Dog-Friendly Travel Blog

RaveskiesLike to travel with your dog? Then you should check out Car Go Dogs. I drive all over the Midwest competing with my dogs in agility trials, so I'm always looking for dog-friendly vehicle info, accessories and travel tips. It's nice to find all these things in one spot!

Julia Kamysz Lane

October 15, 2008 in Cool stuff, Current Affairs, product review, Recreation, Sports, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Soldier Pleas For Pup to Leave Iraq

RatchetarmypupFive months ago, Sgt. Gwen Beberg and a fellow soldier saved a little black and white puppy from a pile of burning trash in Baghdad. Soon, Beberg will return home to Minnesota and she requested that her beloved dog, Ratchet, return with her. The Army said no, according to Defense Department rules. Worried that Ratchet would not survive the streets of Iraq, or worse yet be decreed a "nuisance" by locals and killed, Beberg's supporters started an online petition urging the Army to reconsider. The petition has already garnered more than 12,000 signatures. Donations to help Ratchet and other Iraqi pups return home with their U.S. soldiers are gratefully accepted at Operation Baghdad Pups.

Something to keep in mind before you open your wallet: Terri Crisp serves as program coordinator for Operation Baghdad Pups. If you refer back to my post, "Noah's Wish Settles Katrina Allegations," from August 10, 2007, the Attorney General of California investigated Crisp's former rescue group, Noah’s Wish, for its alleged misallotment of Katrina funds. As part of a settlement that followed, Crisp agreed that she would not "serve as an officer, director or trustee, or in any position having the duties or responsibilities of an officer, director, or trustee, with any nonprofit organization for a period of five (5) years from the execution of this Settlement Agreement.” Granted, the title of program coordinator does not appear to break the agreement but I'm wary that she is involved with a rescue group again so quickly after the Katrina investigation.

Julia Kamysz Lane

October 14, 2008 in Current Affairs, Donations , Health, Humane, Legislation, media, Travel, Volunteer | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Give Your Dog A Bunny!


Does your dog chase bunnies or squirrels? Do you live in the Midwest or are you willing to drive there? Then check out the inaugural All-Breed Lure Coursing Trial! This unique event will be held on Saturday, August 2, 2008, from 10am to 3pm, and hosted by Lure Coursing Fanatics in Somers, WI (about an hour north of the Greater Chicago area).

Lure coursing appeals to your dog's instinctive urge to chase prey, so there's no need for special training. A white bag or "bunny" is attached to a line and rapidly jerked across a field, mimicking a real rabbit. It's great exercise for the dogs and fun to watch them stretch out and really move.

To see lure coursing in action, check out LCF owners' Cocker Spaniel, Tazer (pictured above), or my Pit Bull mix, Shelby (click on "Shelby Lure Coursing Video"), at LCF last summer. As you can see, the dogs absolutely love it!

All breeds and mixes are welcome. Entry fees are $10 for the first entry per dog and $5 for any additional entries for that dog. If you have three or more dogs entered, the first entry fee drops to $5 for the third and subsequent dogs.

For more info, please email Lauri Stromberg at

Julia Kamysz Lane

July 25, 2008 in Cool stuff, Recreation, Sports, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dogs in Cars

This story about a San Diego poodle who miraculously survived a rollover accident and hours weaving down a highway fails to mention if the dog had been restrained. I'm guessing not. This happy-ending incident provides more evidence of how a seat restraint or a secured crate protects canine passengers, in this case, by keeping them from wandering into traffic after an accident.

Lisa Wogan

July 11, 2008 in Current Affairs, Health, Travel | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Summer Safety Tips

Now that the weather is heating up, it's time to dig in the garden. Please do not use cocoa mulch around your plants as it is toxic to dogs who ingest it.

A few days ago, I was walking two of my dogs in my parents' suburban development and suddenly smelled the worst chemical odor. A lawn-care company was spraying a front yard that was a block away and across the street from us. If I could smell it that easily, I can only imagine how offensive -- and potentially dangerous it was -- to my dogs. You might not be able to control your neighbors' choice of fertilizer, but it's well worth looking into natural lawn-care options for your and your dog's health.

With all the rain we've gotten in the Midwest, I've been keeping an eye out for a natural dog toxin: mushrooms. Not all varieties pose a threat, but why risk it? I pick the 'shrooms while on poop patrol and now it's just a habit.

Lastly, please learn from my mistake and do not allow your dog to go swimming in a retention pond. This past week, my Dalmatian, Darby, got really hot during a sunny afternoon walk. Since she loves to swim and we were close to a retention pond, I decided to let her go in for a quick dip. She was only in there for two minutes when she came back to me lame, holding up a bloody front left paw. It was a deep, clean gash along the inside toe, so I suspect it was glass. My poor judgment call required an emergency trip to the vet, stitches and a $320 bill, not to mention poor Darby's pain and suffering.

