Sage Monkey

Sage Monkey

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Road Trip: Bringing Home our New Puppy

Last year I had contacted Sharp Shooter's Kennel in New Richmond, Wisconsin and went through the screening process to procure another GSP puppy. Sage's father is a Sharp Shooters's NAVHDA Versatile Champion and her mother has some SS bloodlines. I've seen my fair share of SS dogs in the field and knew that if I ever added to my pack that I would hope it would be with a pup from their kennel. A litter had been born on October 8th and lucky for us a female from the litter would be ours and would be available to be picked-up Thanksgiving weekend. Wyatt and I decided it would be the perfect time for a road trip.

We set out on Black Friday with Sage in tow as she was just coming out of heat. We spent Friday in Glendive, MT and then on Saturday commandoed across North Dakota, and Minnesota arriving to the quaint town of New Richmond, Wisconsin (we've dubbed it the round-about capital of the midwest) on Saturday evening.

Jessica Lieffort from Sharp Shooters was kind enough to let us come over Saturday night and visit our pup. We spent a couple of hours getting our fill of puppy breath (like there is such a thing), watching spastic puppy play and chatting with the breeders Clyde and Marilyn Vetter and Jessica. They couldn't have been more kind and professional. It really was such a lovely experience and we were very appreciative of their time and company, it alone was worth the 2,200 mile journey.

We chose not to take our new puppy home that night upon the very wise suggestion of Jessica. Instead we headed back to the hotel and toasted our new spotted dog child with a wonderful bottle of wine (thank you Marilyn and Jess), we held Sage a little extra tight and got a darn good nights sleep. Jessica gave us the opportunity to swing by in the morning and intro Sage to the pup and then we would head out for the 1,100 mile trip home.

Sage sucking up as much sleepy love as she can. It's borderline rude.  

We showed up to Jessica's at 8am sharp on Sunday chock full of excitement. We came in and snuggled our pup and her last litter mate. Then we brought Sage in to meet our pup. It's a super common question about the proper way to introduce an older dog to a puppy. I've done it before and I have to say that no matter how crafty you get there is always some ill feeling on the older dogs part. Once they realize what is happening they are a little less then pleased to varying degrees. So here is how our intro went:

Sage came down to the whelping room which is immaculate by the way. With that said it is full of lots of other dog smells and of course an adorable and perfect pup. Sage did the normal unsure growling and hopping about. Nothing out of normal in my humble opinion. It's a big event with a relative amount of pressure and after 2 days in car and a modified schedule it's a lot for anyone or any dog to take in. With that said I could tell Sage needed to use the bathroom and maybe get some space. I asked Jessica if it was OK to let her into her backyard to do her business. Part of the yard had been fenced off with puppy fencing to keep the small hooligans in.

I let Sage out and could immediately tell she was being pissy and she began to run and sniff the perimeter of the fenced area. As soon as she hopped the fence I knew that I was in trouble. She knew exactly what was occurring and like a toddler in the middle of temper tantrum she planned to drag me into deep water before she would submit. I winced and began what felt like a thousand yard walk over to the fence in pursuit. Sage was legitimately pissed about all this puppy business and was opting the route of giving me the paw. I called her around and she defiantly ran a lap by me before taking up residence in the nearby woods and proceeded to take a shit. But unlike any other poop she's had in the past she locked eyes with me the entire time making it as uncomfortable as possible as if she was was trying to tell me how much she hated me. I mumbled under my breath God help me and as she patched out backwards (not breaking eye contact of course) and I watched in horror as she transformed from my sweet beloved Sage into her insanely sassy and mouthy mother Cleo. It was one of those moments so many of us experience looking in the mirror or hearing our own parents rhetoric escape our lips. What the fuck was happening.

She proceeded to take off with the type of attitude only seen in hormonally charged and angry teenage girls as they scream at you, I HATE YOU, YOU RUINED MY LIFE, before stomping down the hallway and slamming their bedroom door with Emmy winning dramatic flair. She tore around Jessica's backyard before I could half tackle and drag her back to the house. Well this is going well I thought and as we re-entered the Leiffort residence I asked Wyatt if he would be kind enough to take our spotted time bomb out to the car.

