Spin the compass, and Get OUT!


Best Bets for NW Adventure

It’s no secret, the Pacific Northwest is a mecca of amazing pet-friendly places. Wherever your whims take you this summer, these wonderful, Fido-friendly hot spots are fantastic options that promise great adventure and wonderful memories.

Head East

Bennington Properties — Sunriver

The Bennington family puts the love in vacationing with your dog. With classy dog-friendly homes and lots of fun activities, you’re sure to make memories that last a lifetime. Visit Sun River and enjoy Yappy Hour snacks and beverages while your pups romp and tussle with their “vacation friends.” Check out the Pet Parade during the Day celebrations. There’s also the American Cancer Society Bark for Life. Like biking? There bike trailer rentals for the dog!

Cooper Spur Mountain Resort — Mt. Hood

Visiting Cooper Spur Mountain Resort is a cozy getaway. The pet-friendly resort has all the amenities, plus barbeque grills, picnic areas, and an on-site restaurant. All of this surrounded by the majesty of Mt. Hood National Forest.

Head West  

Idyllic Oregon Beach Houses — Tierra Del Mar

If long quiet walks away from city crowds are to your liking, this will feel like a slice of dog-loving heaven. Both the Pier St. and Guardenia St. houses live up to the idyllic name, with accommodations for pooches and nine to ten people, all just a blink from the beach in a quiet neighborhood. Enjoy walks on the beach, watching seals and winged wildlife, while your dogs romp happily alongside.

Surfsand Resort — Cannon Beach

Fireplaces. Balconies. Haystack Rock. This resort has a lot to offer pet lovers, and half the rooms are pet friendly. Surfsand throws in dog-savvy extras like pet beds, towels and sheets, dishes, doggie bags, and placemats, and tasty treats whenever your pup pops into the lobby. In the fall, the resort hosts a dog show to raise money for the Clatsop County Animal Shelter.

Head North

Tranquil-A-Tree — White Salmon, WA

What? A tree house you can take your dog to? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Tranquil-A-Tree — a dog-friendly two-story log cabin suspended in the firs. Enjoy the pleasures of taking in the nature and beauty around you, hiking and birdwatching, relaxing in the hot tub, and more.

Sou’wester — Seaview, WA

Who hasn’t seen the vintage camp trailers that look like rolling toasters and thought how cool it would be to stay in one? Sou’wester Historic Lodge and Vintage Travel Trailer Resort invites you to check that one off your bucket list — with dog in tow. Keep the vintage vibe going by borrowing the resort’s bicycles or vinyl records, or indulge in a little pampering with massage and bodywork. Attractions include miles of beach, hiking, museums, lighthouses, and funky thrift stores.


Hotel Monaco — Downtown Portland

The uber dog-friendly (dare we say dog-crazy) Hotel Monaco in the heart of downtown actually employs a Director of Pet Relations to guarantee Fido gives them two paws up. Perks include no pet fees, no weight or size restrictions, and no limit to how many furry friends can join you. And how about a nightly dog-friendly wine reception? This is a staycation you’ll surely dig.

International Rose Test Garden — Portland

What good is it to live in the City of Roses without enjoying its signature flower? Set high in the hills above the city in Washington Park above the Oregon Zoo, visits to the garden are free and boast scenic views, rose variety, scents and colors beyond the imagination. Perfect for a picnic, and all of it dog friendly.

Lucky Labrador Brewing Company — Portland

Lucky Lab is a Portland fixture with its four locations and incredible dog-centric vibe. What more would you expect with a dog breed in the name? How about philanthropy? Yep, the Lucky Lab is into that too, presenting an annual dog wash to benefit DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital. When looking to enjoy a brew and bite, make it your summer goal to take the pup and visit dog-loving pubs on Hawthorne, Quimby, Capital Hwy and Killingsworth.

McMenamins — everywhere

This NW favorite has locations from Seattle to Eugene and in between, and the grounds and restaurant patios of many are dog friendly. Just west of Portland, the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove boasts lush, scenic grounds, and seasonal outdoor eating.  Just east of the city is pet-friendly Edgefield, with exquisite sprawling grounds. Each location offers craft beers and unique art that tells the stories of the area. 

