As you know, Mom has said I can't travel for awhile. I was sick a few weeks ago, and although I feel much better, she said it was a serious illness and I need to rest over the winter. I guess she does know best and she takes good care of me, so I think I'll do as she says.
Since I can't go visit anyone right now, I'm going to invite everyone to come and visit me. Northwest Arkansas is a great place. I can't wait to share all that it has to offer with you. When you do decide to visit, make sure you let me and Mom know so we can get together. We might even put your picture on my blog so everyone can see what a great time we had.
When you come, the first thing you will need is a place to stay - providing of course, you don't just stay with me and Mom and Dad. My personal favorite is the Embassy Suites in Rogers. Dogs (and other pets) up to 10 pounds are welcome here with a deposit. I'm a small dog so it works great for me. The Embassy Suites has very comfortable beds and there is a refrigerator and a microwave in every room - for those midnight snacks I like so much. They even have room service so they just bring my snack right to my room. Heaven! Check them out at http://www.embassysuitesnwa.com.
If you're a bit bigger than 10 pounds, don't worry because there is a great place for you to stay also and it's just up the road in Bentonville, home of Walmart. It's the La Quinta Inn & Suites Bentonville. They allow dogs of all sizes with a refundable deposit. And they make the best biscuits and gravy - if your mom will bring you some from breakfast. You can find out more about them at http://www.lq.com/lq/properties/propertyProfile.do?ident=LQ790&propId=790.
Of course, there are many other places to stay and when I publish my travel guide for NWA, I will list them all. But since I don't have much room here, I will only share my favorites.
Now that you have a place to stay, what are we going to do. Some of that depends on when you come. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is go out on Beaver Lake in Dad's boat. He says I am a good boat dog! We speed across the lake to his favorite fishing spot. Then he fishes while Mom reads and I nap in the sun. It's a great time - except for the time I fell off the boat into the lake. I didn't like that very much. But Dad jumped right in and got me and Mom held me all wrapped up in a towel until we reached the marina. Sometimes we take the tube or a raft out and watch Jessica and Carter try to ride it. That is funny! They always have trouble staying on, especially when Dad is driving the boat. They seem to do better when Mom is driving. I wonder why? If you come when it's warm enough to take the boat out, I promise we won't make you ride the raft! You can find out all you need to know about the lake at http://www.beaverlake.com/.
When it's too cold to be in the boat but still nice enough to be outdoors, I love to go hiking with Mom in Devil's Den State Park. It is located in Winslow which is close to Fayetteville, home of the U of A Razorbacks. There are lots of trails for us to explore. Dogs are allowed throughout the park and in the campground for no additional fee; they are not permitted in buildings or public swim areas. Dogs must have proof of inoculations, be leashed, and under the immediate control of their owner at all times. One year she even took me camping there. The camping and tent areas allow dogs also. That was the best. There's nothing better than a nice walk and then a good hot dog cooked over a campfire! I slept on Mom's sleeping bag so she wouldn't get scared. In the morning she let me have some bacon with my regular food. Have you ever noticed how everything tastes better cooked over a campfire? Learn more about Devil's Den at http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/devilsden/.
If you are a history buff like my Mom, then you will want to go to Pea Ridge National Military Park. Mom says a battle was fought here during the Civil War and that some of Dad's relatives fought in it. She says it's the only battle in the war that had Cherokee fighting in it. There are lots of trails to walk or you can walk on the tour road if you watch for cars. Sometimes you can see deer or turkeys, but you are not allowed to chase them. I saw a snake once too. Mom said it was a rattlesnake. I didn't get to chase it either. You can learn about all there is to do here at http://www.nps.gov/peri/index.htm.
People in NWA love their dogs and are always hosting events for us. This past April, the city of Rogers held Dog Days Downtown. Local businesses had a variety of activity stations set up throughout Frisco Park for our sheer pooch pleasure. Mom and I enjoyed the demonstrations and helpful speaker sessions on Frisco Stage. And if your family was looking for a new addition, the Animal Shelter and Humane Society had pets available for adoption. It was so much fun, I hope they do it again this year. And before that, in March, there was the Easter Egg Hunt at Murphy Dog Park. Now that was fun! I hope they do that again this year too! And the Kennel Club is having a dog show next weekend. I'm not going. It's for fancy dogs like Austin. But Mom said she might go just to take a look at what sort of competition Austin might face if she decided to show him.
Now, about the food. Did I tell you my FAVORITE dog treats are made right here in NWA? BigWag Dog Bakery is right here in Rogers. My favorites are the honey bears and the bacon roll and of course - THE BEEFIE BOOTS! There is nothing better in the world than a beefie boot. Okay maybe sausage and biscuits, but Mom won't let me have that very often. But I can have a beefie boot every day if I want. Check out all their treats at http://www.bigwag.com/. Aspen, Pixel - if you're good, Santa might bring you a bag of honey bears or beefie boots...if you're good.
You can see NWA is a dog's paradise. Good fun, good food. What more could a dog ask for? I hope you'll come and visit me soon.