Today’s Wordless Wednesday is brought to you by Billy, the most AMAZING cat!
Today’s Wordless Wednesday is brought to you by Billy, the most AMAZING cat!
Today’s Wordless Wednesday is brought to you by Billy, the most AMAZING cat!
People born between August 23 and September 22 are Virgos. Virgos are a practical bunch and they are very detail oriented.
Most Virgos are bookworms and the newest Kindle would be an excellent choice for the voracious reader. If your Virgo already has a Kindle, maybe a subscription to Kindle Unlimited would be a nice present.
Many Virgos love to journal; they want to document their inner lives for future reference and reflection. Maybe even write the next great American novel!
A planner is a perfect gift for the Virgo in your life. It is both practical and detail oriented. If your Virgo already has a planner, you could check out our Etsy Sticker Boutique for an awesome selection of planner stickers.
A Fitbit is the perfect gift for your active Virgo, the data collected by the Fitbit will give them data that they can then analyze and refer back to.
A great set of headphones that are sweatproof and noise cancelling would be an excellent choice for your fit Virgo.
Is your Virgo a foodie? A gourmet food basket could be the perfect gift to win your way to their heart through their stomach. You could also take your food basket on a fun birthday picnic.
A food scale is practical for the Virgo chef who likes to be as accurate as possible while cooking the perfect meal.
If your Virgo is a handyman or woman, a tool set may be a practical gift to help them get their projects done around the house.
A light, handheld vacuum is a great gift for the Virgo to keep their home or office clean.
A classic sun dress appeals to the Virgo woman. Keep it simple because she finds gaudiness appalling.
Virgo is the ruler of animals and veterinarians, according Rex E. Bills’ The Rulership Book.
If you’re still not sure what to get the Virgo in your life but you know they love their dog, then maybe the way to make them happy is by giving them a gift for their favorite doggy.
Maybe your Virgo isn’t a dog person but has a lovable feline, then some fantastic treats for their cat might be the most practical gift.
Today marks 100 years since the National Park Service was established. On August 25, 1916, the National Park Service Organic Act was passed and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. As of right now, there are 59 National Parks, you can see the full list here.
The following is an adaptation from our book Woof Trekking: How to Road Trip with Your Pets.
We love going on adventures to National Parks and exploring the amazing sights. They are spectacular locations to take in nature and most allow dogs in at least some areas of the parks. Some say that National Parks are not very dog friendly, however, we have always felt welcome, even if we didn’t get to explore the whole park. You can visit the National Park Service website before your trip to determine where your dog is allowed to visit. In all cases, dogs are required to be on a leash.
We have visited two National Parks in California, Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park. We visited both during one Woof Trek since their location is quite off the beaten track. We mostly drove around Sequoia National Park to see the towering sequoias. Dogs are not allowed on the trails but are allowed on leashes in the camping areas.
Yosemite National Park is much more dog friendly. The park has lots of paved trails and dogs are welcome on these paths. We enjoyed exploring both of these Parks in the cool mountain air.
Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah and is one of five National Parks in Utah. It is a bit of a drive off the interstate, but totally worth it. This National Park is unique because most of scenic views of the Park can only be visited by shuttle bus. Since we Woof Trek with our dogs, we didn’t go on the shuttle.
We did take a driving tour of a portion of the Park through the amazingly colorful canyons. One of the coolest parts of the drive in Zion National Park is when you go through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. This tunnel has cutouts where you take a quick peek out into the canyons as you drive through. Dogs are only allowed on one trail at Zion, called the Pa’rus trail.
We have visited the Grand Canyon, both the South and North Rims, with our dogs. They loved exploring the trails as much as we did. Lots of people from all over the world visit the Grand Canyon; we were surprised by how many different languages we could hear. Then again, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.
If you make the journey to the Grand Canyon, you may also want to visit Horseshoe Bend while you are there. Horseshoe Bend is a large curve in the Colorado River that is about 5 miles from the Glen Canyon Dam and about 140 miles from the South Rim. It is a breathtaking view and we highly recommend it.
There are no Park Rangers or facilities (restrooms, water, etc.) at Horseshoe Bend. Dogs are welcome on the trail on a leash. It is a bit of a hike, up and down a hill, which takes about 45 minutes round-trip. Once you get to the Bend, you can look straight down into the canyon. The view is excellent, but there is no guardrail or any sort of protection from falling. This location is not for the faint of heart nor the weak of stomach; skip it if you are afraid of heights.
Today’s post is an adaptation of a chapter from our new book, Woof Trekking.
Most hotels put their beds on metal boxes so nothing can go under the bed. For the most part they work, except occasionally at the head of the bed.
Sometimes the box ends before it touches the wall and leaves a cat/small dog-sized hole to crawl into. If you aren’t paying attention, your pet can end up under the bed and you can’t really get them out without a lot of time and/or coercion.
