Not only is Coronado Island a paradise for dogs, it’s also a great place for dog-lovers to shop! Here are 40+ highlights from 8 of our favorite stores – all of which allow your pups to peruse alongside you!
Of course we have to start with Wag’N Tails – Coronado’s quality pet store. Aside from every doggie goodie you would need, owner Melanie offers special Islander items such as City of Coronado street signs customized with your dog’s name or, if you want to get zip-code specific, there’s the Nado 92118 ribbon collar, pictured here in two colorways…
I also love their unmistakably Coronado design with the iconic Hotel Del turret! Available in all sizes from Chihuahua to Great Dane.
A variety of breeds are represented on the dog-themed greeting card carousel. I particularly like the Golden Retriever in the jaunty captain’s cap…
The mock beer, wine and liquor bottle squeaker toys are a hoot – kick back with your Dos Equis cerveza while your pups enjoy their Dos Perros…
And don’t forget to grab a chew treat to keep your dog amused while you are shopping at the rest of the stores…
Seaside Papery is always such a light-filled, prettily-arranged pleasure to visit!
There’s a lot more than stationary on offer here: books include Feed Me: 50 Home-Cooked Meals For Your Dog, while games range from Dog Bingo to a set of memory cards challenging you to match dogs to their lookalike owners!
I love the personality in the pups illustrated on this zippy pouch – especially the one wriggling/sleeping on her back!
The must-have tug toy for Californian dogs – shaped like the state and stylishly embroidered in natural tones.
If you’re looking for a dog-themed journal, Earth, Wind & Sea of Coronado currently has two great options – Top Dog by Molly & Rex with ruled pages and illustrations…
And this one-of-a-kind from Portland, Oregon based Attic Journals – “Made from books long forgotten”.
They also have ornaments and home decor items like a Bulldog for your mantel and Frenchie throw pillows. Those of you into crafts might enjoy their selection of Piperoids – Japanese origami kit that cut, fold and connect with no gluing required.
Adorn is one of my favorite shops in Coronado. Nancy has such an eye for unique, charming and witty items – the bright yellow cosmetic pouch stamped with the words: “Maybe she’s born with it, Maybe it’s an Instagram filter” is an instant classic and, coincidentally, if you shop with your dog you might even end up on Adorn’s Instagram page – @adorncoronado – like Ms Taco Bella here:
Here’s another look at the Reserved for the Dog pillow, this time accompanied by a darling Dachshund tea towel – “Half-a-dog high, a dog-and-a-half long”!
Continuing the Dachshund theme, this white china ring holder is sleek and simple…
And if you actually needed a ring or two, Adorn has a lovely array of affordable gems. I also love the selection of earrings presented on vintage black and white photo cards.
And if your dog is looking to accessorize, check out the Say What? range of humorous dog tags including Party Animal, Free Kisses and Bad to the Bone!
At the quirkier end of the spectrum, and proving especially popular is the HandiCorgi finger puppet – definitely low maintenance when it comes to walks…
Border Collies, West Highland Terriers and Scottie Dogs – all these fine Scottish breeds are represented at Celtic Corner! In amongst the kilts and tartan ties you will see Westie mugs, painted plates, shortbread tins and weekend bags…
And then there’s the range of plush toys: (cute Highland Cow too!)
They even have Collie and Scottie dog Christmas Ornaments. Also, if you are a fan of the Outlander series you may also enjoy their range of scarves, bags and brollies!
Owners Elizabeth & Jude offer beautiful artisanal items from over 40 countries and you can be assured that all their products are ethically sourced and benefitting local communities. If you look closely at this image you can spy African beaded dog collars, ceramic Frenchie coasters and hand-stitched baby booties…
Let’s take a closer look at those cutie booties…
Here we have a bowl of Nepalese dog toys masquerading as iced donuts and a pink leash made from braided fabric.
And if you don’t currently have a furry friend, the Alpaca stuffed toys are so delightfully soft and fluffy they are a close second to cuddling up with the real thing!
