Tag: san diego
After perusing “The Privileged Pooch, Luxury Travel with Your Pet in Southern California,” I’ve decided if Ace and I ever run into author Maggie Espinosa and her dog, Marcel, on the road … they’re buying.
Unlike my Travels with Ace project, “The Privileged Pooch” – not to be confused with the fine pet boutique in Baltimore of the same name – is a guidebook that focuses on high end luxury travel with your pet.
“Now you can share Southern California’s celebrity lifestyle with your furry friend,” reads the summary on the back of the book. “The days of staying at substandard hotels and dining at drive-thru’s when traveling with the family pet are over.”
Not for me, they ain’t. But that’s not the point.
Espinosa’s point is that bringing a dog along on your trip no longer automatically relegates you to economy-level accommodations. And her book, provides plenty of examples, in highly readable form, of where you can stay, play and eat with your pet — in Palm Springs, Orange County, San Diego, Santa Barbara and greater Los Angeles.
High-end establishments are starting to wise up to the fact that about 10 million pets each year vacation with their owners — and that many of those owners are from the demographic at which tourism-related businesses commonly take aim.
“The Privileged Pooch” lists 69 hotels (not a Motel 6 among them), 55 restaurants, 56 dog-friendly activities and 38 “trendy shops” where you and your dog are welcome.
Espinosa has done some culling, weeding out those establishments that have too many restrictions or silly and unrealistic weight limits. (For the dogs, I mean. Southern California doesn’t have weight limits for people. Yet.)
She uses a rating system of one wag to four wags for pet friendliness — one being “pooches permitted,” four being “pooches paradise.”
At the latter, you might find such features as special puppy menus, a “togetherness massage” for you and your dog (at Casa Laguna Inn & Spa) or ”blueberry and plum pet facials” at a dog-friendly spa called The Healthy Spot.
Espinosa and her bichon frise, Marcel, tested all 69 hotels, and each section of the book, region by region, includes recommendations for everything from dog-friendly beaches to emergency veterinary care.
Our favorite example was the Doggie Bus in Tustin, which totes dogs and their humans to the beach at no charge. An Orange County man started providing the service not to get rich, but simply because he enjoyed doing it.
Now that’s dog-friendly.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: activities, animals, books, books on dogs, california, dog, dog books, dog friendly, dogs, guide, hotels, los angeles, luxury, maggie espinosa, marcel, orange county, palm springs, pampered, pet friendly, pets, pooch, privileged, privileged pooch, restaurants, san diego, santa barbara, shops, southern california, the privileged pooch, travel, traveling with dogs
This year’s 2010 DogTown USA contest, sponsored by WAHL Clipper Corp., named the 40 dog-friendliest cities across the U.S. in honor of the magazine’s 40th anniversary.
The criteria used to select the winning city include dog-friendly open spaces and dog parks, events celebrating dogs and their owners, ample veterinary care, abundant pet supply and other services, and municipal laws that support and protect all pets.
“All dog owners know of a few local shops or restaurants that allow dogs, but it is remarkable to have an entire town where virtually every establishment opens its doors to dogs – even the bank,” says Ernie Slone, Dog Fancy editor.
“Where else can you take your dog along for a whale-watching or sunset cruise, walk miles of off-leash scenic beaches year-round and enjoy one of the nation’s finest dog parks? Provincetown nearly swept our major awards this year, with its Pilgrim Bark Park finishing at No. 2 in our national ratings of dog parks.”
Rounding out the top 10 cities, according to a press release, are:
•Fort Bragg, Calif.
•Lincoln City, Ore.
•San Diego, Calif.
•Virginia Beach, Va.
•Sioux Falls, S.D.
The complete list of all 40 cities is available in the September issue of Dog Fancy, on newsstands July 27, 2010.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, benicia, carmel, city, dog, dog fancy, dog friendliest, dog friendly, dogs, fort bragg, liincoln city, list, madison, magazine, mass, massachusetts, pets, pilgrim bark park, provincetown, rankings, san diego, sioux falls, top 10, top 40, town, virginia beach
Sixty-five dogs hit the surf Saturday at California’s Imperial Beach in the fifth annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition.
The event, which benefited the San Diego Police Department’s Canine Unit, drew an estimated 2,000 people, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Competitors ranged from a 5-lb. Pomeranian named Bobby Gorgeous, who came with his owner all the way from Hawaii to an 85-lb. Bernese mountain dog named Nani from Carmel Valley named Nani.
The dogs competed in three categories — small dogs, big dogs and tandem-style with humans.
George the Great Dane playing “Marmaduke” in the movie — and his human co-stars, Owen Wilson and George Lopez — also made an appearance.
The event got its start after Loews Coronado Bay Resort started offering surfing packages for dogs and their owners six years ago.
