Did the title to this post get your attention?  Let me explain.  I found out that the nearest PETSMART store (an hours drive) was having photo ops with Santa this past weekend.  I wanted to take Tippy, but was a little concerned about how she would do with this strangely dressed man.  Would she decide he was “out of place” and start barking at him?  Would she be terrified of this man in the red suit with funny hair and beard?  Despite my concerns, I decided to take her.  So, on Sunday afternoon, we set out for her first visit to Petsmart and her first meeting with Santa.

About half way there, I suddenly realized that CATS ARE PETS TOO!  We aren’t going to a Dog-smart, but a Pet-smart.  That would include cats!  Would people bring their cats to get a picture with Santa?  Probably.  How is Tippy going to react to them?  Tippy hates cats!  I prayed the rest of the way there that all of the cat lovers had stayed home.


I am happy to report, all went well.  There were a couple of cats there, but their owners were holding them, so I’m not even sure that Tippy noticed.  There were way too many more important things to pay attention too.  So many smells, sights, and other dogs, both big and small.  She seemed to get along with all of the other dogs, except one.  There always seems to be that one dog in the group that is not happy with being greeted.  We just walked away and all was good.

If that dog can do it, so can I.

When it was our turn to take a picture with Santa, I was surprised that she walked right up to him.  However, when he/we tried to get her to turn around and face the camera, she was having nothing to do with it.  She was scared.  You don’t just turn your back on something that looks like that!  I sat beside her and she calmed down some, so the lady told me I could be in the picture too.  I sat down beside of Santa and Tippy climbed up on my lap.  Here is the result.

I’ll just sit right here on your lap, okay?

After the picture we walked around to see what we could find that we needed.  Everyone who saw Tippy wanted to love on her and commented on her eyes.  Most people loved them, but one little boy, about 5 years old, petted her and then told me that her eyes were “creepy.”  A couple of other kids asked me why her eyes were different colors.  They are definitely a conversation starter.

People would ask me her name.  I would tell them and then want to show them the reason for that name.  I had to grab her tail to stop it from wagging at a million miles an hour so they could see the tip of white at the end of it. She was so happy with all of the attention!  The only time her tail stopped was when she was laying down.

Relaxing in the leash/collar isle.

One of the employees helped me find a grain free food to try and also gave me coupons for a free can of pumpkin puree and money off of a bag of sweet potato & chicken jerky wrap treats.  Oh my gosh, does she love those treats!  At the checkout, the cashiers also loved on her and gave her a couple of treats.  I’m pretty sure she wants to go back there.

On the way home, we stopped at Lowes to do some Christmas shopping.

Mom, I think he’ll like that one over there.

We could certainly tell the difference in the attitudes of the people between the two stores.  While everyone at Petsmart was an animal lover, that was NOT the case on this trip to Lowes.  Tippy walked toward a little man, not an employee, and I saw his eyes fill with hatred.  I really thought he was going to haul off and hit her, even though he made no move.  It was just his attitude.  I said, “Come here Tippy.  Not everyone likes dogs.”  and she walked away.  He said nothing, but if looks could kill, we wouldn’t be here today.

In the check out line, we did meet a couple of men who were dog lovers.  They both had dogs of their own and thought Tippy was great.  While we talked about their dogs, and dogs in general, they played with her.  One petted her backside and the other squatted down and scratch her behind her ears.  She is getting better with men, in general, and was very happy with these two.

It was a good day.






I know that some say you shouldn’t feed your dogs “people food,” but I gave Tippy a treat of Thanksgiving leftovers today.  I made sure to only give her things that were good for her.


She knew something good was coming her way.

Just put it down already!  Please!


And…it was gone in about 30 seconds.  Too bad the still pictures don’t show the wagging tail.  She was definitely one happy dog today.

Tippy and I have a lot for which to be thankful.   We hope you do too.



If you have been following my blog, or have read my “about” page, you know that one of the things I want to do is travel with Tippy and let you know about the dog friendly places that I find along the way.  Well, last week, we finally got to go on our first real adventure. A park ranger friend of mine was temporarily stationed at Mammoth Cave National Park near Bowling Green, Kentucky.  She invited Tippy and I to come visit while she was there, and we took her up on her offer.

Tippy knew something special was up when I was packing the car, including her bedding and crate.  She was so excited when we set out for our longest road trip yet.

Mom, I don’t know where we’re going, but I’m so excited!

At about half way through the drive, we stopped at a Rest Area for a pit stop.  There were lots of great smells where other dogs had been and, interestingly enough, we saw someone sunbathing. It was a very nice day, but I think I would have been afraid to fall asleep at a place like that, out in the open.  I guess she felt there were enough people around that she would be safe.  I hope she was.

After about 5 hours, Tippy’s excitement had worn off and she decided to stretch out for a nap.

Are we there yet?

When we arrived in Bowling Green, my friend, who calls herself Tippy’s Aunt L., was still at work.  This was probably a good thing, because Tippy and I walked around outside of the hotel for about 30 minutes before she arrived.  That got rid of some of Tippy’s stored up energy and she was able to get used to some of the smells before heading into her very first hotel, the TownePlace Suites, by Marriott.  (For your information, here is a website that lists all of Marriott’s pet friendly hotels by state/country.)

Hip hip hooray! We’ve arrived!

All of the staff was very friendly and Tippy loved the attention.  She got a small bag of treats from the hotel, as a welcome gift.

Treats from the hotel.

Aunt L. has had several temporary assignments this year, so, was able to get a free upgrade to a 2 bedroom suite.  It was very, very nice.  However, it was on the 4th floor, so that meant a ride in the elevator, a new experience for Tippy.  She was a little scared at first, partly because it was a small room that moved and, I think, partly because the floor was slick and hard for her to stand on.  But, she did great!

Aunt L. stayed with her while I went out to get our luggage.  She said Tippy whined the entire time I was gone.  😦   But, she quickly got used to being in the hotel room with us.  She even enjoyed the view from the 4th floor.

To be on the safe side, we left her in her crate while we went out for dinner.  She was fine when we got back and enjoyed her first evening in a hotel.


Here is the third installment of Tippy Wisdom.  Again, sorry for taking so long between posts.

Tippy Wisdom #7: Things are not always as they appear on the surface.

turtle shell
Box turtle shell

One day I spied this turtle shell that Tippy had found and had been chewing on.  I only saw the white part and thought I had happened upon a rare albino turtle.  Upon closer inspection, I found out the truth.  The brown color of the turtle is just a veneer that can be peeled away.  Who knew?  Certainly not me!



Tippy Wisdom #8: Praise is much more effective than correction. (Correction is going to be necessary, but the more you praise the wanted behavior, the less often the unwanted behavior will show up.)

Tippy Wisdom #9: In order to have a stress free environment, the leader of the pack must be clearly established. This is true for the dog/person relationship, but also for the everyday life of humans: student/teacher, worker/boss, child/parent, etc.. When there is a clear leader, everyone is happy.

Tippy Wisdom #10: A treat doesn’t have to be something unhealthy. Tippy, for instance, loves carrots so I use them as a special treat for her. (Of course, she eats cow piles, so I’m not real sure this is the best analogy. LOL)

Tippy and her carrot
Yum! I love carrots!