Finally, Spreckels Sweets & Treats at the Hotel Del Coronado has a great selection of pup-themed gifts including shark and seahorse chew toys and a cool tote bag featuring a Lab off on vacation in a woodie station wagon!
The summer vibe continues with lobster and lighthouse dog biscuits and a sunny yellow Hotel Del Coronado t-shirt with a frisbee-leaping dog logo.
On the ceramics shelf, there’s a ‘bone china’ dog bowl for your beloved and an “I Love My Fur Baby” mug for you!
On every bag, pack or tin of chocolate and candy you’ll see the black Spreckels pup logo – which means it’s time for your treat now! Enjoy!
If you now want to walk off those calories, check out this post describing the most dog-friendly walks on Coronado Island:
This review is supported by Furbo, who kindly gifted Bodie with this nifty gadget so we could give you the lowdown! All thoughts and experiences are our very own.
MISS YOU ALREADY
Wonder what your darling doggie gets up to when you’re not home?
Worry that he or she could be barking, stress-pacing or pining?
Wish there was a way to send him or her a little love and reassurance – or better yet a tasty snack to break up your time apart?
Want to watch over your pup while they are sleeping and/or gaze fondly when you should be doing your work?
I have always felt a combination of guilty and anxious leaving Bodie home alone, even when I’ve taken him out for an exhaustive walk and all he really wants to do is splay out and sleep, I still feel uneasy telling him, ‘You’re going to stay!’ He watches me so expectantly as I get ready and when he hears the word ‘stay’ he sighs and turns away from me, flumping down on his mat, resigned to his fate. Which is better than when he used to throw himself down on the doorstep like a dead weight and refuse to move, acting like he was about to draw his last breath in a dramatic rendition of a Shakespearean play.
When a neighbour commented on his disruptive barking, I left my phone on record and was shocked to hear how long he could sustain his vocal outrage. Mind you, the neighbour later said she stuck her hand through the letterbox to try and pat him and calm him down, which may have had something to do with it. Of course I had to go out without my phone that day and I didn’t really want to buy a tape recorder just to tell me that my dog was barking in my absence. There had to be a better way…
And then along comes Furbo, solving all these problems and even adding some doggie bonuses!
It’s a beauty – the sleek, shiny body has a bamboo topper, which makes me long for a Hello Hoku home – you know the look: an abundance of white surfaces, flooded with bright natural light. Bodie and I are currently visiting my mum in Devon but it looked just as stylish next to her cut crystal and little ivy plant! (Exact dimensions 15 x 12 x 22.5cm)
You know how we humans like products celebrities use? Well these celebrity dogs are also big fans of the Furbo: Harlow & Sage, Manny the Frenchie (who I just met at Superzoo in Las Vegas!), Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund, Elsa from Paws Across Britain and, of course, Hello Hoku!
These words normally chill my non-millennial heart but it was genuinely a breeze: plug in the Furbo until it beams a green light at its base, download the Furbo app (cute little yellow tab with a white line dog motif) to your smartphone, connect to your wifi and you’re good to go. (You can even operate from your Apple watch!) When you’re ready you can add a little profile pic of your pup with some basic info like breed, age and weight. Oh and don’t forget to add the treats – just lift the bamboo lid and tip them in.
Bodie’s initial meet and greet with the Furbo (prior to plug in and set-up). Seems to be going well…
The Furbo can hold 100 little pieces – the optimum size/shape is a round treat with a 1cm diameter. (Think training treats like Zuke’s Mini Naturals). The light turns from yellow to blue when in use, as these are the two colours dogs can see best.
I know this is technically part of the Set Up but I was so keen to see the Furbo in action, I began before making any custom adjustments. Later I increased the speaker volume and recorded my own Snacks Call. I also set the Barking Detection to Medium – this is really handy because, if triggered, you receive an instant barking notification when you’re not home and then you can either call to your dog and soothe him with your words or distract him with a treat.
FURBO CAMERA & VIDEO
The camera (1080p HD) has great wide-angled lens capabilities and can take in an entire room – in our case from the window sill to the back of the sofa, which amazingly Bodie never secretly jumps on! The livestream video can be set to high, medium or low quality (1080p, 720p or 360p) and there’s even Night Vision!