It would be wise to also take some of the extra pillows (you could use towels as an alternative) and create a blockade in front of any holes. We learned about this the hard way.
During our first Woof Trek, we would remove the leash from Billy’s harness when we arrived at the hotel. One night, we were not really paying attention and Billy found a hole we had missed at the foot of the bed.
We tried to grab his hind end but he slipped through and ended up inside the box spring!
We tried to lure him out by calling him and shaking his treat container, but he wouldn’t come.
We finally gave up as Billy enjoyed lording his newfound power over Mac. She left some treats by the entrance to his newfound Kat Kave.
Eventually, Billy got bored and came out from under the bed to take the bait.
Hearing the sound of his munching, we grabbed him, put the leash back on him, and blocked the entrance to his Kat Kave.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this adaptation from our book, Woof Trekking.
P.S. We highly recommend investing in a cat harness and leash.
It’s #TravelThursday! Today we present Woof Trekking Dispatch #3! In our last dispatch, we travelled on the PCH and through Carmel-by-the-Sea.
We left our hotel in San Jose and started the leisurely journey toward San Francisco. Our first stop was the Apple Campus in Cupertino. We were pretty excited, since we are Apple fans, but to be honest, there wasn’t much to see. The store on site (The Company Store), looked just like the one in our local mall so we didn’t spend much time there. Maybe when they open their new Campus 2, there will be something more exciting to see.
We stopped to grab lunch at the Duke of Edinburgh Pub and Restaurant. We got our order of Shepherd’s Pie to go and went on a hunt for a park to enjoy our meal with Izzy and Nana.
We ended up finding a park nearby called Ortega Park. There was a shady picnic table and then took a lovely stroll with the pups.
After lunch we drove around the Stanford campus and spotted the famous Hoover Tower. It is named after Herbert Hoover, our 31st President, prior to him becoming president. It contains materials relating to 20th century history that Hoover had collected and then donated to the university to found a “library of war, revolution and peace.”
Our final stop of the day was Oyster Point, a local marina. By this time of day, the wind had picked up and the temperature had dropped. We were freezing and Izzy looked hilarious with her fur plastered to her face.
Here is a map of all the locations featured in this dispatch.
Today’s post is an excerpt from our collection of poetry, Two by Two: Into the White. It is available for purchase for just 99 cents on Amazon!
The inspiration for this poem was Billy, the Most AMAZING Cat!. We’ve been family for nearly eight years now and I have spent a lot of time just observing his movements. That might sound creepy to some extroverts, but to introverts, observing is our number one hobby. The introduction to the “nature” section of Two by Two reads as follows:
dogs and deserts and domestic shorthairs
dancing on the mother earth
daring to do, to live, to be
while we admire and provide rationale
I think that really captures why we love animals so much. This poem is a vignette of Bill as he goes about his business. He doesn’t worry about how others perceive him. He doesn’t second guess himself. He just is.
A great lesson for us humans.
After we departed Los Angeles, we decided to jump on the famous Pacific Coast Highway (aka PCH) to head north up the coast. This stretch of highway is 147 miles long and runs right next to the ocean, providing some extremely scenic views.
Our first look at the PCH started in Santa Monica, pictured below.
As we drove along, we watched waves crashing and people frolicking on the beach. We drove as far north San Luis Obispo before we had to drive inland to our hotel in Paso Robles. (La Quinta Inn and Suites Paso Robles – it is one of the nicest La Quintas we have visited in the country! Very spacious rooms and artisanal lotions/soaps in the bathroom!)
First thing the next day, we stopped by Hearst Castle, but there was no way we could go since we had the dogs with us. (The only animals allowed on tours are service animals.) That being said we did stop by, get some brochures and used the facilities in alternating shifts. After that, we stopped by Elephant Seal Vista Point about 5 miles down the road.
One thing to know about traveling along the PCH is that in some of the more rural areas, gas stations are few and far between. So if you plan to take a road trip along this scenic highway, be sure to get gas when it is available. We nearly ran out of gas, mostly because we were kind of balking at the price. California has some of the most expensive gas in the country.
It’s better to buy expensive gas than run out of gas, pull off the highway and have to call for emergency roadside assistance. You can use GasBuddy or Trucker Path, an app we mentioned in Tuesday’s post, to find gas near you (including the price).
Billy was not a fan of some of the more curvy sections of the PCH. So if your pet is inclined to motion sickness, you may want to skip the Pacific Coast Highway or other winding roads whenever possible. See our post Woof Trekking: Anxiety and Motion Sickness for more.
After driving for a couple of hours, we came to the artist enclave of Carmel-by-the-Sea. This quaint little town is about 330 miles north of Los Angeles and 120 miles south of San Francisco. Following the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, a group of artists left the destroyed city and migrated to Carmel-by-the-Sea, thus establishing the small sea-side town as a now well-known hub for art and culture.
