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Strolling Black Mountain with Grandbury and Winni

Grandbury and Winni met so many new friends as we strolled through Black Mountain today. Grandbury loves his new stroller. Contact us for ordering information, you’ll soon be able to order them through! This is the large stroller cart that accommodates a dog up to 110 lbs.  At 50 lbs, Grandbury fits just fine and has plenty of head room to turn around and sit comfortably.

Grandbury in his new stroller

Our 17 year old boy deserves his seat of style. Winni takes it easy too. 🙂


Winni in her backpack.


We made a stop at the Black Mountain Tailgate Market. Travelin’ with your pets? Don’t be shy, grab a leash (or your carriers or strollers) and stop in. Handmade locals items range from coffee and chocolate to plants and jewelry.

Black Market Tailgate Pet Friendly


There are so many great stores to visit when you trek downtown Black Mountain, North Carolina. Grandbury sampled some tasty treats at Bone-A-Fide Bakery & Pet Boutique. Nothin’ better than a little treat and rub for the pooch. Winni sat by wondering where her little nibble was.

Winni in her cat carrier.

One pooped pooch and kitty. We all certainly had a great time meeting everyone today. Black Mountain, North Carolina is a pet friendly community that awaits your visit.

Tired Winni and Grandbury in North Carolina.

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Cat Carriers and Car Rides – Tips For Cat Travel and Transport

Cat in carrier looking out
Photo credit: Debbie Schiel

While at Grandbury’s latest checkup, we met some great pet parents. One gentleman was greatly stressed about getting his cat into the carrier. Ernie, his sweet cat, was calmly sitting in the carrier as we all sat in the waiting area, but this wasn’t the case when it came time to prepare Ernie for the trip to the vet. This man has another cat that is much larger and much more vocal about his unhappiness about his carrier and travel in the car.

We passed along the following in the hopes that Ernie will have a better go of it when he is ready to hit the road again!

The Big Bad Carrier – Think about it, if the only time you ever saw that big plastic box or bag with mesh “windows” was when you got a shot or experienced a surgical procedure, you’d have a hard time running to hop into it too. If you want your cat to be comfortable with his carrier, you need to desensitize him to it. Here are a few tips to help you and your cat.

Leave the carrier out among the living – Get the carrier out of the closet and put it down on the floor where your cat can become more acquainted with it. Leave the door open (or remove it totally), put a favorite toy or blanket inside, and just let your cat discover the carrier in his own time. Place the carrier near a favorite lounge spot. If you happen to discover your cat inside the carrier, give him his favorite reward- a treat, a pat, or a sweet word of praise. Don’t linger long enough to make him want to leave the carrier, just praise him and be on your way. Repeat as often as necessary. Keep this up and the carrier may actually become the favorite nap spot.

Food is great motivation – Your cat has a favorite snack. Winni is crazy about asparagus, chickpeas, and pasta noodles. I know, she is a little foodie. If your cat just won’t warm up to his carrier, why not try a little coaxing instead of force? While the image of a cat howling and gripping onto the edges of their carrier as the owner attempts to force the cat into a pet carrier may elicit laughs in a cartoon, it is anything but funny if you are the scared cat or frustrated owner (like the ones in the video above).

When you are frustrated and rushed, your cat gets frustrated too. Trying to force your cat into his carrier can result in physical injury to you or the cat.

When you are ready to leave and need the cat in his carrier, try the following:  While letting your cat see you prepare it for transport, put the open carrier on the floor and line it with a soft blanket/towel. As you prepare your cat’s favorite treat, make sure he is within eye sight and can watch what you do with that yummy treat. Place the treat on a little paper plate or paper towel, and then call your pet over to the carrier (hopefully they just follow you and the yummy) and place the treat inside the carrier at the back.

Walk away. You’ll be tempted to hover, but you’ll get better results if you just ignore the cat for a minute and let him enter the carrier and go in search of the treat. Once your cat has entered the carrier, gently close it up and let him finish the treat. Now you two are ready to travel.

