you both learn to ride together. If they still make you anxious, tell them to get some medicine from the vet to help you relax before you go on your trip. And make sure they have a doggie seat belt for you. A regular human seat belt won't work and you want to make sure you have the same protection as they do.

Make sure they plan the trip with you in mind. Remind them you will need to stop every 2-3 hours for a potty break and some water. You should take them for a walk when you stop too, so they can stretch their legs. If you get all cramped up just sitting in the car, imagine how tired they must get driving all the time. A short walk will do you both good.

I am including my traveling packing list. This is everything I insist Mom brings with us so I'm safe, comfortable, and happy. In future posts, I'll go into detail about each item and maybe I'll even rate some of the different options!

My 'Top Ten List of Things I Need on My Trip':

1. My Leash - almost every city has some sort of leash law so bring it along unless you want to spend the entire trip in your crate in a hotel room.

2. My Collar with ID Tags - just in case you get lost, your ID tags should help you get home. Mom got me a microchip, but if you don't have one, you definitely want the collar and tags.

3. Food and Water - who knows what the local food and water may be like. Bring your own!

4. My Dishes - you'll need something to eat and drink from. Bringing your own dishes will also make strange places seem more like home.

5. My Blankie - I always sleep better with my favorite blankie!

6. Pooper Scooper - it's just polite to clean up after yourself.

7. My Favorite Toy - sometimes traveling can be stressful. Having my favorite toy along with my favorite blankie is comforting.

8. Copy of Pet Health Certificate or Shot Record from your Dr. Karen - just in case you do get sick or hurt, this will help the vet give you the best care.

9. My brush - so I always look my best!

10. Carpet deodorizer or Cleaner - just in case. I'm a good dog, but accidents do happen!

That's it! Sometimes she brings some extra things like my carrier, or my toothbrush, or some treats. But this is the basic list. I even have my own little travel bag to pack everything in. Put together your own list using mine to give you some ideas. Then tell your mom and dad that you're packed and ready to hit the road!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We're Back!

And though it was a fun trip, I'm glad to be home. I think Mom is too. She seems a little tired. Baby John and I kept her pretty busy.

We arrived a couple of days before all the fireworks. I'm not much of a fireworks fan. Too much noise! Too many people! So we checked into the hotel, called Christine to let her know we were there, and then just spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the hotel. Long drives make me sleepy! We stopped at the local Sonic for some dinner and just ate in the room. Mom even let me have a few of her french fries (not too many because I'm still on that diet! But she said if we shared them, then neither one of us would eat too many!). I love Sonic! After dinner, we went for a quick walk and then came back to the hotel and just watched TV. I fell asleep early. I hope Mom wasn't too lonely. She had Dad with her, but I don't think he was much company. He was asleep before I was!

The next morning, we got up early and went straight to Christine's. Baby John wanted to have breakfast with us so we didn't even stop to eat. I was worried because Mom didn't feed me or stop for something to eat on the way. I thought she had forgotten me. But it was alright. Baby John has a new friend named Duke. Duke is a Beagle and he let me have some of his breakfast. It was pretty good. Different from my usual breakfast but not too bad. After breakfast, we just played in the yard with John and Duke. Mom, Dad and Christine sat outside and talked. We played until we all got tired and Mom said it was time for a nap because after lunch we were going for a boat ride! I love boats. I go fishing with Dad all the time. He says Mom and I are his fishing buddies - when he can't take Carter.

The boat trip was fun! We took a ride around Corpus Christi Bay on Captain Clark's Flagship Tours ( The captain told us all about the bayfront and I saw lots of odd looking birds (not like our birds at home) and I even saw some dolphins! There were lots of pretty sailboats too! I had a great time! I was so excited by everything I missed my afternoon nap!

After the boat ride, it was time to go home. John and I were both tired. John was cranky and Mom said Dad and I were cranky too. So we had a quick dinner at Christine's and then went back to the hotel to sleep.

The next morning Mom got up early. Dad was still sleeping so Mom and I went to an outdoor bakery called Les Succes Bakery. They are a French bakery and one of my favorite places to go. But when we got there, they were closed! Mom said the sign in the window said they were closed all month so the owners could go on vacation. So we ended up back at the Sonic. Mom bought some breakfast for her and Dad and we went back to the room to eat. I was disappointed because I love sitting at the outdoor table and watching everyone while we have breakfast.

