Category Archives: dogs and families

Dogs at the wedding

Wedding photo

Penny, front and center, posed with the family following the wedding of Linnea Elizabeth Sanderson and Dr. Robert Collier Davidson, right, in February. Credit Kieran Kesner for The New York Times

Dogs are part of the family and, increasingly, they are being included in their owner’s Big Day.  (I’m invited to a wedding in October that will include the couple’s dogs – Bernese Mountain Dogs –  and look forward to sharing that with my readers).

In this article from the New York Times, a Vermont-based photographer says that half of the weddings on his schedule this season involve a dog. And most of the owners interviewed say that they wouldn’t think of not involving their beloved dog in the ceremony.

Did you include your dog in your wedding?  I’d love to see the photos!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Pet friendly senior living

TigerPlace is a retirement community that helps residents care for their pets as both age.

Located in Colombia, Missouri, this retirement community offers one-floor living to make it easy for owners and pets to enjoy the outdoors.  And there’s on-site veterinary care!Senior gentleman and dog sitting on ground and posing in a park

Described as “pet encouraging” as opposed to “pet tolerating”, this facility even offers dog walkers for older residents who are finding it difficult to give their dog the exercise it needs.

This article in the Missourian gives greater insight into the facility and its value to its residents.  This includes following 90-year old Elizabeth Kennedy who lives at TigerPlace with her 12-year old Boston Terrier, Dolly.

The article mentions a growing trend for retirement communities to offer pet care and the  recognition and evidence that pets keep us living longer, more active, and happier lives.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand



Trends in US travel for dog owners

DogVacay, the online site the connects dog parents who need home dog boarding, pet sitting and day care with qualified caregivers, has released its second annual State of U.S. Pet Travel survey.

dogs and travelIt shows that dog parents still face obstacles when needing or wanting to travel.

For example:

  • 60% of dog owners say arranging accommodation for their dog adds complexity to travel planning
  • 34% of owners say they often struggle to find a pet sitter when they need to travel at short notice
  • 22% of owners have delayed or skipped a planned vacation because of challenges in arranging care for their dog(s)
  • 50% say finding a good kennel or pet sitter has affected planning for their vacation
  • Another three in ten (27%) say financial challenges such as kennel fees or paying a pet deposit at a hotel have impacted their vacation plans

Also, 46% of dog owners agree that worrying about their dog(s) while they’re away makes it harder to enjoy their trip (I admit that I worry about Daisy when I have to travel for work or vacation, even when I have made arrangements for her care with reputable caregivers).

What’s your travel story?


We’re heading to London! (But how to take the dog?)

When journalist Danny Hakim was transferred from upstate New York to London, the most important issue was how to get Harley, the family’s Golden Retriever, there.

Photo by Luke Wolagiewicz for the New York Times
Photo by Luke Wolagiewicz for the New York Times

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did.  Read it here.

How did your family cope with relocating with dogs?  Get in touch.

Your dog, personal trainer

I just had to share this poster which I purchased from SPARC (Sport and Recreation.  It sums up one of the great benefits of dog ownership:  more exercise.

It has been said “If your dog is overweight than you are not getting enough exercise.”  Dogs need daily exercise and, in my case, I walk with Daisy twice per day.  Walking is excellent weight-bearing exercise, which helps keep bones strong which is a particular concern of many women as they age and are at risk of osteoporosis.

Get out there with your dog today and enjoy some quality time and exercise too!

For a beloved member of the family

This column, For a beloved member of the family in memoriam, was written by Bella English, a columnist for The Boston Globe newspaper.

It touches on that special relationship we have with our dogs, and the grief and mourning we experience when they pass.

I hope this item resonates with you as much as it does with me.

Sea burials for your pet

New England Burials at Sea offers a special service for pet burials at sea along the US coastline from Maine to Miami.

The most common service is for scattering of cremation ash, although the company also offers organic cotton shrouds for full body burials by enquiry.

The company was founded by Brad White, a self-confessed dog lover and owner of Schipperkes who understands that pets are part of the family.

Ceremonies start at $95.0o.  A poem is usually read after the ashes are scattered, followed by flowers or wreaths that are placed on the water.  Owners can email a photo of their pet to Captain Brad before their charter so a photo of their pet is included on the sea burial certificate.   The burial certificate records the date, time, and latitude and longitude (location) where the ashes were scattered.  Many charters are unattended by the pet’s family, but in one case Captain Brad says that over 40 people attended a pet farewell ceremony on his boat.

Read more about the pet burial service here.

A quick Google search shows that there are several other firms offering pet burials at sea.  They are:

San Diego Burial at Sea

Newport Landing Burial at Sea (Los Angeles area)

A Burial at Sea Maritime Funeral Services (Rhode Island)

Amazing Gracie’s Pet Burials at Sea (San Diego area)