Finding Coco

Meet Coco, the darling nine-year-old Chow Chow I met in the parking garage at work yesterday. A colleague discovered Coco taking a nap on the concrete floor of the parking garage and went over to make sure she was okay. That's when Coco hopped up and trotted away, limping as she went. Two security guards helped my colleague keep tabs on Coco, making sure she didn't go out into the street or get hit by a car. My coworker called me, asking me to bring a leash with me when I came to work. Just five short minutes later and with leash in hand, I walked over to the trio trying to coax sweet Coco into their arms.

There were two security guards on one end and my colleague on the other. Coco hobbled her way through the maze of parked cars. I watched her carefully and put myself directly in her path but out of her sight. I got down on both knees and greeted her with a warm hello and something like a hug as she walked around the corner. She still had a collar and license tag on her so I hooked her up to the leash and took my phone out to call the number on the tag. Luckily, Coco was registered to a home in Roswell, Ga., some 20 miles north from where she was found. The lady at Fulton County Animal Control gave me the Chow Chow Mom's name and number, and I thought for sure we were about to make a happy ending.

I couldn't reach Coco's Chow Chow Mom. Neither could the security guard. That's when he revealed that he had caught a few other people dropping off their dogs in our parking garage time and again. He said he wouldn't be surprised if this was another case like that. I was disheartened. My coworker and I looked over Coco. It was clear she needed to go to a vet. She was limping and she was dangerously thin, especially for a Chow Chow. We slowly coaxed Coco into the car and were about to drive away when the security guard came running back saying Chow Chow Mom had returned his call. He handed the phone to me and the conversation was short and not so sweet.

Chow Chow Mom claimed sweet Coco had gone missing only one day ago. Clearly, Coco had not eaten in days, perhaps weeks. She was matted and her eyes were caked with dried goo - as if she had conjunctivitis. Then, she said it might be two days. Chow Chow Mom told the security guard Coco had jumped from her car door but told me Coco ran out the front door of her new apartment. She asked I not take Coco to the vet and that I return Coco to her so she could follow up with her own vet. At first, this seemed like a completely reasonable request and I told her I'd gladly meet her at her vet - where was it? Chow Chow Mom didn't know. That's okay, I said. Do you have the name? I can Google the address and still meet you there. She didn't.

I began getting an uneasy feeling about the whole situation and decided it was best we take Coco to a vet to see if a professional could tell us whether this pup had been neglected and if it was safe to send her back home. Chow Chow Mom seemed to be getting irritated at my insistence that Coco needed to see a vet. I told her I'd send her the address to where we were taking her and she could meet us there. In the minutes that passed, Chow Chow Mom blew up my phone - calling me from three or four different numbers and leaving me angry voicemails saying, "You have my dog. I want my dog." She kept calling the security guard, too, who repeatedly assured her Coco was safe and we were headed to the vet and would call soon.

We arrived at the vet who welcomed sweet Coco in without an appointment. The vet took a look at her and said it was obvious that Coco hadn't been treated very well, assuming she had been at home with Chow Chow Mom just a few days ago. She said it looked like Coco had a very large tumor in her mouth but test results came back negative for cancer. The vet fed Coco and gave her water. Now the question was: what to do? The vet offered to call Chow Chow Mom and feel her out. She said she had to give Coco back to her owner but if she felt at any point that it wasn't a good situation for Coco, she would report the situation immediately. Chow Chow Mom's story was again different from the one told to myself and the security guard but other than that, the vet felt she checked out and said she was sending sweet Coco home. I called later that afternoon to make sure Coco had indeed been picked up and a part of me wished she hadn't because of this feeling in my gut that she might not be going home to a good situation. Alas, sweet Coco had gone home.

My colleague and I haven't stopped thinking of Coco since we left her at the vet's office. We keep telling ourselves and each other that we did the best we could and what happens from here is completely out of our hands. Scottie Dad tells me I just have to trust that Chow Chow Mom was just stressed out and that Coco really did go back to a loving home. He says that no matter what, we did a great thing that day. I wish I believed this was true but there is something to be said about a woman's intuition. All I can do is hope. Hope that Coco is safe. Hope that she is happy. And hope that she has the care, love and support she needs to live out the rest of her sweet life.

