Tag: Dogs

Trip Advisor

Reverse Real Estate Walk, Southport, CT


Southport, CT, USA

2 contributions


Walk Not Up to Sniff – 11/13/22

Have to say this walk did not meet my expectations today.  First, my escorts were late getting started, by like TWO hours.  I don’t think I need to remind anyone that that’s half a day in dog years. It’s not that I’m impatient, mind you.  In fact, I’m generally described as “very chill.”  The problem with the absurdly late start is this:  One hallmark of the Reverse Real Estate Walk is that the route takes us past two large churches.  I’m not particularly spiritual, but when the walk commences in a timely manner, which today’s did not, I am able to lift the spirits of many of the parishioners as they enter or exit the places of worship.  I know this, because most of them stop in their tracks, smile at me and say something like, “Well, isn’t he a handsome fellow?” or “What a beautiful dog!”  These expressions of admiration are always accompanied by a smile.  I am a spirit lifter.  Today, we missed both services at both churches, entirely.  In fact, we went the entire four-mile route without a single “Beautiful dog!” comment.  Unacceptable.  

Unfortunately, that is not my only complaint.  In spite of the fact that my escorts were late commencing the walk, they acted as though I was holding them up.  Can you say, hypocritical?  Naturally, I used the occasion of the walk to mark my vast territory.  Anyone (and presumably that includes a pair of certified dog escorts) knows that the main purpose of a walk is to establish the boundaries of one’s kingdom.  I take this task seriously, but for some reason, the lady escort felt that my marking was holding her up.  She even yanked on the leash that I use to keep her from wandering off.  I was having one of my more productive walks, making up for the lost time, and for some reason, she appeared annoyed.

But there’s more.  Another pleasant perk of this and other local rambles is the opportunity to sample local delicacies.  I enjoy a stray pizza slice or a tasty candy wrapper (who wouldn’t?), but I particularly enjoy a ripe and crunchy acorn.  Nature’s biscuits, I like to call them.  Today, however, the acorns were apparently off limits.  I had not been informed that they were a protected species, and I did not appreciate having my jaws so brutishly pried open.  

Finally, one highlight (usually) of an autumn real estate walk is the abundance of leaf piles along the roads.  I take great pleasure in prancing through these piles.  I enjoy the swishing and crunching sounds, and the feel of the feathery leaves as they brush against my legs. Usually. Not on this particular walk, though.  Today, the leaves were neither light nor airy.  On the contrary, they were soggy and clumpy.  They chilled my legs, which slowed from a prance to a slog.  It was not only disappointing.  It was, frankly demoralizing.  

Over the years, I have generally been  pleased with the service of Catering2Canines and with their travel packages.  After today’s disappointments I am seriously considering a new service.

Catering2Canines, a full-service dog-spoiling company


Hello Farley365,

We here at Catering2Canines are very sorry that your Real Estate Walk was less than satisfying today.  As you know, we strive to give our clients the most pleasant experience possible.  While we understand your disappointment, we do wish to point out a few details that you might take into consideration before looking for a new service provider. 

To your first point, the frustrating delay, we should point out that it was pouring rain until just prior to that delayed departure.  Perhaps you hadn’t noticed the cats and dogs falling from the sky. We realize that you do have your own Catering2Canines bright yellow rain slicker, but we have found that walking four miles in torrential rain can also be a less-than-pleasurable experience.  We are very sorry that this caused you to miss the adoring church crowd.  We have also sent our apologies to both church congregations.  

As for the impatience of the “lady,” we have checked into that situation as well.  The “lady” has informed us that you did successfully mark no less than 163 different spots on the route.  She wonders how many more boundary points were needed to establish your dominion.  As an aside, she noted that you made three other substantial deposits (of a different form) along the route, each of which she dealt with in a  painstaking and “patient” manner. 

In regard to the acorn situation, the escorts have informed me that the extraction was performed in accordance with your own medical requirements.  On your personal waiver form, we noted that your veterinarian had diagnosed you with “sensitive tummy syndrome,” a condition that has led to frequent, severe, and negative consequences for both the carpeting at your home and the bank accounts of your caretakers.  It seems that the acorn prohibition was both considerate and prudent.

Finally, as to the soggy and demoralizing leaf piles, we refer you to item one (above).  Studies have shown that steady rainfall has been known to dampen a leaf pile, causing the leaves in said piles to become significantly less crunchy and fluffy.  At present, we have little control over this natural phenomenon.  

With these explanations in mind, we hope that you will give us another chance to serve your needs in the future.

Note: Despite Farley365’s assertions and sprinklings of dominion, it should be pointed out that The Reverse Real Estate Walk follows a route originally charted by humans (specifically, the “lady”) for the purpose of ogling at the homes and yards of wealthy humans. The fact that many canines now regularly water and otherwise decorate the lawns of those wealthy humans is, well, a bonus.

