Monday, April 27, 2009

Pooches: Hot Dogs

This weekend we were lucky enough to have temperatures in the 80's! Everyone was out and about, and the pooches loved strutting down the street and meeting all kinds of people. However their enthusiasm was short lived as they realized how hot it was; eighty degrees can be really hot when you're wearing a fur coat. There is always a chance of the dogs overheating, so when we go on the walks we make sure to bring water and this bowl. This bowl is collapsible and we can usually find a water fountain in the park to fill it up. On the budget end, you can always bring a Ziploc bag and have the pooches drink from it to stay well hydrated.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pooches: The Adventures of Ms. M and Mr. B

A and I keep urging our single friends to take Ms. M and Mr. B for a walk around town, because they are great dude and chick magnets. This was very true this past Saturday. Last summer, we started walking our pooches down to Division street, because we wanted Mr. B to get used to the sights and sounds of the city when he was first adopted and transported from Kalamazoo, Michigan. From the first time we walked them in the city, we would get points and stares as if we were walking two celebrities, compliments and random people wanting to come up and meet our dogs. So this past Saturday night, I decided to take Ms. M and Mr. B on a long walk, which included walking through Division street. Right when we got onto Division street a girl dressed up for the bars saw Ms. M and completely fell in love. The bar girl asked if she could meet Ms. M and sat on a stair to let Ms. M kiss her on her face. This went on for a few minutes and all she kept talking about was Ms. M's cute face and her expressive eyes. When I tried to continue on my walk, the bar girl kept holding and petting Ms. M and Ms. M was so happy that she didn't move either. Eventually I got Ms. M to move and the bar girl looked so sad and she didn't want to say goodbye. We don't even make it to the next block, when three guys complimented them and Ms. M wiggles towards one of them and before I knew it all three were petting Ms. M and Mr. B. As our walk continues, people would compliment them, turn to look at them and tap their friends to see and some would pet them quickly. Then in front of Moonshine, a girl dressed in her Saturday night's best blocks Mr. B and starts rubbing his head. The waiter comes by and compliments them and tells me how he has a pit bull that looks like Mr. B and the girl chimes in saying that she also has a pit bull and how she loves pit bulls. After several minutes with more people stopping to pet them, I was able to pull Mr. B and Ms. M away from the mob of fans and continue our way back home. When we finally got home, Ms. M and Mr. B were so tired from all the attention that they just went straight to bed. Another day in the life of Ms. M and Mr. B.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Travel: The Pooches of Tulum

While we left our own pooches back at home, we were lucky enough to have our own resident beach dog. "Our Dog", as we called him, didn't live near our cabanas, but he did like to hang with us. He would lay in the shade under our beach chairs, bark at other people walking across our beach, and even tried to cosy up on the chair with me.
These beach dogs were skilled at swimming and leaping over waves and fortunately seemed fairly well-fed.
Most countries don't have the types of dog shelters we have to take care of dogs, but I did read about this couple who started their own "shelter" in Playa del Carmen to take care of unwanted dogs. Each weekend they have a dog wash and encourage tourists to take part.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Budget Travel: Tulum, Mexico

For spring break this year, A and I decided to take a trip out of the country and into Mexico. We ventured to a town about an hour and a half south of Cancun and 45 min south of Playa del Carmen called Tulum. Right now, Tulum is an up and coming tourist destination, so it doesn't have the craziness associated Cancun and even Playa del Carmen. Which also means, that it doesn't have the same accommodations as either of the two bigger cities. Tulum has yet to have an all-inclusive, Apple Vacation type of hotel. Rather, it has all these cabanas along the beaches of the Yucatan peninsula. So for $90 a night, we had a small one room with a bathroom house made of adobe with a thatched roof. Since all the cabanas along the beach run on their own generators, we only had electricity whenever the sun went down. The bathroom had a toilet, sink and a shower with hot water. Since the cabanas are a little rustic, we would get our occasional bugs running around and at night we would get eaten up by mosquitoes if we didn't put on bug spray. However, the white sandy beaches and the warm clean water completely made up for the night of mosquito bites. We would get a stretch of beach that was basically ours. Since our area only had 8 cabanas, we pretty much had a decent sized area of the beach to just ourselves. When we wanted to eat, we would walk down the beach to different restaurants which were located in the other hotel cabanas or we would take a taxi to downtown Tulum (about a $6 taxi ride). There was such a huge variety of restaurants within walking distance from our cabana and a lot of great restaurants in downtown Tulum. We wish we could have eaten at more places while we were down there, but every restaurant that we went to gave us so much food that we were completely stuffed. Since this is a bit rustic, it is not for everyone, especially the all inclusive type, but for the others, like A and I, this is a great escape from the real world. We will definitely go back to Tulum again next year and most likely back to the same cabanas.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pooches: Lucky Dog Pet Service

We won a gift certificate for day care and boarding at Lucky Dog Pet Service during the New Leash On Life Raise the Woof benefit concert. So we decided to redeem this gift certificate to board Mr. B while we traveled to Tulum, Mexico during spring break. In our initial visit, Bonnie was kind enough to let both Ms. M and Mr. B run around the facility while she gave us a tour and explained all of their daycare and boarding options. The pooches could tell right away that Bonnie was a dog person and they took an immediate liking to her. The facility is really well-maintained and large enough that our dogs could run full sprint back and forth without running into a dog or the wall. We also love the fact that they work with New Leash on Life and they even board some of their dogs. So when it came to the actual boarding, we were pretty confident that we were leaving Mr. B in good hands. When we came back, Bonnie gave us a full report on Mr. B's stay and he was exhausted from running around for 5 days straight. Plus they bathed him for an extra fee, so we had a clean and fresh smelling Mr. B to take home. We will most likely use Lucky Dog Pet Service for boarding again.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Doggy Style: Ruff Wear Palisades Dog Pack

Summer is quickly approaching, so it is about time for us to start going on our long walks again. One of our favorite activities is walking around the city with the two pooches and completing errands. Its great being teachers in the summer, because we can venture out to any store or even the dog park and all the places will be relatively empty. Normally, we do not take our pooches to the dog park, because they are just too crazy and overcrowded, but in the summer most people are working during the day and that means the dog parks are pretty much all ours. Since the pooches are very high maintenance, they need a lot of toys when we head to the park, which is where the Ruff Wear Palisades Dog Pack comes in handy. Before we bought this dog pack, I would carry all of their toys, treats, water and water bowl in my backpack, which would mean that I would get really hot and my back will be all sweaty. So now with this pack, the pooches can carry their own stuff, including water because the Palisades dog pack has two internal refillable bladders. Plus its nice for the pooches, because they walk better on leash when they believe they are on a mission. This bag is really well made, we've used this bag all last summer and parts of this winter and it is still in excellent condition. A really nice feature is the quick release where the bag can be removed by unclipping three clips. So when we are sitting around, the dogs do not have to sit around with the packs on them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pooches: Puppy Mr. B

One of the few "bad" things about adopting a dog is that unless the pound or the rescue group has pictures, you will never know what your dog looked like as a little puppy. Mr. B was already 5 years old when we adopted him, so we can only imagine what he looked like as a puppy. While searching on the web, I came upon this picture of a puppy pit bull that looks exactly like a imagined younger version of Mr. B. Their coloring and the patterns are really similar and they have the same eyes. The only thing is that we cannot tell if the puppy is a real dog or just a stuffed animal.
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