Once upon a time, two accountants took their persnickety (yet adorable) dog, “Ty” for his morning walk around their neighborhood in Philadelphia.
Upon their return home, a man ran up to warn the couple to watch out for the BIG, BLACK dog he’d just seen near their house.
After a fruitless search for the dog’s owner, the couple decided to make the dog part of their family and named him “Buster.” It wasn’t long before the couple was preparing to take Ty and Buster on a family vacation.
But the couple hadn’t realized how difficult it was to find fun places Ty and Buster could enjoy with them. They spent hours in front of the computer and on the phone just tracking down dog friendly hotels … where could they going to play or eat?
That’s when the idea hit them – they could build a website that would make pet travel easy for everyone!
They collected information on hotels and campgrounds – including detailed pet policies. They sniffed out pet friendly restaurants, and wineries, and dog parks, and beaches – places pets could romp with their people. They even tracked down veterinarians, pet supply stores, doggy day care, and pet sitters, in case someone needed them when they were away from home. And in 2009, they launched GoPetFriendly.com.
Because the couple loved long driving vacations, they added a pet friendly road trip planner to the website!
One day, the husband said to the wife, “You can’t tell people how easy it is to travel with their pets if you’re sitting in an office – we need to get our paws on the ground!” It was the advice he gave her before carefully considering the consequences, because she sold their house and bought them a Winnebago.
A few years down the road, the couple discovered they loved living in a home on wheels, so they traded in their little motorhome for one that gave them more room to stretch out.
Since then the couple has traveled the country with Ty and Buster, searching out more pet friendly places to include on the website.
In 2017, the GoPetFriendly.com team decided it was time for a new challenge. They planned a 15,000-mile, 10-month tour to the #1 pet friendly attraction in 48 states and Washington D.C. It was an epic trip, and when it was over they turned it into a book!
Many people and their pets travel vicariously with the GoPetFriendly.com team on their blog, Take Paws, which has become an encyclopedia of pet travel advice and pet friendly destination guides. Amy, Rod, Ty, and Buster do their best to make sure the time you spend with your pets is memorable – whether it’s a trip around the block or across the country.
Wishing you waggin’ trails,
-Amy and Rod Burkert
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