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Featuring 365 of the BEST places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states.

Our Story

Hello, my name is Melissa Halliburton, and I'm the founder of the world's leading pet-friendly travel website, BringFido.com. Since launching in 2005, we've helped more than 10 million people take their dogs on vacation. That's a lot of lucky dogs, but it all started with just one. Rocco.

I adopted Rocco shortly after graduating from MIT, and quickly became frustrated by the process of finding a pet friendly hotel whenever I wanted to get out of Boston for the weekend. I'd call hotel after hotel, quizzing the front desk clerks about their pet policy, fees, weight limit, and other restrictions.

The last straw for me was when I was a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding on Cape Cod. I called every hotel within a 100-mile radius to ask whether they were pet friendly. Unfortunately, the closest place I could find that would accommodate Rocco was an hour away from the church. I booked it because I wasn't about to leave my dog at home! As fate would have it, on the morning of the wedding, I got a flat tire on the way to the church. Rocco and I arrived fashionably late to the wedding - in a tow truck, bridesmaid dress and all! 

When I returned home from the wedding, I purchased the BringFido.com domain name and immediately began compiling information on pet-friendly hotels across the country. More than 50,000 phone calls later, BringFido.com was born (with the help and support of many friends). Just as I'd hoped, it made planning vacations with a dog (or adventurous cat) a lot easier for pet owners across the country. It was even described as being like "Trip Advisor for dogs" in our first year of business.

For the next five years, life was good. Rocco and I explored the country together finding more and more great hotels and attractions to include on the website. He was treated to a doggie makeover at the famous Henri Bendel's on New York's Fifth Avenue on the first day they began allowing dogs in the store. He marched in the Barkus Pet Parade during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. He ordered room service from the pet menu at dozens of fancy hotels. He was the flower dog in my wedding, and a year later, he sat watch on my belly when I was pregnant with my first (human) child.

About One Year Ago...

In the summer of 2011, Rocco started limping for no apparent reason. I brought him to our family veterinarian and was horrified to hear that the MRI revealed an inoperable tumor on his spine. His health declined really quickly over the next several weeks, and Rocco eventually lost his battle with canine cancer.

Within a month after losing Rocco, I received more bad news - I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 33. Needless to say, it was a crappy year. After having surgery and undergoing radiation therapy, I felt like I needed to reboot my life. So, I decided to take the summer off to go on the ultimate dog-friendly road trip with my new dog, Ace.

Over the course of 80 days, we visited hundreds of dog friendly attractions in nearly every state. I'm not just talking about the local dog parks either -- Ace and I took surfing lessons in San Diego, we hiked Dog Mountain in the Columbia Gorge, we slept in a safari tent in Yellowstone National Park, we spent the day on a lobster boat in Maine, and we rode a roller coaster together in Pennsylvania. Okay, it was a kiddie roller coaster, but still, how many dogs can say they've done that??

Why I Want to Write a Book

It was an incredible summer, and I only wish Rocco had been able to join Ace and me to scratch a couple more items off his bucket list. Luckily, it's not too late for the 78.2 million other dogs in the United States to have an amazing vacation with their families! But what I realized while I was traveling this summer, is that lots of people still have the misconception that traveling with a dog means staying at a fleabag motel and eating at drive-thru restaurants every meal. People, that is simply not the case!

No matter where you live, or want to go, I can tell you about some truly exceptional and unique things to do with your dog there. Help me get this book published by backing our campaign, and I will show you 365 of the BEST places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states!

I Need Your Help!

The Ruff Guide to the United States will be a high-quality publication with full-color photographs of the featured pet-friendly attractions. Printing a book of this quality is not cheap, so we will be using 100% of the money raised to cover printing and shipping costs.

Pledges start at just $1.00, and once you've backed us on Kickstarter, you'll get to track the progress of the book and provide input on its final content. A picture of YOUR dog could even be included in the book! I've intentionally set this campaign to end by Christmas, so you can give (or get) something from the Rewards list before the end of the month. If you see anything you like, please SHARE IT with your friends on facebooktwitter and pinterest.

