I kept hearing about this book, last published in 2001 and now out of print, and I finally bought a copy for myself. I was surprised to find that it’s a directory more than a guidebook — there is a bit of text at the beginning of each state’s listings, briefly describing the editors’ favorite dog-related activities in that state, but the bulk of the book consists of lists of dog-friendly places to “sit” (restaurants and shops — not very many of either), “play” (dog parks, dog camps, dog-friendly beaches, etc.) and “stay” (dog-friendly hotels).
Comments about the book on Amazon either praise the book as a invaluable resource, especially for dog owners on road trips, or lambast it for being incomplete and out of date. It is a bit out of date, of course, and it’s certainly incomplete. That said, it’s still a useful resource. The editors’ suggestions at the beginning of each state’s section, and for “Big City Vacations” (see page 12), are delightful and inspiring. Unlike the AAA Pet Book, reviewed in an earlier post, this book provides a list of the pet-friendly lodgings its editors like best in each state, and I appreciate that. The “blue ribbon” list for my own state of Washington is pretty good: I would replace some of the recommendations with hotels that have opened since 2001, and a couple of the listed hotels are now under different management, but it wouldn’t lead a visitor astray. Just be sure to call and confirm that a place you’re planning to visit still welcomes dogs, before you put your soda in the cup holder and turn on your driving music.