Traveling With Our Dog – Finding a Self Wash Dog Bath

Dog Friendly Road Trip

Pet Place Market

Pet Place Market

We were so excited to wake up early in the morning with our car jam-packed with luggage, sleeping bags, a cooler full of drinks and lunch, an audio book for our listening pleasure, snacks, and of course the BEST DOG IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, Blue Belle, who joined us on our road trip to to the great Northwest.  We traveled from Boise, Idaho on the interstate freeway system through Oregon, over the Columbia River to Washington State, through scenic wine country and finally to venture through the picturesque cascade mountains and Kittitas County.  We truly love to travel the state highways through the beautiful small communities. As soon as we could, we hopped off the interstate to relax on the slower pace of the Washington state highway.

Shortly after leaving our home in Boise I realized that I should have given Blue Belle a bath the day before we left.  Riding in our small car, with Blue Belle snuggling up between us, caused some discussion about the unpleasant odor we would have to endure for several days. It didn’t seem to bother Murry much, but I do have a very good sense of smell.  So we looked online to see if there was a self service dog wash somewhere on our route. We knew we would be spending the night in Cle Elum, WA, and the next day stopping to take Blue Belle for a walk and enjoy the awesome view of Snoqualmie Falls, so we searched google for a self serve dog wash near Snoqualmie.

Our search brought us to a fantastic jewel of a find, Pet Place Market, located in North Bend, WA.  We sent an online message to let them know that we would be traveling through North Bend the next day and would be so happy to give Blue Belle a bath in their self serve dog wash.  When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised when we stepped inside to say we were traveling and needed to use their self serve dog wash.  The nice lady said “this must be Blue Belle”.  Yah! They read our message.  We were greeted by the Manager, Amanda, and a nice young man named Zack.

Amanda showed us into the back room where the doggie spa was located.  A nice sized room that was very nicely decorated with several bath stations.  She gave us a tour and explained how everything worked.  First we put on some stylish blue (Boise State Colors, by the way) rubber aprons and took Blue Belle to a table where we brushed her.  If we wanted we could do a few other grooming things like clip her nails.  Then we took her to the bathing station.  The water was already set to the proper temperature and ready to go. Amanda showed us how to use the shampoo and conditioner, how to hold the sprayer for the water and how to use the blow dryer.  We even had scented spray to use after she was all cleaned up.  We chose the lavender spray.  She smelled so good.

After her bath we looked through the pet store and found a product to add to our purchase – an organic dog treat made with real berries produced locally. Wet Noses grain free dog treats are USDA organic Non-GMO and made nearby in Monroe, Washington.  I found this information about their facility on their website:  “Every single one of our treats are produced at our facility in Monroe, Washington – about 30 minutes north of Seattle. Wet Noses has called the beautiful Pacific Northwest home for nearly 20 years, since our beginnings in a Seattle kitchen in the late 1990s”.  They also say “Our company is founded on one very basic philosophy, if you wouldn’t eat it – don’t give it to your pet”.  What a great attitude!

We were so thrilled to find this super duper pet place with such a friendly staff.  We plan to stop in again when we take another road trip with the BEST SMELLING DOG IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD.
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Dog Adoption Story – Zolo

Guest Blogger: Charles Redell

Adopted dog Zolo with Charlie and Alexis

The happy family today.

It’s hard to imagine now, as we plan a four-month road trip across Canada to write a travelogue/guidebook starring our dog Zolo, but when we first got him he wanted nothing to do with me and I wasn’t even sure I wanted him.

My wife Alexis was wanting a dog for a while. But my cat Jake was getting old and I wasn’t keen to upset his life. I’d carried him home cradled inside my jacket when he was just a handful of weeks old. After 14 years together, Jake was too big a part of my life to disrupt his routines that much.

Alexis was willing to wait but that didn’t keep her from searching for dogs described as “shy” and “quiet” so that if I changed my mind, Jake wouldn’t feel threatened. It was a smart tack to take. Weeks of looking at those pictures worked magic on me. Pretty soon I was dreaming of having two sweet animals cuddled on the couch with me.

Zolo on his first night living with us.

