Monthly Archives: March 2009

eco friendly tour of Mendocino…

Cici and I have put our heads together and come up with an eco-friendly (green) tour of Mendocino, California …

Mendocino County is clearly one of the eco friendliest places in California and this list has a little something for everyone.

Visit each Website for more eco friendly info. Bring your best friend with you because all of these inns are also dog friendly.

Start your eco friendly tour of Mendocino in Hopland… and tour the Solar Living Center and Real Goods… see solar power in action….

Then stay at one or more of these eco friendly/green inns…

1. Inn at Schoolhouse Creek, Little River

Innkeepers Steven and Maureen made eco friendly changes when they bought the Inn:

converted to all Seventh Generation paper products
converted to all natural biodegradable cleaning and laundry products
installed low water washering machines
converted all in house ingredients to organic where possible / available
planted an organic garden to supply kitchen in season
started composting all organic kitchen waste
put recycling containers in all rooms
built spa with green design – yurt- composting toilet – bamboo flooring
instituted the reuse your towels / sheets program and put cards in the rooms
pay housekeepers to ride share

2. Stanford Inn, Mendocino (extremely animal friendly with dogs, cats, llamas and other animals on site, gourmet vegan cuisine, and utilize nontoxic cleaning products)

3. MacCallum House, Mendocino check out their wellness retreat and enjoy the clean air, beautiful gardens, spa and pure water

Also check out their Green News:

Pioneer seasonal menus featuring local organic produce, dairy and grains for the past 2 decades from local purveyors.
Compost all food waste.
100% recycling of plastics and glass bottles.
All paper used in the hotel and office are from recycled sources whenever possible.
All in-room shampoo, conditioner and lotion in reusable pump bottles made from recycled plastics.
All outdoor bulbs changed to CFL and many indoor, as well.
All laundry detergent, fabric softener, brightener and air deodorizer from and, environmentally friendly and biodegradable
All paint used on property is water soluble.
All water served to guests run through charcoal filter.
Employee education and ‘go green contest’
In the pipeline: low flow shower heads and in-room energy control units.
Starting in 2006, changed the coffee supply in the US, moving to higher quality produce from growers who work under the Rainforest Alliance umbrella. The Alliance looks to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that depend on them by safeguarding the rights and well-being of workers, conserving resources and protecting the environment.

4. Shambhala, Ukiah (off-grid solar powered, nontoxic cleaning products from Young Living)

5. Living Light Inn, Fort Bragg (All the rooms are outfitted with organic bedding and linens. The water in the building is filtered, including the water you bathe in, with a special reverse osmosis filtration system in the kitchen. The cleaning products are vegan, non-toxic, and biodegradable. Living Light Inn also recycles and composts waste. All of the rooms have windows that open, with lots of fresh air and self controlled heat)

6. Pacific Mist Inn Bungalows, drive electric vehicles and use nontoxic cleaning products

7. Cottages at Little River the new manager Kelly is now utilizing nontoxic cleaning products and amenities. Check out their spa package…

How to find authentic eco-friendly/green hotel accommodations…



Filed under California, eco tourism, green, pet friendly lodging, Uncategorized

Monterey pet friendly…

The Mariposa Suites is right across the street from the very pet friendly Del Monte Shopping Center, with Whole Foods, and there are even stores that allow pets such as Border Express, they rock, and the Apple store. Not only was Cici allowed but greeted and welcomed most places and even took a snooze or two on the comfy outside couches when the sun was warm.

Mariposa is a luxury boutique hotel that is affordable. It has 50 elegant rooms and hotel suites, a lovely orange lobby, with comfortable chairs and a chandelier. It is a very nice upscale property with swimming pool, king size bed suites (where we stayed), with couch, desk for computer, two televisions, lovely chair for desk and fireplace (gas), gorgeous view of swimming pool area… smoke free property and eco friendly, with THE very best spa bath products … body butter, body wash, shampoo and conditioner …

there is a very nice grassy area to walk pooches… so far, they do not offer any pet amenities but are working on getting some.

The place is amazingly quiet, very very quiet…considering the location, on the corner of a very busy street.

All of the rooms are pet friendly and we stayed on the second floor, up the elevator…

They offer a delicious breakfast buffet filled with different types of danishes, muffins, breads, waffles, yogurts, fresh fruits and more plus the hot coffee, tea and hot chocolate.

Mariposa also offers some wonderful packages including the Monterey Bay Aquarium package and others.


The beaches in Monterey are pet friendly, dogs are supposed to be on leashes but they tend to run free.

There are several wineries in the area but do not yet know if they are dog friendly.

The Monarch butterflies and Gray whales are fun attractions at various times of the year.

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Filed under California, Monterey, pet friendly lodging, pet travel

dog nose best…

cici was whining while i was sitting in the car with her by the beach watching the waves the other night… i thought it was too cold to go onto the beach but finally i gave in and it was not too cold and she met up with two other dogs and chased them plus sniffed and dug sand and had a real blast… when in doubt, trust your dog…

was given the runaround by a couple of inns in Cambria … and went back to the blue whale inn and got some home baked cookies for me and cici. we’ve decided that they are the only inn in Cambria with any kind of dogitude. Plus, was thinking that people with dogitude tend to be kind to other humans and animals and people without a shred of dogitude are just plain mean.

we decided to camp out near san simeon and our air bed was deflated, it was quite cold outside but toasty inside the tent with our sleeping bags. was surprised to see so many other people camping out this early in the season, most were in rv’s though, there was a gal and guy from orange county who had a tent up, too… no other dogs the first night but last night there was a plethora including three greyhounds, a tiny slinky dog, and some others.