We’ve Been Served

Imagined Westminster Dog Show Introduction:

First up in the companion division, is the Lesser Dane.  Though slightly smaller than their pony-like cousin the Great Dane, the Lesser Dane nonetheless shares many notable and admirable qualities.  The Lesser Dane makes an excellent family dog as he is friendly, gentle, humble, playful and affectionate.  Lesser Dane aficionados note that LDs can be clumsy and seemingly oblivious to their own imposing size.  They may not be candidates for agility training, though this does not stop them from attempting somersaults on your bed.  Lesser Danes are nothing if they are not conspicuous.  Their good looks get them noticed wherever they go.  The Lesser Dane is equally at ease on a couch, a bed, or a lap.  Potential owners should be comfortable with drool, flatulence, and the occasional sensitive stomach.  This is Companion division winner, Lesser Dane number 14, Sir Farles Barkley. but he prefers that you call him simply, Farley.

In spite of having a great weekend, I’m going to write about the one lowlight.  I’m sure it says a lot about me.

It’s Saturday evening, about 6:00 and we pull into the parking lot of the hotel where we’ll be spending the night.  We’ll be hiking in the morning, and we hope to get an early start, so springing for the one-night stay seems worth it, even if we’ll only be there for 12 hours.

Nancy checks in, while I walk Farley around the parking lot. We were happy to find a place that welcomed dogs. Nancy used a web service called Bring Fido to book the hotel.   Farley is not a fan of being left behind.  

Digression #1:  Farley’s visit to the kennel (more accurately described as a canine spa) had not gone well.  It featured lots of playtime with other canines, but far less human interaction (more accurately described as adoration) than Farley would have liked.  It didn’t agree with his sensitive stomach. We received a phone call informing us of this.  Similarly, Farley’s  five days with a live-in dog sitter had also left him unsatisfied and unsettled (digestively speaking), perhaps owing to the sitter’s lack of adoration.  She described him as “needy.”  Well, he is.  

Digression #2:  Farley arrived from Arkansas on March 13, 2020.  Yes, it was the day after my school and much of our part of the world shut down because of some virus.  For the next six months Farley had the full attention (more accurately described as indulgence) of at least one of the three adults living and working from home during all of his waking hours.  He didn’t demand it, but he welcomed it…and grew to expect it.

This is all to explain why we thought it might just be easier to bring him with us on our brief overnight excursion.  Farley loves a sleepover (with us), and he will definitely love the hike.

As we approach the lobby entrance, we notice another person with a dog.  She is taking great pains to have her young labrador sit and then heel as he enters the hotel.  We decide to give them some space.  Farley can be a bit of a distraction.  In due time, we enter.  We head toward the elevators, as Nancy has already checked us in.  There, we see the woman and her dog boarding the elevator.  This would not be a good time to double up.  We’ll wait for the next one.  After the doors close, we press the button and step back.

Moments later, the doors open, and we find ourselves face-to-face with the aforementioned woman and her Labrador.  The woman makes a face and her dog barks and lunges toward us.   We move Farley back.  Smaller dogs often like to bark at him.  The woman looks at us, points at Farley and hisses, “Is that a service dog?”

“No,” we reply, “he’s just a regular dog.”  Farley takes the “regular” comment in stride.  He sits patiently.

“Well, this hotel only allows service dogs.”

“I don’t think that’s right,” Nancy says.  “I specifically looked for a place that took dogs.  We booked this through Bring Fido.”

The woman huffs past us, her service dog barking, growling, and lunging at Farley the whole way.  Farley sits calmly by our side.  We are a bit stunned at their attitudes (both the woman’s and her service dog’s).

But there’s more.  

From around the corner, we hear her raised voice. “Excuse me!” she shouts, presumably to the desk clerk.  “It’s my understanding that this establishment only allows dogs if they are service dogs.  Is that correct?” I look at Nancy. She looks back at me. Have we done something to this woman?

The desk clerk’s reply is inaudible, as he has decided not to shout his response to someone who is probably one foot away from him.

“That’s what I thought!” says the woman, continuing to shout.  “Well, there is a couple over there  (I presume she is pointing dramatically toward the elevator) who have a VERY large black dog that is NOT a service dog.  They are trying to get on the elevator.”   In fact, we are not trying to get on the elevator.  One doesn’t “sneak” anywhere with Farley.  Remember, he’s conspicuous.  We are, instead, in the process of picking our lower jaws up off the floor.  Nancy retrieves hers first and heads to the desk to present her side.

“I booked our stay through Bring Fido, and I specifically checked off two adults and one dog.  If that’s not okay, then I’m not sure why your place comes up on that site.”

The clerk, probably cowering from the shouting woman and her menacing service dog, admits to Nancy that the hotel does not accept dogs unless they are service dogs.  Nancy says that, in that case, we will have to look for another place, and we’d like to have our reservation canceled and the money refunded.  Probably so grateful for a non-violent resolution, the clerk readily agrees, and we depart with our conspicuous and docile non-service dog. 

We find a motel in a neighboring town.  They gladly accept dogs, regardless of their service status.  Farley sleeps soundly on three-quarters of the double bed.  Nancy and I share the other fourth, dreaming about what we might have said.