Sadie is a blue heeler – an Australian herding dog. She is the most loving, personable dog I have ever met. She is such a lovely creature and I just hate leaving her with a boarder while I go away. She is such a great companion and she loves coming on the road with me.
We stayed in Vancouver and I was suprised at how many hotels are pet-friendly! Just like all of the other amenities like bike lockers, gym, pool, I found a hotel that welcomed Sadie with open arms.
I am currently living in Austin, Texas – a very dog friendly city. There are a many off-leash run and play dog parks in my area. I did a little research before I got to Vancouver and found that there were quite a number of parks to choose from (List of off-leash dog parks from the City of Vancouver).
We went to the Dakota Memorial Dog Park – I could not believe the size of it! Eight acres, entirely fenced. Sadie was in heaven.
She ran with several Labradors, fully engaged in some mysterious game where only they knew the rules. It was one of the most nicely arranged dog parks that I have been to. There was a gravel perimeter trail that we wandered along for a while, where open spaces alternated with forested areas that Sadie just had to explore.
Talking with the other people at the park, I learned about other popular dog parks in the area. So the next day we check out the Brush Prairie off-leash Dog Park. Again, it was a huge space with 7 1/2 acres of running room.
Unlike regular parks, they let some of the grass grow extra long in some spots. What a treat for the dogs! I would see her occasionally bounding along, then duck out of sight for a few minutes as she investigated something. With Sadie I did not worry when she disappeared – she stays close to me – but I could see the high grass being a concern for some people with smaller or less well-trained pets.
I have friends in Victoria, on the Vancouver Island so we also popped over there for a couple of days. The hotel that I stayed with located in Burnaby is a small chain but they also have a location in Victoria, quite near downtown. After our great treatment in Vancouver, of course we stayed with them in Victoria, too! They are certified by the Pets Can Stay program so I knew they were good from day one.
The room we had in Victoria was just as great. Sadie had her own dog treats waiting for her in the suite and even her own towel for cleaning off her muddy paws after running around the parks!
We headed over to the De’Lish cafe for lunch (recommended by the hotel staff as being a cafe that welcomes pets). It was lovely – a beautifu, welcoming cafe and the dogs were very polite in greeting and intermingling while owners ate croissants and drank coffee. I got a foie gras biscuit for Sadie – that did not take her long to get through!
Several people mentioned that we were only one blog away from off-leash beaches. One couple with a golden retriever said that they were heading that way and invited us to join them (Victorians are so friendly!). We walked down to Beach Drive and strolled along the beach.
The next afternoon, I could tell that Sadie needed to run so we went over to MaCaulay Point Park (I met up with my friends there). It is one of the most highly recommended dog parks in Victoria.
Sadie was in her element and, once again, found a number of other dogs to play with. I get hours of entertainment watching her herding instinct. As I visited with my friends, I watched Sadie spash in the water, explore the outer path (fields, ocean, hills, a tunnel, a tower and – of course – some mud). Thank goodness the hotel staff suggested I bring the hotel towel with us!
It was such a great time on the west coast. I am sure glad to know that there are so many places that Sadie is just as welcome as I am!