What happens when two French Scent Hounds hit dog friendly Chicago? What are Bailie and Madison planning to do? Did they have a great time? Read on as Bailie writes about the experiences she had with Madison in the big city!
Dog friendly hotels in Chicago
The first step if you are traveling to Chicago is to find the right accommodations. For nose work trials, we stay at La Quinta most of the time. We noticed there was a La Quinta in the area of the city we wanted to be in, so we booked a room. One of the great things about LQ is pets stay for free! We checked around and found a couple other hotels that were dog friendly but most were a lot more money and had pet charges.
Our room totally amazed us! It was not like any LQ we had ever stayed in before! The room was very nice, spacious, and quiet. The only issue we ran into was a place to go to the bathroom. Big cities don’t have much green, and where there is green, there are usually big NO DOGS signs. We managed to sneak onto some “forbidden” grass a couple times and we each ended up doing our business on the sidewalk at some point because a girl can only wait so long. People told us that is normal for city dogs, but we felt a bit odd about having to do that even though Mom picked up after us.
Another benefit of staying at this particular LQ was the address. When your are wandering all over a big city, you don’t want to forget what street your hotel is on! We chose one on the corner of Franklin and Madison Street. If Mom forgets Madison’s name, we have bigger problems than just where the hotel is located!
The Art Institute of Chicago – Not so dog friendly
The first place we had to find as we headed out into the crowded city was the Art Institute of Chicago. My Gramma went to school there a few years ago when she was college aged. We have heard so much about it, we felt we needed to check it out and get some photos for Gramma. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed in the building or the gardens, but we managed to be on the steps. Being a sophisticated, artsy place, we donned our berets for the photos. I think we fit right in!
During the afternoon, the place was overrun with tourists and we could not get a photo without having a hundred people in the way. We went back the next morning early and had the whole place to ourselves! Now we know if you want some quiet time in the city, go out walking at 5:30 am. It’s much nicer!
Walking along the lakefront
Finally, we managed to make it all the way down to the lakefront. Chicago is right on Lake Michigan, in case you didn’t already know that. It was a warm day, but down by the water, it was much cooler.
We walked along the lakefront trail,which has actual grass dogs are allowed to put their paws on! Mom would love to know what kind of mulch they use on their trees. I was determined to roll around in it. It created some tension as Mom wanted to walk and I wanted to roll, but finally we got back on the road together. At one point we had to cross over a canal. This was scary as the cars were driving right next to us as we walked, but it seemed to be something everyone just does in Chicago. The view was nice.
Navy Pier in dog friendly Chicago
One hot spot in dog friendly Chicago is Navy Pier where dogs are allowed! It was real crowded, but a fun place too! They had some fountains kids were playing in, but they looked a bit scary to us hounds!
We are not sure what these statues are all about, but we saw several of them at Navy Pier. Mom wanted us to pose with one since the two of us always have our long tongues hanging out. We picked this American looking one since both Madison and I were born in the US.
Dog friendly boat trips and taxis
Mom’s highlight of the day was a Seadog boat tour. Madison and I have never been on a boat, let alone a speed boat! Our boat was like this one, but painted in racing red. We went to the ticket window and found out dogs ride for free if there is space, and humans get a discount for bringing a dog! What a deal! We also found out the water taxis are dog friendly and dogs ride free with their human, nice!
Being our first boat trip, we opted for the short thirty minute trip. Madison and I were a bit suspicious when we found out there were seat belts for the humans, and Mom was holding us on short leashes. The tour guys took us out to sea, did some crazy driving which caused water to splash on us, and they gave us a bit of a tour of Chicago from the water. For our first time, we did pretty well. The boat was loud, and the water was rough. I was a bit scared, but Madison had fun until she was hit in the face with a wall of water. All in all, it was a great experience and Mom had a good time.
What we learned about in dog friendly Chicago
One thing about having a dog, is trying to expose your dog to as much as you can in life. Not every city is made for dogs, which is why we chose dog friendly Chicago for our little trip. Madison is in an impressionable phase, and it’s very beneficial for her to learn about lots of things and places. Being suburban dogs, the city was a huge change for us. I made a list of a few of the things we learned.
- How to go to the bathroom when there is no grass.
- It’s not easy to walk down crowded sidewalks, but if you behave, it works, and the Umbilical Belt is a helpful tool.
- Don’t panic when fire engines race down the street, right by you! They are loud and scary, but you will survive.
- If you don’t behave nicely, being in the city is no fun, so mind your doggy manners.
- Transit trains sometimes drive on a platform right over where you are walking. The noise is frightening, but there is no danger. They sometimes drive below too and it is still safe.
