Rescue Dogs in Dog-Friendly Alexandria Virginia
I have always wondered what a dog-friendly hotel would really be like — whether the dog rooms would be like being sent “to the dog house” (kind of shabby) and whether the dogs would only be allowed in some less-than-lovely parts of the hotel and be relegated to the freight elevator? On my recent trip driving down to Virginia to pick up Maisie from the Tri-State Weimaraner rescue, I had to pick a way point where my sister and I could overnight so that we could meet early in the morning at a rendezvous point in a hotel parking in Richmond, Virginia.
On my radio show DOG TRAVEL EXPERTS, my co-host Paris from DogTipper.com (who wrote Texas with Dogs and travels extensively with her own two large dogs) had often told me that the Kimpton hotel chain was not just dog-friendly, but one of the truly dog welcoming hotels. She said they did not charge for dogs in the room, had no size limit on dogs and even allowed more than one dog to be guests with their people. So just for the heck of it, I picked the area just South of Washington D.C. and discovered that Alexandria Virginia was apparently the center of the dog-friendly universe because there were actually three boutique Kimpton hotels there, so I eeny-meeny-miny-moed and chose the Monaco Hotel. I was knocked out of my socks when I walked into the elegant lobby and the very first thing I saw was a darling white dog named Charlie, who was the hotel mascot, and very interested in two stunning young ladies who were hotel guests, it turned out — a pair of the most well-behaved Standard poodles imaginable, sitting as elegantly as fashion models beside their people, who were reading in a cozy corner seating area.
One was a chocolate poodle and the other was a black one and I was compelled to go right over and compliment their people on their dogs’ lovely manners. I couldn’t believe my good luck at seeing actual dogs in a dog-friendly hotel — especially front-and-center in the lobby! I discovered that Susie was deaf and somewhat blind at 13 years of age, while Roxy, the chocolate girl, was only two and a half. They told me that because their daughter lived in Alexandria, they drove up from Madison, Florida — east of Tallahassee — many times a year, even though it was a two day drive to get there. They said that the Monaco rooms had plush dog beds, cute dog bowls, and that many of the businesses in Alexandria were just as welcoming to dogs as the hotel. I told them that the following morning I would be on my way to pick up my rescued Weimaraner, and could only hope that one day Maisie might become as good a traveler as their lovely dogs were — who were probably trained from puppy hood. That was when Patty and Bob told me that both their dogs were rescues, too! That Susie had shown up on their driveway many years ago when she still had her sight and hearing, and that Roxy had come from a no-kill shelter which had contacted them when she came in because they were known as “poodle people.” It was because I am known as a “Weim person” that wherever I have lived, when Weimaraners come into a rescue, word will often get to me. What this lovely chance meeting with Susie and Roxy reminded me of was that shelters are full of the most wonderful dogs — all of which are there from no fault of their own — and that one-third of dogs in shelters are purebred.
When next you are ready to add a dog to your family — and you have a breed that has captured your heart — please Adopt Don’t Shop! Look at Petfinder.com and discover the amazing miracle that the very kind of dog you love best may be waiting somewhere right near you (or three days away, in my case!) to offer you a lifetime of forever love for giving them a forever home. And I salute Halo and Freekibble.com for making sure their bellies are full of really nutritious food to make them shiny and strong while they wait for you to touch them with the magic wand of being chosen.
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