Here he comes! Lured by the sound of the treat popping out!
xFURBO ON YOUR PHONE
The home screen on your phone shows you:
1) the live feed of the room
2) your dog’s profile
3) how many times you have ‘played’ today – as in how many interactions or treat propulsions.
4) a link to all the questions you might have/support you might need
5) a link to the overall menu
Tap the image of the room and it will fill the screen. On the left you have the option to take a photo or a video, in the middle you have the icon for the treat (tap it and you can see 1-4 ping out) and on the right you have the microphone icon which means you can have the sound on or off. (My friend’s hairdresser keeps his phone propped up on his station on silent so he can keep an eye on his pug!)
THE FURBO FUN BEGINS
It look a moment for Bodie to associate the sudden treat windfall with the white machine on the side table, but then I followed the training video (just respond to the invitation to watch) and began hand-feeding him when he acknowledged the whirring-click sound it made as it propels the treat. Once he had made the positive association (rather like clicker training) I could step out of the room and he would hear the sound and go trotting over to investigate, snuffling on the floor and gathering up these doggie versions of ‘pennies from heaven’.
Ultimately Bodie will learn to pose and smile for the camera, I’m sure. For now – contrary as ever!
I’ve only just begun my adventures with this clever device so I’ll update this post as I proceed – my next goal is to get Bodie to respond to my verbal requests over the microphone, like ‘sit’ and ‘could you get the dinner on for when I get home…’
At £249 you want assurance that it’s worth the investment and I feel very lucky to have been able to try this out and see its value firsthand. If you think of spreading the cost over a year it’s just 68p a day for pup peace of mind! (And of course it will last you many years, so even more of a bargain!)
I just love it when cool, modern tech solves an age-old problem! I used to feel nervous anticipation every time I was coming home from several hours absence – half of me couldn’t wait to see Bodie and the other half was fretting, ‘I hope he’s alright!’ and now I know exactly how he’s doing, plus I’ve got some cute photos and videos of the love of the my life that I wouldn’t normally have! In a nutshell, the Furbo puts the fun in functional – reassuring, makes me feel more connected and with the treat function, I think this might be Bodie’s new best friend!
WANT YOUR OWN FURBO?
The Furbo is available on Amazon (where it’s the #1 bestselling dog camera) or you can buy it direct from the Furbo Shop. Lots more info at: Furbo.com
Amazon currently have a special offer if you purchase with Amazon Prime – £199!!
The Furbo should be set on a stable, flat surface. (It has self-adhesive feet.)
The Furbo is for use only with dogs, it is not suitable for cats.
Your dog will still be just as excited to see you when you get home!
TELL ME MORE!
I’d love to hear about your experiences with Furbo and your furry friend! Can you get them to respond to your commands? Any classic pics? Do drop me a line!
It’s amazing how much exceptional beauty can be packed into a mile-wide island. Dog-friendly Coronado lies just across the bay from the sunny city of San Diego and offers an irresistible mix of tropical paradise, quaint village life and megabucks glamour. This is Bodie’s Happy Place, guaranteed to add a jaunty spring to his step and here we show you the very best of dog-friendly Coronado…
This pic was snapped on our first week as Coronado residents and makes me smile because it’s such a Mad Dogs & Englishwoman way to walk your dog!
Photo: Emily O’Neill
Bayside is where we begin our day, strolling parallel with downtown San Diego. Sometimes Bodie swims out, looking like he’s making a break for the mainland!
I never was an early morning person, until I saw this…
One night I heard puffing and swishing in the water and two dolphins were swimming through the reflections of the city lights…
One day I caught sight of our reflection in the windows of Candelas restaurant and I got chills realizing that Bodie and I were no longer just looking on, we had become part of this scene…
Every morning and afternoon volunteers at PAWS for Coronado take out the darling rescue dogs in their cute little yellow ADOPT ME! vests. Bodie and I often pause for a chat to hear about the new dogs and success stories, like three-year-old Chessie here who found her forever home last month.