After breakfast, Mom and Dad and I went to see some gardens. Mom loves flowers and spends a lot of time at home working in her garden. We even planted a Pizza Garden this year (I didn't know pizza grew in a garden?!). This garden was big - a lot bigger than Mom's. She called it the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center ( I had to be on my leash and I had to be careful not to potty on the flowers, but other than that it was fun. There were lots of big plastic birds all dressed up in costumes. Mom said they were flamingos. I don't know why anyone would want plastic birds in their garden. You can't chase them so they aren't any fun. But Mom said they were helping to raise money for charity. We even got to vote for our favorite flamingo. I liked the one that was all covered in flower petals. I hope Mom voted for it!

The rest of the trip was spent relaxing. We stayed home on fireworks night and just had some sparklers in the backyard. I don't mind them since they aren't loud. We walked on the beach and went to the park. I played with John and Duke a lot. Mom visited with Christine and sometimes left me and John with Dad and John's daddy so she and Christine could go shopping. It was a fun trip - but I'm glad to be home.

Here are the places we stayed - with my new ratings (thanks again Ms. PopArtDiva!)

The hotel where we stayed:

Omni Corpus Christi Hotel: Mom was a little disappointed with the room. She said it looked old and the bathroom was kind of dirty. She said for a 4 star-rated Omni, she expected more. But the bed was comfortable and everyone on the staff treated me well. I would give it 3 bones but because Mom was a little unhappy, I'm going to give it 2. She knows more about these things than I do.

Omni Corpus Christi Hotel:

Captain Clark's Flagship Tours: Other than the fact that I wasn't allowed to go down on the carpeted area, this was great! 4 bones!

South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center: I'm going to give it 3 bones. It's nice but it's hard to remember not to potty on the flowers.

Padre Island National Seashore ( I had to be on a leash and I couldn't go on the deck of the Visitor Center. But it was still great fun! 4 bones!

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge ( Dad likes alligators and there are plenty of them here. I had to stay on a leash and we couldn't go on trails where there might be gators so Mom and Dad split up. On the one hand it was nice having some alone time with Mom, but this was supposed to be a family trip. For that reason I'm giving it 3 bones. But it might be worth 4 if your family doesn't have a gator-lover in it!

Corpus Christi dog-friendliness rating: 3 bones! Lots of places to stay, places to eat, and things to do.

Can't wait for my next adventure. After I rest up a bit, I'll be ready to go again!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We Leave Tomorrow!

I heard Mom talking to Christine today. We are leaving for our visit tomorrow! I'm so excited. I can't wait to see baby John. I'm not excited about the drive to Corpus Christi in this heat, but it's worth it to see everyone.

I was hoping my new pictures would be ready so I could take one with me to give to John. But Jessica has been busy and hasn't finished them yet. She said she would get them done this week. I guess I'll have to wait until we get back to see them.

Our friend, PopArt Diva, made me a little bone widget to use on my blog. She thought my giving the Omni Corpus Christi 5 "treats" was cute and made me a "treat" to use. Which gave me an idea. While I'm in Corpus Christi, I'm going to take notes on the hotel and other places we visit. Then I'm going to report on them when I get back. I'll use PopArt Diva's bone to rate them. It looks like this:

Isn't it great? She sure is talented! You can check out her other work at And Mom is working on Squidoo pages for me so I can share my experience with lots of others. I think I'll use these there too! Thanks Ms. Terri, for making these for me. I can't wait to see what you do with my picture. Someday Mom and I are going to put up a whole website for me, but that is taking a lot of work and we want to share things faster. That's why we made this blog and why we are using Squidoo!
Oh wow! I just heard Mom ask Dad to get the laptop out of the office. That means she's taking it with her. Which means I'll be able to stay in touch even while we're traveling. Maybe Jessica can send my pictures so I won't have to wait to see them.
Well, Mom and I have a little bit more packing to do. I want to make sure she takes everything I need: treats, toys, blanket, leash, collar, food and water bowls, food, water, vet records, brush, odor remover (just in case! I'm potty trained, but accidents do happen...). And she'll need a little time to get her own packing done too. I'm going to help her finish and then I'm going to have dinner and go to sleep. Tomorrow is a big day!