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!