So you may have heard already, we adopted a dog! Yes, these two travel nuts realized that we needed a deciding vote in the family, and someone else to explore with us. Just as traveling with kids can be challenging but possible, so is traveling with a dog. So we are really excited to have Hana (our newly rescued Labrador-Mix Puppy) join the Peanuts or Pretzels fun! Not only will we have a blast exploring with her, but we can share our experience traveling with a pet with other pet-lovers and travel-lovers out there!
(check out the Facebook Live video below)
Waiting for the Right Time to Get a Dog
We’ve both wanted to get a dog for many years now. In fact, years before I met Josh I wanted to get a dog. I grew up with dogs, and I adore them. But I was a traveler, and I also had this deep feeling that I would one day live and work overseas for quite some time (and I did). So while we have wanted a dog for so long, we both knew that we needed to wait for the right time. When we adopt a dog, it’s for life.
Since returning from 3-year long adventure backpacking and living in Asia, Josh and I have changed a bit. While we still have a passion for travel, we realized that we have grown a bit out of the long-term nomadic-style backpacking travel. It was fun, and we did it — but now we plan to focus more on road trips around the USA and Canada for a while. Which is perfect fun to have a dog tag along with us!
Sure, there will always be occasional trips overseas for work and for pleasure. When those times happen we have friends and family who have offered to dog-sit, and sometimes we may even be able to take the dog with us.
Plus, working so hard on all of our businesses, Josh and I realized that we really needed another being in our household. Someone to play with us, distract us from working all the time, and to go out and have fun with. Hana has been just that and so much more. Even after a couple months now, we can’t imagine our lives without her.
Pet Adoption Saves Lives!!! #RescuesRule!
Getting a dog was something we had thought about ever since returning from Asia. But we kept holding off, wanting to make sure we were truly happy with our decision to stop being nomadic travelers. Initially, the plan was to get a dog next year. But after a trip to China for work in June, Josh and I came home and realized that it was lonely back at home…and we definitely wanted a dog now.
So we browsed around online, looking at various adoption and rescue websites. We knew that we wanted to rescue an animal, since there are so many wonderful and loving animals out there who are looking for good homes. But we also gave some thought to the type of dog we wanted.
We both knew that we really wanted a Labrador Retriever because their personality would really fit our lifestyle. We wanted a social dog who was fun and loved to explore outdoors, but could also chill and relax with us. We also wanted a dog who was loyal, great with families and with kids. Labs are popular dogs for a reason – they are pretty awesome with all of these things. However, we were open to having a mixed-Labrador since we were adopting. No need to have a purebred, plus sometimes mixes are quite healthy, and being mixed with a smaller type of dog would mean a smaller stature — which is a bit easier to travel with.
As luck would have it, we immediately found an adorable pup that was only a few months old through the Retriever Rescue of Colorado. Going through a rescue means that we had to do a lot more than just showing up and getting the dog. We had quite a bit of paperwork, and had to verify a lot of our work and home situation. We also had a phone interview, and needed to have a volunteer from the rescue do a home visit. Their mission is to make sure the dog is going to a good “forever home” and that we could take care of the dog well.
Luckily, we passed all the tests! Unfortunately (for us), the dog we wanted was actually adopted by her foster family. It was heartbreaking, but we figured it just wasn’t meant to be. The matching coordinator at the rescue had all of our information and knew exactly the kind of dog we were looking for. They told us they would give us a call if they had another dog come available.
One Day, We’re Okay With No Dog. Next Day…Dog!!!
So Josh and I decided to do our own thing for a while. The end of July we went to Las Vegas for a last minute getaway. During the trip we had just talked about how it was ok that we didn’t have a dog…then the day after we got home we got a text. “Uh oh” Josh said to me, “the rescue just sent me a text, do you want to look at these photos?”
I knew the moment I looked at them I would be in love. And I was (well, we were).
They had a dog they had just rescued from Kansas — she was a 5 month old Labrador mix puppy who was in a kill-shelter. Due to overcrowding, there was just no room and she was on the list to be put down if someone didn’t adopt her. So the Retriever Rescue of Colorado stepped in. They adopted her and transported her to Denver, and a foster family took her in. Once the coordinator saw this girl, they knew she was meant for us. The rescue coordinator contacted us immediately with the text, and we met her the next day.
While she was skiddish due to everything she had just been through, even the foster family was surprised how it didn’t take long for her to warm up to Josh and I. She even licked Josh’s face — something that shocked the foster family (because she had been afraid of men mostly). We knew she was our girl, and we took her home right away to our forever home!
