Woof Woof’s Guide to Coffeeshop and Restaurant Etiquette

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Whether you’re lucky enough to be in a town that allows dogs indoors or not, it’s very important to know dog etiquette for dining with your pooch.

Here’s what Woof Woof and I suggest:

Always bring a toy you don’t have to throw or a special treat. Woof Woof has been going to restaurants, bars and coffee shops since he was 7 weeks old. There were definitely times where he wouldn’t have behaved if he didn’t have a toy or treat to preoccupy him. When he was little, the best toys were chew toys. I always had a variety of small chews with me, even a teething ring. At the whopping age of 8 months, now he likes a large biscuit or a plush chew toy. I carry both.

Be prepared to leave if your dog doesn’t behave. There are a million reasons why your dog may get antsy. Sometime I have to take Woof Woof outside and see I he needs bathroom break or just a I-need-to-walk-a-bit break. He also may need water or food. Woof Woof has only had to leave a restaurant once. It was when I couldn’t answer his needs any other way. He learned that if he wants to stay inside the restaurant, he has to behave.

Have a set procedure for dining. Woof Woof knows his leash gets tied to the chair or hooked to a coat hook underneath the bar. He then lays down, sits, plays with his toy or eats his treat.

Expect him to be on your lap for part of the time. Woof Woof is very comfortable sitting on my lap. I can put a plate on his back, and he won’t even reach for food. Being able to sit on my lap part of the time makes him feel like he’s getting enough attention without acting out.

Make sure your dog has social skills for greeting other dogs. He’ll give other doggie diners a quick sniff, and sometimes he gives a play invite. Play invites are generally on leash and depends on the type of restuaurant. He’s not going to play in a fancier restaurant. I pick him up and tell him no if he’s play level isn’t right for the restaurant’s environment.

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Woof Woof Travels
Woof Woof, a 6-month mini schnauzer, is our official travel blogger. He travels the world reviewing hotels, restaurants and his experiences. Check out his columns every Wednesday. The column is co-written by his dog parent, travel writer Reyna Gobel. Her travel articles have published in Costco Connection, Southwest Spirit, American Way, and Hemispheres.

Woof Woof stays at the The Graduate Hotel in Tempe, Arizona

 

graduatehotelThe Graduate is a few minutes from downtown Phoenix. Woof Woof happened upon this hotel by accident because I was there for a conference that was at the hotel. Sometimes which pet friendly hotel we choose is simply about convenience, but we lucked out with this one.

Woof Woof always appreciates rooms with yard access. Thus, one of the first things he noticed was the sliding glass door. Several rooms on the bottom floor of the hotel have direct grass access. The yard is semi-private with a large cement wall behind it. The only problem is there is ungated access to the parking lot and the pool. Being on leash in this area is definitely a safety preference.

The other perk of this hotel is that the rooftop used for private parties is dog friendly as are the outdoor areas of the restaurant. He ate outside at The Normal Diner. On vacation, dog food is his secondary food source. I ordered him a kid’s meal with sliced tomatoes instead of fries and no mayo on the bun. The server happily accommodated him and gave him a bowl of water as well.

Woof Woof is a big fan of bread and only gets it as a treat. So he was thrilled to have a homemade bun on his burger. He’s not a lettuce fan, so we skipped the lettuce. Onions also were excluded.

graduatehoteltempeThe bed itself was approved by Woof Woof. However, the height was an obstacle. He did have to ask to be lifted on to the bed. Luckily, for me, he’s only 16 pounds. Once on the bed, he was impressed with the variety of decorative and traditional pillows. He tried each one out and ultimately chose a combination of decorative a standard pillow as his bed top dog bed.

The pet fee is $25 per day plus a $100 refundable deposit, but it’s waived for service dogs and is well worth it. Yard access and good food service is definitely a plus.

Woof Woof Travels
Woof Woof, a 6-month mini schnauzer, is our official travel blogger. He travels the world reviewing hotels, restaurants and his experiences. Check out his columns every Wednesday. The column is co-written by his dog parent, travel writer Reyna Gobel. Her travel articles have published in Costco Connection, Southwest Spirit, American Way, and Hemispheres.

Woof Woof Goes Off Leash in NYC

 

woofwoofparkIf Woof Woof had one wish, it would to always have time to play off leash. Luckily for him, New York dogs and dogs visiting New York, there are dozens of possibilities for dogs to run free. Each park offers its own experience.

Prospect Park in Brooklyn has acres for dogs to play but also has a dog beach for canines to jump in and go for a swim year round. However, in New York winters your dog may not be thrilled with the temperature. Woof Woof just dips his front paws in and not in the winter.

