Well, hello there! Or as they say in Hawai’i, at least at those made-for-tourists Luaus, Alooooo-ha! Take a moment and say it out loud; Alooooooooo-ha! Doesn’t that make you feel better, almost like you’re on vacation somewhere tropical?
Now back to the real world.
So here we are, instantly transported back from Hawai’i to good old SW Florida. There’s some really interesting stuff happening here, and I’m not talking just about whales stranded in the Everglades, or how Sneaky Pete’s in Bonita Springs is the new 70+ hook up spot, or even that the Marriott in Marco Island is THE local spot if you’re looking for a sugar-momma.
I’m talking about something BIG!
Big, not huuuge-ah. There’s a difference. BIG is big, and almost like huuuuge-ah, but with much less yelling and much less interrupting Caroline. I mean, if Caroline were to talk about this new BIG thing, I would let her. I’d even let her finish her sentences. Caroline, are you listening? Feel free to chime in about BIG if you like.
SWFLpets.com is gonna be BIG! “That’s what I’m talking about, Southwest Florida!”
So what’s this all about?
Well, I got so sick and tired of how hard it is to find pet friendly places, that I decided to build this site to help other SWFL pet owners find pet friendly places. So far in my quest, while I’ve met plenty of dog friendly people but I’ve also been kicked out of Costco with my beloved late Joey who I took in with me instead of leaving in the 95 degree heat in the car, had some random angry dude yelling at me asking if my 3-legged foster, Nala was a “blind dog” when taking her into Home Depot. “No, you idiot she’s not blind, she’s just lost a leg!” would have been an appropriate response, but I’m just not quite that rude out loud - just in my head. And there’s been countless other situations.
While some businesses don’t want dogs or pets visiting (and that’s up to them) there are others that do which are the ones I’m focusing on here. My mission is to find as many of them as possible, and list them on this site. There is no charge for being listed, so if they are on the site it’s because they are pet friendly and any relevant business will be added for free, so you don’t have to worry about someone just paying to be listed. I’m trying to be as non-biased as humanly possible. I am, only human, and not a dog, after all.
Please join me in my mission to find as many pet friendly things as possible, here in SW Florida and list them on this site, so we can collectively spend our money at businesses and events that understand our pets are not just pets, but family. Maybe even better than family, since they’re the kind you don’t argue with over the holidays.
Just who’s behind this thing?
This is me. I’ve actually lost weight and become better looking since this picture, but I didn’t have any other shirt-off ones laying around and I’m not into bathroom mirror selfies (you’re welcome) so this is the one I’m using. If you care to know more about me, check out my linkedin profile. I can be reached via twitter or email.
The true inspiration behind the site though, are the dogs that have touched my life since being in Florida. Here they are, in no particular order:
Bailey is my girl. I’ve called her a Wolfhound-Airedale mix for her entire life because I know she’s got some Airdale in the gene pool, and she has always looked and acted like a Wolfhound. I ended up doing one of those DNA tests, which says she’s a Polish Sheepdog mix with Rottie & Airdale. Seriously, WTF? I’m sticking with Wolfhound mix.
She was a handful for many years, but always a good dog. Just too damn smart for me. Well, now she will be 14 on Feb 8, 2022 and is finally a really good dog. She’s sweet, loving and still very energetic, due to huge thanks to me (only ’cause I pay for it!) her awesome genes, high quality food, Angel Animal Hospital for veterinary care and Valerie’s Physical therapy at Specialized Veterinary Services.
Best. Dog. Ever.
Loved everyone, and loved by everyone. Came out of the factory potty-trained at 7 weeks old. Joey set the bar so high it may be pointless for me to ever have another dog again. I could fill up this page with pictures and words of Joey, so I’ll stop now. I miss you dearly, Joey.
My beloved first foster, Tripawd, and all around incredible sweet girl. I’m fortunate to still be able to see her and have her spend the night occasionally! Nala has a fantastic personality and brings a huge smile to my face with her funny sounds and dynamic personality. I don’t think she likes the floor much, because she spent most of her time with me on top of one piece of furniture or another.
Previously known as Shaggy, this gentle, loving creature was found crossing the highway 41 bridge from North Fort Myers. Yes, the one with no sidewalks. Golden Retriever Rescue of SW Florida took him in, and I was given the privilege to foster Shaggy. His name truly fit as he was a matted mess. Ear infections, thyroid condition, skin infections, etc. He stunk to high heaven, yet still wanted affection and love. He’s so genteel that he will let you do absolutely anything to him - ear cleanings, bathing, nail trims, x-rays with no sedation, etc. After a few weeks of treatment he lost the stench and we became better friends. Now in his new life, he has THE softest coat I’ve ever felt, it’s like cloud-meets-cotton-candy-meets-marshmallows-and-side-of-velvet. His new family has since dubbed him Shiner, to release him from the stigma of his temporary rescue name.
Graham is an honorary SWFL Pet. He is my Joey’s brother from the same litter, and almost as great of a dog. Don’t get me wrong, he’s GREAT but just not my Joey. At 13 and 1/2 years old, Graham is in his last stages of life with tumors on his spleen. He’s still well taken care of and happy. He lives with my parents on the West Coast (of the country, not the state) and it breaks my heart to not be near him now.
I could list them all, and I may at some point. But until then, here are some of the foster dogs I’ve been privileged to care for along with other dogs that have been a part of my life in SW Florida. In order of appearance: Brady, Ellie, Ellie again, Dixie, Harley, Fiona, Ollie, Lolly, Zach, Gabe, Merlin and Lucy the Pig.