The Grateful Hound

Scottie Dog wallpaper by Anthropologie on display at The Grateful Hound.
Scottie Dog magnets.
Walter the Wabbit, aka Mr. Bunny, all wrapped up and waiting to meet Mr. K.
Heather got herself a bully stick!
Mr. K hanging out with Mr. Bunny while he chews on a bully stick of his own.
Friends, there is one place in Savannah we visited that we haven't yet told you about and for good reason. It is a little shop called, "The Grateful Hound." Not only did the place have Scottie dog wallpaper by Anthropologie behind the register, they also had a Scottie dog door stopper, Scottie dog magnets seemingly tough enough for Scottie dog jaws! I was skeptical at first but I decided to splurge and pay $20 to take a chance on a Fluff & Tuff toy after talking to the nice lady behind the desk about how her dog had yet to destroy his. So, I picked out "Walter the Wabbit" (now nicknamed Mr. Bunny) and brought him back to Mr. K - the ultimate toy destroyer.

The reason we hadn't yet told you about this fun, little boutique is that we wanted to give fellow Scottie Moms a review of how Mr. Bunny fared during his playtime with Mr. K. I was sure I would be writing about Mr. Bunny's demise within a week - two at the most. It's been about a month since we returned from Savannah now. Would you believe Mr. Bunny is intact with no tears and still squeaking away? I wouldn't either if I wasn't sitting here listening to Mr. K squeak him right now. (Warning: Mr. Bunny squeaks much like Mr. K's last "favorite" toy...although, not quite that bad. If you need a reminder of how that toy - which lasted a whopping two minutes - sounded, click here.)

Could this be the answer to Scottie Moms' prayers (and wallet woes)? At nearly $20 for Mr. Bunny, it was a hard price to swallow initially. Then, I considered the fact I could buy three or four Air KONG squeaky tennis balls (Mr. K's true favorite toy) for the same price and I realized I was lucky to get a half hour to an hour's worth of quality (and supervised!) playtime with each before it ended up "deaded." You might remember how quickly Mr. K went through all those squeaky tennis balls we stuffed in a stocking for him this Christmas. Surely, it would be cheaper to pay more up front for a toy like Mr. Bunny and have it last longer than a day. I figure if I can get a few months out of Mr. Bunny, he will be worth his price! We'll keep you posted on Mr. Bunny's status. In the meantime, tell us: what toy has lasted longest with your pup?

Whole Dog B-A-T-H

About to get a dreaded B-A-T-H at Whole Dog Market.
Scottie Mom caught me smiling while she massaged the shampoo into my fur. 
Heather was happy as a clam, thinking she somehow escaped the dreaded B-A-T-H.
As soon as the water hit her fur, she suddenly was no longer amused.
Meanwhile, I was all smiles drying off on the towels below.
Heather gave this look to Scottie Mom when she found out we'd be back again in a few weeks for another B-A-T-H.

Hampton Scottie Inn - Savannah

Ok, I know you all must be wondering: what were our digs like in Savannah? Well, as you know, we found a place that didn't even charge a pet fee. What's not to love about that? And, if you follow Scottie Mom on Facebook, you know Heather and Mr. K were greeted with treats at the front desk. Again, I ask: what's not to love about that?! For our larger fur friends, you might be happy to know this hotel doesn't limit the weight of canine guests to a mere 25 pounds. In fact, they allow dogs up to 75 pounds! The accommodations were comfortable, the room was clean and the Scotties had no problem settling right in. This trip to Savannah looked to be a good one from the moment we arrived at Hampton Inn Savannah - I-95 North.

