Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Two Gals and a Dream Cottage

DD and I have taken a girls’ weekend getaway vacation twice a year for the last couple years, and this past weekend was our first four-day getaway for 2015. I thought my blogging buddies might like to come along for the ride. šŸ˜€

Two years ago we found an immaculate Victorian cottage for rent that’s only half an hour away and within walking distance of the beach. We were thrilled, especially because it’s clean, cozy, and itsĀ ambiance has become a sort of muse that inspires our writing (we’re both writers).

Nothing promotes creativity like inspirational new surroundings where we can shut off our phones and focus on writing…and a bit of fun…okay, way more than a bit of fun…

We’ve been going there for two years now – it’s like our own home away from home (without all the work!).

How charming is this?!

How charming is this?!

It may not be far, but it’s a whole other world, and our four-day break is incredibly refreshing.

A small section of the living room, where we spend most of our writing time snuggled on the couch. :D

A small section of the living room, where we spend most of our writing time snuggled on the couch. šŸ˜€

One corner of the bright, homey kitchen.

One corner of the bright, homey kitchen.

Dining room complete with china and crystal in case a formal dinner party should suddenly erupt... ;)

Dining room complete with china and crystal in case a formal dinner party should suddenly erupt… šŸ˜‰

Plus three bedrooms upstairs: one in blues, one in pinks, and the other in deep rich red, all with coordinated quilts, period accessories and lovely furniture. The upstairs bathroom is done in lavender and white and still has is claw-foot tub and pedestal sink. So sweet.

Lovely.

Lovely.

The town is filled with Victorian beauties and has a LOT of history behind it.

Look at this beauty just a couple of blocks away!

Look at this incredible beauty just a couple of blocks away!

Ā They call these the "Painted Ladies" of the town - two facing rows of gorgeous Victorian homes right across the street from the beach. Prices? A cool $1.5 million (for those needing repairs) and UP. Beautiful, yes, but location is everything!

They call these the “Painted Ladies” of the town – two rows of gorgeous Victorian homes facing a central parkland and right across the street from the beach. Prices? A cool $1.5 million (for those needing repairs) and UP…way up. Most of the oceanfront homesĀ are Grand Dames that make these look like little sisters. Beautiful, yes, but location is everything!

This is a single family home with a beautiful breezy view from every level.

This is a single family home with a beautiful breezy view from every level.

Some of the town’s most interestingĀ history is still visibleĀ today. There were religious Camp Meetings during the 19th century at the church on aĀ large lot of land capping offĀ the end of the Painted Ladies’ street…

The church/auditorium that is the centerpiece of the Tent Colony.

The church/auditorium that is the centerpiece of the Tent Colony.

…and families would stake claims to land on the same lot where they put up actual tents in the summer to be close to where the religious services were held. There were originally 600 tents, now there are 114 permanent “tents”.

More permanent “Tent Colony” structures of today. Furnishings and rugs are removed for the winter and brought back in spring/summer, and a canvas tent is erectedĀ over the wooden frame in front of the wood structure you see – the wood structure is only storage. There’s no real privacy.Ā As tiny as they are,Ā “tenters” have made them quite homey and cozy inside!

These “tents” are passed down from generation to generation; one couple has rented their tent for the past 75 years. “Tenters”Ā love the simplicity of their little homesĀ and usually spend all summer there. Quite the juxtaposition against the neighboring Painted Ladies.

Gorgeous Victorian gingerbread, but definitely more difficult to maintain than the tent homes!

Gorgeous Victorian gingerbread, but definitely more difficult to maintain than the tent homes!

I'd love to see that room!

I’d love to see that room!

Imagine the ocean view from that top balcony!

Imagine the ocean view from that top balcony!

No two are exactly alike, from color to gingerbread design.

No two are exactly alike, from color to gingerbread design.

Details, details everywhere.

Details, details everywhere.

Four blocks from our cottageĀ is the town center with NO chain stores, just small, independent shops, indieĀ restaurants, bakeries, etc. Just a few blocks farther is the ocean.

I love the beach during the off season, you wouldn't find me anywhere near it during summer with the crazy crowds!

I love the beach during the off season, you wouldn’t find me anywhere near it during summer with the crazy crowds!

It’s a walker’s paradise and the people are all so friendly. And so many people have dogs that a lot of the shop owners leave bowls of water outside for passing pups! šŸ™‚ In fact, one shop has several bulletin boards with pictures of the pups who visit. šŸ˜€

Unfortunately, Daisy couldn’t come along with us, but I don’t think she was too upset – she had Daddy all to herself!

I love Daddy time!

I love Daddy time!

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

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Choosing a Dog Kennel

The thought of leaving Daisy at a kennel doesn’t exactly thrill us, but we have no choice. Personally, a dogsitter isn’t an option for us; we just don’t like the idea of someone having complete access to our home. That’s simply a personal preference.