The Oregon Garden — Silverton

Imagine 80 acres of lush botanical gardens, something for everyone, and all pet friendly. A short drive to Silverton takes you to this gardener’s paradise. Enjoy photography, geocaching, and learn about sustainable farming while strolling the fabulous grounds.

Hike the ‘Hood

If you’re looking to clock some miles under your hiking boots this summer, there are plenty of dog-friendly destinations close at hand. Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (Sellwood) has miles of paved and unpaved hiking trails with views of the native forest, wetlands, and the Willamette River. Tryon Creek State Natural Area (Terwilliger Blvd) boasts bridges, a wetland boardwalk, shelters, exhibits, wildlife, and miles of multi-surface trails. Forest Park is a gem in the city, with more than 5,000 acres of vistas, views, and hiking galore.

Head OUT

Oregon State Parks

Most Oregon parks are pet friendly. Check website for information on day facilities, campgrounds, trailheads, and more. If you have time to book well in advance, consider a dog-friendly yurt or cabin at one of 22 campgrounds. Many activities are available at various locations, including hiking, wildflower viewing, beach walks, educational talks, biking, and swimming.

Learn more



Hike the ‘Hood — PortlandOregon.gov/parks











A Portland native, Kennedy Morgan has been around dogs her entire life – from the multitude of strays near the country home of her youth to the crew she calls her own now. Vegas, her retired agility superstar (Great Dane!) has been her primary inspiration for all things dog in the last decade, including her passion for writing.


Get ready for summer’s best NW escapades


This is the time of year when clear skies and warmer temperatures invite us to explore. But after months of slower, cooler days, we and our dogs need to pace ourselves.

Age and Ability

Consider the fitness level of both you and your best friend. Those who are active, healthy and relatively young will enjoy long hikes and big treks. For others, easier, shorter excursions are just as fun and beneficial (physically and mentally).


Consider terrain, plants, wildlife, and insects. Keep dogs on leash or voice control to avoid confrontations or injuries to themselves or wildlife. Especially keep small dogs close and be watchful of possible predators. It's also important to watch for poison oak or treacherous foxtails. The latter can cause severe ear problems in dogs, and if you venture into a tick zone, treat your pet in advance and do a thorough post-activity check — of both pooch and human.


Be prepped and equipped for the conditions. Depending on age, breed, color, and coat, the same trek might warrant a coat for one pup and sunscreen for another. If your activity buddy is a Pug, Boxer, or other short-nosed (brachycephalic) breed, watch for signs of labored breathing with exertion. Remember, too: walking on hot surfaces is dangerous for dogs as their pads can easily burn. 


Most parks and recreation spots require you to have your dog on leash, so a sturdy, comfortable lead is a must. Harnesses can be nice on hikes where enthusiasm might make your dog want to pull ahead.

If you’re really venturing out, pack some essentials for the unexpected. Nobody plans on getting lost or having an injured hiking partner, but it’s wise to prepare. Before you go, consider these items for your backpack:

•    Basic first-aid kit (most vets keep a handy content checklist)

•    Water and bowl (pet supplies and outdoor retailers stock handy pack-and-carry types)

•    Snacks for you and your dog

•    Emergency phone numbers (vet, emergency contacts)

•    Waste disposal bags

•    A bed sheet or blanket (if needed to carry an injured pet)

•    Rain poncho/parka (for canines and humans)

•    Emergency blanket

•    Backpack (medium and large dogs can often carry some gear themselves and share the burden, but be careful to not overload!)

•    GPS unit

•    Dog booties (available in styles for every activity)


If your pup will be swimming, even strong swimmers benefit from a good flotation vest. For hot-weather adventures, consider a cool coat to shield the dog from the harsh rays of the sun. . Wetting the cool coat also provides effective cooling.

One more possible backpack item is a dog-specific sports drink. Water enhancers like Go Dog and Active are meant to encourage dogs to drink while replenishing electrolytes and helping with stamina and muscle recovery.