The only thing that wasn't to love was the location of the hotel. If the city of Savannah itself wasn't so dog-friendly, I could see how the location of the hotel (which is situated about 20 minutes or so from downtown Savannah) might be problematic. Luckily, it is easy to take the dogs just about anywhere in Savannah. The drive wasn't so bad but the area surrounding the hotel left us wanting more. To the side of the hotel was a ramp to I-95. Across the street was a tractor trailer truck stop. And the road into town wasn't any more scenic. But were these things a deal breaker for staying at the hotel again? No. The most important thing for me was that Heather and Mr. K were comfortable wherever we stayed and that they were safe. At no point did I feel that either of those points had been compromised. As evidenced from just a handful of the photos we took above, Heather and Mr. K were smiley as ever in this place. That alone makes the stay worth it!

Next time, I suspect we'll try a place in town...perhaps a bed and breakfast. I checked out a few with great reviews on None were available for this trip but something tells me Scottie Dad, the fur kids and I will be back to Savannah again at some point to look into these and report back on our findings. In the meantime, tell us: what has been your favorite vacation experience with your fur kid(s)? Is there a dog-friendly hotel that you remember best?

Finders Keepers?

Mr. K here. I'm taking over the blog tonight so I can plead my case before Scottie Mom rats me out. Truth be told, friends, I did get in a bit of trouble but not because I played a prank. No, I stumbled upon a little treasure on the ground in Savannah and got a little upset when Scottie Mom tried to steal it. Heather and I were walking Scottie Mom about the park while we waited for Scottie Dad to bring the car. My snout picked up the most glorious scent and led me to a nearby bush. Sure enough, just sitting there waiting for me was a large piece of meat still on the bone. I knew I had to act quickly or else Heather or Scottie Mom would snatch it up first.

Unfortunately, I wasn't fast enough. I was able to grab it but Scottie Mom saw me and demand I put it down. I wasn't giving up the fight that easily. I looked at Scottie Mom and attempted to chew faster. This did not make Scottie Mom happy. She tried to pry the object from my grasp, telling me to let go. Friends, you must understand: I had never tasted anything like this in my whole could I let go? I sucked the rest of the meat piece into my mouth so Scottie Mom couldn't get to it. Would you believe that didn't stop her? She obviously knew what a prize I had picked up and was so hungry for a piece of it herself that she rudely interrupted my meal and stuck her fingers in my mouth to loosen up my grip. Seriously, woman!

It was here where, admittedly, I took things too far. Scottie Mom crossed the line trying to retrieve my prize and I had to teach her a lesson. I looked her dead in the eye and slowly began to shut my jaw tighter - her fingers still attempting to steal my prized meat. She looked right back at me then. Her eyes grew wide and I could see tears brimming. Scottie Mom's a toughie and held her own until she couldn't anymore. She pulled out her fingers just before I made them part of my meal. Only trouble was: in this swift finger retrieval movement, she knocked out my prized meat and I was distracted by a cough or two. Next thing I knew, she was flinging my meat in a trash can far out of my reach. And her finger was pretty swollen.

I knew I had done wrong and I've done my best to make amends with Scottie Mom since our trip. She claims she wasn't trying to steal my meat for her enjoyment and that she was only concerned for my health. Something about the meat being rotten, me getting sick, the bones being bad for me and such. I don't know if that's all true (I mean, it was a really good find...I'm sure Scottie Mom would have snuck a taste if I hadn't gotten to it first) but I've chosen to put this whole thing behind us. Scottie Dad took care of Scottie Mom the minute he got back to us with the car. Luckily, my pearly whites didn't break her skin and the swelling went down after a day or two. Still, he watched over her injured finger religiously and I knew he wasn't too pleased with me. Being a big steak guy, I thought he would have had more sympathy for the situation! Instead, here I am: pleading my case to you, my friends. What would you have done if you found yourself in my situation and how do you suggest I make it up to Scottie Mom?

