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[VIDEO] The Magic Question

Each evening, there’s only one question which can wake my blanket monster from her slumber…

 

 

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A New Crop of Friends

Every winter, even a mild one like this, it seems the city goes into hibernation.

And each spring, the first warm rays of spring begin to coax us back outdoors

This pup, like any true Chicagoan, is leery winter may return

Nevertheless, we’re looking forward to seeing more of our four-legged pals at the beach as the weather continues to turn.

Penny’s looking forward to showing off her Winston Churchill impression

One of the best parts of spring is that in addition to our old pals, we get to meet a totally new crop of friends. And if we’re really lucky, we get to meet them on their first ever trip to the beach.

This little guy had the whole beach in “awww”

I caught this joyful face right before our spotted pal plowed directly into Penny. “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

This warm weather might not be here to stay just yet, but our new pals certainly are!

Party of One

I love having two dogs for a long list of reasons. Near the top of that list is the fact that my pups are never without a four-legged friend.Rhodesian Ridgeback, chicago, montrose dog beach, blog, adventure

Even when the beach is empty Eko and Penny have a buddy to smile with

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And more importantly, a friend to romp with

But despite their constant companionship (or maybe because of it), sometimes the dogs feel the need to do their own thing. And in Penny’s case, her “thing” is full throttle zooming.

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No dogs? No problem. All Penny needs is an open beach 

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She’s a one-girl whirling dervish

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The bench is quickly engulfed in Penny’s sand-vortex

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Penny, party of one. No reservation required

After Penny’s had her hoedown, she’ll trot right back to Eko, smugly pleased.

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“OMG, Eko, did you see me!?”

We all need a little time to ourselves once in a while. Most of us use that time to relax. But as we well know, Penny certainly isn’t most of us!

[VIDEO] Red Sky at Night, Pups Delight

As I mentioned yesterday, we’re loving our new sunset trips to the beach. Each one provides a unique color to a familiar experience. The beach is quieter, but the cool air keeps the pups more lively than ever!

Penny’s Annual Vet Visit

Around this time last year Penny had her first checkup in Chicago.Rhodesian RIdgeback, puppy, cute, chicago

She was just a cute little stinker

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But she was completely fearless

Penny had her annual check-up last week but this time the visit was a bit different.

Yes, Penny cuts a much different figure, but that’s not what I mean

Penny’s last visit to our vet was for her spay surgery so she unfortunately has some less than positive associations with the office. Accordingly, this is how I had to sit in the waiting room with my tough pup.

“Will, don’t leave me with them!”

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Luckily, this time I got to stay by Penny’s side. She gave me plenty of sad looks, but I gave her plenty of treats to make up for it

The exam was easy, Penny took her vaccination shots like a champ and we were finished in no time. Nevertheless, Penny still wasn’t thrilled about the visit.

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“You guys are all jerks!”

Contrary to Penny’s puppy-attitude, the staff at our vet are all great. Even better is that my little battering ram has a clean bill of health and won’t need a scheduled vet visit for another year. (Keyword: “scheduled.” Hopefully there are no surprises!)

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No more visits for the year? Penny can certainly smile about that

As we walked out of the office, Penny shook herself off and looked back at me like, “Hey, I have a reputation to uphold at the dog beach so don’t tell anyone I jumped into your lap in there.”

Your secret is safe with me, Penny. Well, me, and the internet.

The Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Cities

Vacations are adventures and there’s no better adventure companion than a pup. That’s why an increasing number of people decide to bring their pup along for the ride on the next family vacation.

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I’ve been lucky enough to visit some of the best pet-friendly cities across the country with Eko by my side. The good news is that no matter where you live there’s likely an awesome pet-friendly vacation city not too far away.

With summer vacation season getting into swing, I wanted to share a few of my favorite dog-friendly destinations. (You can find more photos/info from our trip to each city by clicking on that city’s header)

Austin, Texas 

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Our visit to Austin gave us plenty of reasons to smile

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And there were delicious treats for all species at Decker Creek Bed and Breakfast (and Biscuit) 

Whatever your speed, Austin has a scene for you and your pup. Zilker Park features both off-leash areas and leashed walking paths. If you’re feeling bold, you can also rent a canoe with your pup at Zilker and explore the river. Or take a short ride out of the city to run on some beautiful off-leash trails.

After a day of fun, grab dinner at any one of Austin’s many pet-friendly patios on 6th Street.

San Diego, California 

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Hang twenty!

Beach bums, look no further than San Diego for the best dog-friendly vacation. We found a very reasonably priced rental house a few blocks from the dog beach. Forget walks around the block, Eko got to hit the beach three times a day.

And no, surfing with your pup is not a requirement, but it is a whole lot of fun. Wherever you visit, I also recommend looking up local event listings, that’s how Eko got to try lure coursing while in San Diego.

Charleston, South Carolina 

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Paddling for two 

Charleston is a gorgeous city to walk through. So much so that Eko and I went on walking tours both during the day and at night. In between we stayed at a beautiful pet-friendly B&B, went on a plantation tour and went for a little kayak trip up the coast.

San Francisco, California 

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Dog-park with a view

It’s tough to beat the view from San Francisco’s dog park/beach nestled in between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. When you’re done playing, hop aboard one of the famous (and dog-friendly) trolleys for a ride.

Packed with dog-friendly destinations both within the city and amazing hikes just outside it, San Francisco offers plenty of fun for a pup.