Now that you’ve got your checklist and gear ready and checked twice for summer fun, get out there and enjoy! Share your photos with us at SpotMagazineNW on Facebook. 


K9 Power Go Dog * k9power.com/go-dog-hydration-electrolytes-active-dog-nutritional-supplement

WaterDog *  https://www.waterdogsupplements.com/product-page/waterdog-active

Ruffwear *  ruffwear.com


A Portland native, Kennedy Morgan has been around dogs her entire life – from the multitude of strays near the country home of her youth to the crew she calls her own now. Vegas, her retired agility superstar (Great Dane!) has been her primary inspiration for all things dog in the last decade, including her passion for writing.

Fear & Loathing on the 4th



4th of July fireworks can sound like the end of the world to pets. Managing a fraidy-cat or jittery dog can mean a long and trying holiday for you, too. Every year, countless panicked pets get hurt or lost trying to flee the terrifying sights and sounds, but these coping strategies will keep you and yours happy and safe until the skies clear.

Give dogs a good walk or playtime early in the day so they’re happily tired before nightfall.

Keep pets at home and indoors. You might need to do this for several nights, depending on how many days of revelry your neighbors observe.

Close the drapes and turn on soothing music to drown out the scary stuff.

Consider a fun distracting game. Coax a mildly nervous cat into a stress-relieving game with a laser or toy. Or fire up the hot-air popcorn popper for an entertaining, chase-worthy dog snack that also makes a distracting white noise.

If you know your kiddos get seriously worked up, your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety meds.

Talk to a good pet supply store: many can recommend over-the-counter treatments.

If — Dog forbid — a pet escapes and goes missing, get in touch with nearby shelters ASAP. Shelter staff work hard before, on, and after the holiday reuniting panicked pets with their worried people.

Hot New Lifesaving Law



Oregon’s “Good Samaritan Law” — which allows bystanders to free children or pets from overheated parked cars — is one year old. It’s always advisable to call authorities and wait for help, but the law now protects you if you break a window or pry open a door because it’s too dangerous to wait, and:

You have a reasonable belief that a pet or child is in immediate danger

You call police before or immediately after entering the car

You use minimum force needed to get into the car

You stay with the child or pet until police or rescue crews arrive

Even on a mild 75-degree day, the inside of a parked car can reach a miserable 104 degrees in 20 minutes, and a deadly 118 degrees in an hour. 

Sink or Swim! Water Safety for Your Dog

Summer Must Sees The author's dog, Vegas.jpg


If you have a water-loving dog, you know there are few things more inviting than cool water on a warm day. There are risks such as overexertion and toxic algae, so it’s important to take precautions to help keep things fun and safe.

Don’t push a scared or reluctant swimmer — not all dogs are natural swimmers.

Take along: Ear cleaning/drying solution if your pup’s floppy ears are vulnerable to infection, a dog flotation vest, and knowledge of pet first aid.

Water-crazy dogs don’t automatically rest when they’re cold or tired. Watch for signs of fatigue, and get your dog on dry land for regular rest breaks.

Safe fencing to prevent unsupervised swims by pets or kids in pools and ponds.

Watch the waves. They can be deadly to tired or distracted swimmers.

Heed all warnings and advisories about toxic algae. Get help right away if you see signs of illness (lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea) as toxic algae poisoning can be fatal in under 24 hours. Check for affected areas at by searching "Algae Bloom Advisories" at oregon.gov.

That rule about swimming right after eating applies to dogs, too. Avoid any heavy physical activity for several hours after a meal. 

We all scream for ice cream!

Walt Grondona of Coburg had the sweetest idea last summer. In addition to offering photography for families and pets as he has for years, he would serve ice cream.  He crowned his expanded business “Walt’s Photography & Ice Cream,” and lickety split, things got more fun.

Open each summer “when it stops raining” and closed “when it starts raining again,” the shop offers hand-scooped premium Tillamook ice cream in 12 flavors — vanilla for the dogs, he says, “so no upset tummies.”

One recent customer was Smiggy (pronounced “Smidgie”), winner of Spot’s 2017 Willamette Valley Cover Model Search, for which Walt is often the official Cover Model photographer. Smiggy’s mom Kristi says her friendly Beagle not only loved the ice cream, he was crazy about Grondona. “Walt was wonderful,” she says, “he was so good with my dog.”