The Rewards

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift? If you choose to purchase the Ruff Guide to the United States as a gift, or purchase one of our experience packages for a friend, we can email you a printable certificate to give to the lucky recipient on Christmas. If you'd prefer, we can also send a greeting card from Ace to let them know they'll be receiving a copy of the book as soon as it's released in May 2013.

The Book

For just $15.00, you can get electronic version of the book. For $25.00, you can get an autographed copy of the book. One not enough? We also have packs of five books for $100 and ten for $175. All U.S. orders include shipping, and there is a small surcharge for international backers.

The Launch Parties

With a pledge of $50, you can get an autographed copy of the book and an invitation to one of our official book signing parties in Charlotte, San Diego, Carmel, Napa, or Sausalito. Or for $250 more, you can get two invitations to a private dinner party in Washington DC during the Blogpaws conference. We'll have a very small number of pre-release copies of the book there with us, and one of them will have your name on it!

The Experiences

For the dog (or dog lover) who already has everything, this Christmas, give them the gift of being in the book! We've come up with a bakers dozen of really cool "experience" packages to choose from across the country. Experiences range from $500 to $1500 and include a professional photographer who will join you on the activity, and take an amazing photo of your dog for use in the book. Experiences must be completed by January 31, 2013 to be included in the book (due to our print deadline), but can be arranged anytime in 2013 if you don't mind skipping the photo shoot portion of the activity. Note that some experiences may not be available on certain dates, including holidays, special events or other times of limited availability.

"BONE APPETIT" IN SAUSALITO, CA

"SUP DOG" IN HONOLULU, HI

"BONES & BREW" IN HOUSTON, TX

"PAMPERED PUP" IN PALM SPRINGS, CA *OR* NEW YORK, NY

"CHATTANOOGA CHEW-CHEW" IN CHATTANOOGA, TN

"FOR LAZY DOGS ONLY" IN KEY WEST, FL

"POOCHES FOR PINOT" IN NAPA, CA

"DOG IS MY CO-PILOT" IN SEATTLE, WA

"SKIJORE 'N MORE" IN WISCONSIN *OR* NEW HAMPSHIRE

"QUEEN FOR A DAY" IN LONG BEACH, CA

"RUFFING IT" IN SEDONA, AZ

"JUST HORSIN' AROUND" IN GEORGIA

"HOP 'N BED" IN OREGON

"THE PUPPARAZZI" IN HOLLYWOOD, CA

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

This book is ready to go! We have already visited all of the places we intend to include in the book, and have a printer lined up. We plan to send them the final copy on February 1, 2013, so the next couple of months will be spent proofreading, fact checking, and finalizing the list of our top 365 places to play and stay with your dog (we currently have about 500 contenders, so whittling the list down to the best of the best will be the hard part).

THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND HAPPY TRAVELS!

FAQ

  • The "Ruff Guide to the United States" and all of our experience packages are great gifts for all of the dog lovers on your Christmas List this year. If you buy either the book or an experience package as a gift, I will make sure that you get a greeting card or certificate explaining the gift before the holidays. However, since our campaign doesn't end until Christmas Day, once you back the project, I will need you to send me an email at melissa@bringfido.com (or message me through Kickstarter) to let me know where to send it and who to address it to (either you or the gift recipient). I can send certificates via email or postal mail -- just let me know which method you prefer. If you really need a certificate well before Christmas, please let me know that as well. I'll do my very best to get it there on time.

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  • Once you back the "Ruff Guide to the United States," you can submit as many photos of your dog as you'd like for possible inclusion in the book before January 31, 2013. If you have a photo of your dog at a dog-friendly attraction you think might be "book worthy," send me an email at http://mailto:melissa@bringfido.com with the photo attached, and be sure to let me know your name, your dog's name, and where the photo was taken.

    The photo could be from an awesome hiking trail, a dog-friendly brewery, or anywhere really. However, it will have a higher likelihood of being selected for inclusion in the book if it was taken at one of the spots we're already planning to include in the book (just because we're keeping the total number of attractions to 365, so if we add a new attraction, we'll have to bump one too).