All dogs and owners interested in history should visit Ft. Greene Park in Brooklyn. In the middle of the park is a monument and tomb to Navy martyrs from the 1800s. The base is open to learn about history and is completely dog friendly. You can bring your dog on leash anytime, but you can go to the park off leash before 9a or after 9p. As with most parks with off leash hours, you can generally find 50 other dogs for your dog to play with. At night, you’ll want to have an LED glow collar. Woof Woof bought his on Amazon for about $10.

Then there’s Central Park. Most humans would say no one really explored NYC without a visit to Central Park in Manhattan. Dogs are offered guided tours called Hound Hikes with their owners and there are 23 areas to run free, climb on rocks and check out the pounds and bridges. To go on the guided hiking tours, you have to be a member, which is $50. There are also Bagel Barks, events with breakfast for owners. To learn more about Central Park Dog Events visit Central Park Paws.

One caution for bringing your dogs to New York, be warry of what’s on the street. There are strange people that throw chicken bones everywhere. It’s bane of every dog owner’s existence to constantly tell their dog’s to either leave the bones on the ground. While chicken bones should be taken away, sticks should not. Nothing makes dogs happier than finding a stick in the park. It’s a readily available treasurer that makes every dog feel like the best toy hunter that ever existed.woofwoofdogpark

Woof Woof Travels
Woof Woof, a 6-month mini schnauzer, is our official travel blogger. He travels the world reviewing hotels, restaurants and his experiences. Check out his columns every Wednesday. The column is co-written by his dog parent, travel writer Reyna Gobel. Her travel articles have published in Costco Connection, Southwest Spirit, American Way, and Hemispheres.

Woof Woof Learns How to Wear Boots

When you’re a dog born to travel, boots are essential for so many activities from hiking to walking on salt covered snowy streets and sidewalks in the winter. So Woof Woof was very fortunate that Ruffwear sent him all weather boots for his journeys.

woofwoofbootsHowever, getting him to wear them is another story. So before he takes his next trip, we followed as many tips as possible for getting Woof Woof to wear them.

Here are five tips for getting your dog to wear boots:

1.     Ruffwear tip: Don’t laugh. This may be difficult, but laughing is likely to cause your dog further anxiety.

Woof Woof and I’s experience: I stayed calm while he got used to new foot clothing.

2.     Ruffwear tip: Engage your dog. Immediately engage your dog in their favorite activity to distract them from the boots.  For example, a walk, a trick, or fetch with their favorite toy.  Eventually, if you are consistent, they will associate the boots with this activity and will have a positive reaction when the boots come out.

Woof Woof and I’s experience: I kept treats next to me. It came in handy when he tried to get up. I told him to sit. Gave him a treat. Then he was ready for boot wearing.

3.     Ruffwear Tip: Break in the boots. Dogs will need to build up a tolerance to the boots just like human shoes.  Take your dog for short walks prior to your first long adventure with the boots.

Woof Woof and I’s experience: I let him walk around the house first. I’ll take him on short walks I them before hiking or snowy walks this winter. Boots take practice.

4.     Make sure the boots fit. Measure your dog’s paw width (front and back) carefully prior to purchasing the boots.  A good fit maximizes comfort and will ensure the boots stay on the paws through rigorous exercise.  Many of our customers are surprised to find out that a 100 pound dog can actually fit any size from  X-Small to Large, so don’t assume you know your dogs foot size. Overall dog size doesn’t translate to paw and boot size.  Click here for more sizing instruction.

Woof Woof and I’s experience: He as big paws for his size. It was good we measured. To make the try on experience comfortable, I made sure I opened the top enough for is paw to easily step in.

5.       Use boot liners. Boot liners will not only enhance the fit of the boots, they will help keep your dog comfortable by softening any potential abrasion spots, insulating the boot, and wicking moisture away from the paw.

Woof Woof and I’s experience: We haven’t used bootliners yet, but it’s essentially the same as socks for humans. Boots are always more comfortable for me with socks. So Woof Woof and I agree.

Woof Woof Travels
Woof Woof, a 6-month mini schnauzer, is our official travel blogger. He travels the world reviewing hotels, restaurants and his experiences. Check out his columns every Wednesday. The column is co-written by his dog parent, travel writer Reyna Gobel. Her travel articles have published in Costco Connection, Southwest Spirit, American Way, and Hemispheres.

Woof Woof Reviews the Minneapolis Airport’s Dog Relief Area

Woof Woof had an hour layover, and I felt he needed a bathroom break after getting a McDonald’s cheeseburger patty for lunch. We found the pet relief area that was in a shared room with nursing mothers. The pet portion was a room that couldn’t have been more than 8 feet by 8 feet. It had artificial grass and a fire hydrant. The grass was wet, presumably from the flush cleaning feature. Woof Woof stepped in the room, sniffed around, and then decided against peeing in that area. I think he just didn’t like artificial grass. He disliked the Minneapolis relief area so much that he preferred waiting another 3.5 hours until he exited the Phoenix airport to use the bathroom. There were two other facilities, but they were outside the secured area.