This stretch always prompts a stop, drop and roll in Bodie – often to the amusement of the terrace diners twirling their taglietelle at Il Fornaio.
Passing the paddle board and kayak hire, you come to Ferry Landing. Dogs are not currently allowed on board the ferry but there are dog biscuits ahoy at the Coronado Coffee Company kiosk and shops like Miss Match are more than happy to have your furry friend join you as you peruse their easy-breezy California fashions.
BAY VIEW PARK
From Centennial Park turn right on 1st St, walk six picturesque blocks and you will come to our favourite bayside view. No matter what is going on in your life you can sit here and feel awash with tranquility and gratitude.
If you continue on 1st you will hit the Navy base (which takes up over half the island and is actually dog-friendy if you have a military ID!) but now we’re going to scoot back to Ferry Landing and show you what you see if you head towards the bridge…
CORONADO BAY BRIDGE
This two mile long thrill-ride makes you feel as if your car is about to do a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and take flight… When I was looking for somewhere for Bodie and I to live, some man yelled at us in Little Italy and my first impulse was to scoot to Coronado to make it all better. I remember being suspended over the glimmering water of the bay, looking ahead to the fairytale island and I heard myself saying out loud, ‘Now this is the fantasy!’ And then it became a daily reality…
Here’s Bodie on the little wooden jetty opposite the Coronado Island Marriot Resort… One time we walked past and a young girl was serenading her sun-lounging family with her ukelele. I’m telling you – this place is Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Which could explain why Wizard of Oz author Frank L Baum wrote 3 of his Oz series books here. You can view the historic house he rented at 1101 Star Park Circle and read more Coronado/Oz connections here.)
Continue along the palm-lined pathway and you come to Tidelands Park, bustling with picnic-ers and sports teams on the weekends. Keep an eye on the water – you can often see hulking grey warships gliding back to base, sometimes with all the saluting sailors lined up on the deck.
Once Bodie and I rounded the corner and saw hundreds of immaculately turned out military personnel honoring a fallen Navy SEAL. It was so moving watching those star spangled banners fluttering in the breeze. America is the most patriotic country I have known and it quite brings a tear to your eye.
One evening they had an al fresco screening of Some Like It Hot and everyone cheered as the legendary Hotel Del Coronado came into view – and then squealed as the nightly sprinkler system went off, scattering all the movie fans!
CORONADO DOG BEACH
We’re crossing now to the other side of the island to visit Coronado’s famed Dog Beach – the palest, softest sand Bodie’s paws have ever known! Bodie once got into a tug of war with a Frenchie and, despite his famous underbite, Bodie was no match for the Frenchie’s tenacity. So he returned to his solo digging…
Amazingly we would often have the stretch of Pacific surf all to ourselves…
You can dog-walk the rest of the length of Coronado Beach by taking Ocean Boulevard – lined with stunning mansions on the left and this rocky sidewalk to the right. There are plenty of benches to pause and take in the scene…
This is also where we took the profile shot you see in the sidebar on the right of every blog post! It’s not the perfect pic – I look like I’ve got a comb-over and Bodie appears to have just one ear but, as with life, grins trump flaws!
This is where everyone comes to watch the sunset, sitting or standing on the seawall, watching the sky conjure its unique artwork.
Sometimes its a dreamy pastel, other times the intensity of the colours is like the wind is blowing across a paint palette…
He loved posing on the rocks but the next time we visited he just wanted a nap…
Even on a grey day you can still fill your lungs with the freshest sea air…
HOTEL DEL CORONADO
The most iconic sight on Coronado is of course the Hotel Del, built in 1888 and visited by everyone from Doris Day and Cary Grant to Franklin D Roosevelt and Michelle Obama. The wow factor never wanes – I get tingles every time we pass by.
The Del is synonymous with Some Like It Hot, the 1959 Billy Wilder classic named the best comedy of all-time by the American Film Institute. Here the cross-dressing Lemmon engages with Captain-dressing Curtis and beach-robed Monroe!