In the event — the video above is from last year’s contest — each dog has 10 minutes each dog to surf.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, california, canine, coronado bay resort, dog, dogs, imperial beach, K-9, loews, marmaduke, ohmidog!, pets, san diego, san diego police department, surf, surf dog competition, surfboards, surfing, unit, video
The Great (Dane) Debate is over: The “World’s Tallest Dog” is Giant George of Tucson, Guinness World’s Records has proclaimed.
The 250-pound blue Great Dane wrested the title away from Titan, a white, partly blind Great Dane from San Diego who held it little more than three months.
Guinness World Records says George is the tallest dog ever on record, standing 43 inches tall at the shoulder, three-quarters of an inch taller than Titan.
Titan was named World’s Tallest Dog last November after the death of the previous title-holder, Gibson, a harlequin Great Dane from Grass Valley, Calif., who died of bone cancer.
Giant George was in the running then, but disputed measurements and late paperwork left his owner, David Nasser, unable to qualify.
Guinness officials say there were conflicting reports about Giant George’s height, so they sent a judge to verify it.
Guinness made the announcement this morning, and George and Nasser appeared this afternoon on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
Diana Taylor, Titan’s owner, told the San Diego Union-Tribune she didn’t intend to watch the show because she was busy Monday trying to find a swim vest that would fit Titan, her 190-pound deaf, epileptic and partly blind “special needs dog,” for his first water therapy session.
A blog post on Titan’s website site argues that Titan should still be tops. Taylor says she intends to lodge a dispute but won’t exert a lot of energy on a challenge if Titan’s reign is officially over.
Giant George, we should point out, has his own website as well, which, according to Taylor, was part of a massive public relations effort to steal the title away from her dog.
“Regardless of whether he’s the world’s tallest dog or not, he’s still this beautiful deaf and blind Great Dane, and no one can take that away from him,” Taylor said of Titan.
The blog post read, in part:
“Despite the fact that it detracted from our mission of helping rescue and special-needs dogs, I strived to take the high road. But now, after months of having our accomplishment overshadowed by this media blitz-kreig of poor sportsmanship (and on the eve of this dog actually being on Oprah) I’ve decided it’s time to let the public know the truth about ‘Giant’ George.
“…Confused at how to measure his dog, this owner took two official measurements… one at the shoulder and another halfway up the neck. Guinness requirements state an animal must be measured at the shoulder. See below — when measured correctly George is only 39 1/8″ compared to Titan’s certified height of 42.25″.
“George’s ‘record-breaking’ 43″ is based on a measurement halfway up the neck, a procedure that does not follow industry standards or meet Guinness requirements…”
Guinness spokeswoman Jamie Panas said last week that Nasser’s claim to the title was one of more than 100 the company received since late last year.“It’s a huge record for us,” she said. “The pet records resonate the most with our readers.”
(Photo: Courtesy of Guinness World Records)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, blind, blue, contested, david nasser, deaf, diana taylor, dispute, disputed, dogs, george, giant, giant george, gibson, great dane, great danes, guinness, oprah, pets, record, records, san diego, show, tallest, titan, title, tucson, white, winfrey, world, world's tallest dog
Titan, a 4-year-old white Great Dane from San Diego, is blind, deaf, epileptic and requires chiropractic adjustments every three weeks.
He’s also now officially the world’s tallest dog.
Titan’s designation was announced yesterday— the official Guinness World Record Day, the Associated Press reported.
“Titan is magical,” owner Diana Taylor said. “He’s low-key, calm and has a wonderful demeanor about him. He gets along with all dogs, even the tiny ones.”
Titan, as measured by a veterinarian, is a over 3½ feet tall from floor to shoulder. Add in his head, and he’s over 4 feet tall.
Standing on his hind legs — which is something Titan doesn’t do — he would be nearly 7 feet tall.
Titan weighs 190 pounds.
Titan takes the title held by Gibson, a 7-year-old harlequin Great Dane from Grass Valley, who died earlier this year after battling bone cancer.
Taylor was living in Atlanta when she adopted Titan as a puppy from the Middle Tennessee Great Dane Rescue. When he could see out of one eye, she taught him sign language. As he went blind, they learned to communicate by touch.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blind, deaf, diana taylor, dog, dogs, epileptic, great dane, guinness, pets, record, san diego, tall, tallest, titan, world, world's
A memorial service was held this week for Baxter, the California therapy dog who, though losing much of his fur and the use of his legs, continued to bring comfort to the dying up until his own death this month at age 19 1/2.
The service Wednesday at the San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine drew nearly 100 friends, family and staff, according to an Associated Press report.
Baxter’s owner, Melissa Joseph, pulled the dog — a chow-golden retriever mix — from room to room in a red wagon and would lift him onto patient’s beds for a visit. (If you haven’t seen the video of Baxter, click here.)