in the morning, we were looking for the library and found the dog park instead. cici met up with about 6-7 dogs and had a great time chasing the dogs… including her new boyfriend bixby, a year old herding dog, Mocha, a chocolate lab puppy, blixen, a white German shepherd, Tucker a ball chasing lab, and Katie, a cutie. later at the beach, she sniffed out some squirrels and stalked lizards as well as made some other new doggie friends.

we found a beach near to the hearst castle that has easy access and she chased several dogs. I looked around the Hearst castle visitor center, am not big on climbing 150-450 stairs, so I passed on the tour… but the visitor center has a free museum where you can poke around and learn about WR Hearst and his castle and empire… with all of the people who have lost their homes recently seems like a big waste having a castle sitting there with no one living in it…

all in all, spring has sprung and cici has been happy chewing on a bone…


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cottages at Little River update…

Cici and Tek spent some fun time together (Tek is a 4 month old black Lab mix) puppy at Cottages. They enjoyed playing tug of war with doggytug toy, chasing one another around the property and wrestling, all in puppy fun.

Cottages has some exciting new innovations… including eco-friendly amenities.

And they’ve got the best pet bed, the ONLY one that Cici has ever slept in.

We stayed in the Gualala cottage, on the side near to the deer in the forest behind the structures. Very quiet and peaceful… It is lovely when on the road when you can stay in a home away from home. And Cottages has it all, kitchen, homey accoutrements and a bedroom, living room with fireplace, couch and patio set-up. Upscale and cool.

Kelly is the new manager and she is Tek’s puppy mom.




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Filed under California, dog travel, K9 travel, travel with dog

interview with a dog artist: dogs are love …

Interview with Nancy Schutt of
Custom Fine Art Pet Portraits

“Every dog deserves good art.”

Nancy is an artist who says: “Cici is gorgeous, she is embodied cuteness. Cici is endearing. How is it people think animals don’t feel love? it is so obvious in Cici’s face. And trust too. You can see by her body language and eyes that she is relaxed and confident of being a treasured being. Some day, truly, all beings will be treasured…

“I am a painter. I have a Master of Fine Arts degree – for what it’s worth. Being an artist is frequently not a very remunerative occupation, no matter one’s education. Being an artist requires tenacity and a willingness to make a crappy living, do other work for money, or just keep at it for years in hopes of a payoff someday. I’ve done all of the above for about 25 years, fifteen of them specializing in dogart.

My advice to other artists is to just keep on keeping on. There is something spiritually gratifying about the activity of making art that makes it worth the dedication and persistence required.

It also requires multiple skills. As Andy Warhol said “If you are an artist you must also be a businessman, otherwise no one will ever see your work.” It’s a tough match, business and art. Running columns of numbers generally doesn’t come easy to artists. The computer is a nice mesh of left and right brain activities though, and I spend about half of my work time sitting at my Mac. It is a jump-around, scrambling between the studio, appointments, managing the website and internet store, marketing, meetings, dog walks. And I don’t even have kids! How the heck do Moms manage it? Maybe a high maintenance Chihuahua counts though.

I started painting dogs after I did a small watercolor of my sister’s dogs and my Mother said, “Honey, you could make money doing that.” The magic words! And how great is that? To actually pull in some income depicting one of my favorite subjects. Dogs have such close personal relationships with us and have been a favorite subject since I was a kid. A painting of a dog is a portrait of a family member.

Fifteen years ago I exhibited a show of paintings of friend’s dogs in a gallery. I received some calls from people who saw the show and wanted paintings of their own dogs. I started exhibiting my work in coffee shops in order to get more commissions. That provided some income for several years and the motivation to continue. Thankfully I no longer lug around paintings and set up coffee house exhibits as, for me, that part is a downside to being an artist.

Now I primarily get work through the website or referrals rather than working with a gallery, (although I have done that as well and may again in the future). The Internet has made it much more possible to be an artist without dependency upon a gallery or schlepping one’s work from venue to venue.

Dogs themselves are lovely, humorous, expressive, fun creatures who contribute enormously to our lives. They are masters of being fully present in the moment, and they model that for us daily. They cause us to re-evaluate those things we hold dear: wealth, status, fashion, morality, politics, success of a composition- none are of interest to them. But the remains of a pizza are of utmost concern. It gives me pause when taking myself too seriously.

Dogs have been an answer to many problems about being an artist. They offer resolution to the question of what to do art about. They provide design elements of variety in shape and color, they provide emotional and intellectual interest, they can add humor or profundity to the painting, and they attract a client base.

A painting could be figurative, landscape, still life, abstract- it doesn’t matter because all good paintings must work with the same basic elements: composition/color/ technique/ form- and must be successful with all of those elements to be a good painting. And then there is content. If it’s about dogs, it’s about love.


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Freelance writer wants to Interview YOU!

If you are:

* a Green/Pet Friendly Innkeeper in California

* a Green/Eco Friendly Pet Business Owner

* a Healthy Dog Food Business Owner

* a Whole Dog Vet / Healthcare Professional

Give me a call at 702-225-8206 or send me an email at TODAY.


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Filed under California, eco tourism, environment, green, holistic healing for animals, holistic vet, luxury travel, writing

martha stewart… daily wag dog blog…

Saw Martha Stewart’s doggie show this morning… they had a doggie fashion show and doggie audience, as well as doggie products… how to make a recycled doggie sweater, etc.

and I just found her doggie blog, the daily wag, for her dogs Sharkey and Francesca…



but someone I just spoke with told me that one of her dogs (a Chow) died a few weeks ago in a horrible fire at a kennel…

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