Forty miles of wind-sculpted sands…
It seems unfathomable that this magnificent Lawrence of Arabia experience awaits just off Highway 101. Here’s your paw-by-paw guide to the dog-friendly Oregon Dunes…
We pulled into the shady carpark and followed the signs guiding us along a wooden walkway, glimpsing lush forest and wildflowers…
Suddenly the scene opened out and revealed this evergreen-trimmed marshland, complete with free-form lily pond.
Back on the trail it seemed unlikely that anything remotely beachy lay ahead…
But then trees gave way to swishy grasses and sand. So much sand…
The dunes reach heights of 500m above sea level and welcome off-road vehicles, hikers, horseback riders and campers but this day there wasn’t a soul around so I released Bodie, who looked like he was going to take off and never be seen again!
But then he curved back round towards me…
Pounding gleefully – breathless and grinning!
I whipped him into such a playful frenzy then called ‘Chase me!’ which was when he brought me down, chomping through the denim on my thigh! (You can read more about that farrago in Dog Travel Disasters!)
If you keep on trekking you can make it all the way to the ocean. We wished we had planned to spend the entire day here, it feels so good to be filled with wonder and entirely free from every day concerns.
We returned to marvel further when Bodie was a little older, now more interested in burrowing than bounding. As the sun began to set he seemed particularly wistful…
And then curled up in his sand pit and went to sleep, as if this was our new home…
IN CONCLUSION: The Oregon Dunes truly are one of the great dog-friendly wonders of the United States. Pack a picnic in a backpack and feel like one of the great explorers as you and your pup roam this sandy wonderland.
Dog-friendly Oregon Dunes run from Florence, OR to Coos Bay, OR. Google map.
EXTRACT FROM BODIE ON THE ROAD – THE DOGGED PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
We’re on our way to see a 60-year-old dog that generates more than two billion dollars in annual sales, thanks to its licensing deals with the likes of Hallmark and Ty Warner of Beanie Baby – we’re talking SNOOPY!
Specifically we’re visiting the Charles M Schulz museum in Santa Rosa. When I say we… Bodie gets to play in the maze shaped like Snoopy’s head and sit on a bench with a fiberglass statue but he’s not allowed in the museum itself. Handily there’s a doggie daycare just minutes away so he can rough-house with the boys while I tiptoe around the exhibits.
This really is a splendid museum – spacious, airy and both immaculately and thoughtfully put together. With nearly 18,000 Peanuts strips to choose from, the theme of the main room is always changing. Today the focus is heartbreak.
The opening panel talks about ‘the disappointment Charlie Brown feels each Valentine’s Day’ and Lucy’s ‘unrelenting pursuit of Schroeder.’
We learn that Schulz drew upon his own life experiences to create several recurring plots focussed on lost love. Charlie Brown’s Little Red-Haired Girl was inspired by memories of a former sweetheart, Donna Mae Johnson, who was proposed to by two men on the same day and did not choose Schulz.
He said: ‘I can think of no more emotionally damaging loss than to be turned down by someone whom you love very much.’
And to see your beloved marry another so soon after? That’s not something you get over in a finger-snap. Though in real-life Schulz had dated his co-worker for three years, in the strips this pain took the form of unrequited love.
‘I’d give anything to talk with that little red-haired girl…’ Charlie Brown moons in frame one. ‘The amazing thing is that I know I’m the sort of person she’d like. I mean I’m not rough or crude or anything. I’m not the greatest person who ever lived, of course, but after all who is? I’m just a nice sort of guy who…’ Cut to last frame with his head hung low. ‘…never gets to meet little red-haired girls!’
Even Snoopy isn’t immune to heartache – one of the cutest sequences shows him snuffling at his dog bowl with a series of thought bubbles: ‘I must have been crazy to fall in love. I thought I could forget her but I can’t… What a life… you try for a little happiness and what do you get?’ Cut to him lying on top of his doghouse, his classic profile altered by a huge round belly. ‘A few memories and a fat stomach.’