- The small, metal, moving “gang plank” to get on boats is terrifying, but if your Mom says go and doesn’t hesitate, follow her, you will survive. ***remember if you go onto the boat that way, you have to come off the same way, bummer***
- Taking photos in the city is tough because there is a lack of space and too many people.
- In general, a big city is loud and crowded. As a dog, especially a shorter dog, you will be mentally exhausted fairly quickly from trying to navigate through everything.
- Going to the big city is a great learning and training opportunity every suburban dog should try!
- Take it slow, and don’t over do it. We just spent one day in the city and that wore us out!
One last tip
If you are running low on cash, don’t bother showing up at the Federal Reserve Bank to beg for money. They won’t let you in, and they apparently don’t give out free money…not even to two adorable French Scent Hound tourists!
Stay tuned! We have a couple more posts about fun stuff from out mini vacation coming up this week!
Genevieve Petrillo says
You girls did FANTASTIC in the city! The boat ride looks like a blast, but your two tongues with the giant flag tongue wins hands down as my favorite picture! So fun. And you’re right – minding your doggie manners will always make life easier.
Love and licks,
We figured out the well behaved thing pretty quickly! It was fun, but sure was tiring too!
perky busy bee says
What a pity French cities are not as dog-friendly as Chicago and plenty of other American cities ! Canaille, my English Springer Spaniel enjoys reading your posts and looking at your photos ! Looking forward to a new adventure
Germany is a super dog friendly country. Mom misses that about living there. Chicago was fun.
Sparkle the PBGV says
Bailie, you did an outstanding tour of Chicago. You did lots of fun stuff and had so many new experiences. WOW! What fun. XOXO, Sparkle
It was definitely fun, but exhausting! We will do more traveling I think.
Ellen Shedlarz says
Thank you for taking me on your tour of Chicago with you. Great fun
We don’t know how you survive in the city. It is exhausting, but it was fun!
That boat ride looks super fun. Roxy would do ok in a big city I think, but I’m pretty sure Torrey would be a wreck. She likes her peace and quite.
It’s very intimidating, but we both adjusted pretty quickly. Mom wouldn’t survive in a city, but it is fun to visit.
Pooch Smooches says
What a fun trip! And how brave you girls are to “walk the plank”! I’ve never been to Chicago – one of the few big cities in the US I haven’t visited. Need to go! And maybe Rita will come along! 🙂 (Did Emma stay with Grandma?)
Emma stayed home with the rest of the family. Chicago is my mom’s favorite city. She considered moving to a Chicago suburb years ago, but never did.
Pooch Smooches says
I’ve heard it’s a great city. Definitely at the top of my list to visit!
The Federal Reserve Bank didn’t give out free samples? That stinks. Well, at least the rest of your vacation was fun. 🙂
Poor girls had no luck finding the money. They are tight wads at the Fed!
Two French Bulldogs says
We love Chicago. So many great places
Lily & Edward
It’s my mom’s favorite big city.
I just ADORE Chicago and you did a perfect job of showcasing it for the benefit of dogs. I sure hope you connected with Will, Penny, Zero, Emily and Lincoln while you were there!!
You better check back on Thursday to find out about that 😉
That looks like a really fun place and I love that you found Madison Street!
It didn’t hit Mom until we were by the lake and she panicked because she forgot the name of the street by the hotel and then she remembered the other street was Madison. Good thing!
Karen Meldrum says
What fun! I wish I could have gone with you on that boat! Chablis does not like water, so he could stay at home. I’m the rough and ready one in our family.
It was fun, but kind of scary because it was loud and moved funny, but we both survived it just fine.
Kinley Westie says
Looks like y’all had fun!
We had a great time!
Dolly the Doxie says
We are going to comment but will first say that we are very hurt that we didn’t get a meet up, That being said North Bridge Mall with Nordstrom’s is a great dog friendly place. I’m glad you got to experience how difficult it is for us dogs to pose in the city with so many people. For potty sometimes mom picks me up and puts me in the flower beds I’ve used the ones on Michigan Avenue more than once. And I hate the draw bridges that move when cars go over. Yes it’s noisy I don’t like it much but early Sunday is a good time to visit too. Love Dolly PeeS: We LOVE LaQuinta.
Dolly the Doxie says
Mom worked right across the street from the Federal Reserve for 9 years.
Dolly the Doxie says
Oh, Mercury Cruises is a better dog friendly cruise, I didn’t know the fast boats let dogs on but I’m glad because I would NEVER ride in it.
We wanted a short ride and Mom loves fast bumpy things, so Seadog it was. Bailie wasn’t real thrilled, but Madison took it all in stride until she got soaked, but she survived that too!
Did she manage to get any green papers from them?
