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November 2009

Local Getaways with Your Dog

If you're looking for a way to kick back and relax, how about a local getaway with your dog? Fall and Winter are good times to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Carolina mountains. The days are cooler, the evenings are crisp, and the area is less crowded. While there are numerous pet-friendly hotels and inns in WNC and the Upstate, it's hard to beat these two because they truly cater to dogs -- and pamper you as well.

Pondercove Bed and Breakfast at Ponder Cove
Here you and your dog can romp on 91 acres and still be just 30 minutes north of Asheville. This sumptuous bed and breakfast inn features spectacular gardens and luxury accommodations. A two-bedroom 1938 fully restored bungalow is also available on the property. Amenities include a welcome doggy basket, complimentary treats, an off-leash play area, concierge service, and a gourmet breakfast.
1067 Ponder Creek Road, Mars Hill, NC 28754
866-689-7304, 828-689-7304

Barkwells Barkwells
This fully fenced mountain retreat has more than 8 acres of fenced meadows and a pond and is 20 minutes from Asheville and close to Hendersonville. Barkwells has a variety of dog-friendly luxury rental cabins with dog doors, gated porches, and fenced yards. Each cabin has a fully equipped kitchen and complete amenities, including such extras as charcoal grills and hot tubs. And your dog has the run of the place.
290 Lane Road, Mills River, NC 28759

Your Dog on a Pillow

Dogpillow If you're looking for a unique gift item for yourself or a fellow dog lover, you might consider a "custom pet portrait pillow." These quality pillows are handmade by Boni in Asheville, North Carolina. She takes any photo of one or more dogs sent to her via email and turns it into a remarkable likeness against a color background of your choice.

The pillow shown here was made for us from a photo of our Westie, Laddie, who is no longer with us. It's a wonderful remembrance of the little guy and it looks just like him, right down to the twinkle in his eye.

Allow at least two weeks for your order to be completed, especially at holiday time. For complete information, visit the "Handmade by Boni" website at either, or, or send an email to:

POOCH PATHS: Carrier Park and French Broad River Park, Asheville, NC

The city of Asheville has some great venues for dog lovers. Two of them, Carrier Park and French Broad River Park, are along Amboy Road, close to each other, and include enough tree-lined paths by the French Broad River to make for a whole morning or afternoon of walking or biking with your four-legged friend.

Carrier Park attracts more of a crowd because of its facilities, but gently rolling paved and bark-mulched paths to the left of the picnic shelter lead away from the busy section, towards French Broad River Park. Walk along the sidewalk to reach the less populated area, and you'll notice a sign indicating the future home of "Karen Cragnolin Park." This is part of the ambitious "Wilma Dykeman Riverway Plan," named for a local writer/conservationist, and sponsored by the visionary organization, RiverLink. The plan calls for the eventual formation of a 17-mile continuous greenway linking the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers. It's an exciting and bold concept that encourages recreational use of the city's waterways.

French Broad River Park, beyond Carrier Park and to the left off Amboy Road, is a walker's delight. It has the added benefit of a fenced, 1-acre dog park on the premises. (However, there's a newer and larger dog park on the other side of town called the Azalea Road Dog Park, near the WNC Nature Center and not far from the Bleachery Boulevard shopping area.)

Walk or ride along the paths at either Carrier Park or French Broad River Park, stop to look at the water, and take time for you and your dog enjoy what Asheville has to offer.

For more information, visit the POOCH PATHS page.

What to Do if You Lose Your Dog

Sad-dog The number of stray dogs that come through local animal shelters in the Carolina mountains is amazing. Where do these dogs come from? Are they all lost?

Don't let your dog be one of them. You can avoid losing your dog in the first place by using proper identification. It is best to have your dog microchipped. A tiny chip is painlessly inserted behind the dog's neck. This can be done at a shelter, at a microchip clinic, or at your vet's office. You then file contact information with the microchip provider. If your dog is found and turned in, authorities will scan the dog for a unique ID number and call the provider to match the dog up with your information. In addition to a microchip, your dog should always be wearing some form of ID. This will make it easy for anyone who finds your dog to contact you. You can choose anything from inexpensive tags to designer tags to tags connected to pet-finding services. (Carolina Mountain Dog offers original high quality ID tags from Dog Tag Art via the button on the right under "Good Buys.")

