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Adventures in Dogcations

Adventures in Dogcations

November 3, 2014
Posted in: Dogs, Mastheads | Reading Time: 5 minutes

Big River, Mendocino

This year, we were able to get away for a few days for our anniversary. I've been wanting to go up North to a dog friendly environment and hike some headlands and river trails. Last year I was too sick to even sit at my computer and this year, though I'm still on plenty of drugs for Lyme, is quite different.

Prior to this little get-away, in September, we managed a short stay in Maryland for Mr. Wild Dingo's 30th reunion with his Navy Academy. I'll never forget Juno's disappointment in not going on that vacation. She literally sat by the trunk of the car  while luggage was being loaded and the look on her face said it all.


"I'm waiting for you to tell me when to get in the car. I am coming with you."

Loki had figured out that they weren't coming and just watched everything from inside. But Juno? She's got a heart full of adventure and loves going to new places. She really expected to come with us, despite no signs of dog equipment being loaded. She was so full of hope. It broke my heart to leave her.

For the next month I told her we were all going on a big Dogcation adventure and she would come. That morning as we packed up the car with dog crates, blankets, dog treats, food and our own luggage, they both had it dialed in correctly and were leaping around the Xterra, happily. As usual, I had to narc the cracker, he's just so full of anxiety in the car, the poor boy. He hates to be stoned and fights it a good two hours before he gives in. But honestly, Loki's so full of car anxiety, I've tried just about everything to help him. He always hops in happily and he'll even sit in a parked car quietly while I do a short errand, but as soon as the driving starts, he's just a cracked out mess. For a long drive, it's not good for him, or us.

Here's a little video of him finally settling down and wooing the saddest howel I've heard yet.

I know, right? That sad woo breaks your heart. But he's the cracker and we need to drive safely.

MacKerricher State Park, Headlands

Juno on the other hand is cool as a Siberian in Siberia when it comes to adventures. She was in total bliss at every new hike.

MacKerricher State Park

"Princepessa, this dogcation is nice and everything, but I really have to do proper surveillance of the every location to make sure it's safe. It's a huge responsiblity and a lot of stress! Nobody understands my work stress!"
"Chill Daddy-O. Just take in all the positive ions coming in off these bluffs. They're good for your mentals and good for my jodhpurs."

It's true, Loki wasn't too thrilled with this vacation. I could feel his tension even on the most pleasant walks. Obviously, this is how we torture our cracker. We take him and his pack to a beautiful location and go for long hikes and feed them tastey hotel meals. You can see how punishing this is for him.

Farm Stay

We stayed at a lovely dog-friendly lodge that had plenty of farm animals, such as donkeys and lamas and garden that totally supplied their kitchen. I had booked it before realizing it was totally vegan. I'm not vegan or vegetarian, but Mr. Wild Dingo and I are always open to new experiences so we kept the reservation.

Part of a good dogcation is  feeding the dogs what we eat as one of their main meals. We knew they wouldn't be impressed with their second dinner being vegan (and they weren't)  so we snuck in some deli meats to jazz up their second dinner. But they could tell it wasn't the same as ordering a Rosti plate of sausage and potatoes in Zermatt.

Vegan Meals

The vegan dinners and breakfasts were scrumptious. On top of being being vegan, they were able to accomodate most dishes as gluten free. That's a chickpea breakfast crepe above that was just delightful.

Though dogs weren't allowed in the main dining room, there was a lovely lobby/bar area with fire place and sofas and plenty of tables where your dog can dine with you. There were plenty of dogs visiting that weekend.  For the most part, Loki held his cool for about half the dinners and breakfasts, but toward then end, he grew a little crackery so we took some meals in our room.

The lodge also had a house dog and I wondered if the dog was vegan too, but decided it was better if I didn't know.


"Princess, we're supposed to be seal-watchin' on this deck. The park rangers tell us they like to sun themselves on these here bolders behind us. What'chya lookin' at?"
"Big Boy, I'm lookin' at dinner. Those vegan meals aren't doing it for me. I see some tastey looking squirrels and chipmunks that could round out tonights vegan cuisine."


Being dog-friendly, the lodge offers large "pet sheets" so your dog can snuggle with you. I normally don't let our dogs on sofas or beds at home or in hotels, but with pet sheets, it was too good to pass up! The staff refreshed the dog sheets daily for us.


Overall, the few days away was a good thing. While the first day we hiked only 5 miles, it was enough to make me so tired I couldn't leave the room that night. The next we hiked even less, and again, I was too tired to leave the room later. I basically stayed in bed by a cozy fire, the entire time except for the main daily hike. But we got away and that's what counts. For me, this trip was hugely exhausting but I'm so glad I did it. Loki was too happy to be home again. And Juno is already expecting her next dogcation.


Adventures in Dogcations
November 2014


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5 comments on “Adventures in Dogcations”

  1. I love the term "dogcation". Our fearful pup, Shyla, has gradually learned to embrace them. I'm so glad that you were able to get away to such pretty (and dog-friendly) place!

  2. It's looks so beautiful.! "Dogcation" is very accurate, as it's not so much a vacation for their owners.! Unless of course you have the perfect dogs, who enjoy new places, all people and animals, hike well off-leash, and love car rides.
    We have three dogs and none fit the bill.! But they all make us smile, each and every day.

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