Django and I started an online bromance a few months ago when I was searching for outdoor gear that would compliment my adventurous lifestyle. I live right outside of Anchorage, Alaska with the mountains in my backyard. Anchorage has a sub-arctic climate and is known for mild, rainy summers and snow-packed winters. My gear needs to be able to stand up to the elements and look good doing it.
My name is Diesel (@alaskaweenie on Instagram), and I’m a blue and cream miniature dachshund with bright blue eyes. Django is the yin to my yang; we compliment each other in every way. While Django lives in the city and I live in a rural area, we are both always searching for our next adventure.
Our first conversations revolved around DJANGO's City Slicker Rain Jacket and Dog Carry Bag and soon turned to a few of our favorite things: Selena Gomez, tacos, mountain vistas, remote cabin excursions, and travel blogging. Django suggested that I write a featured post about one of my most recent adventures, and as any best bro would do, I agreed.
I was born into a life of adventure and can’t imagine living any other way.
My first few days in Alaska (after flying up from Twisp, Washington) were spent at my family's remote cabin just outside of Denali National Park. The cabin is four miles from the main road, and in the winter we ride in on snowmobiles. I was snuggled up in my mom’s jacket during my first trip in, but all of my subsequent trips have been made in a pet-friendly backpack. The trip is pretty quick, and most of the time I fall asleep.
The best part of the cabin begins after we arrive. I can’t think of anything better than the freedom of running around in the woods and smelling the scents of the wild animals that have been there before me. The winter months are safer for me as I really only need to watch out for the occasional eagle or owl. In the spring when the bears start to wake up, I will have to be much more careful.
If peeing were a sport I would be a gold medal winner. In the woods, trying to mark every tree or post is very hard work - and I take it seriously! We like to spend long weekends or spring break at the cabin which gives me plenty of time to mark up the area and go on excursions.
Denali is the tallest land-based mountain on Earth—with a vertical rise of about 18,000 feet — so when we are out hiking, it is always a top priority to get a view of the mountain. Denali is quite fickle, only showing the full mountain or mountain range on occasion, so when it is out we trek over to different viewing areas.
I’ve been wearing my DJANGO City Slicker for most of these hikes and am happy to report the jacket has done a great job of keeping me dry and comfortable. A few of the features I appreciate are the athletic cut, the sturdy and adjustable velcro attachments, and the halter D-ring opening on the back of the jacket. Mom and Dad are big fans of DJANGO's Cherry Red color. The bold red stands out nicely amongst the dense trees and when I'm running through the deep snow. I can always be easily seen.
If you are interested in making a trip to Alaska, there are plenty of pet-friendly lodging options in our beautiful cities. To get an authentic and local experience, consider an AirBNB in cities Talkeetna, Seward, Homer or Fairbanks.
Did you know that out of 58 national parks in the United States, only 7 in the continental U.S. are dog friendly? Well Alaska is much more dog friendly than the rest of the United States! Dogs are welcome in most Alaskan national and state parks, including Denali National Park. Alaskans love their dogs, so don’t be surprised if locals stop you to chat when you come visit and give you a belly rub.
Keep in mind that even dog-friendly parks have a few pet-related rules. For instance, almost every national park asks you to keep your pup on a leash at all times. If you would like to visit one of the many National Parks in Alaska, here is a link that is helpful regarding pet policies.
The snow is starting to melt and my summer adventures will include trips to the Alaska coast, paddleboarding at the lake, and argo rides into the cabin. I can't wait to hear what Django and the rest of you have planned. I was built for the wild - #AllDogsAreAdventureDogs rings true to me - and live by the motto “always take the scenic route.”
I hope to see you along the way!
All photos by Kim Black
New York City can be an intimidating place, especially if you're visiting for the first time with your dog. Not sure where to stay next time you visit? There are thousands of hotels in Manhattan alone, and not all are pet-friendly, in a good location, or even well rated!
To make your life easier, Mike and I (Steph) put together a list of the best dog-friendly hotels throughout Manhattan. Our recommended pet-friendly hotels range from trendy to central to luxurious. And although nothing in NYC is cheap, there are a few hotels below that qualify as 'budget'. If you are focused on a particular Manhattan neighborhood, scroll down for our Google Map guide which highlights the location of each dog-friendly hotel.
How do you choose the best dog food for your pup? The endless selection of dog food products with promising marketing claims make the task of selecting dog food incredibly challenging. Do you go with the dog food brand that claims it only uses all-natural ingredients? Is organic better? And what does "all-natural" even mean!?
We're here to help you understand how to choose what is right for your dog. In the following article we discuss how to identify the highest quality dog foods and what to look for in dog food labels. We also clarify the meaning of organic and natural and address recent rumors about grain-free dog food. As always, leave any questions and thoughts in the comments below! We love hearing from you.
Is there any airline that will allow my large dog to travel with us in the cabin? This is a question we at DJANGO Dog Blog get frequently.
An increasing number of dog owners are traveling with their pups, both domestically and internationally. In this article we explore pet travel options for larger dogs - ones that do not fit under a plane seat in an airline-approved pet carrier.