Those of you who know how lax the rules for pups are at our house know that this has earned our house the nickname "the dog spa." (Conversely, my sister's house, where our pups always stay when we go away, is known as "the doggy gulag." There are a lotta
rules over there. Silly rules - like dogs can't lick the dirty dishes in the dishwasher! Rita says, "Wh...What???")
|View from the "lounge" area|
But this post is not about our "dog spa" - no, it's about the Dog Spa and Wellness Resort
in Desert Hot Springs, which is where we went last week with Rita for vacation. It's a little embarrassing to tell anyone who's not a dog person that you are going to "the Dog Spa" for your vacation. They look at you like they want to ask, "You mean you're going to stay at a kennel?" But I know you dog-loving types will understand. The Dog Spa is a fun spot and the most dog-friendly place we've ever stayed. Once you are inside the gate your pup can go leash free; your dog can sleep with you in the bed (or in the provided dog-bed if your pup prefers); and the dogs are even allowed in the pool (although Rita wanted none of that).
We heard of it because our friends from Tripawds pointed out a photo of the resort in Sunset
magazine -- a photo that just happened to have a photograph of their beloved Tripawd, Max, hanging in the background.
|That is Max in the photo hanging over "Wrestlemania"|
I took a ton of books and magazines with me, thinking I'd get a lot of reading done pool-side, but mostly I just ended up watching Rita have fun. Rita played a lot with the owner's dog, Brad Pit. (She also played with the other guests' dogs but I never managed to have my camera around then!)
|Snuggling with Brad Pit|
|Sharing a drink|
|More wrestling in the lounge|
|"Come on, Brad!"|
Our vacation exhausted Rita and she's needed another vacation to recover since we got home. It started with the car ride there. Luckily Desert Hot Springs is only ~2 1/2 hours from San Diego, but Rita was on high alert the entire time. She vigilantly watched out the window, turning and looking around at each intersection. We joked that she was memorizing the route in case we dumped her; she wanted to be able to find her way home - but really that's probably what the poor thing was doing. We kept reassuring her that we would not
leave her in the desert. After that, we exhausted her some more by walking around the shops in Palm Springs (about 20 min from the Dog Spa) and taking her along to a dog friendly restaurant. Here she is being oh-so-good on her first ever visit to a restaurant.
|"Where's my quesadilla??"|
We took her along every night when we went out to eat. She was mostly good, but the last night we went to the fanciest of the places we'd been to yet - and of course that was the night she decided to bark at people across the patio when they stood up to leave. So embarrassing! We thought the old couple near us was giving us dirty looks, but they came by on their way out later, all smiles, and actyually thanked us (?!) for bringing Rita to the restaurant. Funny, and cute.
We also wore her out taking her on several hikes, which were generally pretty warm - it being the desert and all.
|"It'th too hot! My tongue'th never been thith long before!"|
|With her pop at the top.|
The best hike we did was ~7.2 miles at Mission Creek Preserve
. It was breezy that day, so not as hot and it was also fairly flat. The best part for Rita was the creek, where she could lay down and cool off on the way out/back.
|These were about the only wildflowers we saw.|
|Rita & me at the turn-around point|
All in all, it was a fun vacation and hopefully we'll get to take Rita there again some time. Now that she knows we won't leave her there, she might enjoy it even more!