We said our goodbyes and collected our fur baby and headed out to begin the long journey home. We named our puppy Sharp Shooters Sweet Mission and we shall call her Figs.

The trip home was long but not nearly as bad as we had thought it might be. Both dogs were very well behaved and slept most of the journey. We made it to Miles City, MT our first night together as a family and took up temporary residence in a pet friendly Best Western. It was the first opportunity we got to see Fig's personality as well as the first real opportunity to see Sage and Figs interact.

Sage was clearly wounded about the new family addition but still made small efforts. She would take a toy and poke it into Fig's head trying to get her play while growling awkwardly the entire time. Clearly conflicted play but positive nonetheless. It took Cleo almost 6 days to get to that point when Luna was introduced into the pack so realistically I was thrilled. We had a great first night and since we were on the road she got to sleep on my face while Sage took residence beneath the covers.

Hotel Ice Breaking Shenanigans

Wyatt decided to be the paparazzi when I passed out. Not sure if you 
can see that pup hogging my pillow.

We've been home in Bozeman since Monday afternoon. I took sometime off of work to spend with the girls to help get them transitioned and get on a schedule. It's been a real hoot. Figs has so much moxy and plays with spirited gusto. She loves to retrieve any toy to hand and she has been such a quick learn. I have been incredibly impressed with her intelligence and she is extremely cooperative and sweet. We already LOVE having her around. Sage is doing much better with her and they spent hours chasing each other around the kitchen and living room today and bebopping though fields. Things are going to be great and I can't wait to intro her to birds. There is so much to look forward to over the next several months.

Be sure to find us on Facebook and show us some love at: Adventures of German Shorthaired Pointer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Art of Sharing Your Bed with a GSP

Not everyone believes in sharing their bed with their dogs and I can respect that. I sure didn't take stock in it in the beginning but soon the cuteness and love from my first GSP Cleo wore me down like a river rock. Before I knew it she had wormed her way into my sheets and now I couldn't fathom not sharing my space with a big warm sack of spots. However all those warm snuggles come at a cost and here are few that plague our sleeping arrangements with Sage Monkey.

Uninvited Friends

The thing pictured above was once a plush and vibrant moose, stuffed like a sausage with fluffy white material, squeekers and rattles in its feet. After its initial partial destuffing and slightly violent removal of squeekers it has since metamorphosed into a crusty, spit soaked, dirty shell of dog love. We call this crusted mess "wooby" and it goes everywhere Sage goes. She does laps around the tent with it hanging from her mouth while camping. She balls it up every night and nurses it until she passes out with it in her mouth. She leaves it sleeping on my pillow like it pays the electric bill.

It's pretty gross to wake up and find Wooby lounging in your personal area but nothing compares to the rare but provocative occasion she drags it through her water dish and bring hims to the party. She soaks him to bring out the flavor of course like glazing a fine Easter ham. We've gotten proactive with Wooby that we try to keep him exclusively in the bedroom to avoid this specific scenario. But alas....she always finds a way to get it more gross which of course in the dog world equates to more loved.

Thats ok. I wasn't in the middle of an ab workout or anything. 

Limited Personal Space

GSP's are appropriately known as velcro dogs. I prefer to refer to them as space hoarders. Never heard of a Space hoarder before? "Space Hoarding" is the craft of excessively collecting all the available area not only from your personal surroundings but all others around you as well. Space Hoarding is also known as Space Hogging, Compulisive Space Taker Upper Disorder and or otherwise more commonly known as Get-out-of-my-three-foot-bubble-you-jerk (Thats GOOMTFBYJ for short). Sage excels at this and works in it like some artists work in watercolor. And like most afflicted dogs she doesn't see it as a problem...AT ALL. Bed time often consists of her laying only in the space my physical being occupies. Or Sage will stand vigil over our heads waiting for the blankets to be lifted before burrowing down to our feet to settle in for the night. She leaves no room for compromise.

Our joke is that Sage wishes I was her Tauntaun. You know that funky reptomammal that is indigenous to that frozen wasteland planet known as Hoth from The Empire Strikes back?  Sitting on my lap simply won't suffice....she needs to climb inside my soul.