Kristi says Smiggy told her, “I like ice cream!” and that he had a ball with the shoot and with Walt. “I will definitely go back, says Kristi, “and will recommend Walt’s Photography to others.”

Walt enjoyed it too. “We had the most fun!” he says, adding that “Smiggy was just wonderful — he did everything asked of him.” Of course that’s what great models do.

After the photo shoot that proved to be fun for everyone, Walt says, “we had a little ice cream.”

Stop by Walt’s Photography & Ice Cream and get a photo of your best friend for $5, and an ice cream for $5.

The fun is on the house.

Get Yours!

Walt’s Photography & Ice Cream

Waltsphoto.com  |  541-686-1050| walt@waltsphoto.com

Is shaving (your pet) a good idea?

Shaving your pet (usually dogs but some shave or consider shaving cats) is a controversial subject among pet owners, groomers, and even veterinarians. Many breed-specific organizations and the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) recommend against shaving, the ASPCA for these reasons:

•   Your pet's coat is to its body what insulation is to your home, keeping   it warm in winter and cool in summer.

• An animal's coat protects against sunburn and skin cancer. Pets with thin, white or light-colored coats are especially vulnerable to sun damage.

• There are better practices than shaving, such as trimming and brushing, especially during warm weather.

To dig into the matter, visit ASPCA.org, where you’ll find a full-length article on shaving, as well as pages of reader comments for and against.

Dr. Becker of Healthypets.mercola.com also writes on the subject, including this outtake: 

Consider Your Dog's Personality When Deciding Whether to Shave

Groomers, animal welfare workers, veterinarians like me, and many pet guardians have seen two very different scenarios play out after a dog has been shaved. The first involves a dog who has been shaved for a good reason — for example, a raging skin infection — who reacts badly to having all her hair removed. Collies, in particular, often behave as though someone has stripped away their superpowers. They become depressed, upset, and even sad.

The flipside is a dog that enjoys having his coat removed. After being shaved, these dogs behave as though they've been set free from hair bondage! They act happier and friskier. As the groomer wields her razor, the dog comes alive, which is a really interesting phenomenon! However, it's important to note that these dogs aren't happy because they're cooler. They simply prefer short hair just as many humans do.

Becker also discusses how a dog’s lifestyle pertains to the question ‘to shave or not to shave.’  Learn more at Healthypets.mercola.com

Wish you were here!

Nearly 100 joyful vacationing dogs entered to win a 3-day stay at Sunriver’s beautiful Bennington Properties.

Meet our top 5!

NAME:  Doc

AGE/BREED:  He just turned 10, 7/18!  He's a yellow Labrador

STOMPING GROUND:  Doc lives and plays in Molalla, right next to the beautiful Ivor Davies Walking Trail, where he can be seen practically every evening with his mom.  He also spends a lot of time at grammy's 24-acre property in Beavercreek with Willy the goat, his pal Gunner (another yellow Lab) and all the chickens

PACK:  Mom Lizzy, Dad Gared, and brother Jake (a Boxer).  Also pals Gunner, Thor (black Lab) and Kali (Blue Heeler/Aussie)

LOVES/DOESN'T LOVE:  Doc's favorite things, while complete opposites, are going on walks and sleeping on the couch (which he has taken over as his own).  He can always be seen with a toy in his mouth, but don't try to take it, he's only showing you!  He doesn't love riding in the car, but once we reach the destination it's worth it!

SPECIAL NOTES:  Doc was adopted when he was 2 1/2 years old, and he and his mom have been inseparable ever since!  (Lizzy even has his pawprint tattooed on her...talk about true love!)

NAME:  Bella

AGE/BREED:  8 years young, Boxer


PACK:  Mom, Dad and a 6-year-old, two-legged little sister

LOVES:  Peanut butter, cheese, beach walks and naps

DOESN'T LOVE:  Cats or squirrels

SPECIAL NOTES:  Bella’s muzzle and eyebrows have turned an adorable silver gray ... but she still has lots of crazy Boxer energy to spare!

