Just a thought... If you are a host to your guest, be a host to his dog also. [Russian proverb]
Today's journal is for folks who like to travel with their furry family members.
Last month, Rob, Molly and I met up with our friend Mike Cooper in Las Vegas (he's our other furry family member). That, you already know. But I wanted to share with you a BIG difference in hotels that claim to be pet-friendly and those that actually are. I'll share with you first a post from two years ago this month that illustrates the worst experience we had with Miss Malone.
We booked this Tacoma, Washington hotel (which says it's an inn on a harbour, but is actually plunked next to a highway in more of an industrial setting) because of its favourable TripAdvisor reviews and pet-friendly designation. When we got there, I paid the extremely reasonable fee of ten dollars per night for Molly. But it was the 8 or 9 point waiver that we had to sign that really cast a pall on our stay.
In bold letters were words to the effect that we would not leave (y)our dog unattended in the room at any time!
I didn't want to rock the boat or risk not having a place to stay that night or I might have asked, "I'm sorry - what? You just gave us breakfast vouchers for the restaurant in the hotel. Are my husband and I supposed to go dine in shifts?" Obviously, I didn't say that. But we did start to worry.
As we made our way to our second floor room, visitors nearby clearly had brought at least two dogs who were being very vocal. Rob and I were suddenly grateful for having brought our trusty ear plugs, and worried that we'd inadvertently booked into a dog pound for the night!
We decided on the spot that, rather than go out for dinner before the theatre in Tacoma, we'd walk together down the street and pick up pizza to bring back. We did have to leave Molly as we went out later; she was sleeping contentedly on Rob's pillows (her natural habitat as you see above) and was, for all we know, fine while we were gone.
Saturday, we faced the same worries: what if we were busted for breaking the rules and leaving the pup alone in our room? We know she's well behaved and quiet, but...what if she was somehow provoked by knocking at the door or a noisy neighbour?
So, after walking her and then parking her on her towel while we had breakfast, we stayed in almost the entire day, napping and reading and what you might call wasting a day in a city we had planned to explore (but for the rain). We took an hour out to go to Kohl's department store but that was it. It was snacks in front of the TV for our dinner and then check out on Sunday after breakfast.
I'm not sure how this "pet-friendly" stuff in hotels works; we're new to it. Some hotels charge up to 40 dollars a night if you have a pet with you (which is ridiculous) and, of course, others don't offer the option at all, which I get.
But allowing you to bring your dog and then making you sign an agreement not to leave them alone, no matter how well-behaved? That's neither people- nor pet-friendly, in our books.
Now let me tell you how pet-friendly really should - and does - work. When we went to Vegas last month, we chose a hotel far from the strip that TripAdvisor told us welcomed dogs. And it did! From a very boisterous greeting at front desk (the young woman was from Canada and welcomed us like family) to rules that were almost non-existent, we had a relaxed stay with our pup.
She behaved herself beautifully (as always) and had there been any problem during the time we'd left her peacefully dozing on her blanket, we left our phone numbers with front desk so we could be reached. Perfect, right? And the icing on the cake? NO CHARGE. Thank you, La Quinta!
Our next hotel stay on the California/Nevada border even had a special place for dogs to do their business. The sentiment is so sweet, I didn't even take a Dremel and try to move the apostrophe!
Have a great weekend and I'll be back with you here on Monday.
(@erindavis on Twitter)