This weekend marks our first Dog Vacation! We usually take monthly trips up to Banff or Canmore with all 5 of our dogs – however this time, we were going to take our 3 boys through to Spokane, Seattle and up to Vancouver and Whistler for the Dock Dogs Competition!
We made sure to take the necessary precautions by packing our passport with our dogs vet records noting updated vaccination records inclusive of Rabies and Boosters. We also packed their license certification from the City of Calgary. The border security did not check for any paperwork – but it is better to be safe – than to drive back 6 hours to get them!
Most motels in Spokane allowed pets – so we stayed at the Quality Inn for our long drive overnight rest.
Our 2nd night after shopping, we were not so lucky, staying at a very dirty, falling apart motel in Burlington Washington. Cops circled around every hour to insure our safety hah! No dogs allowed here, so I worried about my dogs in their comfy clean kennels in the van with the windows open on a mild evening. While Jimmy and I wrapped ourselves tightly in the uncomfortable beds… our entry door lock hanging on to dear life by shreds of wood of the door and our bathroom sink covered in many colored stains. Lucky dogs.
We arrived in Whistler a few hours later and when they say it is the Dog Friendly Capital of Canada – they were not kidding. We booked at the Adara Hotel right off the Village Walk which was sprinkled with anything you needed. Stores from Aritzia to Lululemon to 4 star restaurants and Blenz Coffee! A 7 minute walk got us to the Olympic Plaza where the Dock Dogs competition was being held.
Along the village walk were patios full of people and their pets.
Poop bag stations were at every corner and a friendly gentleman caught Thor pooing behind me and politely said ‘excuse me miss’ instead of the rude comments heard at offleash parks back home ‘are you going to pick up after your dog?’. Dog bowls were at every corner for dogs to hydrate.
Shogun got so excited as we passed the Olympic circles and he could hear dogs splashing in the pool! We got all registered with the DockDog Canada crew and with a few practices,
Shogun was a little rusty averaging his regular 7-8’. A new dog from Whistler jumped for his first time, hitting a good 12’!
We then headed back to our hotel, a very modern hotel away from the crazy pubs and nightclubs around – full of dog friendly people! Thor got so much attention strutting his moves up and down the pathways. The staff at Adara were so friendly and accommodating! After unpacking, we headed out to Blackcomb pub for some evening munchies! Much to our surprise, our dogs were able to sit with us at the table. They had a great view of all the pedestrians, kids, dogs wakling by. I was so proud that they sat their perfectly watching all the traffic. They even got their own water dish with the waitress asking if they needed refills.
The food was superb and the environment was so relaxing. We took a nice walk down the Village Walk – and I was in heaven! The dogs were loving it as well! They got a lot of attention!
Day #2 rolled around and we headed out early to get more practices on – especially for Thor & Bourbon who had never Dock Jumped. Bourbon jumped off last year, only because he had no idea what he was doing, following Shogun off the dock. Thor also tried a few times this year at Sylvan Lake – but would never jump in but always wanted to.
As the competition rolled around, watched the World Record holder Taz jump 20+ jumps and this adorable Staffie Bull Terrier, only a little bigger than Thor averaging 16’ jumps! The Alberta Dock Dogs crew appeared and the team had great jumps with Kona, Hugo and Tangent adding to Bourbon, Thor & Shogun. You can find Shogun’s custom video (that can only be viewed on a computer due to the song used) and the rest of the jumps on our YouTube channel!!
I also met some amazing dog people that really made my heart melt. A lady and her rescue pitbull named Sage. Sage was dog aggressive, but that didn’t stop her from having her compete in dog events. She had extreme control of her dog and her dog was kennel trained. She was the quietest dog in the waiting area. She went from not jumping due to being new, to hitting 16’ and doing the speed retrieval. She does quite a bit of rescue work with pitbulls – and it is great to see people not use excuses.
Max was another dog that was rescued by this great family. He use to be a police dog and the owners did not know. Teaching him fetch ended up with blood and bite marks all over their arms. They harnessed his skills into dock diving for his first time – and he did great as well! They also had a senior dog they tugged along on the stroller – she had been given up at 12 years old – and now is happily 17 year old senior border collie – what a great retirement home for her!!
We also visited some stores that allowed you to bring pets in and topped off our night at BG Grills for dinner with the dogs. This restaurant was not so much catered to the dogs as much as the pub was – but we went there due to some high reviews online. Food was more in the sandwich range – but was still good!
If you plan a dog vacation, I highly recommend Whistler as a stop. It has everything you need for a great vacation. Beautiful scenery, great eats and pet friendly accommodations galore. It is unfortunate that we were unable to visit the offleash parks (some had beaches!!) nearby due to time constraints. You can bet that we will be there next year with our girls in tow!