When I was a full-time travel writer, I often said that my lifestyle bore no relation to my income. It was part of my job description to check out posh hotels and resorts for a variety of guidebooks and magazines, either hosted by the destinations or paid for by the publications (I lost count of the number of solo honeymoons I took for Brides). I’m not going to get into the whole press trip ethics discussion here; it’s been covered ad nauseum on other sites.  Suffice it to say that there is no way I could experience and report on certain places if I had to do it on my own dime.

Places like the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, where Frankie and I recently spent the night.

A picture that doesn't do the Ritz-Carlton justice because a) I'm a bad photographer and b) my Canon A1100IS told me I needed to change batteries even though I put in new ones the previous day

Although I don’t take as many trips as I did in the past, I do a monthly pet travel segment on KVOA TV, the Tucson NBC affiliate (Note regarding the clip: I looked far better before the switch to high-definition TV). And because the Ritz, which just opened near Tucson, allows pets under 20 pounds, I jumped at the chance to take part in a press group that was invited to visit the resort.

I even did something I rarely do to get ready for the big: I got Frankie professionally groomed. (Before the give-up-your-cable-TV crowd jumps on me, I hasten to say that I got the grooming in trade for a couple of copies of Am I Boring My Dog that the pet boutique/grooming salon is selling. Unlike me, Frankie feels no shame at getting services for free. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go back and read my last two posts, The cost of dog care: Where do you draw the line, where I got dissed in the comments section for wanting to keep my cable; and Dental confessions: A brief digression)

The decision to go pro with Frankie’s hair care turned out to have been a mistake, however.

Not that he didn’t look handsome. He came away with his usual tousled appeal and a natty kerchief:

Disheleved chic Frankie
Tousled chic Frankie

But he also came away with an eye problem — which cut our stay short. For details, tune in tomorrow.

9 thoughts on “Putting on the Ritz”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Edie! I’d never have been to many of the places I’ve been if it hadn’t of been for writing assignments and the generosity of our hosts. Those perks make up for the poor pay, so enjoy it while you can. And say Hi to Frankie for me. He’s a cutie.

    1. Thanks for your backup, Doreen! And nice to see you on my blog. I will definitely pass your regards along to Frankie when he wakes up.

  2. Travelling is one thing I have not done much of, because for the last 14 1/2 years I’ve had at least one dog and for a while (like now), I have two.

    We did go away in 2006 for Labour Day Weekend, only after searching and searching for a “kennel” that we felt comfortable enough leaving Sweety and Zack (R.I.P Zack). However, when we returned, Sweety, who at that time was your typical ADD type Border Collie, was virtually catatonic. It ended up that she somehow developed acute pancreatitis and just about bought the farm. Needless to say, that was the last trip we took.

    I hadn’t thought about what you say in your video interview, about approaching vet receptionists and techs to see if they board dogs, that’s a great idea!

    1. Jim, I’m sorry you had such an awful experience when you went away. That must have made you feel terrible — and, um, guilty — to come back and discover that your dog was sick. Have you tried traveling latelyl? There are so many inexpensive hotels that take dogs now, so you needn’t leave them at home. But when that’s not an option, a vet is a great place to consider.

  3. We never should or shouldn’t people into traveling with their pets. There are just so many moving parts to any given individual’s situation – size of the pet, mode of transportation, length of stay, where staying, medical conditions, etc. That said, all of these factors are easily conquered when people travel with a child, or even a baby. Why isn’t the same true of a pet?

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