About the Author: Helen Fazio and her dog, Raja, blog on pet travel and related topics at www.traveldogbooks.com. In their first book, The Journey of the Shih Tzu, Raja tells the wolf-to-woof story of the development of this amazing breed. They are working on forthcoming titles.
At least every other ski season Raja loves to make his way to Vail, Colorado. The powder in the Rocky Mountains is amazing and Vail scenery with red cliffs and sage and gold pines is always glorious.
Vail was named for Charles Vail, an engineer who routed a highway through the valley in 1944; the ski mountain was developed by Pete Seibert, an Army Mountain Division Soldier, and his buddies, who trained in the area during WWII. Local ranchers contributed capital toward the fast-growing ski destination. Today, not only is Vail a prime family holiday destination, but the mountain terrain offers all the challenges mountain sports can handle.
Here’s why Vail is such a pup-friendly town.
1. As soon as you fly into Vail, an airport monitor lets you know that your dog will be made to feel right at home. This ad from a real estate company basically puts the dog before the house big time!
2. The Colorado Ski Museum on Frontage Road in Vail Village celebrates the age-old connection between mountain dogs and skiing mountaineers in a mural on the outside. Look at those treacherous wooden slide-in skis! Who wouldnt want a dog to help with all the mishaps and accidents!
3. Vail Village Arts Gallery considers dogs to be great art. The gallery represents the brilliant dog portraits of employee Suzanne Shirra. Contact her through the gallery if you want your pet to be luminously captured on an enormous canvas. In our picture, a Yellow Lab, a Black Lab, and a phosphorescent Maltese glow on the gallery walls.
4. All the best shops have dog greeters to make you feel really welcome. Meet Charlie of the De Corato Boutique on East Meadow Drive in Vail Village. One day Charlie, a Basenji-Pitbull mix. was walking lonely and cold down a mountain road … and the next he was rescued into the lap of retail luxury by shop owner Laura Lilley. Lucky dog!
5. Who wouldnt want to be like Daisy, living the good life as the quintessential skier companion and all around very cool mountain dog? Daisy accompanies Brian mountainside, sometimes running up the slopes on her own to gallop down with Brian in the big drifts. Daisy resembles the dog on the Ski Museum mural, doesnt she?
6. If your dogs look even the least bit chilly, some restaurants invite you to bring them inside. Raja was hanging out off the slopes and the Rimini Gelato Shop on Lionshead Place insisted he come inside and have a warm drink.
7. Kate and Carhart recently moved to Vail and are searching for dog-friendly housing. Something tells us that they won’t have a hard time finding a really nice place and making friends.