If you do lose your dog, take action right away. Often, a dog is closer to home or the point of loss than you may think, so make the rounds, call your dog, and shake a bag of treats. This might do the trick. Put the word out about your lost dog and offer a reward. Obviously, you should inform family, friends, and neighbors first.

File a lost dog report with your local shelter immediately, and keep checking back with the shelter periodically to see if your dog shows up. Make up and post signs where the dog was lost. Use email, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media you're familiar with to publicize your dog. Check "Found" ads and place a "Lost" ad on your local Craigslist ( and on local newspaper websites.

There are other websites that could help you out as well. In Western North Carolina, there's, a free service where you can post a listing and search to see if your pet has been reported.

National sites with lost and found sections include: (California) (New York) (Texas)

(Note: There may be fees associated with some of these sites.)

For additional helpful tips, go to:

Recommended Reading: "What I Learned from the Dog"

ChickenSoup - bookcover  It's often the books about dogs written by ordinary people that have the most impact. "What I Learned from the Dog: 101 Stories about Life, Love, and Lessons" is one of those books. It is part of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series. While it seems there's a "Chicken Soup" book for just about every type of person, this one is a winner for dog lovers. Why? Because it pays off on the promise of providing 101 delectable slices of life, written by everyday dog owners. These little gems are divided into such categories as Learning to Have Courage, Learning to Listen, Learning to Overcome Adversity, Learning to Put Things into Perspective, Learning to Heal, Learning about Unconditional Love, and Learning to Say Good-bye.

This recently published volume will make a great gift for anyone who loves dogs. "What I Learned from the Dog" is availabe from Barnes & Noble at a special limited time price through this link.

Should You Use a Mobile Vet?

Mobilevet For most dog owners, visiting a vet at a traditional office or clinic is fine. But in special cases, a mobile vet might be just what the doctor ordered. A mobile vet is an option to consider when your dog is in his or her later years, has a debilitating condition, or gets extremely anxious traveling in a car.

Another time to use a mobile vet may be if you're ever faced with an end of life choice for your dog. A mobile vet can make this painful time less stressful for you and your pet.

We used a mobile vet to put an elderly dog with numerous conditions to sleep. The vet and and an assistant were compassionate and took their time. They performed the procedure in our home, where we and our other dogs were able to say good-bye in a familiar environment. It was a dignified ending for our pet in the home he loved.

Here are the mobile vets we know of in the Carolina mountains. If you are aware of others, please feel free to leave a comment and add to the list.

Asheville Veterinary Housecalls

Best Friends Mobile Veterinary Clinic
Buncombe and Henderson Counties

Mobile Pet Veterinary Services
Polk County, Saluda, parts of Buncombe, Henderson and Rutherford Counties
Spartanburg County, SC

Mobile Vet to Pet Service and Clinic
Catawba, Caldwell and Burke Counties

Outback Mobile Veterinary Service

Richland Creek Animal Clinic - Pet Med Mobile
York County to as far south as Aiken

Well Pet Mobile Vet
Leicester, Asheville

Introducing the CM Dog Online Store!

Opttoadopt-dogshirt Just in time for the holiday season, we're launching the Carolina Mountain Dog online store.

Here you'll find a variety of quality items, including shirts, hats, mugs, calendars, dog accessories, and more. Choose from items with great photos of dogs against a breathtaking mountain background, our signature Carolina Mountain Dog masthead, or the "Opt to Adopt!" slogan to show your commitment to saving dogs' lives. A portion of all sales from this store will be donated to shelters and animal welfare organizations in the Carolina mountains.Cmdog-mug So not only will you be getting some cool stuff, you'll be helping animals too!

See what's in store for you at:

POOCH PATHS: Fletcher Community Park, Fletcher, NC

Fletcherpark-bridge There are lots of community parks, so what makes Fletcher Community Park worthy of selection as a Pooch Path? One word: FLAT! Well actually, it's more than that. Yes, this park is very flat, but it also has excellent facilities and natural beauty. And it's a great place for a dog walk or a bike ride with your dog.