“He licked tears from grieving faces, gave hugs to those at a loss for words, and warmed the hearts and souls of those who were making their transition,” Joseph wrote in her online eulogy. “Everyone loved Baxter.”
Lisa McCullough, spiritual counselor for the inpatient care center, said some patients who refused to share their life stories with staff would talk freely if Baxter was in the room. “And sometimes they opened up about the end of their life’s journey,” McCullough said. “I think Baxter made them feel safe and valued. He has helped just countless patients discover purpose and peace and connection in the last phase of their lives.”
Joseph and her husband, Dennis Bussey, released a book in June called “Moments with Baxter,” a collection of 36 stories about Baxter and his work. Proceeds from the book to go to the hospice and charities that support animal causes.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baxter, care, comfort, dogs, dying, end of life, hospice, institute for palliative medicine, life, medical, melissa joseph, memorial, moments with baxter, patients, san diego, service, therapy dog, video, wagon
You can learn more about Baxter and the book here.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: baxter, care, comfort, death, dog, dogs, dying, elderly, end of life, hospice, institute for palliative medicine, melissa joseph, moments with baxter, patients, san diego, san diego hospice, therapy dog, therapy dogs, video, wagon
Food & Wine magazine has named what it considers the top five dog-friendliest cities in the U.S. They are: Boston, Chicago, Miami, San Diego and San Francisco.
The article in the magazine, published by American Express, focuses mostly on dog-friendly dining and lodging opportunities. Here’s what it had to say about the top five:
Boston: Dogs are allowed on the city’s public transit system, and there’s an off-leash dog park in Boston Common. Dog-friendly restaurants include Rocca Kitchen & Bar (around the corner from Peter’s Park dog run), where a section of the patio is set aside for diners with dogs, lined with water bowls and treats from nearby Polka Dog Bakery. Dogs are also welcome — when the Red Sox aren’t playing at home — at La Verdad Taqueria.
Chicago: The city’s park system includes the 18-mile Lakefront Trail and three dog beaches. Dog-friendly restaurants include Brasserie JO, which offers complimentary house-made dog biscuits.
Miami: Most shops on Lincoln Road Mall put out water bowls, and many local restaurants allow dogs, including Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, where dogs can feast on dog treats baked by the pastry chef.
San Diego: In addition to its numerous dog beaches, the city abounds with dog-friendly restaurants, including Nine-Ten and Cafe Chloe, where 75 percent of the staff volunteers at animal-rights agencies.
San Francisco: The pedestrian walkway on the Golden Gate Bridge and the historic streetcars both allow dogs. Dog-friendly restaurants include Pizzeria Delfina and Taylor’s Automatic Refresher, with a dog-friendly patio that’s ideal for watching sunsets.
(Photo via San Francisco Citizen)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 1st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, boston, chicago, cities, dining with dogs, dog friendliest, dog friendly, dogs in restaurants, list, magazine, miami, most, parks, restaurants, san diego, san francisco, top five, u.s., wine & food
Are dogs and their humans so entwined that they tend to take after one another in appearance?
The question — one drawing increasing scrutiny from scientists — was asked, but not really answered, in a piece in the the Health section of yesterday’s New York Times.
In 2004, researchers in San Diego found that people were able to correctly match pictures of dog owners with their pets more often than not, but only when the dogs were purebreds. Similarities in facial expressions played a big role in the choices.
The same year, a psychologist at the University of South Carolina challenged the findings in a separate study, but the San Diego researchers countered with a reanalysis that confirmed their initial findings.
Earlier this year, a scientist in England conducted a study in which 70 subjects were asked to match pictures of 41 dog owners to one of several breeds. They were able to match successfully more than half the time.
As with the San Diego study, the subjects later said they matched mostly by looking for personality traits that they believed the dogs and their owners shared.
What’s not known is whether that’s because dog and owner tend to take on a similar appearance (my personal theory), or because people look for certain traits or predispositions that might match their own when choosing a dog.
(Photo: courtesy of afunnystuff.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alike, appearance, dog, dogs, expressions, humans, look, lookalikes, owner, personality, relationships, resemblance, san diego, studies, traits, university of south carolina
Some of the most talented dogs from the West Coast descended upon the San Diego County Fair last week to participate in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge — including some who have mastered surfing, an event that was added to the competition for the first time this year.
The canine sporting event also featured dog diving, freestyle flying disc, head-to-head weave poles, Jack Russell hurdle racing, and agility.
The 2009 Purina Incredible Dog Challenge was part of the San Diego County Fair and took place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on June 13th and 14th. Canine surfers competed in heats that were scored by a panel of judges, including U.S. Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 21st, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: agility, canine, county fair, diving, dog, dogs, event, flying disc, freestyle, hurdle racing, incredible dog challenge, jack russell, ohmidog!, purina, san diego, surf, surfers, surfing, video, weave poles