Portland, Maine 

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The food at Inn by the Sea in Maine is so good for all species that I wasn’t sure which treat was mine

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Traveling with your dog isn’t just for the summer. Eko and I visited Maine in December and it was one of our best stops of the year

St. Louis, Missouri 

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Living like a King in St. Louis

When it comes to dog-friendly events, St. Louis can’t be beat. Both the Beggin’ Pet Parade and the St. Louis Cardinals “Pooches in the Park” are worth trips of their own. Toss in a trip to the Arch, a comfy stay at the Cheshire Inn and you have yourself a great vacation.

New Orleans, Louisiana 

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My Mardi Gras companion

Eko and I spent Mardi Gras in New Orleans, so the city was rocking. But we also stuck around afterward and really got to enjoy the quieter sides of the city too. Strutting down Bourbon Street with your pup during the day is fun, but don’t forget to check out the Garden District for some great dog-friendly dining.

Denver, Colorado 

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One day they’ll make dog-friendly tourist cut-outs for photo-ops 

Tie your shoes, adjust to the altitude and bring plenty of water. Denver is paradise for active people/dogs. Whether you prefer to stroll sprawling dog parks or want to take on a hike, Denver has it all.

Chicago, Illinois

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The Windy City will blow your hair back!

I promise I’m not playing hometown favorite on this one. Come to Chicago in the summer (definitely not the winter) to see why life is good for Second City pups. From Montrose Beach to SeaDog boat rides, Chicago has so many great destinations and activities for people and pups together.

When you visit, look for a knucklehead and two Ridgebacks at the beach and come say hi!

For the sake of keeping this post shorter than a novel, I’ll close here. But if you and your pup are making trips to Seattle, Portland, Oregon, New York City, Washington DC, Nashville or just about any other major city, there’s so much to do and see.

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 Some of the things your pup sees may confuse him

In all my travel with Eko I’ve learned two important things. One, bringing your pup along on vacation can make the trip so much more enjoyable and memorable. Two, your attitude always matters more than your destination. No matter where we went, we always found a way to have a great trip.

If you have questions about pup-friendly travel to any of the places we’ve visited, you can ask here or shoot me an email anytime at willandeko@gmail.com

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The best adventure buddy

Last summer we didn’t get to travel much since Penny was still a bit young. This summer however I’m on the lookout for a fun road trip destination. Anyone have any suggestions for us?

Penny’s Back!

This photo pretty much sums up the two weeks of Penny’s recovery.
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It wasn’t easy, but we made it

The great news is Penny has been paroled! My pup is free! And let me tell you, it is glorious for us all. I cleared my schedule for two hours for Penny’s triumphant return to Montrose Dog Beach. She needed all two hours.

This photo pretty much sums up the release of two weeks worth of energy.

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Penny stormed the beach with reckless abandon. She juked the first dog, who completely fell over trying to keep up, then she dove into the lake to stake her claim on that trident stick. You can just see the look in that dogs eyes saying, “Oh no, Penny’s back.”

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While Penny tore down the beach like a rocket ship, Eko enjoyed his first summer splash

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It’s nice to have a beach with actual water to swim in again

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Or water to fly over, if you’re Penny

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My pup was grinning ear to ear all afternoon. That smile was infectious

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Pure joy

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And not just for Penny. Eko instigated more than a few games of tag

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A perfect and well earned afternoon at the beach

When we got home the pups contentedly collapsed into one another on the couch and had the best sleep of the past two weeks. I wasn’t far behind.

I could not think of a better way to start our summer. It’s good to be back!

These are the times that try dogs’ souls

“I’m worried about our pup,” I told Emily.

“Penny’s totally fine and nearly healed from surgery,” She replied.

I agree, but it’s not Penny I’m worried about. It’s Eko. His sanity in particular. We’re now over 10+ days post-surgery and Penny’s taking out all her excess energy by bugging her big bro.
18.1

Sure, there’s the usual dental exams, but Penny is absolutely relentless

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Eko tries to keep Penny at bay

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But in this little apartment, there’s only so much you can do to escape the wild beast

18.4

“Will, run! Save yourself!”

18.5

“Actually, forget that. Save me!”

18.6

Eko loves wrestling with Penny, but this is a case of way too much of a good thing

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“Hey Will, I think I broke Eko. You know any other pups I could bother?”

Clearly Penny believes she’s 100% healed. But despite the havoc she’s wrought, we’re playing it conservatively and won’t let her off-leash until next week. Provided we all survive, that is. I’m just thankful I have Eko to help me out.

It’s going to be a long week!

Penny-locks Goes Sunbathing

Like the Beatles sang, it’s been a long, cold lonely winter. All season long I’d turn around at my desk and see Eko and Penny curled up in front of the heater. But spring has finally come around, and with it, little darling, here comes the sun.

So these days, Penny and and Eko charge their solar batteries out on the couch as much as possible to make up for lost time.

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Eko’s the sunbathing champ and knows all the best spots

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But Penny’s starting to figure out where to position herself for maximum sun exposure 

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Eko wouldn’t budge, so like Goldilocks, Penny needed to find a new spot that was just right

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This spot was too small…

Rhodesian Ridgeback, chicago, puppy, photo, marking our territory, dogs, adventure, sun

This spot was too dark…

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But this spot was jussst right!

As usual, Penny gets bonus points for creativity. Looks like I’m going to have to install some stadium seating in my apartment.

[VIDEO] Penny’s First Birthday

They just grow so fast! Can’t believe my little puppy girl is already a year old. Here are some of my favorite highlights from what historians will undoubtedly call, “The Year of Penny.”