Rough Snuggles

Rough Snuggles start innocent enough usually by Sage arming crawling around the bed as if she's being propelled by that little stub of a tail. She lays all over your face, groaning and sniffing in glee, angling herself into positions to lick whatever she can; your face your arms. Sadly this phase is unsustainable and it eventually evolves in what we refer to as "rough snuggles". Rough Snuggles are snuggles that spiral out of control and consist of excited paw prodding, point blank face sneezes, the occasional fang nip and in human screams and laughs. They carefully dance that line of fun and painful.

For instance have you ever seen an animal documentary where foxes in winter will leap into the air to break below the surface to get critters for a meal? The worst mistake to be made during rough snuggles is retreating to the presumed safety of under covers. Sage takes your retreating as a challenge and follows the example of the fox except in the morning when sleep is still tight in your eyes she feels more like a polar bear breaking through ice in a search of baby seals.

Bed time is never a dull time with a shorthair. Especially a 52 pound one that can magically metamorphis to such a size she can take up an entire king size bed. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic shifts and changes in the next few weeks as we bring home the new puppy. Who knows.....Maybe we will have two rough snugglers who want to make me their Tauntaun. Lucky me!

Be sure to follow our shenanigans on Facebook at Adventures of a German Shorthaired Pointer.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Hunting Dog Photography Tips - Part 1

5 month old Phoenix on point

Photographing hunting dogs whether they are training, trialing, testing or hunting is a passion of mine. There is something majestic and soul soothing about watching a gun dog work a field. I find solemn beauty in being outside, watching the hunter and the hunted and I appreciate and welcome the challenge of capturing it in a photograph. Lucky for me I get more opportunities than most through my hunting dog specific photography business Byrd Dog Photography. After seeing countless inquiries on hunting forums and Facebook as well as being asked quite often about how I take photographs I decided over the next few months during the hunting off season of Spring and Summer I would publish a series of blog posts making a few humble suggestions to help the average weekend warrior. By starting now your skills, like your dogs, will be honed by next autumn.

Before I cover the photography tips for this post I want to make two quick points. The first is hunting dog photography can offer some challenges not found in normal pet portrait or pet photography. For starters there are usually guns and live rounds getting fired when your in the field. Aside from having proper blaze orange clothing you need to make sure that the gunners know where you are at all times and that you are communicating with them if you decide to step in to get a shot (so you don't get shot numbnuts). Nothing ruins a good hunt like getting blasted with some buckshot. You also need to be cognisant of what the dog(s) are doing. Your there to shoot them in their element not get in their way. You need to be aware of accidentally flushing birds, ruining a good honor by standing directly in the way of a backing dog or putting to much pressure on a dog trying to get that infamous shot when running birds are in the equation. In addition if your the weekend warrior your probably trying to carry your own gun, flush your own birds, shoot AND take photos. This is incredibly difficult....I know I like to hunt over my dog too. If your one of these people take a look at some hands free camera straps they may make your life much easier if you have a DSLR and a decent size lens.

The second and final point I will bring up (then I will get off my soapbox I promise. This was starting to feel like a filibuster huh?) is any aspiring photographer should do their best to get familiar and comfortable with their camera, regardless if its a point and shoot or a DSLR. If your not comfortable shooting in manual and your camera has scene modes utilize some of the options. For instance if you want pics of your dogs in motion (retrieving a bird or coming out of the water) use the sports mode or if they are sitting in the blind try portrait mode. If you've never done it or are feeling hesitant don't be afraid, get out of Auto. You have nothing to lose by trying.

Puppies in low cover

This puppy was in higher cover. So I opted to shoot just his face with a touch of shoulder. 

Know your subject: Having a good understanding of the dog you are shooting and it's abilities will help you out immensely. Puppies and smaller dogs like Brittany Spaniels can be challenging if your shooting in high grass and thick cover. If you have the ability, try and keep these dogs in lower cover when getting photos of them on point or retrieving. If you can't don't be afraid to fill the frame. There is no rule saying that you have to try and cram the entire dog in the photo.  Having a clear, smaller sampling of the pup will have more impact.

