By Maggie Mae…with Ronni Diamondstein
One day, when I was walking with my owner, we saw our single neighbor Stephanie drive in from Kennebunkport, Maine. In her car were her two Shih Tzus, Abby and Sam. When my owner asked her why she had the dogs with her she said, “They are great company! I travel with my dogs a couple of times a year.” On this trip she had stayed at the pet-friendly Hounds Tooth Inn, and the experience had been wonderful.
“What a good idea!” I thought and I looked up at my owner who I hoped was thinking the same thing. One of her favorite places to visit is The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and sure enough, when she checked their website she found that it was a pet-friendly lodging. So at the age of ten months, I spent two days in the Berkshires to see how both of us would fare.
My owner had always gotten a warm welcome at The Red Lion Inn, and I did as well. I was greeted with a treat and was happy to find my own crate in our room which was conveniently located near an exit for easy access. When I couldn’t go out with my owner, I rested comfortably and felt safe in her crate.
I felt like a celebrity. With my outgoing and friendly personality and very unusual markings, people regularly stopped us to meet me and chat with my owner. I had a great time and I think she did too. Even when I didn’t accompany her, I helped her meet people. One evening as she dined alone at the Inn, people at the next table struck up a conversation asking where “Mags” was! They had overheard her talking to me earlier and calling me by one of my many nicknames.
It occurred to me that Westchester must have pet-friendly lodgings and sure enough it does with a Bed and Breakfast right in Chappaqua, Crabtree’s Kittle House Restaurant & Inn. I asked my owner if I could check it out, just in case we had pet guests coming to town who couldn’t stay with us. I toured the very comfortable guest rooms with John Crabtree, the gracious innkeeper who said they welcome four-legged friends at the Inn. “People know their pets,” he said, “and we’ve always had good experiences when they have been guests here.” I roamed around a lovely garden with him, thinking that perhaps I would go there if I ever wanted a vacation from my owner. I felt right at home! We could certainly recommend the charming, old world style inn with modern conveniences and delicious food to our out-of-town guests.
Stephanie gave my owner lots of great advice about traveling and planning a trip with a pet from making enough pit stops along the way to the many websites where you can find pet-friendly lodging like, www.bringfido.com, www.dogfriendly.com. The best advice of all: “Choose destinations that you all can enjoy,” says Stephanie. “Make sure you plan a trip that is fun for your pets too!” I wagged my tail at that and hoped we could go on another trip soon, even one right in our own backyard like Crabtree’s Kittle House!
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Maggie Mae lives in Chappaqua with her adoring owner Ronni Diamondstein, who, when she isn’t walking Maggie is a freelance writer, PR consultant, award-winning photographer and a School Library Media Specialist and teacher who has worked in the US and abroad.