Now some of our readers may know Helen as the dog behind the beautiful and creative Rescue Me Collars company, or you may remember seeing her as one of our featured SugarFace seniors. But what I bet you don’t know about Helen is where she lives. Today she has kindly agreed to be one of our Dogs of the World and tell us a little bit about the town that she calls home.
So, where DO you live?
I live in West Chester Pennsylvania, in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States of America.
What’s it like there?
Well, we have lots of beautiful rolling hills and countryside in the surrounding areas. There’s still farmland, although much less now than there was years ago. We enjoy all four seasons and the weather can range from 100f in the summer, to single digits in the winter.
That sounds a lot like here, although we seldom get that hot in the summertime.
So, how long have you lived in Pennsylvania?
I have lived here for just over 4 years. Before that I was in Florida.
Um, don’t people usually retire to Florida and not the other way around?
Well, let me explain. I have been with my Pennsylvania Mom for 4 years. In fact, I just celebrated my 4 year adoptaversary. When I was in Florida I was with someone who became very ill and couldn’t care for herself, let alone me. So when I was 9 ½ I was placed into rescue.
Oh no, that must have been awful!
No, not at all, I was blessed to have an amazing foster mom who got me into great shape, but I had horrible skin issues so she made the very painful decision to let me come up north with another Golden Retriever rescue, in hopes that I could get better.
And, did you? Get better I mean?
You betcha I did!
And now, who do you live with?
I live with my huMom, and two pesky golden retriever siblings. My brother and sister are Reilly and Haley, respectively. They are 3 years old. They came to live here when they were 11 weeks old.
What breed are you?
“They” say I am a 100% Golden Retriever, but Mom is pretty sure I am at least part angel.
Now tell me about your city of West Chester, is it dog-friendly?
Do you have designated dog parks?
Well, there is one official dog park, with a fence and a gazebo and benches for the folks. Then there is another dog park a few miles away, in the next town and it is fabulous! It has a creek running through it and acres and acres of land for playing and sniffing.
Can dogs go in restaurants in your town?
Yep! We have a winery (Kreutz Creek Vineyards) that allows us indoors all year long. They even give treats to us! There is also a coffee shop where we can go inside, I love it there. Then the rest of the restaurants are very dog friendly from April through October when they have outdoor seating. It’s actually unusual to walk along the streets of town in the spring, summer and fall, and not see dogs dining with their humans. Most of them have water bowls for us at the ready.
Wow, that sounds like a wonderful place to live.
Can dogs go on public transit?
Only service dogs are allowed on public transit.
Are dogs allowed in the local shops?
I have been shopping in lots of stores! We have a vintage clothing store (Malena’s Vintage Boutique), a consignment shop, two gift stores, and a few art galleries that allow dogs! I have also been to a computer repair store, a flower shop, a used book store, and a store that sells vinyl records and old CDs. Some of the shops even have their own dogs!
And, we also have an outdoor market (West Chester Growers Market) on Saturdays with local growers and folks who make a huge array of delicious food. That’s one of my favorite places because the cheese people always give me free samples. There are always dogs that come and shop with their owners.
That sounds too good to be true!
Do people there dress their dogs in clothes?
No, not really. Lots of dogs wear bandannas, and in winter many of us wear coats to keep warm, but other than that, no.
Do most people have dogs there?
Well, this is a college town so seven months of the year it is filled with college kids, and their apartments generally don’t allow for dogs. But many of the year-round residents have dogs. There are quite a few multiple-dog homes. Our block has 10 houses, 6 of them have dogs.
What is your favourite local treat to eat?
We have a dog bakery called GiggyBites, and I love everything they make! Until last week I would have said my favorite thing was their liver muffins, but I went to a dog party there this week and got to try the bison brownies and their homemade dog beer. Now I’m hooked!
That bakery sounds fantastic!
So besides from shopping and eating, what do dogs do for fun there?
Lots of stuff really. I like to lounge around the yard with Mom, or go for a nice walk. I love to go shopping and stop into all the places that know me, or hang out in the winery while Mom has a glass of wine, or two, or three.
The twins (Reilly & Haley), love to go for really long walks. I go every morning to the barn where we keep our horse. It’s so much fun there, I love seeing all the other animals and smelling all the good scents. Most dogs here are really friendly and we all greet each other on the street.
I think this is one of the best towns in the entire world to be a dog!
I’m going to have to agree with you on that one Helen, West Chester Pennsylvania sounds like the perfect place to raise a dog, or three!