My hand instinctively moves to my own tummy. It’s so true and of course the irony is that, in life, the good memories can cause you more pain than the bad. Like now, I can think of Ryan and I side by side in the kitchen, sipping wine, swaying to the music, smiling at as we chopped and stirred dinner. It makes my head feel swimmy and my eyes prickle. I blink vigorously. This won’t do! I can’t have my vision blurring, I won’t be able to read the next display.
The more I read the more I realise how little I knew about the depth of these cartoons, their subtle political and social commentary, Schulz campaigning for equal pay for women in sports, as well as the angst and vulnerabilities of the characters… Take Snoopy when he tells Charlie Brown that he’s getting married to ‘the most wonderful girl in the world.’
‘All my life I’ve felt unsettled, sort of up in the air. Not any more. The beagle has landed!’
Of course, come the wedding day, the bride runs off with Snoopy’s brother Spike.
Romantic love is such a minefield. No wonder people value the love of their pets so much. One of the few sure things in life.
Upstairs I take a look at Sparky’s Studio. (That’s what his friends and family called him.) He’s quite the opposite of me, believing a change of scenery makes work more difficult – for him coming to the same room everyday was ‘the only guarantee of keeping going’. I may not relate but I do like hearing how he’d often slide back the patio doors and join his children playing by the pool. So he did find love and marriage, first with Joyce (they had four children together) then with Jean who he was with for 27 years, until his death in 2000.
He really seems a lovely man with a gentle, v-neck-sweater handsomeness that puts me in mind of Andy Williams. I’m surprised to hear him described as melancholy. It makes me sad to think of him sad but as one of his close friend’s said, ‘We’ve all got some melancholy in us, Sparky used his to make us laugh.’
I’m sitting in the screening room now, watching a documentary on his life.
Apparently the family dog that inspired Snoopy was quite the wayward character, given to ingesting tacks and even, on one occasion, a double-edged razor blade. He’d often disappear for hours and the only way the family could get him to come home was for the dad to drive around the neighborhood honking his horn.
The dog would come running and jump in the front seat, never happier than when he was riding alongside his master.
Just like Bodie!
Schulz talks about the comfort and security of being in the back seat with your parents up front, taking all responsibility for the direction and the driving. But part of being an adult is ‘being reconciled with the fact that you can’t go back, you cannot sleep in the back seat any longer, you have to sit in the front, you have to drive your own way.’
This whole experience has been way more moving than I was expecting and I wander back outside in something of a daze.
It’s a little too soon to pick up Bodie so I head over to the Warm Puppy Café, which I’m rather surprised to see is housed in a large Austrian chalet. Even more unexpected is the full-size ice rink within. Cue lots of teenage girls with buns and mums with bedazzled hoodies. Apparently Schulz had a long association with ice sports and I have to say the flagstone fireplace is most welcoming. I snug up with my hot chocolate wishing I wasn’t still full of breakfast so I could take advantage of the Snoopy Special – hot dog and chips served in Snoopy’s Own Dog Dish!
I peer deeper into the flames. So. Let me get this straight: the man fulfilled his childhood dreams, led a successfully creative life, made millions, had a loving wife and children and he still got the blues? Is there no cure for the human condition? I remember Shirley MacLaine talking about the reasons she got into spirituality – since she had already acquired and achieved all the things that most people spend their lives in pursuit of she knew for a fact that money and fame wasn’t the answer, there had to be more. I’ve certainly read my share of spiritual and self-help books and they do put you on a better path. But I have to say, in terms of actual tangible, instant gratification happiness, a dog is far more effective.
In gratitude to Bodie I visit the vast gift emporium across the way and purchase a cuddly Snoopy for him to chew on. Well, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there…
ADDRESS: 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa, California 95403
PHONE: (707) 579-4452
WHERE TO STAY: On our first visit we spent the night 20 minutes away in an aptly Snoopy-esque ‘dog house’ in Petaluma. It was absolutely adorable with a mini kitchen and circular bed but is not currently listed online. (Bodie has a particularly ‘hang dog’ expression because I was making him pose in the drizzle.)