Zolo on his first night living with us.

When Alexis first saw the picture of Zolo on Petfinder he was pretty hard to resist. Big, round dark eyes and tall pointy ears coupled with black and white coloring just like Jake’s drew us both in. That he was rescued on the streets of Taiwan and was a world traveler like Alexis and me, piqued my curiosity further. I was convinced to take a trip across Puget Sound to meet him because he required a quiet household.

When we got to The Big Dog Project, we walked into a house filled with animals of varying sizes and types. Happily for me, these included a few cats. After the uproar that greeted our arrival died down, Zolo was ushered out of his crate and we sat on the couch chatting and giving him a chance to check us both out.

It was immediately obvious that my dreams of cuddling up with him and Jake would not be realized any time soon. Although he completely ignored the cats winding around under his nose, he wouldn’t let my hand get close to him if a woman wasn’t petting him first. As a rescue from Taiwan, we were told he was likely used to being chased by the men there who apparently like to torment the country’s street dogs.

A panel from our webcomic about ZoloThe importance of this fact was not clear to his first family in the States. Brought home by them because they were not able to get pregnant, he was surrendered after only a month because he was meant to be the husband’s companion; a plan Zolo would never agree to.

We spent about an hour sitting with Zolo and taking him for a walk while being interviewed by the woman running the rescue. It was probably pretty obvious to her that, if she approved of us, there was no way we could leave without the little guy. Alexis’ heart had melted and I was obviously ready to try.

Thankfully she approved.

Those first few days couldn’t have gone more smoothly. Jake was none too pleased, though he was tolerant once it was clear he could still rule the roost with an iron paw. Meanwhile Zolo who’d come to us already crate trained, was oblivious to both Jake and me. He spent most of his time in his crate or running to be near Alexis.

After about 6 weeks with us, he started to let me in a bit. I remember the first time that happened. It was on our before-bedtime walk the night of my birthday party that year. He was so obviously happy to be away from the crowd and with just me. I knew we’d finally formed a bond.

I still had to have a lot of patience over the next couple of years to really build his trust. But since Jake passed last year, it’s not crazy to imagine us spending almost six months driving across a continent together. And I still have one sweet black and white pet who will cuddle with me on the couch.

Charles Redell is a writer in Seattle. Along with his wife and dog he’s planning to create a multimedia e-book about their trip across Canada this summer ( They’re raising funds on Kickstarter ( to help pay for the research. They hope you’ll support them with a donation in exchange for one of their great rewards.

Traveling Dog Project You Can Back

Alexis, Charlie and Zolo Plan Travel through Canada

Alexis, Charlie and Zolor Plan Journey Through Canada

Seattle Family and Their Dog Travel Through Canada

Now this is a project that dog lovers can get behind.  A family from Seattle will travel with their dog, Zolo (who happens to be from Taiwan) through Canada to give you a taste of what life is like in that beautiful place we like to think of as our good neighbors to the north.  Let’s keep in touch with Alexis, Charlie and Zolo and follow their travels and insights while they journey across Canada in their van they have named Vanny with their puppy Zolo, hero to neurotic dogs everywhere.  I’m sure they will greatly appreciate your encouragement and backing.

Online Resources

Information is available at and on the Kickstarter page at

About the Seattle Family

Alexis, Charlie and Zolo are a family from Seattle, Washington. They’ll celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary somewhere in British Columbia this July. But the star of the show is Zolo, their 27-pound mixed breed rescue who came to live with them three years ago thanks to the magic of Petfinder.

All three are world travelers. Their numerous past trips include a month-long honeymoon in Bali, four months working and living at the South Pole, long trips in Europe and many multi-day, back-country hikes around the Western United States and Alaska. Even Zolo was rescued in the hills of Taiwan and flown here as part of a rescue program.

The KickStarter Campaign

Zolo Neurotico in Canada: A Multimedia Guidebook/Travelogue

Launched: May 9, 2013      Funding ends: Jun 8, 2013

by Charles Redell  ~ We’re gathering material for a multimedia travelogue and guidebook to seeing Canada with a slightly neurotic dog.