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Archive for December, 2009

Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays

December 2nd, 2009 2 comments

Open Your Heart and Home to a Shelter Animal This Holiday Season

Open Your Heart and Home to a Shelter Animal This Holiday Season

Participate in Petfinder’s First-Ever Foster a Lonely Pet Program

Inspired by the book A Dog Named Christmas, by Greg Kincaid, Petfinder has introduced the Foster a Lonely Pet program.

A Dog Named Christmas is about a developmentally challenged young man who, in spite of objections from his father, decides to foster a dog from a local animal shelter during the holidays.  His relationship with the dog, a yellow Labrador Retriever he names Christmas, influences others in the community to open their hearts and homes to animals in need.  And his bond with Christmas changes perceptions that others have about him and his capabilities.

Motivated by this inspiring story, Petfinder is working with a network of thousands of shelters and rescue groups across the United States to give families an opportunity to share their homes with an adoptable dog or cat during this holiday season.

Fostering a shelter animal for the holidays is a great idea for so many reasons.

  • It could give the dog or cat a chance to spend the holidays in a loving home during the holidays instead of in a crate at the shelter.  Animal shelters are often overflowing and understaffed during the holidays.
  • It could provide a break for someone, like my friend Valerie with Animal Friends Society (a program participant), who is currently fostering a number of animals.
  • If you are thinking of adopting a dog or cat, fostering one for the holidays could provide you with a chance to see how a pet will fit with your family and lifestyle.
  • It is a good deed, and those are just worth doing anytime, but especially during the holiday season.

Fostering an animal through the Foster a Lonely Pet program is not a forever commitment.  You may choose to provide a loving and safe environment for a lonely animal for a few days or for the entire holiday season through the New Year.

Lucy Still Loves Her Foster Mom

Lucy Still Loves Her Foster Mom

Go to Petfinder.com to locate a shelter or rescue organization in your local area and celebrate the holidays in the company of an animal who needs you.

Incidentally, the aforementioned Valerie was our Lucy’s foster mom before we brought Lucy to her forever home.  Lucy still remembers Valerie and has plenty of love for her former foster mom whenever we see her.  So, even though fostering a shelter animal is not necessarily a permanent commitment, it is certainly possible to build a permanent bond with an animal through fostering.

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Categories: Dogs in the News

Visit Dog-Friendly Rotterdam in The Netherlands

December 1st, 2009 93 comments

Europe’s Main Port City Loves Dogs

Rotterdam is a lovely city located in the western part of The Netherlands.  The country’s second-largest city (after Amsterdam), Rotterdam boasts Europe’s busiest port.  A multicultural and exciting city, Rotterdam, like many European cities, is also very dog-friendly.

Dog-Friendly Parks and Gardens in Rotterdam

Dog-Friendly Parks and Gardens in Rotterdam

Het Park (or “The Park”) is a lush urban garden bordering the Nieuwe Maas.  It is located near the Maritime Quarter and the Park Quay.  Het Park is a public park, open year-round.  It is a perfect place to jog or walk with the dog, and many residents and visitors do just that.  Het Park is also the venue for many outdoor festivals throughout the year, including the incredible Zomercarnaval held each year at the end of July. 

Museumpark is a public sculpture garden surrounded by several museums, including the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Museum

Outdoor Art in Rotterdam

 Boijmans Van Beuningen, Chabot Museum, Kunsthal, Villa Sonneveld and Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam.  The park itself contains a number of quirky and interesting sculptures and makes for a pleasant summer stroll.  It is dog-friendly, but the museums are not.

Kralingse Wood is the largest public park in Rotterdam.  It surrounds Kralingse Lake, and is the perfect place for walking, jogging or skating with your pet.  Sailing on the lake offers views of the Rotterdam skyline.  Boats are for rent at the sailing center.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Rotterdam

There are several hotels in and around Rotterdam that allow dogs.  These include:

  • Bilderberg Parkhotel Rotterdam.  Called the “Grande Dame” of Rotterdam, the Bilderberg Parkhotel is located in the center of Rotterdam near Rotterdam Central Station.  They welcome pets.
  • Grand Hotel Central Rotterdam.  Built in 1917, the Grand Hotel Central Rotterdam is still family owned.  Rotterdam Central Station is accessible by foot.  The Grand Hotel Central Rotterdam is a smoke-free, pet-friendly hotel.
  • Campanile Rotterdam-Oost.  This small, cozy hotel boasts a “calm environment” and a location near the center of the city.  The hotel welcomes pets weighing less than 10 kg (approximately 22 pounds).

Taking Your Dog to the Netherlands

The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C., has provided information on traveling to the Netherlands with one’s pet.   A veterinary certificate is required, containing all the documentation on the dog, including the record of vaccinations.

Additional Resource:  Visit Dog-Friendly Gothenburg, Sweden

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Categories: Traveling With Dogs