    Want to get a leg up on the competition? Let me know where you live, what states your dog has been to, and where else you're planning to go before the end of January, and I'll give you a list of attractions in those areas that have a high likelihood of being included in the book.

    Everyone who purchases an experience package will *definitely* get a full-page photo of their dog in the book, but I will do my very best to get as many backers (at any level) in the book as well too. The more dogs, the merrier!

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    A BUCK FOR GOOD LUCK - If you love our idea, but don't want to fork over $25 for the book yet, please back us for a buck to wish us good luck. We'll keep you updated on the progress of the book, and may even put a picture of your dog in it! Just email a high resolution photo of your dog at one of his/her favorite vacation destinations to us (think big -- the more unusual, the better), and it could be selected for inclusion in the book. If your photo is selected, you'll receive photo credit in the book, so it's also a great way to see your name in print. Any aspiring pet photographers out there??

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    WISH YOU WERE HERE - Back us for $5, and you'll receive a photo postcard from one of the dog-friendly places featured in the book with Ace's pawtograph (and our many thanks for your support).

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    SAVE PAPER AND MONEY - Back us for $15, and you'll receive an electronic version of the book.

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    GIMME THAT BOOK - Autographed copy of the Ruff Guide to the United States. The book won't be out in time for Christmas, but we will gladly send you a greeting card that says you've pre-ordered the book (so you can still present it to a friend in time for the holidays). It's the perfect gift for all of the dog lovers on your list! Free shipping in the U.S. International backers, please add $10 for shipping.

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    WOOFTOP PARTY - Join Ace and Melissa, Little Jerry and Alison of the San Diego Pug Club, and famous surf dogs for a Wooftop Party at Hotel Solamar after the annual Surf Dog Championship in San Diego, CA. Your ticket gets you an autographed copy of the book, hot "surf & turf" appetizers, and cold drinks at the poolside lounge on Hotel Solamar's rooftop. Want to stay the night? We'll also have group rates available at Hotel Solamar for the weekend. For multiple tickets, pledge in multiples of $50 and let us know how many tickets you need. Date: TBD in June 2013.

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    TEA & COOKIES & BISCUITS - Join Ace and Melissa for a traditional afternoon tea (with your pooch) at Doris Day's Cypress Inn in Carmel, CA. Besides homemade scones and tea cookies, tea sandwiches, jam & thickened cream for scones, and your choice of tea, you'll also receive an autographed copy of the book. For multiple tickets, pledge in multiples of $50 and let us know how many tickets you need. Date: TBD in June 2013.

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    YOU PARTY ANIMAL - Back us for $50, and you will receive an invitation to our official book launch party at The Dog Bar in Charlotte, NC, plus one autographed copy of the book. Transportation and accommodations in Charlotte are not included, but we will have a group rate at a pet-friendly hotel. For multiple tickets, pledge in multiples of $50 and let us know how many tickets you need. Date: TBD in May 2013.

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    CAVIAR DREAMS - Join Ace and Melissa for an exclusive tasting event at one of their favorite dog-friendly vineyards in Napa Valley, CA. Besides a complimentary tasting, you'll also receive gourmet dog treats, and an autographed copy of the book to take home. For multiple tickets, pledge in multiples of $50 and let us know how many tickets you need. Date: TBD in June 2013.

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    HOW GENEROUS OF YOU - Five (5) autographed copies of the book. Perfect for those of you who have lots of dog lovers on your Christmas list! Again, we'll send five greeting cards stating that you've pre-ordered the book in time for Christmas. Free shipping in the U.S. International backers, please add $25 for shipping.

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    RETAILER PACKAGE - Ten (10) autographed copies of the book. Perfect for anyone wanting to re-sell the book, including pet friendly hotels, dog clubs, rescue groups, and pet boutiques. Also great for those of you who just have lots of dog-loving friends! Free shipping in the U.S. International backers, please at $50 for shipping.

