The blue "DOG IS LOVE" bumper sticker that you see on cars throughout Western North Carolina (and beyond) is one of those viral community efforts that you may not know much about. But here's the behind the scenes scoop. In 2001, Suzi Katz of Asheville found a stray dog. She launched a website, www.loveyourbuddy.com, to help get the dog, who she named "Buddy," adopted. Suzi found him a home, but the website lived on as a place to sell DOG IS LOVE stickers. At first she just thought it would be fun to see them around, but as the stickers grew popular, she decided to use them to raise money and awareness for animal and rescue organizations. There are now a number of different stickers available at the website. Suzi has raised over $11,000 for local and even national organizations. That's what loving dogs can do!
Recommended Reading! Best Hikes with Dogs North Carolina by Karen Chavez is a great resource, both for its basic information about hiking, as well as its extensive details about trails. You'll find essentials about canine trail etiquette, permits and regulations, a doggy first aid kit, and more. The book is loaded with Western North Carolina trails off the Blue Ridge Parkway and beyond. For each trail, Chavez provides length, hiking time, best time to hike, difficulty, and lots of other details, including elevations and maps. You'll find yourself referring to this book often, so buy it today! Buy now.
If you live in or near Asheville, NC, or you're planning a visit there with your dog, consider taking a walk, hike, or bike ride on the grounds of the North Carolina Arboretum. This exceptional facility has 10 miles of well-groomed trails. You can take an easy bike ride or walk along wide roads, or hike past the cooling waters of Bent Creek. Take the shaded Natural Garden Trail and see many kinds of vegetation. The Bent Creek Trail, a combination of open road and shaded creekside trail, passes by the National Azalea Repository -- a real treat in the spring. Try the Carolina Mountain Trail for a little bit of relatively easy mountain hiking. The lower part of the trail enters a very shady sanctuary where your dog will love splashing in the water right alongside the trail. Dogs must be leashed.
Pooch Pick: Enter the Arboretum at the main entrance. Make an immediate left into a parking area. Take the path with the bark mulch (Bent Creek Trail) until it meets up with the wide road. Stay on the road until you reach the three signs about creek restoration, shortly after the Azalea Repository. Right after the signs, go left down the hill to the creek. Doggies love this area. Seems like it was made just for them. They enjoy wading in and lapping up the cold clear water (see photo) -- and the grass is tasty, too!
The entrance to the NC Arboretum is directly off the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile marker 393 (I-26 and Hwy 191). Admission is $6 per vehicle, free on Tuesdays. (Become a member and admission is always free.) There are many additional hiking trails, along with Lake Powhatan, in the Bent Creek Experimental Forest adjacent to the Arboretum. For additional information about the NC Arboretum, visit the POOCH PATHS page.
Lake Jocassee, South Carolina is a great doggy destination that's easy to reach from anywhere in the Carolina mountain region. This 7,500-acre man-made reservoir is virtually undeveloped. Its clear, calm waters and gentle mountains make you feel like you're looking out at a Caribbean vista. Access the lake by going to Devils Fork State Park in Salem, SC via the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway (SC 11). The park features nature and hiking trails and an excellent campground with full hookups and beach access. Fishing, picnicking, and boating are just some of the activities you can enjoy there.
We stayed at the campground with our dogs and were able to walk right down to the beach. They loved splashing in the water and running along the beach, which has both rocks and sand. We also drove over to a separate boat ramp area (not the primary boat ramp) that featured rocks that you could climb down to a small sandy beach. The dogs loved exploring the shoreline.
Lake Jocassee is a great day trip or a multi-day camping excursion. For additional information, including photos, visit the CANINE CRUISIN' page.
Oh those pesky fleas. Sooner or later, your dog will get them, unless you follow a flea prevention and control regimen. But you may be hesitant to use the standard treatments available because they are expensive and, in many cases, toxic. That's why you may be more comfortable with methods and substances that are natural, safe, and won't cost you a fortune. This eBook may be the answer to your flea-fighting dreams. Find out more about it at www.fleacontrolbook.com.
These are without a doubt the coolest, most original dog tags available. Choose from a large collection of designs created by artists and personalize your tags with up to four lines of text. Your doggy will look mah-velous. And he/she can even roll around in the sand... these tags are virtually indestructible and guaranteed for life. Check 'em out at www.dogtagart.com.
The September issue of New Life Journal magazine (available free at many locations in Western North Carolina) contains a feature article, "Protect Your Pet Naturally." It addresses the secrets of healthy skin in dogs and cats, including diet, grooming, and flea control. The article was written by yours truly, creator of Carolina Mountain Dog. To view it online, go to www.newlifejournal.com.
Asheville is dog-friendly, sure... but how do you find everything for dogs in Asheville? The handy "Asheville Dog-eGuide" is an e-book that lists accommodations, adoption organizations, animal services, bakeries, boutiques, boarding facilities, campgrounds, daycare, emergency care, groomers, dog parks, dog photographers, dog sitters, stores, dog therapists, trails, trainers, vets, and even poop-scooping services! It's 58 pages of must-have information that would take hours to compile on your own. If you're an Asheville dog owner, or you're planning a trip to Asheville with your dog, this guide's for you. As an added bonus, it also includes listings for Black Mountain and Hendersonville. To learn more about the Asheville Dog-eGuide, visit www.ashevilledog-eguide.com.
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