Breakfast with Scotties

Saturday morning, we tried something new: dining with dogs! We ventured over to a place called Clary's Café in Savannah. We chose a seat outside and the Scotties settled in by my feet, eagerly taking in their new surroundings. Scottie Dad (who gets credit for finding this gem!) ordered French toast with bananas on top. I decided to go for a childhood favorite of chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled eggs. I thought Heather and Mr. K would be by our feet begging the entire time but surprisingly, they were more interested in investigating their surroundings and meeting the people enjoying their breakfasts at neighboring tables.

We had a wonderful server who doted on Heather and Mr. K the entire time we were there (arguably more than she did us...and rightfully so!) She brought Heather and Mr. K a good number of complimentary treats and set out a fresh bowl of water for them halfway through the meal. As you can see from the photo above, Mr. K believes water bowls are more than just for drinking. In fact, while Heather was mid-slurp, Mr. K stuck his paws in the water and soaked them there one by one. This move didn't seem to bother Heather one bit and soon the two had returned to their sidewalk posts to keep an eye on things.

I'll admit: we hadn't previously considered doing much dining with dogs prior to our experience at Clary's during our Savannah trip. No matter how appealing the idea seemed, it just seemed too much to handle while trying to enjoy a meal. However, this place really and truly set a standard for the dining with dogs experiences to come. Of course, we just had to leave an extra tip for the wonderful server who made Heather and Mr. K feel right at home. After our tummies were full, we set off on another morning of exploration about the city where Mr. K got himself into a wee bit of trouble with Scottie Mom. Can you guess what our little trickster was up to this time?

Scotties take on Savannah

Savannah never disappoints. No matter how many times I visit, it seems as though there is always something I neglected to explore on my previous trip. This time, I was excited to see how the city would handle Heather and Mr. K's Scottie-tude. After all, they are no strangers to taking pet-friendly vacations! We spent a half day just roaming the streets of Savannah - from River Street all the way through the historic district (where we saw another couple exchanging vows on one of the squares!). I was impressed by the number of places along the way that left water bowls out for the doggie passers-by and a few shops even welcomed four-legged friends. It was apparent Heather and Mr. K appreciated the sights, sounds and smells around them as well...but more on that to follow in the coming days. Today's post about Savannah is for the human vacationers!

First things first: the food. On Friday morning, we ventured over to Goose Feathers Café. Scottie Dad ordered a chicken salad sandwich and I chose a chicken bacon mushroom melt. Scottie Dad thoroughly enjoyed his dish (he even finished it off with some bread pudding) and I was so hungry that morning that I honestly can't remember eating the sandwich. Much like Heather Beather and her meals, my melt was there one minute and gone the next! Plus, I was distracted by all the adorable dogs that walked by...including the service dog that came into Goose Feathers with his owner. Dinner was at a place on River Street called Spanky's, which is said to be the home of the original chicken finger. So, you can imagine what I ordered there!

After we left Spanky's, we hopped onto an Old Town Trolley Ghost Tour and endured a very animated account of Savannah's history, legends and old tales. Because it had drizzled, plastic coverings had been placed over the open windows which fogged up too easily and made it impossible to see any of the sights our overly dramatic tour guide discussed. We got off at a few stops, the last one being the most theatrical and the icing on a particularly bad and overbaked cake. I'm not saying you shouldn't try it out - just that it wasn't my cup of tea. On previous trips, I have taken one other ghost tour that stopped at the Pirate House. While I cannot recall the name of the tour, I do remember that one being a bit less hokey and actually quite enjoyable.

Saturday morning, we had one of the best brunch experiences ever with Heather and Mr. K before setting out again on a walk around town. You can read all about the Scotties' brunch experience in tomorrow's post but let me leave you with this: while we certainly wished we had more time to stay and experience Savannah, Heather and Mr. K give this place two paws up! Oh, and in case you were wondering how the Fluffy Guy comedy show was...Scottie Dad and I couldn't have been more pleased. We have seen Gabriel Iglesias twice now and each show has been well worth the money spent on tickets. The content is fresh and, of course, funny. It is so obvious Gabriel Iglesias cares about putting on a good show and making sure everyone has a good time. He often unplugs the clock on stage and performs for at least an extra hour or more!