My dog made us friends. That’s all I could think about as I sat at the airport waiting for his plane to taxi to the gate. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought…


We all know dogs are excellent social facilitators. But I never imagined a dog could orchestrate and foster friendships between humans.#buthedid

Yet almost three years ago, Harley used a spunky little nine year old to do just that.

Marshall and Harley were actually brought together as an experiment by his father and I.

Marshall has allergies, but after his first encounter with Harley – there was no reaction.

We continued to allow the two of them to play testing the “hypo-allergenic” theory about Goldendoodles.


The two could wrestle and romp all day long, but symptoms would flare if Harley’s saliva made contact with Marshall’s face.


As their relationship grew stronger they reminded me of a 21st century Lassie & Timmy…


They played together as often as allowed…


Together the two helped the younger brother find comfort around larger dogs…


Slowly the parents found Harley irresistible…


Then the friendship became “official” when you agree to camp out in your own backyard with your neighbors…


…so the children can sleep in a tent with your dog…


Dialog about opening their home to a dog was the intro into learning we were like minded people with many common interests.

About a year later – they had their very own Doodle…


Saying goodbye was hard for all of us. More than any of us imagined.

When we extended an invitation for them to come and visit, we sincerely meant it.

True friendships are very important. They’re a gift – a blessing – a true treasure.

As Marshall exited the airplane, it was hard to contain the tears. He’s grown so much in four short months. Now eleven years old, he made the pilgrimage alone. #flyingsolo


The rest of the family arrives tomorrow night to hang out with us for a couple of days.

I sincerely believe – had it not been for Harley, our two families might never have become the friends we are today.

Dogs are great facilitators of social interaction. Especially between strangers.   julie beck


We did it – We did it – Thanks to YOU – We did it ❤️ 


There was no in-between in Round 2 of the Best City for Pet Travelers tournament – most of the contests were nail-biters or blow-outs!

Phoenix, AZ (Tamara M.) squeaked by Benicia, CA (Debbie J.), Bozeman, MT(Sarah M.) edged out Seattle, WA (Carrie T.), and New Orleans, LA (Maureen F.) slipped by Cocoa, FL (Kathy C.) – all by a single vote! At the same time Charleston, SC (Cathy B.) rocked Nashville, TN (Mary A.), St. Petersburg, FL (Rachel M.) showed Cleveland, OH (Ann M.) the door, and Fredericksburg, VA (Debbie L.) routed Royal Oak, MI (Amanda B.). And now we play on! The cities that survive Round 3 will be into the Sweet 16 of the Best City for Pet Travelers tournament, and these match-ups are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.


While Tampa has its share of beaches (varying stipulations for dogs), a few pet friendly eateries, and a handful of hotel chains, a great deal of Tampa’s main attractions are not pet friendly. #saywoof?

What’s a pet parent to do?


When the rest of Marshall’s family arrives, the entire family can take them around our beautiful, city.

Can’t wait to show them our rich history, pastel pre-Civil-War-era houses, cobblestone streets, French Quarters and Battery areas from a breath taking view in a horse drawn carriage…


– and the boys are welcome to ride along too…

DSCN5054-(1)No matter where we eat, shop or stop – in Charleston – the Boys are always welcome!



With you on our team, I know we can take Tampa. #nothingbutnetbaby

We got the fever, we’re hot, we can’t be stopped



Charleston’s bracket is at the bottom of the page.

Thank you (in advance) for your super doodle support.

Voting in Round 3 closes Wednesday, March 23rd at 9pm EDT

Round 4 opens Thursday, March 24th #sweetsixteenbaby

The Boys are headed out to place more lawn signs… #noshameinourgame


GOLDEN hugs & DOODLE kisses for all your support.


  • DashLilly
    March 21, 2016

    I hope there will be reunion photos. Was Harley excited?? Such a great story. Off to vote now!

  • The Daily Pip
    March 21, 2016

    Dogs are pretty great at bringing people together! Our daughter was quite shy as a toddler, but our Yorkie was just determined to help her make friends. When he would go to the park with us, the kids would all gather around to pet him. They would eventually start talking to my daughter and this helped her make conversation – because the other kids looked at her as the lucky kid with the cute dog.

  • Two French Bulldogs
    March 21, 2016

    What a good story. Proof no allergies!
    Lily & Edward

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    March 21, 2016

    Great story, Cathy!! I bet Harley was excited to see his buddy Marshall!!

    I voted in Round 3 yesterday. Charleston is a great city – it will always get my vote! And the added bonus is getting to vote for you and your boys!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 24, 2016

      I am overwhelmed with the enormous support we’re getting in this tournament. I want more than ever to win this thing now!!! Everyone’s been incredibly loyal by voting for each round. Thank you so much. Harley and Jaxson were both excited to see Marshall as well as the rest of the family. It was a week of non-stop romping, running, barking and laughing. Too funny.

  • Emma
    March 22, 2016

    We felt bad when you moved and left those kids behind. How pawsome they are coming to visit. I’m sure it will be a ton of fun!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 24, 2016

      Awwhhh, that’s so sweet Emma. We always felt of all the neighbors on the block these were the ones we would see again. They fell in love with Charleston so much they said they would be back in the summer to enjoy the beach waves.

  • Lindsay
    March 22, 2016

    A very beautiful story of how animals continue to bless our lives each and every day, in ways we never thought possible.
    Have a great day! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 24, 2016

      There is so much to learn from them. They have enriched my life in ways I cannot begin to describe. Have a fantastic weekend…

  • DZ Dog Mom
    March 22, 2016

    Dogs certainly help find awesome friends!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 24, 2016

      I never thought of it like that until I was at the airport. Without Harley – none of what we’ve experienced together would have occurred. Bless his furry little heart!

  • Monika & Sam
    March 22, 2016

    Awww, what a sweet story about two very neat families. Here’s to families and friendships. ღ

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 24, 2016

      Families and friendships are two incredible combinations. We had a wonderful visit.

  • Guilie Castillo
    March 23, 2016

    Fabulous story! Yep, through my dogs I’ve met some of the most interesting people I know. Great socializers, great ice-breakers, and—for us animal lovers—great (and inexhaustible) topics 😉

    Found you through the A-to-Z sign-up list, and very much looking forward to following your April posts.
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 24, 2016

      Hello Guille – Welcome to Doodleville. I am so excited about the Z-Z challenge. This will be our second year participating and I can’t wait to share everything “Doodle” with our online friends. Look forward to reading about you too!

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