Archive for September, 2009

Pikes Peak Area Attractions and Activities Have “Gone To The Dogs!”

Monday, September 28th, 2009

August 28, 2009 –Manitou Springs, CO– Over six million people visit the Pikes Peak region annually, which means a lot of foot traffic for this area’s attractions and activities. This also means a lot of “paw” traffic, too!

Many couples, families and groups who travel every year choose to take along with them their four-legged friends and companions. The attractions and activities throughout the Pikes Peak region recognize that pets are, very often, as much of a family member these days as a brother, sister, mom, dad, grandparent or uncle.

Below is some information about a few of the Pikes Peak region attractions who are dog-friendly for those visitors who are traveling to our area with their faithful companions.

Royal Gorge Bridge in Canon City Wants Dogs To Cross Them!
Over 23 million visitors including thousands of dogs since 1929 have walked across the world’s highest suspension bridge with their masters. For Canine Lovers on Vacation, the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, Canon City, Colorado, provides kennels at the entrance to the park that are cleaned and disinfected after each use and are free of charge to patrons on a first come, first serve basis. Dogs in the park must be on a leash and are not allowed on the rides or inside the buildings. (Royal Gorge Bridge employees have been known to set water buckets outside their shops for our thirsty friends!) For more information, visit

Pikes Peak Highway – America’s Mountain – Dog Paradise!
Did you know the Pikes Peak Highway – America’s Mountain is pet friendly?! There’s no better place to bring a dog or puppy than to Pikes Peak, where there are trails, streams and lots of room to frolic in and critters to sniff out! It is strongly recommended that pets remain on a leash so as to avoid getting lost. However, leashes are not mandatory. It’s not very often that a dog would have this kind of opportunity for so many new sniffs, sights and sounds. Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain is a certainly a place for everyone in the family to romp around and play in!

Manitou Cliff Dwellings is Puppy Dwellings, Too!
The Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings is a pet-friendly attraction. As long as the pets are always leashed, then they can go everywhere the people go here. For more information, visit

Buckskin Joe’s Frontier Town and Railway Boards Pooches, Too!
Dogs are welcome at Buckskin Joe Railway. Greg Tabuteau, Buckskin Joe’s Frontier Town and Railway General Manager, is also a dog lover. Jasmine, his first golden retriever, is what started the tradition he now has of being a pet-friendly. Tabuteau started bringing his own pets to work one day and let them be passengers on the train. This happened enough times that Tabuteau decided to let the passengers who had pets with them to also allow their canine companions to come on board. This tradition of allowing dogs on the railway continues today. Pets can also come into the park on a leash of course and do and go everywhere their owners can with the exception of the main body of our Gold Nugget Restaurant. However, the dogs can belly up to the bar and get a cool drink of water in one of our many dog water bowls. They can even ride the train! Every year we get more and more people in with their pets. They just can’t believe how pet friendly we are and they really appreciate it. Next year, Buckskin Joe’s may even implement a dog menu for the restaurant; an idea given to them by one of their visitors this year. For more information, visit and click on the Pets Welcome tab.

Pikes Peak Heritage Center at Cripple Creek Lets Dogs Take A Stroll Inside, Too!
The Pikes Peak Heritage Center at Cripple Creek has a nice dog walk area with terrific overlooks. They are also pet-friendly inside the facility for dogs on leashes with owners willing to take care of poodle puddles, should they occur. Visit and click on their link on the right hand side.

Miramont Castle Museum
Pets that are able to be carried are allowed to also be toted through the Miramont Castle Museum in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Pets are also allowed on leashes on the grounds of the Victorian Garden at the Castle (provided no evidence of the pet is left behind!). For more information about the Miramont Castle Museum, go to:

Seven Falls
Seven Falls welcome pets with their families. Located at the base of the falls (just beyond the main curio) and the restrooms (mid canyon) we have doggie pot stations containing plastic refuse bags. A water station for your thirsty pet is located at the base of the falls. For your pets safety please have them remain on their leash during your visit. For more information, please visit

Ghost Town Museum
Ghost Town Museum welcomes pets who are leashed and simply asks that owners clean up after them. They recognize four-legged friends also like to walk into the past and take a peek into the Old West of the 1800s and 1900s!

Of course, service dogs are always welcome at all area attractions and activities.

For more information about local attractions and activities, visit or call us at 1.800.525.2250.