Obviously the more finished a dog is the more time and opportunity you will have to shoot solid points and retrieves. When shooting puppies and unsteady dogs you need to have patience. Put yourself in situations that you know you will be successful. Control the things you can like where you position yourself and your shutter speed.

Getting the point: Everyone loves a striking picture of a hunting dog on point. In most instances what your aspiring for is to capture that intensity your dog has when he or she locks up. Their tail is up high, foot bent hard, eyes locked into position and sometimes their body is quivering. Fill the frame. Isolate your subject and eliminate the distractions in the background. Try to focus on the eyes....there's a reason why they are called the window to the soul. Also drop down to their level instead of shooting down on them. I am almost always shooting from my knee and have at times depending on the height of the dog sunk back to be sitting on my butt.

If your shooting a finished or steady dog on point you can choose to run them without a collar or you can remove the collar while they are on point. It really cleans up the photo. Take a look at Wyatt the white and liver shorthair shown above.

Keep in mind the cover you are hunting in or training could be high and may hide the feet. That's OK but if they are visible try not to crop them out. If a large portion of the dog is hidden crop the photograph at a natural body line like the knees, shoulder or chest area.

Lastly, don't run up behind a dog on point. Make sure you walk in at an angle or loop around so that the dog can see you moving in. If your moving in from the front be sure your not putting yourself in a situation where your going to flush a bird.

It's a bird, it's a plane it's Sizzle!

Action Shots: Hunting dogs are athletes and they spend most of their time in motion whether its working a hedgerow, launching themselves into a lake or retrieving that freshly shot pheasant. Some of these pictures end up being the most fun. Don't get sucked into waiting for the dog to get the exact place you want the photo to be taken. To be successful at this you have to be very precise. Instead try following the dog. Synchronize your speed of the camera with them and if your camera allows it set it to continuous so you are capable of taking more pictures.

Backing Dogs: When shooting one or more dogs backing each other I always refer to some basic composition rules. Now don't go rolling your eyes and slamming your laptops shut because I used that boring text book word composition. It's not as awful as you think. Look at it this way anyone can take pictures, what you want to do is tell a story. That is the difference between aimlessly snapping away and creating a photograph. Shooting honoring dogs is a great opportunity to use a spin off to leading lines. In other words use the objects your shooting i.e. the dogs to draw your viewers eye through the photograph. This creates depth and perspective.

Most of the time when I'm shooting dogs in the field I am using a 70-200mm lens BUT occasionally I like to use a wide angle zoom lens. One of my favorite times to do this is when photographing dogs that are honoring. When I do I push the lens all the way out and get as close as I can to my subject. Two things have to occur to get this shot and be successful you need to have dogs that are very steady because you are going to get extremely close to them while on point which equates to pressure. And you have to have a dog owner that is comfortable with you getting that close and getting the shots you want in the midst of a hunt. The dog above in the forefront wearing the blue collar is a NAVHDA versatile champion VC Rahway River's Prince of Darkness call name Ozzie who is owned by Geof Ferrer. Both of which who allowed me to sneak in and get this shot while on a hunt. 

Things to Remember: I'm going to refer to Malcom Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule in which he says it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery. Not all of you are gunning to be masters so you won't need a complete 10,000 hours or 10,000 photos to be content with your improved skills but the only way to get good at something is to practice. Take pics of your dog(s) all the time even when they are not hunting. Take photos of them in the backyard, lounging in there dog bed or on a typical run in the field. Be willing to try things, be willing to get out of auto, be willing to ask other dog owners if you can photograph their dogs. Don't take 1 photo in a situation take 10 purposeful photos. Think about leading lines, shoot from your knee, pay attention to where the dogs feet are and how high the cover is. Implementing these few tips on your next training session and each one after will start you on your way to taking better photos of your best dog friend.

Hunting Dog Photography Tips Part 2 will cover shooting the sequences of retrieves, water work, natural framing, including the handler in shots, puppies and more so check back in the next few weeks. In the meantime follow us on Facebook and show us some love at: Adventures of a German Shorthaired Pointer and Byrd Dog Photography.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ruby River Camping

This past Friday we packed up, left civilization and cell service behind and headed out past Alder, MT to get our camp on. We spent the first night in the Vigilante forest service cabin with my best friend Jen, her husband Ben, their two kids Noah and Alex ages 6 and 2 and their two Norwegian Elkhounds. You know its remote when you log an additional  40 miles on dirt roads to get in and out. The cabin is located in the heart of grizzly country but luckily we were bear incident free although a big black bear did meander down towards the cabin to get a better whiff of some of Ben's caramelized onions for our Friday night dinner.

