Dogs R Us Hotel-Luxury Boarding for Your Dog

I never realized how much our family went out and about until Matthew joined our family.

Matthew is a service dog, so technically he is allowed everywhere with us, but let's be honest. He doesn't NEED to go everywhere with us, and our vehicle is too small to transport 5 people plus a 100+ dog.

When we took our first extended vacation this past June, I searched high and low for a facility that I thought would treat Matthew like a valued member of their family. And I found it at Dogs R Us Hotel. During Matthew's June visit, I had videos and photos sent to my phone three times per week. It was so nice to see that Matthew was doing well and enjoying his time on his vacation!

Dogs R Us Hotel really wants to make sure that your pet is happy and that you are comfortable leaving your treasured family member in their care. There is a very detailed intake questionnaire that you fill out a few days before your dog is set to arrive. This gives the owner time to make sure that she can accommodate all of your pets needs!

For us, we needed to make sure that Matthew would get human interaction, but would be kept away from other dogs. She was totally able to accommodate our wishes! Matthew had a private single room (with a TV!!) and was taken outside numerous times per day to play fetch, go on walks, and do his business.

Here is a short video showing Matthew having so much fun wiggling, and snorting with the ball! This is pretty typical behavior for Matty in the first few minutes of getting outside with a toy! He's just so excited. And then he settles down and just want to play catch for HOURS!

And of course, any Labrador loves to play catch in the mud!! Matthew is in pure heaven! And check out some of those mid-air catches. My dog has SKILL!

I can tell Matty is super happy because his tail is wagging and he's smiling

And then he sits and waits for the ball to be thrown again! He's in dog paradise!! Dirt on the tongue, tail wagging, happy puppy. Smile


And after he finishes his play time he loves to just come back to a quiet place and chill out!

The only thing you need to bring for your pet is their normal food and any special comfort objects from home, including any treats. Seriously, it's like sleep-away camp. For dogs. Awesome. They provide raised beds, comforters, and blankets. I know sweet Matthew was well taken care of while he was away at doggy camp.

They are convenient to Land O' Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Odessa, Keystone, and New Port Richey. They are located close to the Suncoast Parkway, so not too far from the Spring Hill or Citrus Park areas.

You can check out Dogs R Us on Facebook, or on their webpage! We've already got our next stay reserved! If you do go and check them out, please tell them I sent you over Smile

Where does your pet go when you travel?

National Dog Day-A Giveaway

We brought Matthew in to our home on January 21, 2013 and our lives have never been the same. Not only is he a trained autism service dog for our son, Ronin, but Matthew is a constant companion for me during the day while the kids are at school.

I have ALWAYS been a "big dog" person. I love big dogs. By big dogs, I mean anything over 75 pounds. Wink I grew up always having a dog in my house. We had Irish Setters, Golden Retrievers, and when I moved out on my own the first dog I got for myself was a Labrador Retriever. Matthew weighs 110lb pounds and I'm often told that he's the biggest Labrador they've ever seen, and my neighbor compares him to a polar bear. Laughing I love it.

It's so weird for non-dog people to understand (like my amazing husband) but Matthew completes me. He completes our family. He makes me laugh, and smile. I love taking him for walks, hikes, and runs and watching him frolic in the rain. I love watching him interact with my kids and how he handles Ronin is just uncanny. I love watching the kids faces light up when I meet them at the bus-stop with Matthew. And my trio LOVE to dress Matthew up, and he'll do anything for his red Kong ball. Even look like a princess!

Is Matthew perfect? No.He sheds. A lot. He poops. A lot. He barks. He digs holes to China when he is burying his bones or balls. But god, I love this dog.

And he is perfect for us.

In honor of Matthew and National Dog Day, I have partnered with Best Bully Sticks to offer ONE lucky reader a chance to win some amazing products for their own dog! 

Best Bully Sticks sent Matthew

12 Inch Jumbo Odor Free Bully Sticks (x2)

10 Inch Spiral Odor Free Bully Sticks (x2)

Monster Gullet Jerky (x1)

And he LOVED them!! Seriously. This dog can chew and he chewed through these sticks and came back begging for more!! He just could not stop licking this one and I think I even heard him moaning with delight!

And they would like to give ONE of you a 25 Pack of 6 Inch Odor Free Bully Sticks!!

It's easy to enter! Just follow the Rafflecopter directions below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My new running partner!!

I did it! I got a dog. A big beautiful 13 month old yellow lab. He's wonderful, smart, and everything I hoped he'd be :)

As I mentioned previously, we adopted him from Southeastern Guide Dogs.

Here is a picture of the trio first meeting him! He took to them SO QUICKLY and they loved him from the get-go! But who he really loves is ME Kiss I sat down on the ground and he climbed right in to my lap and began to give me wet slobbery dog kisses. I normally hate that from my dogs, but there is just something special about this dog. After a conversation with one of his trainers, we learned what his "issues" were, I took him for a walk and in about 30 minutes we all decided that he was a perfect fit for our family!

He's 13 months old, his name is Matthew (not sure if we'll be changing it) and he weighs 80 pounds. He's a big dog and going to get bigger and I LOVE IT!! If you remember from my earlier post, SE Guide Dogs has VERY strict standards for their guide dogs. Matthew had 2 issues that prevented him from going forward with the guide dog training. 1) easily distracted by squirrels and 2) doesn't like other dogs getting up in his business. In other words, he's the dog version of my son. Wink Both of those issues cause him to lurch when leading, so he flunked out of leader training! LUCKY US!!

They gave us a list off all the commands he knows (come, sit, stay, heel, go busy, down, etc....) and said he had no issues with the water meaning that he won't go crazy trying to break through the gate to go swimming in our lake, nor will he be too timid at the beach dog park. But he won't be going there anytime soon. I have to work with him on those personal space issues with other dogs. When he got home he explored every inch of our fenced in backyard. We have about 1/3 of an acre fenced, so perfect for a busy dog!

They also told me he hadn't been trained to play fetch. I knew that was going to be my first task when we got him home. Haley taught him and it seriously took 1 throw. Tongue Out

Last night I took him on a little test run and he did great! SE Guide dogs mentioned that he wasn't used to heeling right next to someone because he was on a puppy lead (the blue strap around his chest in the pic above) and they are trained to walk in front of their person. I got him a new collar and began training him right away how to heel next to me, and he caught on like no one's business! We'll practice again today, but I fully expect he'll have it down by the end of the week. Running has to go slow, though. He's still growing and they said that until he's about 18 months old to not go more than like 3 miles with him or I could damage his growth plates. But walking as much as we want is fine, so we'll probably alternate between some run/walks while he gets used to it and gets a little bit older.

I got my dog. I am so happy.