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Where we’re at: I’m recapping my summer of 2018, and my dog Tucker is stepping in for this final post from my trip to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara in July. In other news: after the first week sold out so quickly, we opened up a second set of dates for my Wander Women Red Sea Retreat. Grab a spot while you still can.

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By Tucker Baackes

What up, human fans! (Also known, simply, as humans.) It’s the world’s most beloved senior cocker spaniel here, reporting for the annual edition of my dlog series, Tucker’s Tails.

Dlogging has become such a grind, you know? I kind of felt over it for a while. Every day I open the New Yappy Times and the Wag Street Journal, and all I see is editorial after editorial about how influencers are just animals. I can’t help if it I influence my fellow pets with my inspiring story of finding humans to do my every bidding! I try to stay humble, but you know — ha ha, just kidding, I don’t believe in staying humble. Do you have any idea how many people every day compare me to a stuffed animal?

Cocker Spaniel in California
Cocker Spaniel in California

Anyway, I knew I had to come out of retirement to cover my mom’s last trip to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Mom and my friend/fan Ian who she sometimes hangs out with made big plans to go to Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s famous wine region just a couple hours drive from Los Angeles. Luckily mom came to her senses when she realized that she had yet to arrange all the proper paperwork for me to begin my international travel career — not that I haven’t done a fair number on the fifty nifty so far. So mom got her priorities in line, switched gears, and planned a trip to Santa Barbara instead.

My best best best friend John told me that my mom Alex was having a rough summer, and me — and some California sunshine, but mostly just me — were just what the doctor ordered. Her trip was shorter than expected, so after just one night in Tucker Town (known by some as Los Angeles, I hear) we hopped in the car for our road trip to Santa Barbara.

Driving in the car with cocker spaniels
Driving in the car with cocker spaniels

Our very first stop was an off-leash dog park, and I was thrilled. Finally, a town that knows how to treat Tucker right!

Dog friendly Santa Barbara travel guide

Dog friendly Santa Barbara travel guide
Dog friendly Santa Barbara travel guide

Next, we rolled into a hotel that knew how to treat an aging cocker spaniel right. Shout out to Kimpton Goodland for the dog treats, dog bed, and excessive fawning at check in! #hostedhound

The Kimpton Goodland Santa Barbara with a dog
The Kimpton Goodland Santa Barbara with a dog

The Kimpton Goodland Santa Barbara with a dog

I have to say, Santa Barbara was a pretty happening town. There were an unusually high number of fellow dogs attempting to compete with me for cutest canine in the sightline, but I was up for the challenge.

Exploring Santa Barbara

Convertible with a dog
Convertible with a dog

Most importantly, I felt in Santa Barbara I was finally granted the free range and respect that I’ve so long been searching for. I was even granted access to normally off-limits locations like the local Botanical Gardens. Don’t dogs deserve the fun of flora, too? So few other living things could come close to matching my bark-filled beauty.

Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens with a dog

Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens with a dog

Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens with a dog

Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens with a dog

Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens with a dog

Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens with a dog

Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens with a dog

I must say there was one activity that did not win the Tucker stamp of approval on this trip: the infamous local dog beach. I’ve never seen so many aquaholic animals in my life! Mom and Ian kept throwing the ball, splashing around in the sea and otherwise trying to get a reaction out of me other than “disgruntled.” But how was I supposed to relax with all these random passerbys laughing and commenting how tired I must be!

Don’t they know what a busy day I had disapproving of our every move and not listening to the humans and trying to eat trash and wondering what John was doing back home?!

Hendry's Dog Beach Santa Barbara

Hendry's Dog Beach Santa Barbara
Hendry's Dog Beach Santa Barbara

Hendry's Dog Beach Santa Barbara

In fact, mom kept looking wistful and referencing me “slowing down” and calling me “old” on this trip. Say what?! I’m not even 21! (In human years, anyway.)

Speaking of, the highlight of any trip to Santa Barbara was wine tasting — and I refused to not be included. Dog Pawrignon and Pupsecco, coming right up! Who says dogs can’t drink wine and eat ice cream too? #pupquality

Wine Tasting in California with a dog
Wine Tasting in California with a dog

Wine Tasting in California with a dog

Wine Tasting in California with a dog

Wine Tasting in California with a dog

Wine Tasting in California with a dog
Wine Tasting in California with a dog

Finally, a place that knows how to treat a dog. And by that I mean, like a human.