Dispersed camping along the Ruby river / reservoir system

Saturday morning we parted ways and off we went, 3 rolling stones with no plans in place but all the time in the world. We scoped out a sweet dispersed camping spot on the Ruby Reservoir on a rather large and private peninsula. Dispersed camping is primitive camping that is located within the National Forest Service area but it is outside of a designated campground. There are dispersed campgrounds all over Montana. These spots have very few services such as bathrooms, trash removal and occasionally no fire ring. You can roll up first come first serve and your welcome to stay there anywhere from 14 to 16 days. Our spot was epic for a couple of reasons the first being it was isolated. No one was near us for miles and the most recent visitors to our camp had been some moose who left us sizable tracks imprinted in the sand as well as piles of fresh poop. Sage was of course grateful for the morsels of moosie meadow muffins. In addition we had our own private beach directly to the right of our tent. 

We may be in Montana but thats Taylor pork Roll were making for breakfast. #jersey #philly

Lake stick fun

We spent the rest of our weekend eating and drinking entirely too much and fishing as much as we could handle. Sage spent the same moments marauding around finding mule deer legs to chew on, foraging for moose poop, and trying to ruin every second of our fishing that she could. If I ever had any doubt in my mind its now been clarified and 110% certified, Sage is the worst fishing dog period. She doesn't discriminate….you could be fly fishing, lure fishing or using fresh bait but she will intervene and she will wreck your good time while maintaining an insane level of cuteness. This is how she operates:

She zones in on your lure

Then she swims out scaring away any and all fish all while trying to bite your line 

Then she makes tough choices. It's either enthusiastically wrapping herself in your lines or getting dry flies stuck in her fur. Regardless the end result is always the same….. 

She finds herself excitedly tied to a tree extremely annoyed barking obscenities as loud as she can. Life is so tough when all you want is fishies. 

Despite her attempts at destroying our good fishing times we prevailed. We all made it home with a moderate level of camping hangover. I can't wait until we have another little pup to share all of this with. From this weekend on we will spend a good portion of our time next to some river getting our Montana on.  I can't wait. Be sure to check back and follow our shenanigans on Facebook at: Adventures of a German Shorthaired Pointer

Friday, May 15, 2015

Cape May, NJ with Dogs - Travel Edition

Cape May, New Jersey is a charming Victorian seaside retreat that can be found at the southern most point in the Garden State.  It's quite different than the Jersey Shore towns made famous by the awful MTV show of the same name. There are no cookie cutter blocks of shore houses, night clubs or tired amusement parks. Instead Cape May is a historically rich town with trolley tours, jazz festivals, enchanting and unique bars, clean beaches and awesome foodie spots. It's the beach gem of New Jersey and it's also dog friendly. You will know you have graced its threshold when the Garden State Parkway dwindles down the miles and deposits you at Exit Zero.

Sunset off my parents back deck

After driving across the country last summer with Sage and planning an exciting upcoming summer full of road trips I am quickly realizing that it's a challenge traveling with dog(s). Even with websites like Bring Fido there is limited information on activities outside of hotels. The things I especially want to know when looking at a destination is where can I find off leash places to run my batsy pointer pup in addition to spaces that we can hang out together as a family. So moving forward when Wyatt and I take trips with the pup(s) I'm going to pass along our detailed experiences so others can hopefully benefit if they plan on traveling with their pooches to these spots. I've decided to use Cape May, NJ as my first Travel Edition of blog posts for two reasons. Number one: I have been blessed that my parents have a beautiful shore house in Cape May just a couple of blocks from Broadway beach. It's been a family sanctuary not only for us humans but for my families pets as well. Number two: Wyatt was born and raised in West Cape May about 7 blocks from where I have vacationed my entire life. Theres nothing like moving 2,200 miles to meet a guy from your pseudo home town. Did you just hear that? Someone started playing its a small world after all.