Make it Fun – From the cat’s perspective, the idea of leaving the house just isn’t an optimal choice. Aside from the whole carrier issue, there may be a little more behind the refusal to hit the road. If the only time that your cat ever encounters a car is when he is headed to the vet, you must understand his apprehension. The car and the carrier now represent an unpleasant precursor to a visit at the “not fun place” where one has left body parts and dignity behind.

Additionally, between the stress of being chased around the house and pushed into a carrier and the actual movement of the car, there may be a real issue of car sickness behind your pet’s hatred of all things related to leaving the home. If you can limit the stress before going on the ride, and increase the rides that you take with your cat, you may just make car rides a fun event for you and your cat. Take your cat with you when you run that quick errand to return a library book or pick up a pizza.

Most importantly, take them when you are not stressed or in a hurry to do anything. You may even need to start with a simple ride around the block. If your cat continually has car sickness, talk with your vet to determine what might be the cause.

Just to cover the bases, you might make certain that the carrier is:

Clean – Cats don’t want to ride in a yucky carrier.

Size Appropriate – The carrier you purchased for the little kitten might be too small for the big adult cat.

Safe and Ventilated – Is there a piece of metal or plastic sticking out ready to poke kitty in the eye or bum? Is there adequate ventilation?

You never know when you’ll need your cat beside you as a co-pilot. Working with your cat to make him more comfortable and safe when he travels takes time and patience for both of you. Take a breath and take your time.

Try as we might, sometimes we aren’t able to decode the unhappiness that is associated with certain items or elements of our pets’ lives. Sometimes we adopt an animal that has issues so deeply ingrained that it will take many years and more treats and tips to change those habits and feelings. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t fix all of your pets’ issues right away; the greatest minds of science still don’t understand the necessity of sleep.

This video highlights how differently individual cats can view their cat carrier.

There are lots of carriers on the market, see the links below to get you started.

How does your cat feel about his carrier? Have a tip you’d like to share?

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2010 Dog Friendly Honda Element

HondaElement emblem

We told you about the new 2010 Dog FriendlyTM Honda  Element back in April, and now we can report that you’ll be seeing it at your local dealership on November 16, 2009.


More information from the American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The Dog Friendly equipment group is designed exclusively for the Element EX trim level and can be adapted to the Element LX trim level with the addition of a dealer-installed rear accessory power outlet for the rear ventilation fan. Engineered to integrate with factory precision into the Element EX, the Dog Friendly equipment is intended to accommodate the secure transportation of a dog in the cargo area within a nylon-webbed car kennel. In daily operation the car kennel helps prevent a dog from interfering with the driver in traffic by keeping the pet properly restrained and out of reach of the driver. In the event of a frontal collision, the kennel is intended to help restrain the dog behind the rear seats, reducing the chance for the pet to be injured – or to injure human occupants during a crash.

The Dog Friendly equipment enhances pet comfort by providing a soft floor surface for the dog’s legs and paws along with a dedicated fan and a spill resistant water source. Convenience is improved for owners with an integrated ramp, easy to clean surfaces and a full suite of matching Dog Friendly accoutrements.

Major components include:

  • a soft-sided cargo area car kennel made from seat belt-grade netting
  • a cushioned pet bed in the cargo area with an elevated platform
  • a 12V DC rear ventilation fan
  • second-row seat covers with a dog pattern design (matches the bed fabric)
  • an extendable ramp (stores under the pet bed platform)
  • all-season rubber floor mats with a toy bone pattern
  • a spill-resistant water bowl
  • Dog Friendly exterior emblems (driver’s side and rear)

The ramp stores underneath the bed platform and can be conveniently accessed when the rear tailgate is down. The car kennel was designed and is being constructed by Takata Corporation, one of the world’s leading automotive safety systems suppliers. The Dog Friendly equipment group has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $995

We love the color of the car in the photo (it is orange, after all)! We look forward to checking it out locally to get the feel of it ourselves. What do you think? Does it offer enough safety features? Is there something you would like to see in the canine car of your dreams? What suggestions do you have?


Photo credits: American Honda Motor Corp., Inc.