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    BONE APPETIT - Enjoy a 2-hour gourmet dog treat cooking class with Melissa at the world famous Cooking School at Cavallo Point in Sausalito, CA. You'll learn how to create several drool-worthy dog treats from scratch, while working alongside professional instructors. While dogs aren't allowed in the cooking school due to health codes, you will get a doggie bag to bring home for Fido at the end of the night (along with an autographed copy of the book). Please note that there must be a minimum of ten participants for this event. If we do not get enough backers, we will substitute a seven course tasting dinner on the dog-friendly porch at Marin county's only Michelin star restaurant, Murray Circle (also located at Cavallo Point). Accommodations at Cavallo Point are not included, but a group rate is available. For multiple tickets, please pledge in multiples of $200 and let us know how many tickets you need. Date: TBD in June 2013.

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    VIP PRE-LAUNCH PARTY - Join Melissa, Ace, and the rest of the BringFido.com team for a private dinner party during the Blogpaws Conference in Washington, DC. You (and your guest) will be among the first to receive a copy of the book at this very exclusive preview party. Transportation and accomodations in Washington, DC are not included. Tentative Date / Location: Friday, May 17, 2013 in Tysons Corner, VA.

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    BONES & BREW - Does your dog have a birthday coming up? Celebrate with up to twelve friends at The Boneyard Dog Park & Drinkery in Houston, TX! You pick the date and we'll send a box full of invitations, doggie bags, and party hats. Also includes a bone-shaped birthday cake (for dogs) from Barker Street Bakery! We will send a professional photographer to the party as well, and one of the photos taken will be included in the book. Please note that this will not be a private event at The Boneyard, and drinks are not included. Transportation to Houston is not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    SUP DOG - If you live on the mainland, it takes a lot of preparation to fly to Hawaii with your dog (though small dogs can fly in the cabin on Alaska Airlines), but we wanted to include a reward option for our friends on the island. Our "SUP Dog" package comes with a 2-hour private surfing or Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) lesson in Honolulu for you and your dog. A professional photographer will be on hand to shoot your lesson, and the best photo taken that afternoon will be included in the book. You'll also receive two autographed copies of the book for posterity. Transportation and accommodations in Honolulu are not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    PAMPERED PUP - After a ruff day, there is nothing better than an hour-long massage. For your dog. Give your dog our "Pampered Pup" package and we'll send the two of you (and a friend) to either the Eventi Hotel in New York, NY or the La Quinta Waldorf Astoria Resort in Palm Springs, CA. After spending the night in one of their spacious rooms, a certified canine massage therapist will treat your dog to a luxurious one-hour massage in your room. We won't send a professional photographer to your room for this one (to make the experience as relaxing as possible for your dog), but if you take some pictures yourself, we would be happy to publish one in the book. Transportation not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    CHATTANOOGA CHEW-CHEW - Take a trip back in time with a one-night stay aboard the Chattanooga Choo-Choo in an authentic, Victorian train car hotel room. You'll also get two passes to see Rock City, where you can view seven states from a panoramic observation platform atop the mountain. A professional photographer will join you at the Choo-Choo or Rock City that afternoon to take a photo of your dog for inclusion in the book. You will also receive two autographed copies of the book for posterity. Transportation to Chattanooga is not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    POOCHES FOR PINOT - Did you know there are more than one hundred dog friendly wineries in California's Napa Valley region? If you know someone who loves her vino as much as her Vizsla, treat them both to a tour of the best dog-friendly wineries in Napa! Our tour guide (and expert photographer) will pick you, your dog, and up to three friends up in a luxury SUV for a 6-hour tour of the best dog-friendly wineries in Napa. You'll meet "famous" Vineyard Dogs, tour wineries that will greet your pooch with a smooch, and be treated to a delicious picnic lunch with Fido. One of the photos from your day at the vineyard will be featured in the book, so your dog will become a famous vineyard dog too! You will also receive two copies of the book for posterity. Transportation to Napa, tasting fees, and gratuity are not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    LAZY DOGS ONLY - This package is perfect for lazy dogs because you do all of the paddling! With our "Lazy Dogs Only" tour, your dog (along with yourself and a friend) will get a two-hour guided kayak tour in the calm, turquoise waters of Key West, FL. A professional photographer will join