Hana is Her Name & She’s on Instagram!
Oh Hana!!! If you have ever traveled to Hawaii, then you may recognize her name. Hana is named after a beautiful and somewhat famous town on the east side of Maui in the Hawaiian islands. A quaint town on the rainy side, “The Road to Hana” is a popular scenic and windy drive along the coast to the town. When Josh and I were in Maui, we drove the famous “Road to Hana” and we even camped just outside of town on an amazing black sands beach. The next day, we explored the town and even hiked to a hidden red sands beach right near Hana town.
We had an amazing visit, and fell in love with Maui and especially the Hana area. And when we met her at the foster family’s house, we noticed that she had a collar on – which was pink / white with Hawaiian flowers on it. The foster mom said she saw it at the store and thought it was adorable. We did too. And we took it as a sign that Hana should be her name!
Hana, if you haven’t noticed, is absolutely adorable! Of course we are biased because we are her dog-parents, but honestly, everywhere we go people are just gushing over her. And being that her parents are bloggers and social media marketers, it only makes sense that Hana should have her own Instagram account!
So we encourage all of you to follow along on Instagram at @TheLabulousLifeOf_Hana!
Following Hana, you can check out her #LabulousLife while she explores the world and chases birds #ILoveMyDuck!
From Scared…to a Social Butterfly!
It didn’t take long for Hana to settle in. The first day she was still a little scared and skiddish, but she was also getting attached and following us everywhere at our house. After a couple days, her personality really started to change. You could tell that she was really settling in and feeling more comfortable. She was playing a lot more, chasing a rope-ball that we bought her and having fun with her stuffed-sqeaky duck that we bought her (she loves her duck!). She already felt part of the family.
Living in a bustling urban area of Denver, we love taking Hana out for walks in the neighborhood. There are many shops and restaurants that are dog friendly, and lots of dogs in the area. So Hana was quickly learning that it was fun to meet other people and other dogs.
Hana also loves the dog park! She is such a social butterfly that as soon as we arrive, she runs around saying “hi” to every dog and every owner in the whole park! Then as more people arrive, she is like the welcome party — as she runs to greet them at the gate before they enter. Hana also enjoys sometimes going to play at doggie-daycare! Since Josh and I work a lot from home, we noticed that Hana feels a bit bored when we are so busy that we can’t play. And she’s a playful pup! But we are so fortunate to have U Lucky Dog daycare just a few minutes from our house.
The best doggie daycare (more like a mini-resort!) in Denver, Hana has a blast there running and playing all day. When we drop her off, she’s so excited she barely says goodbye to us! But we can spy on her with the web cams, which is always fun for us to see how she’s enjoying it.
They also have a big swimming pool — so as a Labrador, we thought she would enjoy swimming. Turns out, not so much. The staff tried to get Hana in the water for a private swim, but she was not having it. So another day they had her jump in during a group swim…she was okay, but didn’t really like it and got out fast. We’re hoping to have her swimming more in the future, but for now she’s happy just running and playing!
Fun on the Road With Hana Already
It’s been great having Hana with us already as we’ve gone on some road trips around Colorado. The first big trip we did with Hana was a quick weekend getaway in September to Ouray / Telluride, Colorado. Hana did quite good in the car, finally figuring out how to get comfy and relax during the journey. We stayed in a lovely cabin in Ouray and she felt quite comfy in her doggie bed we brought from home.
We walked around the town of Ouray (simply gorgeous if you’ve never been!) and even did some hiking to explore some waterfalls. We played in the park with Hana, and she did so good to stay with us when we practiced letting go of her leash. At night Josh and I relaxed in the hot tub outside looking at the stars, and talked with some other travelers around the campfire. All the time, Hana was right there enjoying it with us.
On the last day of our trip we made our way over to Telluride, just a short but incredibly scenic drive away from Ouray. We strolled the town a bit and discovered that the free Gondola in Telluride is actually dog-friendly! So we were able to take Hana with us up the mountain, and also down to the ski village. Hana didn’t quite know what to think of the gondola, but overall she did quite well riding it for the first time.
More Adventures With Hana to Come!
Hana has added so much to our family. She’s just a bundle of joy when she wakes up in the morning, and she just adores Josh and I. We do have some things to work on since she’s both a rescue and still a puppy, but overall she is incredibly well-behaved and just a sweetheart who loves everyone. We are so lucky to have found her and look forward to having so many amazing adventures together!