The second time we visited we stayed at The Sandman Inn which offers reasonable rates (we paid $85 for the room and $25 pet fee) for a well-appointed motel just 5 minutes drive from the museum. (There’s a grassy area for your pup and it’s also walking distance from Trader Joe’s and Wash Plus – just incase it’s time to catch up on your travel laundry and stock up on healthy road snacks!)
b To celebrate the US launch of BODIE ON THE ROAD: Travels with My Rescue Pup in the Dogged Pursuit of Happiness (out now!) we have rustled up 20 goodies from our favorite pit-stops from Los Angeles to Portland and you can win the WHOLE DARN LOT!
Yep, that’s one lucky person winning all 20 items – everything from Kennel N.5 dog furfume to Bo Derek’s Pet Care range and a gift box of Moonstruck’s Chocolate Lab truffles!
Have a peruse of Bodie’s Road Trip Booty then we’ll tell you exactly how to enter the easy-peasy comp!
When Bodie and I stopped for coffee in Los Olivos, just up the road from Santa Barbara, we saw a stunning blonde cycling down the road. ‘Look Bodie – Bo D!’ At least that’s what I wished I’d said. Anyway. Turns out this animal-loving movie icon has a wonderful Pet Care range and you will be receiving the trio of Shampoo, Conditioner and Tearless Face Wash, featuring the special ingredient of Meadowfoam – given its name because when in bloom is resembles white foam blowing on the ocean… Sigh.
NOTE: I was lucky enough to interview Bo Derek on location in the Santa Ynez Valley so keep an eye out on the blog for a special post with her discussing all things dog!
A truly enchanting experience awaits both you and your dog at Ajne organic perfumier. There’s an Alice in Wonderland quality to the ornate bottles set on gilded tables and it’s a fascinating process matching a scent to your current mood and aspirations. Bodie keeled over in a state of bliss when owner/creator Jane introduced him to Kennel N.5 furfume – perfect for rescues and designed to calm the nerves. Perhaps, as with Bodie, people will also stop and gasp, “Your dog smells so good!”
The original Moonstruck Chocolate Café in Portland looks like something out of a 1940s movie. Peering inside, my eyes lit up at the sight of the Chocolate Lab Truffles, complete with darling heart-shaped nose and piped collar. I treated myself to one but you will do 18 times better with an 18-piece gift box! I also wanted to show you the ultra-cute Critter Collection which adds a cat, mouse and rabbit to the mix – the perfect gift for any animal-lover or pet-sitter in your life!
Ever since laying hands/paws on Timberwolf’s Alpine leash at Diggidy Dog Pet Boutique in Carmel I’ve been as loyal as a dog to its robust weave and non-slip, cushioned-grip handle. No more palms that look like they’ve been roping cattle! Timberwolf will surprise you with one of the 20 colorways, including the intriguingly-named Infinity and Gravity. So far Bodie has sported the Burgundy, Chocolate and Green combo with collar (pictured) but Aquamarine is on our summer shopping list. I know you’ll love it because it’s sturdy but so comfy.
One of the cutest moments on our road trip was watching Bodie and his big dog love Winnie taking turns to lap at a little tub of creamy chill in Molly’s Portland garden. This really is Bodie’s favorite treat for a sunny day and we love that The Bear & The Rat use natural ingredients including real yoghurt. (You may also recognize the product from Shark Tank!) You will be winning 2 boxes with 4 tubs in each, one Bacon & Peanut Butter flavor, the other Banana & Peanut Butter, as pictured here…
(Road-trip Reading from California’s Central Coast)
Bodie and I love this magazine soooo much. The other day I found an issue from 2009 – and I’ve moved house 4 times in between so it goes to show just how treasured these tomes are! Each season it brims over with good-hearted dog stories and I’m chuffed to say that Bodie and I made our debut on the pages of the Summer 2018 issue (read it here) and you can look out for us again in the Autumn 2018 issue as you’ll be receiving a year’s subscription!
