Whether traveling or at home, BackpackMr and I actively seek out and patronize destinations and businesses which allow us to bring the whole family with us.
BrooklynHound has been an important part of our lives for about five years. Eight months after the passing of our beloved beagles, the house was suddenly too clean and too empty. And I was ready for something positive to enter my life. Though some might say we “saved” her, the opposite is true. In the wake of a serious health scare, she gave me joy, she made me laugh, and she taught me how to play again.
What sense, then, would it make to leave her behind when we explore the world? She wants to be included as part of the pack, and frankly, we want her with us. She makes every experience more fun.
The bottom line is this. Without a doubt, she is a member of our family. So, we choose to have adventures that include her.
That eliminates taking her on trips that require flying, because I will never, never put her in a cargo hold. I anxiously await the day an airline figures out a way to transport our beloved furry family members safely and humanely. In the meantime, we are limited to ground travel.
When we lived in the Twin Cities, we actively patronized restaurants and businesses that allowed her to join us, in particular, places that treated her special. That’s what inspired me to start a blog, from her perspective, called Dog Friendly Twin Cities. Unfortunately, patio season in Minnesota is all too brief, but during our time there we discovered several restaurants that actually have a dog menu, in addition to human menus. Places like Muffuletta (now shuttered), which blew us away with their pet-friendly meals. Some places, like The Butcher and the Boar, brought out treats for her. Surly Brewing Company allowed us to sit by a fire pit, play games and eat great food at their destination brewery, with Brooklyn in tow. Caydence Records & Coffee in St. Paul allowed us to scratch our vinyl itch while Brooklyn scratched at her harness (she does that). Several spots even brought out bowls of cool water while staff members offered belly rubs (to Brooklyn, not me).
Now as we explore our new city of Tucson, Arizona, we are looking for new dog-friendly places to visit and experiences to share with her.
We’re already big fans of the Cup Cafe at the Hotel Congress, where they quickly bring her a bowl of cold water upon arrival.
This week we dined at The Hub, where we enjoyed great food and people-watching in downtown Tucson. Props to the hostess who said, “We love our dogs!” Extra points for the cup of water too.
We take her on walks in the morning on The Loop, Tucson’s stunning trail along the Santa Cruz River. BrooklynHound loves watching the ground squirrels and sniffing in their burrows. We also recently hiked in Tucson Mountain Park. It was a hot hike, but she loved every minute of it.
And Arizona Beer House lets her chill out with us when it’s time to relax with a cold one.
The heat of summer is coming, and we’re grateful there are places like Bookman’s, the amazing mega-bookstore, which lets us bring her inside while we peruse.
Oh, and Brooklyn just loves Rosie’s Barket in downtown Tucson. Especially the free samples! We can’t wait to return when they have doggie boots in stock to protect those tender paws from the hot pavement.
We’re also planning a dog-inclusive getaway to San Diego in the coming weeks, where the three of us can frolic sea-side. It will be Ms. Brooklyn’s first time at the ocean, and I can hardly wait to see it through her eyes.
We’ve encountered some disappointments in Tucson, as we did in the Twin Cities–or rather, missed opportunities for businesses. For while the world is slowly adapting to allow our well-behaved furry family members to be with us rather than in a cage, not everyone is opening their minds or doors or patios.
That’s their loss, and a financial one at that. In the meantime, people like us are happy to be loyal to those businesses unopposed to a cold, wet nose among the crowds.
It’s just what you do for those you care about.
Know of a dog-friendly business or activity in Tucson? Share in the comments, and we’ll check it out!
Charish Badzinski is an explorer and award-winning travel and food writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, providing strategic communications, media relations and writing support to her clients.
Find Charish on Twitter: @charishb
Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.