NAME:  Picasso (in flight), Ashleigh, Sasha

AGE/BREED:  Picasso is 2, Ashleigh is 5 and Sasha is 9.  All are Golden Retrievers


PACK:  Dog-mom Kimberley Hickey and Dad Erik Campen; Grandpa Robert Campen, Aunt Lynne McManus, Friends Star, Remi, Rhu and Oden

PICASSO LOVES:  Any ball thrown, swimming, hiking and jumping 

DOESN'T LOVE:  Fireworks and baths

ASHLEIGH LOVES:  Swimming, hiking and anything else, as long as it’s with Daddy (Erik)

DOESN'T LOVE:  Loud noises, especially fireworks

SASHA LOVES:  FOOD, hiking, swimming and belly rubs 

DOESN'T LOVE:  The diet she’s on right now

SPECIAL NOTES:  They travel yearly to Victoria, BC, the Oregon Coast, Mt. Hood and Central Oregon.  Picasso and Ashleigh are members of and compete regionally in Cascade Dockdogs. 

All three are Trained Truffle Hunting Dogs through NW Truffle Dogs.  Sasha has won a Truffle Hunting competition.

Sasha's job is Pack leader, matriarch and mentor in all things “Golden.”  Ashleigh's job:  The sensitive one.  Picks up on others’ emotions.  Would have been a great Therapy Dog.  Picasso's job:  Athlete and Class Clown, super energetic and great sense of humor.

NAME:  Tiger - Ready to Paddle!

AGE/BREED:  5 years


PACK:  Mom LaurelAnn, Dad Stephen, sister dog Lily, and sister felines Brownie May (actual sister), Ripley, Crash, and Coco.

LOVES: Lap sitting, sleeping on your head, spooning, hearing his dad's voice, 70s music, and enjoying the outdoors

DOESN'T LOVE:  Backfiring vehicles, fireworks, or when the girls gang up on him.

SPECIAL NOTES:  Tiger (and Brownie Mae) are both Katrina rescue kittens. Our neighbor brought their pregnant mama up from New Orleans. No wonder shrimp is their favorite food!

NAME:  Lotto

AGE/BREED:  8-year-old, Shihtzu-Pekingnese mix


PACK:  Mama, Alyssa Flores; Papa, Aaron Ambos and 4-year old cousin Bella Flores (all human); and Marley, a Boston Terrier, Capone a Chihuahua, and Dexter the Dachshund

LOVES/DOESN'T LOVE:  Lotto is smart and spoiled, and loves being with his human family and canine friends.  He loves doing tricks for his treats, and is very vocal (every day he tells us stories about what happened while he was at the groomer or while we were away at work).  Lotto loves children, and is very gentle.  He also loves sunbathing; however, Lotto is not a fan of animals (especially dogs) on TV.  His mama thinks it’s because he can't play with them!  Lotto also doesn't love long vacation car rides unless he gets to hang his head out of the window

SPECIAL NOTES:  He is such a lovable boy, and our only wish is we had more of him.  Although his vocal quality (known as the Pekingnese howl) is not something we always enjoy, he just wouldn't be Lotto without it.  

Chilly Mat


We've Been Shopping...Here's what we Love! 

Chilly Mats are soft, durable pads that cool a hot pooch down nicely.  My dog is nervous about new things, but once she got on the mat she didn’t want to get off. 

I like that the mat doesn’t plug in so I can use it both inside and outdoors.  It can also be inserted into your dog’s bed. 

If you have a pooch that pants away the dog days of summer, I recommend this product.  I also found it reasonably priced (XS-L ranges $10-$40), especially considering the comfort it provides. 

The Chilly Mat was rated one of the Top 10 Products at the Global Pet Expo this year.  Check it out at HugsPetProducts.com or at your neighborhood pet supply.


The Dog Days of Summer

Ftr-SafetyWalkinWoods (511x640).jpg

When I moved to the Northwest decades ago, a wise old vet whispered in my ear:  “Work all summer and then when everyone’s home in late August, go out and play.”  He was revealing to me this area’s worst-kept secret — late summer/early fall is the best weather in our corner of the country.  While others are getting their kids ready for school and stowing their recreational gear, those in the know are grabbing their dogs and heading out for the woods, the waves, the wind, and the warmth of the best time of year. 