More info on the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport pet and service animal relief areas

Woof Woof Travels
Woof Woof, a 6-month mini schnauzer, is our official travel blogger. He travels the world reviewing hotels, restaurants and his experiences. Check out his columns every Wednesday. The column is co-written by his dog parent, travel writer Reyna Gobel. Her travel articles have published in Costco Connection, Southwest Spirit, American Way, and Hemispheres.

 

Woof Woof Travels to Tucson, Arizona – Second Stop

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Second Stop: The Downtown Clifton Hotel

After spending the first night in Tucson at The Lodge, Woof Woof was ready to explore the city. He chose to stay at the Downtown Clifton Hotel. During the day, the outside looks like any basic motel. From the inside, it’s a trendy room with local furniture, snacks and vacation reading. The flat screen television has Roku and Netflix services.

The Mexican blanket and wood bed were Woof Woof’s favorite feature. As soon as he entered the room, he went straight for the bed covered with a Mexican blanket. He didn’t bother to sniff his other surroundings. He just stood with his front paws on the bed, signaling he wanted to be lifted on top.

In town, Woof Woof dined at the Guadalajara Original Grill in Tucson. It’s a local’s favorite. They’re known for homemade salsa and fabulous fajitas. Of course, Woof Woof ordered the fajitas at the outdoor tables. He skipped the onions and salsa. We filled exactly one tortilla for him. He had a bowl of water to wash down his meal.

For sightseeing, we took him for a drive up the Santana Catalina Mountains. He took turns looking out side windows and the windshield to get all views as we climbed over 5,000 feet. While he sided against hiking at the top where he wouldn’t get eaten by mountain lions, he enjoyed his trip.

When he returned to the hotel, it was well lit by strings of light over the courtyard. It highlighted the boxed cactus garden accenting the door to our room.

In the morning, he was ready for breakfast. The Downtown Clifton isn’t one of those continental breakfast places with cereal, milk, and pastries. They give you a $10 gift certificate for the 5 Points Market. It’s an organic eatery with dishes such as breakfast salads with eggs served over butternut squash. He chose a side of bacon with a piece of the seared butternut squash. He stopped at one slice of bacon to not overstuff himself. He’s health conscious.

If visiting Tucson, checkout the National Park Services Pet Information for Tucson, The Downtown Clifton, 5 Points Market, and Guadalajara Original Grill.

Woof Woof Travels
Woof Woof, a 6-month mini schnauzer, is our official travel blogger. He travels the world reviewing hotels, restaurants and his experiences. Check out his columns every Wednesday. The column is co-written by his dog parent, travel writer Reyna Gobel. Her travel articles have published in Costco Connection, Southwest Spirit, American Way, and Hemispheres.

Woof Woof Travels to Tucson, Arizona – First Stop

Lodge at Ventana Canyon, Tucson, AZ

Lodge at Ventana Canyon, Tucson, AZ

First Stop: The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

Woof Woof lives in New York City and wanted his first night’s stay to be at a place that was away from the city. He chose The Lodge at Ventana Canyon. The place was so dog friendly that he was given a dog toy in a bag that says, “Someday I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am.“

For added canine pleasure, request a corner room with a mountain view. On the corner, your dog can see mountain views from both sides. There are two sliding glass doors that lead onto acres of green grass. Woof Woof enjoyed looking out the windows and the glass doors that open on to the grass for his morning walks. He greatly enjoyed the no cellphone policy throughout the property.

The room itself was 800 square feet. There’s a full kitchen, dining area, living room and ginormous shower with a glass door. Woof Woof loved rounding the corner with his new dog toy. He had tons of space to play and it added to his tranquil but playful experience.

For the humans, there are two golf courses, tennis courts and a resort pool. The mountain golf course is a mini course with 3 holes. It’s known for the views and being amid the natural cactus plants. Then the Canyon course has 18 holes. Groups will come in to share the large rooms and can always bring their dogs. There is a $100 pet fee per stay, whether you are bringing dogs of any size or your cat.

There are trails you can walk to from the hotel. However, they don’t allow dogs. In the Tucson area there is a fear of small animals like dogs attracting mountain lions. Both the human and dog may get eaten.

Instead, it’s suggested to take your dog to the trails on top of the Santana Catalina Mountains. Dogs are safer there but you still have to watch for bears.

For more on the Lodge at Ventana Canyon, checkout thelodgeatventanacanyon.com

Woof Woof Travels
Woof Woof, a 6-month mini schnauzer, is our official travel blogger. He travels the world reviewing hotels, restaurants and his experiences. Check out his columns every Wednesday. The column is co-written by his dog parent, travel writer Reyna Gobel. Her travel articles have published in Costco Connection, Southwest Spirit, American Way, and Hemispheres.