Mom really wanted to get away from everyone and everything for two days. Her business has been so busy, she can’t think straight. We wanted to just hang out together with no schedule and do what we wanted to do. The plan is to travel more for nose work trials and we are already looking at a couple in October again, so we will be back, no worries. Hopefully business will slow a bit by October and Mom will be more likely to make plans.
Emma!! Your sisters did a great job! They could be tour guides! Mom’s been to Chicago but we haven’t. Looks like the wild sisters had a good time!! your doodle friend Dash
We had a blast! This was just the beginning. Emma is letting me post four days this week with our adventures. You guys need to visit Chicago.
I forgot to tell you the pictures of the girls with the berets are our favorites!!
A French Hound needs to dress appropriately for the situation, you know 😉
Jan K says
Wow, what a fun and exciting time for you girls! I never knew that Chicago was such a dog friendly city, that is such a great thing. It looks like you two really took the city by storm! 🙂
We really tore up the place in the 24 hours we were there. Stay tuned through Thursday to see what else we were up to.
Sounds like quite the trip! We rarely go to big cities, but we encountered lots of people on our trip to Burlington, too–I hate when people get in the way of pictures! We regularly walk in our downtown area, so we’re used to lots of cars and little grass–and weird noises like the lift bridge going up and trains rushing by. It sounds like you and Madison got exposed to all kinds of new adventures 🙂
People are all over in the city, so there really is no way to take pics without having people in them. It’s part of being in a city. Mom isn’t much for cities, so we don’t go downtown very often which made this adventure something special.
Will (MarkingOurTerritory.com) says
You guys certainly know how to make the most of a short trip! Glad you enjoyed the city and so glad we got to meet at Montrose.
We packed a lot of adventure into 24 hours in the windy city, but it was all fun! There was so much we did, we have to post it over several days this week! The best part of the trip, we are saving for the last!
Melissa Clinton says
What an exciting adventure for y’all. My mom and brother live in New York City and he had two dogs. It’s stressful but makes living in a big city more tolerable. They don’t have dogs anymore but we see tons of them when we visit them. It is very LOUD!
Loud, crowded, very different, but also interesting to see. Chicago is Mom’s favorite big city and down by the lake it is really nice. We are and will remain suburban dogs but it is fun to see other places so we know why we love were we live.
What a great adventure and learning experience for Madison!! Looks like you all had a blast!
Jakey & Bilbo
Little Madison was totally wiped out from all the adventure, but she was also quite happy.
Miss Harper Lee says
Wow, Bailie and Madison, you girls did a fine job in the big city! Tallulah and I are city girls so we so totally empathize with the whole bathroom dilemma. I often op for the street side of the curb. When Tallulah was younger, she liked to “take a break” in the middle of the street. Fortunately she’s outgrown that little habit. My human mommy went to college in Chicago and it’s one of her favorite cities. Glad you had such a good time!
Yeah, Mom decided to cross the street as the light turned red and Madison stopped to poop right in the middle of the street. It was a bit stressful! We survived and had a good time. Mom isn’t a city girl, but she does enjoy Chicago.
The Daily Pip says
Hey – you were in our home town! That’s so cool. Funny we haven’t even done some of those things! My assistant doesn’t take me downtown much because you are right it is pretty intense for us dogs.
It’s like us and Minneapolis, we never get downtown. Cities are fun for a short visit, but we prefer the quiet of the suburbs.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
What a great tour, so much fun! I love the mouth statue.
It matches my sister’s mouths perfectly!
What a great socialization trip. Now you’re ready for any big opportunities that come your way!
Mom had some socialization in mind when she planned the trip, but so many things came up she never thought about like fire engines, trains, etc. Loads of fun and learning.
Cathy Armato says
What a Fabulous trip! I didn’t know Chi was so dog friendly, and you even got to go on a boat ride, that’s so awesome. I love that La Quinta has renovated to many of their hotels nationwide, we stayed in a few really nice ones. Terrific post!
Thank you. The LQ in Chicago was amazing. We wish we had had more time to spend in the hotel. The whole trip was fabulous and wore us all out!
Jodi Stone says
I imagine it’s quite a change for dogs not used to the city. Heck, even in New York, I’ve seen some ‘city’ dogs that still did not look comfortable.
It’s even a big change for Mom, but imagine being so short in a sea of people, stuff, and noise. My sisters did have fun, but it was exhausting.
Barbara Rivers says
What a great post, Emma, Chicago certainly does seem fairly dog friendly! Great socialization opportunity for Miss Madison, and I have no doubt that you guys were all pooped by the end of the day.
Thank you. Mom and my sisters were totally wiped out when they finally got back home, but they were all happy.