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Go Pet Friendly: Vacation as Vocation

Rod & Amy with... not Ty & Buster

You’ve heard the cliches: Living the dream. Tough work if you can get it. Live the life you’ve imagined. They’re all true in the case of Rod and Amy Burkert, who are traveling around the country with their two dogs, Ty and Buster, finding pet friendly places to recommend for their website, GoPetFriendly.com.

The Trip Planner

The website’s data base allows travelers to map out their trips a la Mapquest, only with very specialized destinations: Those that accept pets. Of course, “accept” is a rather vague term, and that’s the other thing that GoPetFriendly.com does: Details number, size, and fees for pets in hotels, motels, campgrounds, and even B&Bs. It also covers attractions: Dog parks, hiking trails, theme parks, restaurants… if a pet can park there, the website has it covered.

The Blog

The bare bones of the pet travel information provided by the data base are fleshed out with Take Paws, the blog that goes into detail about the places that Rod and Amy visit and offers advice based on their personal experience — everything from the type of food they’ve come to recommend to their training travails. Not to mention pictures. Lots of pictures. Ty, a Sharpei, and Buster, a German shepherd mix, are very photogenic (which is why Frankie won’t allow them on this site; he still hasn’t forgiven me for the Great Yorkie Bark-Off).

The Very Social Social Media

What could be better for gathering information on pet-friendly places than talking to local dog owners? Through Twitter, Facebook and other pet blogs, Rod and Amy have made lots of friends, many of whom want to meet them and their peripatetic pups when they come through town. I did meet Rod and Amy at both 2010 Blogpaws conferences, but we never had much quality time together until they stayed in my small — but larger than an RV!– guest house in Tucson. I therefore took the opportunity to interview them for AnimalCafe.co.

The Interview

I had a rough idea of how Rod and Amy got started with Go Pet Friendly, but I wanted to know more details. I wanted to know their favorite pet-friendly places and, indeed, how they define pet-friendly travel. And, since Rod and Amy were surprisingly amiable to each other for the three days I was with them — although it’s possible that they fought like, well, you know, in the privacy of the guest house — I wanted to know how they live in the confined space of their RV together without killing each other. Or their dogs.

Listen up to what they said. It’s an answer that speaks to relationships in general, including friendships. And then come back to the Chat Cafe on Wednesday, March 18th, 9PM EST, to ask Rod and Amy more questions about life, dogs, and mail collection.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted May 17, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Edie, we loved spending those few days with you – and I’m glad to know that we kept the volume on our yelling down enough that you couldn’t hear us from the guest house. 🙂

    Thanks for making the time to interview us – and thanks for introducing us to your readers. We’re already looking forward to the next time we get to see you and Frankie again!

  2. Posted May 18, 2011 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I am always fascinated by people who are able to do their own thing like Amy and Rod. Live their dreams. It’s so exciting to read about their progress.

  3. Posted May 19, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    It’s a really interesting life they’ve created for themselves! Very unique and so cool! 🙂

  4. Posted May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Hi Y’all,

    So nice to meet y’all as Rod and Amy travel around the country and catch up with various bloggers. After meeting everyone it feels as if we know the person behind the writing. After meeting you, Edie, and Frankie…it feels like we really met you…

    Hawk aka BrownDog’s Human

    • Edie Jarolim
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      I feel the same way about y’all Hawk! I guess it’s called writing with personality…

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