Continuing the pin-up girl motif… This is the romantic comedy I was supposed to be home writing when Bodie and I took off on our road trip! Bodie actually plays himself, but is owned by Hollywood leading lady Marina Ray. The story is told from the perspective of her make-up artist, Stella, and most of the action takes place at the wondrous Hearst Castle, where the movie stars from the Golden Age would chink champagne. You’ll also learn more about William Randolph Hearst’s great love for Dachshunds! (I’ll be sending you a signed UK edition.)
Everyone loves Snoopy but you’ll fall in love with the artist who created him at the Charles M Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. As well as two tickets to view the amazing range of exhibits (including an exact replica of his studio) you will receive a Peanuts plush, either for you to cuddle or your dog to tussle! 2018 is an extra special time to visit as there are lots of special events planned to celebrate the Year of the Dog, including local artists painting actual dog houses for a charity auction!
This aptly-named bar is where Bodie and I toasted the end of our road trip, next to one of the fairytale-like windmills in the Danish community of Solvang. Your gift is a surprise but I for one love the vintage print Wandering Dog scoop-neck t-shirts – I bought one on our visit and then promptly left it on the patio of our dining stop so I’m due a purchase on my next visit – June 15th 2018 for a book signing!
This charming independent coffee shop was the pick-up point for Bodie’s Portland pack run, and basically made me want to move to the Alphabet District so this could be my daily latte-and-laptop spot. You will receive a sleek 16oz double-walled Travel Mug in either aqua or white, with the prettiest Dragonfly Coffee House logo so you can sip in style. (And if you’re ever in the hood you get a 25 cent discount for using your own mug!)
This whopping 49-foot chainsaw sculpture of logger Paul Bunyan lured us off the 101 and into to the Trees of Mystery… Before we knew it, Bodie and I were soaring level with the Redwood treetops aboard the Sky Trail gondola. You will receive two tickets to this A+ roadside attraction plus a Coastal Redwood Sapling, ready to plant. They grow everywhere from Cali to Georgia to Florida so before too long you will have your very own mysterious tree!
After attending a moving and inspiring Guide Dogs for the Blind Graduation Ceremony at the campus (click to learn more about the tours in California or Oregon) we’re gifting two items to shield you and your road-trip-mobile (aka car) from the sun. On the left (with Zoe) is a navy trucker cap with cotton twill front panels, mesh mid and back and 7 position adjustable snap. On the right (with Connor) is a collapsible nylon sunshade measuring 50″ by 30″, easy to fold and store in a seat pocket.
Oprah called her “a life coach for dogs and their people!”, she’s worked with A-listers from Natalie Portman to Owen Wilson and for me she appeared as a Guardian Angel at the most timely moment – Bodie had just run into traffic as we were headed for Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara and I was so shaken up I thought I’d never again get up the nerve to let him off leash. But then I saw Tamar Geller strolling on the sand and I knew everything was going to be alright! You will receive signed copies of Tamar’s two wonderful Loved Dog books.
NOTE: I just witnessed Tamar working with a beautiful but anxious Rottweiler mix at her home in Bel Air and saw improvements in under an hour. Post coming soon!
It was 6.30am when Bodie and I rolled up to Yo El Rey Roasting in Calistoga. There was such a sense of peace here amid the haiku and artworks, I wondered, “Is there really an option to unhook from all the mind-mangling media, to snug yourself between a couple of signal-blocking mountain ranges and enjoy the more sensory pleasures in life?” Voted Best Coffeehouse in the Napa County, you will receive a bag of their fine fair trade beans and a special Organic Yo el Rey Exfoliating Coffee Soap!
Bodie and I breakfasted al fresco at Mother’s Bistro in Portland – cornflake-encrusted challah French Toast for me and a side of crispy bacon for him. I love the whole vibe of this place – rustic but glam and so welcoming. Not only will you be receiving one of their signature chandelier t-shirts (with Call Your Mother written on the back!) but executive chef/owner Lisa Schroeder got her sous chef Daron to create a special Pumpkin & Peanut Butter dog treat recipe, just for this competition – because Dog Mamas are mother’s too!