This week’s dog travel links take you all around the world and into a heated debate. Let’s do the fun part first:
I discovered a new (to me) blog this week, called Maggie in Venice. It focuses on a Bearded Collie named Maggie, spending several months in Venice with her American owners. Maggie’s adorable, as you’ll see in the heaps of photos the Imbodens have posted, and Venice is, you know, Venice. You’re going to love reading about the dog-friendly side of La Serenissima.
Nearby Cyprus used to ban dogs from all of its beaches. In 2003, it passed a law requiring each of its coastal cities to designate a dog-friendly beach — but dog-owning Cypriots are having a heck of a time getting results. To date, only the resort town of Ayia Napa has acted on the law; in 2008, a dog and owner were killed in a dispute over the dog’s presence on a Paphos beach.
The globe spins and takes us to Saanich, B.C. and its off-leash dog-friendly beach at Arbutus Cove Park, described in a guest post on Take Paws by blogger Jim McBean (Take Paws and Jim’s Doggy Bytes are both terrific blogs — get yourself a cup of coffee and tuck into them). The beach sounds like dog heaven, and looks like it too — check out the picture of a dog conference between Jim’s dogs and a new friend.
Another spin of the globe and we land in Florida, where you’ll find the Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages, located on the northern tip of lovely Sanibel Island and profiled by Leila Coe, a dog-friendly travel agent and author of And A Small Dog. I’ve been to Sanibel, and loved it — it’s warm, relaxed, and the beaches are thick with shells. You’ll also find the Brazilian Court Hotel, located in Palm Beach and profiled by Janine Franceschi, proprietor of the luxury-oriented pet travel agency PAW: Pet Accommodations Worldwide.
But what if you want to send your dog off on a trip of its own? Take Paws posted an article this week describing the dog-only weekend excursions organized by New York’s Northward Hound. Northward Hound will pick up and drop off your dog, entertain her with romps and hikes, and keep her in the founders’ home. The trips cost $100 per day for either a 3-day or 4-day weekend, but given how much kenneling costs, a weekend like this doesn’t, in fact, seem overpriced. I also like it that Northward Hound limits each weekend to six dog guests.
This week’s controversial topic is in-cabin dogs: Three Canadian doctors wrote an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal arguing that dogs should not be permitted to travel in-cabin on planes (hoping, apparently, to encourage the Canadian Transportation Agency to regard people with allergies as disabled and requiring special accommodation). The New York Times raised the issue a few months ago, and here’s what I wrote then. The topic inspires a lot of heartfelt but uninformed debate. I’d like to see real data — not just individual’s reports — about allergic incidents, and hear a considered discussion by medical professionals about the viability of pre-flight medical treatment of allergy sufferers and the effectiveness of physically separating dogs and allergic flyers on planes.
And now for something completely different: A Dr. Helen post brought to my attention a Mattel product I’d completely missed, called Puppy Tweets. Clip the tag on your dog’s collar and start receiving tweets whenever she moves, naps or barks. According to the Amazon write-up, “a bark may generate a Tweet of: ‘I bark because I miss you. There I said it. Now hurry home.’ A quick run through the house could produce: ‘I finally caught that tail I’ve been chasing and…OOUUUCHH!’” I’m with author Helen Smith, who pretty much says “Whaaa??” If it’s just what you’ve been waiting for, though, it’ll cost $29.95 and you’ll have to wait a bit longer — it’s only being pre-released on Amazon.