you on the tour to take photos of your dog as you're paddling through mangrove trees, and the best photo will be included in the book. After the tour, you'll spend one night at the Banana Boat Resort and Marina, one of the Keys' most beautiful and romantic destinations. Transportation to Key West is not included and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    DOG IS MY CO-PILOT - Has your dog always dreamed of flying in the cabin of a plane, instead of being stuck down in the cargo section? Give him his wings and a spot in the book with our "Dog is my Co-Pilot" package. You'll get a 20-minute scenic flightseeing tour of Seattle for two (plus Fido), and a professional photographer will be on hand as you board the plane to take a photo of your dog for the book. You'll also get a framed print of the selected photo, and two copies of the book for posterity! Transportation and accommodations in Seattle are not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    RUFFING IT - Is your dog an adrenaline junkie? Then have we got an adventure in store for you! Give him the gift of our "Ruffing It" package, and we'll send you, a friend, and your dog on a 2-hour, rugged 4x4 tour of Sedona, AZ with a professional photographer. He'll capture the pure joy on your dog's face with his fur in the wind, and we'll publish it in the book. We'll also give you two copies of the book for posterity. Transportation and accommodations in Sedona are not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    QUEEN FOR A DAY - You already treat your dog like royalty, right? So, why not let her be "Queen for a Day" with a night aboard the legendary Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA! We'll send a professional photographer to meet you for a photo shoot onboard the ship or at the local dog beach. The best photo of her will be used in the book. You'll get two copies of the book for posterity, and your dog will never forget being Queen for the day! Transportation to Long Beach not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    SKIJORE 'N MORE - Skijoring is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a dog (or dogs). If you've been dying to try it, our "Skijore 'N More" package is for you! We'll set you up with lessons at your choice of Justin Trails Resort in Wisconsin or Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel in New Hampshire. Both packages include one night's accommodations for two and a skijoring lesson. A professional photographer will join you during the lesson to take a photo of your dog skijoring for the book, and you will receive two copies of the book as well. Transportation not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    JUST HORSIN' AROUND - Combine your love of dogs and horses at a working dude ranch, located a short drive north of Atlanta, GA. You, your dog, and up to three additional guests will sleep in the bunkhouse (which has four double size beds) and enjoy a half-day trail ride over 1,200 acres of fields and creeks. Your guide will set a course based on your experience level, and Fido can run alongside the whole way (provided he behaves well around horses). A professional photographer will meet you at the ranch to take photos as you head out on the trail, and the best one of your dog will be included in the book. You will also receive two autographed copies of the book, a full breakfast and a picnic lunch at the ranch. Transportation is not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    HOP 'N BED - Know someone who loves a good brew just as much as he loves his dog? Treat him (and up to fourteen of his friends) to a night at Rogue Brewery's 100+ year old farmhouse, located right on their hop farm in Independence, Oregon. While you're there, we'll treat everyone (including Fido) to dinner at the Chateau Rogue tasting room, and schedule a tour of the Micro Hopyard for your group. A professional photographer will join you in the tasting room at some point during the evening (though you might be too busy sampling ales to notice) to get a good photo of your pooch for use in the book. I'm sure it won't be a night to forget, but just in case, we'll give you two copies of the book. Transportation to Independence, Oregon is not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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    THE PUPPARAZZI - For the dog (or dog lover) who already has everything, this Christmas, give them the gift of being a star for a day. We'll set you up in a deluxe room at the Loews Hollywood Hotel for two nights, and send you out on a hike on location at Runyon Canyon Park (where all of the celebrities walk their dogs) the next morning. At some point during your hike, our "pupparazzi" photographer will jump out of a bush and take your dog's photo for inclusion in the book. Afterwards, a limousine will be waiting to take you (and up to four friends) on a tour of stars homes with another stop for pictures at a "secret" dog park below the Hollywood Sign. We'll also give you two autographed copies of the book, but your dog will need to sign it herself after this star treatment! Transportation to Los Angeles not included, and this experience must be completed by January 31, 2013 for inclusion in the book.

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