Oh, it’s a mixed bag this week. I can point you to a totally charming story about dogs (and cats) cleverly using Russian and British public transit to visit favorite food sources — but I also have to tell you about an unpleasant incident on a London Midland train, where a passenger and her West Highland White Terrier were both bitten by “a small terrier” belonging to another passenger. Please note, by the way, that London Midland runs trains “throughout the heart of England, connecting London, the Midlands and the North West.” Here are the route maps — you’ll see that the system cuts a useful swath from London to Liverpool, taking in Birmingham and stretching west and south to Hereford and Stratford-upon-Avon — and here’s a link to the pet policy.
I’m cheering as Long Beach, CA officially embarks on its new “policy…to allow restaurant patio access to leashed dogs with the consent of the individual restaurant owner” (thanks to @marymad for the link!) — and I’m horrified by the injuries suffered by a waitress at Miami’s Van Dyke restaurant when she brought a bowl of water to a visiting black mastiff. The restaurant is located in South Beach’s Lincoln Road Mall, a pedestrian-only collection of shops and restaurants and entertainment venues that’s apparently known to be dog-friendly.
There’s food to tell you about — Bowser Beer (“a malty, non-alcoholic brew that replaces hops with chicken or beef broth“) is turning up in welcome packets offered by dog-friendly hotels, and on the menu at bars that have “yappy hours,” and my friends at A Brooklyn Dog’s Life pointed me to a post about Sunday brunch at Smorgasbord DUMBO — until November 18, you and your dog will find “somewhere near 60+ vendors offering everything from artisanal s’mores and homemade pop tarts to build-your-own hash browns and beef jerky made in Brooklyn.” For some travelers with dogs, though, that kind of gathering is a nightmare — here’s a thoughtful post from Kenzo the Hovawart, inspired by a stay with pups Kenzo and Viva in Hvide Sande, Denmark, about working around situations that make your dog uncomfortable.
Also posting from abroad is Gigi Griffis (and Luna!) — this time from Switzerland — and of course Montecristo, who lives in Ottawa, but has been visiting a bunch of lovely places in Quebec, including Mont-Tremblant. I’m delighted (codeword for “green with jealousy”) to see that The Road Unleashed team is, or recently was, in Venice, and found time to write a post packed with info, photos and video. Closer to home, the Take Paws team took in Portland, ME, and generously passed on their recommendations, including the very appealing Back Cove Trail.
That leads me to a collection of new Twitter followers with products that caught my eye: Hundbnb is joining Rover and Dog Vacay (referenced in a previous Chloe’s Clicks) in an effort to matchmake between dog lovers who want to petsit and dog owners who need to find a vacation home for their pets; Embarkly is trying to make it easier for pet owners to locate reputable pet boarding facilities around the U.S.; and 1-800-Pet-Taxi appears to be doing the same for “local and national pet transportation services.”
Speaking of pet transportation, I got a pitch from Pet Moves, which, among other things, promises to ease your international travel worries by getting your dog from the Continent to the U.K. for you (since pets are not allowed to travel in-cabin to the U.K., some travelers choose to fly to Paris or Amsterdam instead, then make their way to the U.K. by alternative means).
Finally, I was intrigued by ICE for Pets, an iPhone app that allows pet owners “to manage important information about your pet and alert an emergency contact to care for [your] pet if [you] can’t.” Its most interesting feature lets you set a timer, essentially, that sends a text message to your emergency pet caregiver if you’re prevented from returning to your pet by, say, a flat tire, or an airline delay. The timed text is sent even if you’re out of cellphone range (otherwise, you’d just call your back-up and let her know about the delay). After a recent trip driving through rural North Carolina, I can see the appeal of this product, especially for a pet with a medical condition requiring close timing for medication and/or food. The comments suggest that the product is still a work in progress, but perhaps you could supplement its current deficiencies by leaving your back-up caregiver with detailed notes about your pet’s diet, medications, exercise needs, etc.