Archives for May 2017

Pet Me! Therapy Dogs De-Stress Passengers at LAX

Did you know there are dogs at airports specifically for making US feel better? In fact, LAX has assisted 46 other airports nationwide to start a similar therapy dog program and the numbers are growing.

The LAX PUPS (Pets Unstressing Passengers) therapy dogs walk around the terminals in their red “Pet Me!” vests seeking to soothe stressed travelers and welcoming cuddles.

So, what’s a typical day like for an LAX PUP?

I recently had the opportunity to meet the program director Heidi Huebner and got to walk around LAX with the pups myself. Yay, puppy time!

These dogs are all registered therapy dogs and were so calm, obedient and loving. Therapy dogs are specifically trained, which can take up to 12-18 months and pass various tests.

We all know that dogs can sense our feelings, especially if we’re under stress and anxiety, so it was really nice to see how people responded to the pups. So many people spotted them and came over asking if they could really pet the dog; some would take a good 10-15 minutes with a dog.

“They love seeing the dogs in the terminals,” Heidi says about the passengers. “They say I really needed this, or I just left my dogs at home and already miss them, so this is a nice way to get some more love.”

LAX terminals will now call Heidi when it looks like some of the travelers need de-stressing and she dispatches some dogs right over. Pretty cool. I wish I had that wherever I went! Dogs are basically our stress-reliever squishy ball with fur. 🙂

LAX PUPS started in 2013 and I’m so happy to see that it’s growing and popping up in more airports!  Oh, did I mention these dogs have their own cards? Yep. If you do run into one, make sure to start collecting their little trading cards.

Heidi continues, “I got another email from a man whose young son met the pups and took a picture of his son eating dinner at home with the pup’s card next to him on the dining room table.  The dad said, my son eats with the card next to him every night. These dogs and the volunteers touch so many people everyday.  It is a simple act of kindness that makes traveling warm and fuzzy.”

So, next time you’re feeling a little edgy over that upcoming flight, hope one of PUPS furriest finds you!

 

 

Hotel du Cap Eden Roc French Riviera

Okay, hi.

Now this is luxury.

We arrived in Nice, France (only a 2 hour flight from London — Europeans are seriously so lucky) and got driven over to the sweet, coastal town of Cap d’Antibes. We stayed at Hotel Belles Rives for the first couple nights then we moved over to the grand-finale-of-a-surprise: Hotel Du Cap.

Let me start by saying, this hotel is legendary — and by legendary I mean all the film stars have stayed here, it’s a Cannes Film Festival go-to and Madonna’s favorite.

But beyond that, it’s pure French elegance and style. It’s dreamy, opulent, timeless… I really think photos will do a better job telling the story. Oh and I found out they do accept dogs (20 pounds and under) so I couldn’t wait to share it here! We’re already planning on bringing the frenchies back this year. 🙂

The infinity pool and private sea access are just breathtaking. They even have swings and diving boards to jump off! It was too chilly to swim in the ocean (late April) but the pool was just perfect.

I can just imagine how much the pups would love it here… gorgeous gardens and forest surround the property — feels like a fairytale, honestly. Their Sisley Spa is also a must. I had one of the best facials…

Everything about this place feels decadent and lush… my 2nd favorite hotel in the world so far (#1 spot is forever taken by Amangiri).

Hotel Belles Rives French Riviera

French Riviera glamour…

F. Scott Fitzgerald, you guys. Hotel Belles Rives was once this famous author and his wife Zelda’s mansion in the south of France during the Art Deco years. Art Deco is my favorite era and the design — I love just everything about it.

This romantic boutique hotel (43 rooms) is full of Art Deco art, “roaring twenties” nostalgia and charming blue-striped awnings. Located in the town of Juan les Pins, in Cap d’ Antibes, the hotel is on the sea so you get a gorgeous view of the blue Mediterranean ocean at all times.

In this boutique hotel, you definitely feel at home and the service is impeccable. We actually asked the concierge Luca if he knew any French Bulldogs so we could take some photos and then someone checked into the hotel two hours later with a French Bulldog!

So that frenchie Jessy is featured in the photos — haha yes I’m crazy!

Anyways… the Piano Bar is très chic and they offer a Michelin-starred restaurant La Passagère which was amazing. And you have a private beach and a pier where you can get massages too — ahh.

By the way, dogs can also get massages. For dogs, they even get their own room service and spa menu. Guests can bring their dog (under 20 lbs) for only 20 euros a day and they are even allowed on the private beach. We can’t wait to bring Weston + Fira next time!

hotel belles rives dog friendly france

The Piano Bar

 

London Dog Friendly Guide

When in London…

Such a beautiful city and so much to explore (especially the food — the one thing about London that has Los Angeles beat is their variety of restaurants!). We didn’t bring Weston + Fira this time so, I was lucky enough that Elle @grrlgenius_ accompanied me for a London guide! I wanted to find the most chic spots to see and do with your dog in tow. Let’s get started…

Farm Girl Café…

Who’s ready for brunch? This gorgeous spot in Notting Hill serves healthy + tasty breakfast and lunch options and they even do French Bulldog art latte! In. Love. 59A Portobello Rd.

Notting Hill…

Take a stroll in this most beautiful neighborhood with its iconic pastel-colored townhomes and vintage shopping! You could literally spend the whole day here popping into the shops and outdoor markets. My favorite store: Jessie Western. It’s full of bohemian goodness + fringy finds.

Hyde Park…

The most popular park in London. It’s also one of the largest and so so gorgeous when a bit of the sun is out. We stayed in the Kensington Gardens area where there are fountains, tulip gardens and really cute paths.

Dog Carrier: Teddy Maximus

Chiltern Firehouse…

For a stylish outdoor lunch, make sure to stop by the popular hotspot Chiltern Firehouse, hotelier André Balazs’ first hotel outside of the states. Their restaurant’s outdoor courtyard is dog-friendly where you can nibble on bacon cornbread, crab-stuffed donuts and steak tartare. 1 Chiltern St, Marylebone.

Sanderson Tea Time…

At the whimsical Sanderson Hotel (which is the hotel we stayed in — unfortunately, no dogs allowed as guests), they offer the most magical Mad Hatter Tea! This is a must.

We truly felt transported (down the magic rabbit hole) with their Alice in Wonderland-inspired afternoon tea time (American translation: happy hour). Choose from six different infused teas, champagne, cocktails and their quirky food + dessert platters.

The chef even made a special dog-friendly one for Elle! How much more chic can you get? 🙂

Everything is a magical discovery from the menu hidden inside a vintage book to the edible presentation: chocolate blue caterpillars, red velvet ladybug cakes, smoked salmon quail egg and caviar scotch eggs, cucumber + cheese mini sandwiches on green bread and so much more.

This is always on my list of recommendations for people looking for something unique in London! I took my friend here last year for her birthday and it’s always such a memorable experience — something different than the standard bar. 50 Berners St, Fitzrovia.

Don’t forget the pubs…

I spotted lots of pubs with outdoor seating where you can bring your pup — some of them will even let you bring them inside! In fact, someone wrote a book about it: Pub Dogs of London by Graham Fulton and Fiona Freund.

When the weather permits, London is a great walking town and you can even hop on the tube with your pooch. Just make sure they are on a leash (or lead, as they say in England) and are carried when you’re on the escalators. I hope you enjoyed our little guide from our London getaway! 🙂

 

Photography: Rachel Oates

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