Nana thought it was just ok. ?
Contrastingly, Izzy thought it was SUPER FUN!!! ? She loved romping around in the surf.
We already cover our car seats with towels (so it’s easy to clean up unexpected messes), but we also had the foresight to bring a couple extra towels, so we could wipe off Izzy’s sticky paws.
Safety is of the utmost importance while Woof Trekking. Accidents can happen, and it is best to have preventive measures in place. Some people let their animals roam freely in the car while they are driving, but we do not. All of our pets wear harnesses and are buckled in while the car is moving. Today’s post is an adaptation of a chapter from our new book, Woof Trekking.
When we Woof Trek, Billy wears a harness and leash at all times. The harness goes around his neck, then under his arms, and ends up around his chest. We use his leash to tether him to the seatbelt of the human holding him. He spends most of the car ride asleep on a pillow in someone’s lap, since he takes Dramamine for motion sickness (read more in our article Woof Trekking: Anxiety and Motion Sickness).
We tried using an inflatable car seat (pictured above) for him that could be buckled into an empty seat, with the hope that looking out the window might ease his motion sickness. However, he didn’t actually look out the window that often, so we gave it up. The other downside of the seat for us was that it took up too much space, especially since he still preferred sitting with a human. That being said, it may be the right solution for you, so feel free to give it a whirl.
The specific model that we purchased in 2012 has since been discontinued, however there are plenty of alternatives available today.
Pet booster seats were featured on a recent episode of the show Lucky Dog (part of the CBS Dream Team… It’s EPIC!) shown on Saturday Mornings. All Woof Trekkers will enjoy this show, and FYI, it won a Daytime Emmy this May for “Outstanding Special Class Series.”
Nana and Izzy wear car harnesses that allow them to be buckled into a seat. We currently use the Canine Friendly brand. We previously used EZ Rider, but after viewing the 2013 Harness Results from the Center for Pet Safety, we decided to upgrade.
Nana does not really like to be buckled in since it impedes her ability to look out the windows. Still, she allows us to buckle her in, even if it is a bit begrudgingly. She either sits or lays down in her seat depending on her mood. Izzy does not like to be buckled in either, but for the opposite reason of Nana. Izzy would much rather sit in a person’s lap while driving.
For the most part the dog harnesses work well at keeping the dogs safe and secure. But as the old adage goes, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” If a noise startles Izzy during the trip, she will squirm and fight her way out of her harness and rampage to the nearest lap. But we always get her back to her seat, or on a few rare occasions, buckled in with the nearest human.
First, we want to mention that this post is our 100th post on zydoyle.com! Can you believe it? We wanted to start a blog for a very long time, and we are so glad that on 12/31/2014, we finally took the plunge. Thank you all for reading our posts. We look forward to what the future has to bring! Now, on to today’s post, which is an adaptation of a chapter from our new book, Woof Trekking.
Note: If your pets get anxiety or motion sickness when traveling, check with your veterinarian prior to giving them any medications.
Anxiety and motion sickness can be a big challenge when bringing pets on a road trip, aka Woof Trekking. Before you take your pets on a Woof Trek, we suggest taking several trips in the car around town a few weeks in advance. Then you can gauge your pet’s car riding personality. “Get your pet geared up by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car,” says the ASPCA in their great article, “Travel Safety Tips.”
When it comes to how well our pets handle Woof Trekking, they are all over the spectrum.
Nana has no problems on the road. She absolutely loves riding in the car. She is very good at controlling her body through twists and turns by leaning against the centrifugal force. She will crane her neck to watch the road through the front windshield. We are convinced that if she somehow acquired the necessary skills, she could drive to the park herself.
Billy, in general is very good in the car, but he does have one big problem. He gets motion sick. In the past, Billy has received a half tablet of Dramamine (Meclizine Version) on the first couple mornings of the Woof Trek, at the advice of our veterinarian.
It makes Billy pretty drowsy. We only give it to him the first couple days, because after that, he tends to have adjusted to life on the highway. The Dramamine works, but only up to a point. If the road winds back and forth, he can still get sick.
We recently changed veterinarians and he suggested switching to Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate Version) or Benadryl to help Billy with his motion sickness, but we have not yet tried either of these options. Talk with your veterinarian to decide what solutions may be appropriate if your pet is prone to motion sickness.
Izzy can get a bit anxious in the car, especially on the first day. She pants and can whine on occasion, but eventually she settles down. Like Billy, she has received Dramamine (Meclizine Version), per the advice our previous veterinarian, to help cope with this. We give her the pill about an hour before we leave, and she becomes much more mellow and less stressed. Again, we only give it for the first couple days because after that, she has adjusted to our new schedule.