Fletcher Community Park has a large central "campus" with a paved trail all around it that makes for easy walking or a great bike riding path. It also has a crushed stone path running along Cane Creek that is very picturesque. Follow the bark mulch path from the stone path (behind all the parking lots) and there is a great spot to take your dog down into the water. It's right before a small bridge that passes over the creek. Go over the bridge and you'll come to a big open field (again flat) that provides another walking/biking trail. This is part of the "Fletcher Park Greenway," which will eventually be expanded but, for now, makes for a nice, not-too long-outing.

Stonepath-fletcherpark09 008 Fletcher Community Park also has restrooms and picnic tables. It is conveniently located off Hendersonville Road in Fletcher. Coming from Asheville, make a left onto Howard Gap Road (at the light just before the Blue Sky Cafe). The park will be on your left. Visit the POOCH PATHS page for additional information and a trail map.

Nov. 12 in Asheville-Taste of Compassion Fund Raiser

Acn-tasteofcompassion Animal Compassion Network's annual fund raiser, "Taste of Compassion," will be held on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 5:30 - 8 PM at The Venue, 21 North Market Street, in downtown Asheville. The event features a wine tasting and wine for sale, along with vegetarian hors d'oeuvres, music, and a silent auction. One of the items up for bid is a 2010 Subaru Outback, courtesy of Prestige Subaru.

Tickets are available online ($30) or at the door ($35). The fund raiser supports the work and programs of Animal Compassion Network, the largest non-profit, safe-for-life animal welfare organization in Western North Carolina. For more information, visit the organization's website:

Adopt a Senior Dog

Freddie November is "Adopt a Senior Pet" month.

What's so great about senior dogs? Well, let's use Freddie, shown here, as an example. We adopted this little 14-year old shih tzu from the Asheville Humane Society. He fit right into the family. He gets along beautifully with our other two big dogs. He's got a mellow, laid-back personality. He doesn't ask for much -- he's happy just laying on your lap. To him, a car ride is the highlight of the day.

Senior dogs have a way of making you stop and take a minute to appreciate life. They deserve to live out their remaining days in a loving home. So think about adopting a senior dog from your local shelter or animal rescue organization.

Animal Rescue Thrift Shops

Petharmony Shelters and animal rescue organizations are always in need of cash donations. Many of them also need contributions such as blankets, towels, cleaning supplies and other items to help defray the costs of caring for animals. As the weather gets colder and the holiday season approaches, this is a good time of year to reach out and help your local shelter or animal rescue group. Please refer to the Adopting page to find the shelter or organization nearest to you.

Some of these organizations operate thrift shops or stores that help raise money. Please patronize them. A list of the stores in our area is included here. You should contact each store for hours of operation.


Animal Haven Thrift Shop

65 Lower Grassy Branch Road

East Asheville


Brother Wolf Animal Rescue Thrift and Gift Shop

Located at Pet Soup Services

31 Glendale Ave.

East Asheville


Pet Harmony

Animal Compassion Network’s Store for Rescued Pets

803 Fairview Street


828-258-4820 x 7

Wags to Riches Thrift Shop

66 Long Shoals Road





Bare Bones Humane Society Thrift Shop

153 Don Hayes Road




Blue Ridge Humane Society Thrift Shop

1501 Greenville Highway




Paws N Claws Resale Store

Avery County Humane Society

New Vale Road (right behind Ingles)





Save-A-Pet Store

Spartanburg Humane Society

150 Dexter Road




Business is Picking Up

Dog-face Let's be honest: Dogs poop. A lot. If you have one or more dogs who spend time in your yard, you may find yourself navigating your way through a poop patch.

That's why there are services that specialize in disposing of doggie waste. And at least for these folks, business is picking up. Here's a list of poop scoopers in the Carolina mountains. Feel free to leave a comment if you know of others.


At Your Bark and Call


West Asheville (offers other services)

Poo Patrol Pet Waste Cleanup Service


Asheville and Hendersonville areas

Parts of Transylvania, Polk and Rutherford Counties



Doggie Doo Care



It’s a Doody Job!


Greenville, Simpsonville, Mauldin, Fountain Inn

Poopie Scoopers



Scoopy’s Dog Waste Removal


Greenville County