Where's da beach?

It's this way!

Cape may has a diverse selection of beaches and shoreline. Some of these areas are off limits to dogs leashed or not, at all times due to nesting areas of some endangered bird species (Cape May Point State Park and Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge). Some beaches have specific seasons in which dogs are only permitted at select times. But there are a few areas that you can officially and unofficially enjoy your dogs on/off leash at all times of the year.

Cape May City Beaches run from the Cove to the Poverty Beach

Cape May City beaches (as pictured above) only allow dogs on the beach and promenade from November 1st to March 31st. I will say that you will see people in the evenings or early morning running with or walking their dogs on the promenade outside of that specified time. I'm by no means telling anyone that they should do that, rather I'm just letting you know that I've yet to see someone get ticketed or thrown off the promenade for walking their dogs… included. With that said don't even try to sneak them on the city beaches in season. You'll get bounced pretty fast.

There are two spots that you can officially and unofficially run your dogs. The first place is Higbee Beach which is a 1.5 mile strip on the Delaware Bay. This section of beach has very small waves and on calm mornings looks more like a lake than a bay that leads to the ocean. Beach tags are not required and their are no life guards. In fact once you past the jettys there are basically no people at all.  The three photos of Cleo and Luna posted so far were all taken on Higbee beach at the height of the season and you'll see there is no one there. Officially Higbee is open to dogs from September 1st to April 30th. Unofficially people run their dogs there all year round. In fact early in the morning when strolling down the beach the only other people you will see other than the occasional surf fisherman is another person walking or running their dog. When I used to own Cleo and Luna they found Higbee to be a beachy sanctuary. Sagey only got to visit once when she was 10 weeks old or so.

Higbee Beach

How to get there

Red dot marks the spot! Take New England Rd until it dead ends in a small sandy parking lot. You have two options at this point. Pull straight into that parking lot and take a path through some woods, over some dunes and onto the beach about halfway down. Or before entering the parking lot make a right and follow the sandy road until it deposits you in another parking area across from the Cape May Ferry. Walk out towards the water and follow the path to the left that leads out to the jetty. When I was an official east coaster and would go here on a regular basis I would typically leave the pointer pack on leash and walk them at heel until we were past the temptations of the surf fisherman near the jetty and then I would cut them loose. Please remember to bring plenty of water for your dogs, a ball to play fetch with and bags for their poop. Letting your dog poop on the beach just means your a jerk. Don't be a jerk. And keep in mind in high season you will see a ton of birders in this area. Please be respectful of them and do not allow your dogs to run in the dunes....only on the beach or you will end up being the person that makes this unofficial spot off limits for everyone else.

Lower Township Beaches

The next place you can run your dogs on the beach "officially" all year round are the lower township beaches highlighted above in brown. Your dogs have to be leashed on this beach at all times. There is also a rumor that there is a woman who pretty much watches and waits for you to take your dog off its leash and calls the cops on you. I guess some people have nothing else better to do with their time. But if your OK with your dog being on leash then its definitely worth checking out. To get to the Lower Township Beaches follow directions to the Cape May - Lewes Ferry terminal and before turning into the complex make a right. Drive north and parking for the beaches will be on your left.  

Cape May Dog Park

How to get there

There is also a Cape May Dog Park but in my humble opinion it's not worth the time and effort to visit. It's very small, there is no shade, parking can be hassle in peak season and the City of Cape May makes you jump through some serious hoops to be eligible to use it. Dog owners must apply for a dog park tag that costs $20 seasonally or $10 weekly and you must have the tag visible at all times while using the park. To apply for a tag you must fill out an application at the Cape May City Clerks Office on Washington Street. You will have to present current vaccination documents, your dog license, and sign a acceptance of risk and liability form to be considered. This is probably why no one is ever at the dog park. For the record I'm not thumbing my nose at the city requirements. They make perfect sense from a responsibility standpoint but if your commandoing in for a quick weekend getaway it just seems like an awful lot to ask of people who only want to drop in to the park for 30 minutes. The dog park is located at 705 Lafayette Street if you want to check it out.