Which leaves the kennel. We want a place that will treat Daisy like one of the family but won’t cost us an exorbitant amount of money. We also want to get the same Daisy back – when I was a kid, we put our dog in the local kennel for a week while we were away. In those years, there was no discussion about which kennel to choose, you just put your dog in whatever kennel was near you and that was that. Well, we did NOT get the same dog back – she sat with her back to us in the car and she didn’t interact with us for quite a while – over a week – essentially she was snubbing us. She seemed hurt and angry that we’d abandoned her like that. Thinking back, I’ll bet the kennel care wasn’t very good. I don’t want that to happen again.


I'm all suited up and ready to go!

Two places were recommended by our vet’s office, which we’ll check out soon – we’re not actually going anywhere now, but we want to be prepared and not leave it until the last minute. I made a checklist of things to check for, all recommended by experts:

1. Take your dog with you so she’ll have some recollection of the place. Her first visit there shouldn’t be the one where she’s suddenly left without you.

2. Do a “pop-in” visit – any kennel that needs notice that you’ll be coming in may have something to hide. You don’t want them on their best behavior for new clients, you want to see them “as is” – the real thing that your dog will be exposed to.

3. A “pop-in” visit will also show you whether climate controls are being used – the kennels should be air conditioned during the summer and heated during the winter. Your dog needs the same conditions she’s used to at home and needs relief from extreme temperatures and sun exposure.

4. If your dog isn’t used to being with other dogs or you don’t want him socializing without you being there, make sure the kennel offers private one-on-one outdoor playtime between a staff member and your dog, without other dogs being in the play yard.

5. Some places charge extra for “cuddle time”, extra play time, administering medicine, etc. These places usually have very low daily rates, but when you add in all the extras you may need or want, you could be looking at a far more expensive daily rate. And the services that are included with the low daily rate are usually very minimal, so check the details to make sure your dog can tolerate minimal care. One low-priced place we checked out only offered 20 minutes of human interaction per day, and every extra 15 minutes would cost more; for Daisy, 20 minutes is far too little. She’s used to much more attention, so we need a place with more human contact.

6. There is a possibility that if your dog needs veterinary attention for any reason while you’re away, the kennel could charge an hourly rate plus a mileage fee to get your dog to the vet and back. Some other kennels only use their own visiting vets, which still entails a fee but you don’t know what kind of care that unknown vet is giving your dog. Check before booking to see what the kennel’s practices are for emergency veterinary care.

7. Does the kennel accept pit bulls,Ā  rotweilers, or other potentially vicious dogs that might view your small dog asĀ  a target? Pit bulls, for instance, are known as great escape artists, so you need to know what other kinds of dogs are being housed there.

8. How many dogs do they accept at one time? The more “house guests” they have, the less time they’ll have to devote to each dog, depending on the size of the staff.

9. Are fences and protective barriers secure? Does the kennel smell? Is it clean? Do they check dogs for fleas, parasites, etc. that could possibly infect your dog? Do they require proof of all vaccinations? Is the staff friendly? Is someone there around the clock or only during office hours?

10. Make sure the kennel allows you to bring your dog’s favorite toys and/or bedding. If your dog is on a special diet or you don’t want him given different food or treats, make sure they allow you to do that. Some kennels charge extra for that service too.

11. Size matters. Your dog’s run should give her enough room to trot around and wag her tail – 4’x10′ is the recommended minimum for a medium-sized dog.

It can’t hurt to check potential kennels out with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against them. A perfect rating with no registered complaints doesn’t mean there are no problems with the kennel, but a failing rating can help to eliminate a kennel right away.

Some kennels offer round-the-clock Doggie Cams so you can see your dog online any time of the day or night.

If you notice, there’s one important underlying criteria here – the kennel should suit your dog’s personality and the lifestyle she’s accustomed to. If you have a rugged, outdoor dog who doesn’t need pampering or cuddling, then those things wouldn’t be of consideration to you. But a family pet who’s used to a lot of affection and attention may not be well suited to a minimalist type of kennel and could suffer from her stay, sometimes with long-term consequences.

In the end, be as careful about choosing your dog’s kennel as you would about choosing your child’s preschool or summer camp!

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America’s Most Dog-Friendly City

::Dreaming about dog-friendly vacations::

Taking a break from journaling Daisy stories to pass along some cool info – apparently Dog Fancy magazine has crowned Provincetown, Massachusetts as “Dog Town USA 2010”; it’s being touted as the most dog-friendly city in the country.

And what better time of year to go to Massachusetts than fall — autumn in New England! Breathtakingly gorgeous! And now we can share those stunning fall colors with our four-legged pals!

Apparently the entire town is open to dogs: from hotels and restaurants to shops and even banks! And it has the country’s second best dog park (Pilgrim Bark Park), according to Dog Fancy.

There’s a great article about it here: http://tinyurl.com/2uypq3f, on About.com.

I think we may have to change our fall travel plans! šŸ™‚

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