In talking to other dog owners about my experience, I have heard other horror stories about dogs swimming in retention ponds. One woman told me her dog almost drowned because the suction of a drain was pulling her under. She hadn't been aware of the drain and was prepared to jump in to save her dog. Thankfully, her dog was large and in excellent physical condition, so she managed to make it back to shore. If your dog gets hot, fill up a little wading pool in the backyard or turn on the sprinkler. Your dog will enjoy it and you'll have peace of mind.

Julia Kamysz Lane

June 13, 2008 in Current Affairs, Health, Recreation, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Illegal Lap Dogs

There was a time when I thought nothing of allowing my dog to be free in the car and stick his head out the window. Then I woke up and realized that if we were in an accident, the rest of his body would go through that window. I would have no one to blame but myself for his injuries, suffering and possibly death. We now use wire crates and seatbelt harnesses to ensure all five of our dogs travel safely.

So you'd think I'd be all rah-rah about the proposed legislation making it illegal for people to drive with dogs on their laps. Frankly, I think attempting to legislate common sense is ridiculous. No one likes to be told they HAVE to do something, like they're five years old. Plus, it's a waste of time and money as the bill meanders through the maze that is our government. Isn't there a better way to educate the public about safe dog travel? I'd love to hear your ideas.

Julia Kamysz Lane

May 6, 2008 in Current Affairs, Humane, Legislation, media, Travel | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Dog Power!

Dogscotrkul100byt1_w7vp_dyduBored with the same old walks? Then you and your pup might like to try the Dog Powered Scooter and the Dog Powered Trike. They're similar to mushing, except the dogs are harnessed from behind the human driver so he can steer without worry. Architect Mark Schuette of Bend, Oregon, invented the dog scooter and trike as a way to spend more time with his dog and give him enough exercise. For a cool video demo with a Husky and a Rottie, click here.

Julia Kamysz Lane

February 17, 2008 in Cool stuff, Health, product review, Recreation, Sports, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chicago Tribune Loves BARk!

To those of us who love dogs, the success of BARk magazine makes perfect sense. Who wouldn't want to read a smart periodical dedicated entirely to our cherished companions? But it's always nice when non-dog people (or entities) admit that they find it fascinating, too. So thank you, Chicago Tribune, for congratulating BARk on its 10-year anniversary in today's editorial, "That's 70 in dog years."

I especially like the dare at the end, in which the editors "defy anyone -- dog-haters and cat-lovers included -- to thumb all the way through BARk without grinning like a border collie. It will make you want to get a dog. Or be one." BARk readers, how do you feel after you read the magazine? Are you compelled to give your dog a big hug? Does it inspire you to try something new with your dog? Or add another pup to the pack? Let us know!

Julia Kamysz Lane

February 11, 2008 in Cool stuff, Current Affairs, dogparks, Food, Health, media, Recreation, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Keep Your Dog Safe From Predators

Over the past few weeks in the Chicago area, small dogs have been under attack by hungry coyotes and even a red-tailed hawk. In all cases, the dogs had been left outside unattended in order to go potty. The carefree days when a dog could roam freely -- or even for just a few minutes to take care of business -- are long gone. Take the time to escort your dog outside, on leash. A small inconvenience for you could literally save your dog's life.

Julia Kamysz Lane

January 3, 2008 in Current Affairs, Health, Recreation, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sons and daughters of Anubis

Memphis_dogs I’m just back from 17 days in Egypt. It’s always a good thing to see how other people live, but the trip also provided an unexpected window onto how other dogs live. Those lessons began before I even landed. Reading the Herald Tribune’s Egyptian daily on the plane, I saw this headline: Cairo to go back to shooting stray animals despite protests. According to the story (which also ran in USA Today), complaints and dog-bite reports in Cairo and neighboring Giza (home to the pyramids) moved the government to begin shooting strays as a population control measure. The policy had been suspended earlier in the year after complaints from animal rights groups and tourists who had seen the carcasses of shot dogs.

The issue of strays in Egypt isn’t going to go disappear at the end of a gun. This controversial practice, which often leaves wounded dogs to die slowly, has been going on for years. Back in 2002, the World Society for the Protection of Animals was cautiously optimistic about a pilot spay/neuter program. But the current  budget for sterilizing strays is $70,000, well short of the estimated $9 million needed.

At nearly every temple and pyramid I visited in Egypt, there was at least one dog, usually many more. They were all mid-size, Dingo-looking mutts, thin with patchy fur and covered in bugs. I couldn’t figure how they survived, especially in the desert. Despite their ragged appearance, I found their presence reassuring. They were playful and romped with us and each other. They lapped water from our cupped hands and gobbled up our snacks. They were like heirs of Anubis, the ancient Egyptian jackal god, greeting us and guiding our journey. While Anubis is most closely associated with the underworld, he is also the god of abandoned and lost children. I can’t help thinking that Egypt’s abandoned and lost dogs could use a powerful god dedicated to their cause right about now.

Lisa Wogan

October 24, 2007 in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack