The number 13 may get a bad wrap in some circles, but we’re loving it today! It’s Ty’s golden birthday – he’s 13 years old on the 13th – and this is an especially sweet one. Birthdays always put me in a reflective mood … thinking back over the year that just passed … and Ty’s had one heck of a year!

Last year for his birthday we were in Vancouver, British Columbia, and celebrated with a day trip up to Whistler.

Ty's 12th Birthday - Vancouver, BC

Our travels took us south, and we met up with good friends for a hike on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Exploring Fidalgo and Whidbey Island with Dogs |

Ty did battle with a high fever shortly thereafter, and we hustled down to Palm Springs, settling in for a couple months while he recovered and got back on his feet.

Ty from

When February rolled around, he was ready to roll and we took off on The Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip! Our first stop was in Carmel, California, and all the boys were happy to be on the road again!

California's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Carmel Beach |

Visiting the top pet friendly attraction in each state has been even more fun than we imagined! What dog wouldn’t be tickled to see Red Rock Canyon in Nevada, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, all within a few weeks?

Nevada's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Red Rock Canyon |

Arizona's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Grand Canyon |

New Mexico's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: White Sands National Monument |

Our trip across the south continued, and Ty took his first canoe ride on the Buffalo National River in Arkansas.

Arkansas' Top Pet Friendly Attractions: Buffalo National River |

It was around this time that we noticed our little guy was having difficulty keeping up on hikes, and we still had a lot of miles to cover. So we got Ty a stroller, and he settled right in! He strolled the trails at Fort De Soto in Florida, posed with some fans at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, and rolled close to seven miles as we explored Washington, D.C.

Florida's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Fort De Soto Park and Dog Beach |

Virginia's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Colonial Williamsburg |

Washington D.C.'s Top Pet Friendly Attractions: The National Mall |

He’s been on boat rides, played on the beach, cruised Central Park, and napped in Newport, with the ocean breeze ruffling his fur.

Maryland's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Chesapeake Bay |

New Jersey's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Wildwood Dog Beach |

New York's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Central Park |

Rhode Island's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Newport Cliff Walk |

He’s been to the tops of mountains, and to one very special mountain where dogs are tops!

Maine's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Acadia National Park |

New Hampshire's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Mount Washington |

Vermont's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Dog Mountain |

In New England Ty had another bout with Shar-pei Fever, which scared us terribly. Of course, he took it all in stride, and with a new medication was back to himself in a few days.

Maryland's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Chesapeake Bay |

He went on his first train ride in Pennsylvania, chalked up another peak in West Virginia, walked beneath the Gateway Arch in Missouri, and took in the sights in Chicago.

Pennsylvania's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway |

West Virginia's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Monongahela National Forest |

Missouri's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Gateway Arch Park |

Illinois' Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Chicago Lakefront Trail and Navy Pier |

From there, he did a mini-tour of the Great Lakes, visiting Indiana Dunes National Seashore, Michigan’s Mackinac Island, and Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in Minnesota.

Indiana's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Indiana Dunes Lakeshore |

Michigan's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Mackinac Island |

Minnesota's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Split Rock Lighthouse State Park |

Our next stop was my parents’ home, where Ty received a through spoiling and we all got a little R&R. Today finds us in one of my favorite places, Custer State Park in South Dakota. We’ve had a lot of fun here on our previous visits, and we’re looking forward to another spectacular day with the boys!

The past year has been quite and adventure for Ty, and while his hearing and vision are failing, he’s still having fun. His nose still works, and we’ll be sure there are plenty of interesting things for him to sniff along the way. We’ll always cherish the memories we’ve made this year, and we’re looking forward to what’s down the road for Ty and us.

The happiest of birthdays to you, sweet boy!

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