Opinion: The Problem with Chicago’s Dog Beach and Parks

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Chicago has a number of off-leash areas plus a dog beach (Montrose Beach). Up until a few years ago these areas were free to all dogs and served the purpose of allowing dogs an area to go off-leash without bothering the non-dog people of the city. A few years ago Chicago started requiring a permit to use the areas. To get the permit you must go to a Chicago Veterinarian for an exam, and show proof of:

a) Current dog license issued by the City of Chicago, or proof that the dog has a current rabies vaccination.
b) Examination within the past year for any communicable diseases including an examination of a stool specimen for internal parasites.
c) Current vaccination or titer if possible for Distemper, Hepatitis, Para-influenza, Parvovirus, and Bordatella (kennel cough) unless an exemption to this requirement has been granted by the Administrator upon the written recommendation from the Owner’s veterinarian

There is a $500 fine for using these areas without a permit.

The problem with all of this is that it is clearly not practical for out of town visitors to get these permits if they are staying for a few days or even a week. Additionally, local dog owners who, for whatever reason, don’t have permits will no doubt decide that the fine is just as great in the dog area as outside of it. Where do you think they’ll let their dog run?

We are not sure if the primary purpose of this permit system is to raise revenue or for ensuring that no dog gets sick from other dogs. If it is for financial reasons, then they should do like many other cities do and allow you to pay even $5 (an annual fee for each day that it is used) at the dog park. Cities such as Indianapolis do this. If it is for health reasons, it should be considered that to walk to the dog park the dogs will be passing all the same viruses anyway as the “infected” dog will still be walked. Also, virtually no other place in the country has this type of regulation and we are not aware of any difference in disease rates. According to most vets that we have talked to Parvo, Distemper and the like are “everywhere” and your dog will run across them regularly if they leave your yard often. Many vets are not actively suggesting to their clients all of these vaccines and some actually discourage the use of some of them. It is also not clear what the word “current” vaccination means. Does the dog need the vaccine annually (which is quickly going out of common practice), every three years or once or twice in its life? All of these are options with various vets.

But for now the Montrose Beach and the off-leash areas of Chicago are practically off limits to out of town visitors.

The city permit information is at this link.

A Bar Harbor – Acadia National Park Dog-Friendly Vacation

Monday, September 28th, 2009

This was received from a reader after a visit to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park in Maine. Here’s a way to have a great vacation with a dog relatively near Boston, Connecticut and New York.

My puppy and I just had a great vacation in Bar Harbor, and I thought I would send you an update.

Restaurants: Cafe This Way..14 1/2 Mt. Desert Street, Bar Harbor ( open for breakfast and dinner) Parkside Restaurant 185 Main St. Bar Harbor Mckays Public House 231 Main St. Bar Harbor Mama DiMatteo’s 34 Kennebec Place Bar Harbor Jack Russell Pub 102 Eden St. Bar Harbor Fish House Grill 1 West St. Bar Harbor Chowdah’s 297 Main St. Bar Harbor Leary’s Landing 21 A Cottage St. Bar Harbor Siam Orchid 30 Rodick St. Bar Harbor Stewman’s Lobster Pound 35 West St. Bar Harbor 131 Shore Road, Southwest Harbor

Mainly Meat Barbeque 369 State Route 3 across from Pirate’s Cove, North of Bar Harbor

Cafe Milagro 37 Cottage St. Bar Harbor

Adlemann’s Deli 224 Main St. Bar Harbor

Ocean Drive Dairy Bar 446 Main St. Bar Harbor

In addition, Gifford’s Ice Cream at the junction of Main and West Streets saw that I was giving my puppy some ice cream, and came running out with a bowl of vanilla soft serve just for her.

I didn’t come up with all of these myself. Bark Harbor at 150 Main St. #3 gave me the list. It also included the restaurants currently on your website. Cookie and I did indeed eat at many of them, and enjoyed ourselves very much. Most of them brought out a bowl of water for Cookie.


I stayed at Eden Village They are at 986 State Highway #3, Bar Harbor. The cottages are dog-friendly, and spaced well apart. Dogs must be in a crate if left alone in the room. They have a 25 acres of ground, and on the backside of the property, they allow dogs to run off-leash.

I’d love to emphasis Little Long Pond off-leash area. It’s far more than the usual dog park. It’s so big that it includes all of Little Long Pond, which is huge. There were miles and miles of off-leash hiking, very pleasant, and full of locals.

Also, on the way back home, we stopped at the Sea Swirl in Mystic Ct. Location: Located at the junction of Routes 1 & 27 • 30 Williams Avenue, Mystic, Connecticut 06355 It’s all outdoors, but much of it is covered, so that even in the rain it’s great. Very dog friendly, and the “Clam Bellies” are the best fried clams ever.