You might ask, if Izzy is so stressed, why not just leave her at home? We tried once in 2013. Everyone was kenneled while we attended a funeral. We were gone for four days. Nana did fine. Billy gave Mac the cold shoulder for about a week, but was otherwise fine. But while we were gone, Izzy went on a hunger strike. She can be quite sensitive and is very social. It was the first time we had ever left her behind, and it is likely to be the last. She is the type who could expire from a broken heart. So now, we never leave her behind. We are her ohana and we won’t ever forget her.
In the coming days, we are going to debut two new series of blog posts.
The first series will be about our travels with our pets, aka Woof Trekking. The second series will be recipes inspired by our grandma, aka Grandma-Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFTs).
It may not seem like it, but these two series are deeply connected.
Four years ago, both of our grandparents passed away on the same day (as we previously blogged about in Nana the Brave!). Our grandpa’s passing was expected, while our grandma’s was not. She passed away six hours before he did, even though she was in near perfect health for an 86-year-old. They always said they wanted to pass away together and walk up to heaven holding hands. In the end, they did.
Their passing induced two major changes in our lives. The first was adopting Nana. The second was our Commemorative Road Trip along the West Coast.
We travelled up the Pacific Coast Highway, through San Francisco, and up to Oregon, where our Grandma was born. The featured image of this post is “The Torii Gate” located outside the Portland Expo Center. It features “3,500 identification tags… to represent the same number of Japanese‐Americans housed at the Portland Assembly Center located at Expo during World War II.” (Source: http://www.expocenter.org/sites/default/files/pdf/expohistory_rev_2011.pdf)
From there, we travelled to Minidoka, Idaho (see our previous blog post about Minidoka here) where she was interned during World War II and then down to Brigham City, Utah where she met our grandpa. This trip turned out to be our very first Woof Trek, and paved the way for many more excursions with our pets across the United States.
In the Woof Trekking series, we will talk about locations we have Woof Trekked to and show you that it is possible to take your pets on the road with you.
When we returned home from the Commemorative Road Trip, we had to sift through all of our grandparents belongings. During this process, we discovered several cookbooks and cooking magazines in which our grandma had made a ton of little notes and corrections to recipes.
In the Grandma-Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFT) series, we will make these recipes and share them with you, our readers! We will also be making dishes that remind us of stories about our grandparents (like our post about Chicken Souvlaki.) Grandma loved sweets, so many of the recipes will be baked goods, but every once and awhile we will also post a savory dish she liked.
We hope that you come back and read our two new blog post series. Tomorrow we will have an exciting announcement. Please stay tuned!
Happy #MeowMonday everyone!
Billy was being too cute this morning. He decided that Nana’s bed was the perfect spot for his morning power nap. He only recently discovered that dog beds can be a cozy retreat for cats, too.
Using his spidey-sense, he caught us staring at him and taking photos of him while sleeping.
“Oh, boy! The paw-parazzi are at it again.”
“Oh, hoomans. I know you love me, but please… can’t a cat get some sleep in peace?”
“I really can’t be bothered. No more adorable pictures for you!”
Then he fell back to sleep. Being a cat model is hard work.
Since 2012, we have been going on semi-annual road trips with our two dogs and cat (Izzy, Nana, and Billy). Earlier this year, we stumbled upon a book at the library that is about precisely this topic.
It seemed like fate. We had to take it home. And what’s more, when you take home a book from the library, you feel none of the bookstore guilt.
You know, when you pick out a book, read five pages, decide to buy it, then watch it sit on your shelf, accumulating layer after layer of dust. When you get books from the library, they come with a read-by date. This institution-imposed structure is exactly what we need when it comes to reading a book cover to cover.
The book is titled Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure by David Rosenfelt. It is a fantastic and interesting read. Al read the physical book, while Mac listened to the audiobook on the OneClickdigital App. Both editions are great, although there are no photos with the audiobook. That is easily remedied. You can see photos from the journey, nicknamed Woof-a-bago, on David Rosenfelt’s website at http://www.davidrosenfelt.com/photos/.
— Z.Y. DOYLE (@z_y_doyle) January 15, 2016
Rosenfelt weaves together the story of the road trip with endearing, personal stories about his dogs. Sounds simple enough, but neither the trip nor the dogs are typical. The trip was all the way from Los Angeles to Maine and the dogs were all from the shelter/pound, dogs who were either too sick or too old to be adopted from the rescue group run by David and his wife, Debbie. Yes, read this book with a tissue box.
We loved his self-deprecation and dark humor in the writing of this novel. (FYI: Mr. Rosenfelt is also a mystery author.) All dog lovers will enjoy the relatable tales of quirky rescues. We definitely recommend this book and give it 5 stars! It was the catalyst and a source of inspiration for our upcoming book, Woof-Trekking.
We hope you enjoyed this book review and that you check out “Dogtripping”!