Wine Tasting in California with a dog
Wine Tasting in California with a dog

We didn’t stop at wine, either. Mom and Ian insisted on spontaneously going to a chocolate tasting, which I found to be a tad rude. For once, my demands for human cuisine went unanswered. Rude.

Chocolate Tasting Santa Barbara

Chocolate Tasting Santa Barbara
Chocolate Tasting Santa Barbara

When it was finally time to head home to my own turf, I insisted that we leave at none other than peak rush hour. I mean, being in the car is the best, right? Ian decided that rather than freeway the 101 back, we’d take the 126 instead — nothing but orange groves, mountains, and my ears flapping in the wind.

There’s so much more of California I need to command my humans to take me to.

Convertible with a cocker spaniel
Convertible with a cocker spaniel

So the car ride was a gas, but what was really great was being back at my house, where I make the rules and stand on whatever countertops I want!

Bad dog on the counter
Bad dog on the counter

Vacation is great and all, but I have a very busy schedule to keep up — the neighborhood can barely function if I’m not perched on the futon John pulls up to the window for me to watch over things when I can’t be fully present on the front porch to terrorize the mail woman.

So I was happy we had a few days at home where I kept things under control and mom ran around to yoga classes, meetings with her diving partner PADI, and various other fitness classes before the most important workout of them all — running home to feed me!

Visiting the PADI Americas Office
Visiting the PADI Americas Office
Visiting the PADI Americas Office
Visiting the PADI Americas Office

One thing mom wouldn’t stop yakking about was the fact that her New York yoga studio opened a new branch in Silverlake. A dozen downward dogs in an hour and not one single cocker spaniel allowed in the class? I say, forget it.

Y7 Silverlake
Y7 Silverlake

Luckily, when they weren’t boring me to tears or trying to hug me or not feeding me in the requested amounts or intervals, the humans did bring me along for some fantastic meals. First up, when Mom realized she was about to wrap up an entire trip to Los Angeles without doing or seeing one new thing, John brought us — including the hottest of dogs — all to the iconic Pink’s Hot Dogs for a luxurious dinner.

It was an homage, needless to say, to me.

Pink's Hot Dogs Los Angeles

Pink's Hot Dogs Los Angeles

Pink's Hot Dogs Los Angeles

Ian steadfastly refuses to leave California without a stop at In N’ Out, and while he rudely refused to order me his own meal, I do respect a fellow food fan.

And then we dropped those crazy kids off at the airport, which was hard, knowing it was all downhill now that they had just experienced the highlight of their year — hanging out with me!

In N Out with a Dog
In N Out with a Dog
In N Out with a Dog
In N Out with a Dog

Till next time,

Tucker

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16 Comments...
  • Ramona Puckett
    June 3 2019

    I have missed reading about Tucker’s adventures! This was great!

    • Alex
      June 4 2019

      I’m missed transcribing them 😉

  • Emily
    June 3 2019

    Tucker’s Tails are some of my favorite posts ever!!! Thank you, as usual, for the smiles 🙂

    • Alex
      June 4 2019

      Haha, thanks Em! I miss my little guy so much right now!

  • Well Tucker you did a bloody good job here, I enjoyed the post

    • Alex
      June 4 2019

      I’ll pass on the compliment 😉

  • Lurlene
    June 3 2019

    Such great and creative writing, Alex. I might have smiled once or twice while reading 🙂

    I love these pics of Tucker, too!

    • Alex
      June 4 2019

      Isn’t he just the cutest dang dog?! We are so lucky!

  • Julia Nix
    June 4 2019

    Thanks for featuring Tucker again, Alex. Appreciated it. Really enjoyed seeing him out and about.

    • Alex
      June 12 2019

      You’re so welcome — the pleasure was all mine!

  • Kendal
    June 4 2019

    Tucker’s Tails always make me giggle! I bet he has fun writing them (; Wishing you more pup love soon Alex!

    • Alex
      June 12 2019

      He SURE DOES ;P Thanks Kendal!

  • Kelly Russell
    June 7 2019

    Great writing, Tucker! These posts always get a bunch of smiles from me. My fave pic is the one of him smiling with his eyes closed next to the pupsecco – so happy!

    • Alex
      June 12 2019

      Haha I love that one too. He’s SUCH an expressive dog!

  • Marni
    September 4 2019

    The happiness in Tucker’s adorable little face is shining through! Tucker’s Tails are the best 🙂

    • Alex
      September 5 2019

      Aw, thanks 🙂 Hope there’s another edition coming soon!

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