If you’re one of those lured outdoors with a furry friend, use caution for the pitfalls that can be encountered . . .

. . . AT WATER’S EDGE:  If going boating on a lake or just playing near the swift undertow of the ocean surf, remember to keep an eye on Rover.  Even if he can swim, invest in a pet life vest.  If hiking along mountain streams, remember that even if they appear cool and clear they can potentially harbor parasites.  If carrying your own water is not feasible, carry a good filter and determine ahead of time where you can access safe, clean drinking water for you and your dog.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Warmth and slow-moving water contribute to the growth of algae, some of which can be the deadly “blue-green” type.  Blue-green algae contain potent toxins that, if ingested, can affect the nervous system and liver and can be rapidly FATAL.  Symptoms include vomiting, weakness, seizures, and paralysis.  There is no antidote so the best treatment is prevention!  Do not let dogs swim in, play in, or drink standing water with algal blooms.  Avoid all stagnant water and any water with a “green film” on top.  Postings of known affected areas can be found by typing “Harmful Algae Blooms Oregon” into your search engine.

. . . FORAGING IN THE FOREST:  Close encounters with both poisonous plants and dangerous wildlife are a possibility when trekking in the deep, dark woods.  Dogs, like people, can have nasty skin reactions to poison ivy, poison oak, or stinging nettles.  Be on the lookout for these plants, and if your pet has brushed up against some malicious underbrush, remove the plant oils from his/her coat with a degreasing soap such as Dawn dishwashing detergent along with plenty of water.

WOLVES AND COUGARS AND BEARS, OH MY!  While chances are slim for your pet to encounter these dangerous animals, they are likely to engage a more bloodthirsty (albeit smaller) creature:  the tick.  Every year, thousands of dogs are infected with dangerous tick–transmitted diseases such as ehrlichia and Lyme disease, and diagnoses are increasing annually.  To prevent these pests from spreading their “poison,” apply a flea and tick repellent recommended by your veterinarian, and reapply if your dog is immersed in water.

. . . WALKING IN FIELDS OF GOLD:  Hiking in the grasslands and canyons of the eastern part of our state offers a visual pleasure different from our local emerald scenery — along with different hazards.  When in high desert areas with rocky outcroppings, keep your animals close.  Keeping pets on leash isn’t binding a free spirit; it’s an act of concern that could save your pet’s life.  If hiking through “snake country” is a favorite activity, snake avoidance/aversion training can be worthy insurance in protecting your buddy from snake bite. 

OTHER ENCOUNTERS FAR A FIELD TO AVOID — also of the prickly kind — include porcupines (pulling quills from a furry face is painful and no fun), and foxtails (arrow-shaped grass seeds aka “awns”) can find their way in between toes, into eyes or ears, and can even embed anywhere along a dog’s soft body.  After walking through tall, dry grass, examine your dog closely and remove grass awns with tweezers. 

. . . OR JUST TRAIPSING DOWN YOUR GARDEN PATH:  Even the well-worn spaces in your own corner of the world can pose hazards to your hound.  Leaves and other yard debris build up, retain moisture, and with warm Indian Summer days, provide perfect conditions for mushrooms and mold toxins.  Dogs are delighted to find decaying material . . . but can come away severely ill with vomiting and tremors.  Toxic and non-toxic mushrooms can grow side-by-side; approximately 50-100 of the thousands of species that grow in the United States are toxic.  Signs of mushroom toxicity can range from mild vomiting and diarrhea to abdominal pain and, in severe cases, fatal liver failure.  The best way to avoid grief in the garden is to keep your yard free of “toadstools,” and remove leaves and dying plant material before they pile up.

Go forth into the glory that is fall in Pacific Northwest . . . and take care with your canine to avoid the fleas, fungus and other dangers still among us.

“. . . methinks the changeful glories,
The sport, the harvest cheer,
Make the autumnal season
The brightest of the year. “