Throwing beers back at the Nail

My Cape May days used to begin with a hearty run down Higbee beach complete with sand romping, ball retrieving and a good amount of swimming because this of course makes for tired GSP's. We all know tired GSP's are happy GSP's. But other than beach excursions there is plenty to get out and do around town with your pups. Here is a quick list of places your welcome to bring your dogs and also where you probably shouldn't go.

Places you can and should go:

The Beach Shack at the Rusty Nail: The photo above was taken here. I used to love to cruise in with Cleo and Luna and order some brewskies and kick back around a fire pit with my toes in the sand and listen to some sweet live music. You can head up to the bar to order your own drinks or munchies or wait for a waitress to swing by and grab your order. They even cater to your pooch by making dog food and dog beer available for purchase. My only warning is that in high season as you can see above it can be hectic and can be loud. People love to pet your dogs especially kids so if your dog is aggressive, gets social anxiety or isn't confident in situations like these then this is not the place for them. Luna always had a blast here never holding back from treating herself to a little sand digging. It was always my favorite place to take them in Cape May and its located at 205 Beach Ave. In addition, Wyatt also loves the Rusty Nail and we have appropriately dubbed our favorite watering hole in Bozeman the Nail West in honor of its magnificence.

There are several other restaurants that have either sidewalk or patio seating available where your dog is welcome to join you. There are several places in town but these are the ones I would recommend:

The Mad Batter - located at 19 Jackson Street (Get the fresh squeezed lemonade it's off the chain)
The Blue Pig Tavern - located in the corner of Congress Hall on the corner of Congress Place and Perry streets. Good breakfast spot. Get the mimosas. Mimosas make any morning better.
Zoe's Beachfront Eatery - located at the corner of Beach and Stockton Place across from Convention Hall on the Promenade. Another good breakfast spot.
Lobster House (raw bar) - located behind the Lobster House restaurant which is at 906 Schellengers Landing Rd. Wyatt and I agree that its a gem of a spot on the Cape. So bring your pooch (on leash) and sit out on the dock by the schooner and watch the fishing boats come in and out while enjoying some refreshing adult beverages. My favorites here are the New England Clam Chowder, crab claws with spicy mustard and clams casino.

Sage Pups only trip to Cape May in January of 2014

Cape May is pretty welcoming when it come to places to rest you and your pets head. Here are some recommendations for overnight accommodations:

Billmae Cottages and Billmae Cottage Too - Owners Bob and Linda Steenrod have several offerings for pet friendly cottages. There website even says, "Periodically we have Yappy Hour on the wrap-around porch, where dogs and owners get to meet and have treats". There locations are on Washington Street and also on Lafayette Street.
The Highland House - Located at 131 North Broadway is actually in West Cape May not far from my parents house. They have a fenced in play area for four legged guests.
Palace Hotel - Located at 1101 Beach Ave this hotel sits right across from the beach. My brother and Sister in-law stayed here several times with their Bassett Mr. Fisher while my parents were rebuilding their house this past year. There is a $25 fee per night per pet.
Marquis de Lafayette Hotel - Located at 501 Beach Ave this hotel sits right across the street from the beach and is a couple block walk from the outdoor mall. Pets are welcome on the first floor only in special pet suites.
The Beach Shack Hotel - This is the hotel portion of the Beach Shack that I described above when discussing the Rusty Nail. They are located at 205 Beach Ave right across from the beach. They have a limited number of pet friendly rooms.

And be sure to check out VRBO for pet friendly vacation homes and condos for rent.

Horseshoe Crabs

I decided to write this post and put it out now because it's one week before Memorial Day weekend. In my family we always celebrate this weekend in Cape May together. It's our tradition and it's something I have looked forward to for the last 20 years. This Memorial Day will be the first year that I will be in MT forging new traditions. Next weekend we take off for a camping, hiking and fly fishing extravaganza with Sage. Check back for a blog update on those adventures.

So that should for the most part cover it! Activities, beaches, bars and accommodations. All you need for a bang up weekend with your best dog friend in Cape May. Enjoy and let me know how you make out!

Be sure to follow our shenanigans on Facebook at Adventures of a German Shorthaired Pointer.