This post literally combines all of the things I love: dogs, drinking, rescue, travel and a giveaway. If you can imagine me whistling and skipping as I type, please do (note, I can’t actually whistle, and if I skipped, I’d probably break something). So, let’s dive in, shall we?
In celebration of the start of the summer season and our friends from Go Pet Friendly and Tito’s Handmade Vodka traveling to my home town of Mystic, Connecticut, we are kicking off our drink recipe series with a refreshing citrus concoction. Not only will this post include the steps for making a “Slush Puppy,” it will also include some information about the Go Pet Friendly visit, a Tito’s Vodka rescue story, and a chance for you to win some swag from Tito’s!
Go Pet Friendly - Mystic, CT Stop
Amy Burkert from Go Pet Friendly has been traveling in her trusty Winnebago with her husband and two adorable dogs, Buster and Ty, and has been sharing her amazing adventures along the way. In other words, Amy is living my dream life and I’d like for her to adopt me so I can adventure with her! As she has traveled, she has chronicled her experiences and recorded locations that are dog friendly so that others can plan travel, even if it’s a quick afternoon trip, in such a way where their dogs can be a part of the fun and adventures. One day, I asked her if she had to stay in one spot, where would she choose. The look of panic on her face was notable. Life on the road suits Amy, and her passion for sharing her experiences with her followers has helped to create a resource that is hugely valuable for the people who hope to incorporate their dogs in their lives as much as possible.
This image was taken with permission from the Go Pet Friendly site.
This past year, she has chronicled the “Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip,” where she has announced stops that began on the west coast and have spanned across the country. I have been waiting with anticipation for when she’d be close to us and the time has finally arrived! I grew up in Stonington, Connecticut and my parents still live in the small fishing town that is adjacent to Mystic. I’ve always thought of the area where I grew up as dog friendly, and I’m pleased to know that others think that way too.
A Sunset in Mystic, Connecticut. No dogs, but some humans making questionable life choices with too little sunlight. Photo taken by me, Bryn Nowell.
When Go Pet Friendly visits, they’ll be highlighting two locations. The first is the Mystic Seaport, which I think a lot of people don’t realize is dog friendly. This historic location, is home to a variety of old ships and grounds that resemble a 19th century town. I fondly remember trips there each year while I was in elementary school. We would also submit hand made ornaments for a contest each holiday season. When I was in high school, I was on the Seaport grounds every day in the spring for crew. Our docks that housed our crew boats were at the Seaport, which is where we would push off for practice. I loved when guests took photos of us, thinking we were somehow a part of the displays. We would perform our ab workouts on the “town green,” while tourists snapped shots and spoke about us in a variety of languages. There are conveniently zero photos of this time in my life. It's for the better, really. If I showed you, I'd have to kill you, as unitards were involved.
The second location that Go Pet Friendly will be featuring is a restaurant near the Mystic Drawbridge called Red 36. It is new and I have yet to visit, so I’m excited to check it out and try something yummy. A portion of proceeds from Tito’s Vodka drink sales will be donated to the Connecticut Humane Society. Guests will have a chance to win some Go Pet Friendly swag and learn about traveling with pets. I’m sure guests will also have a chance to meet some pretty adorable pups too! We’re planning on bringing Yoda with us!
The “Slush Puppy” with Tito’s Vodka
I mentioned that this post is chock-full-of amazing, right? That includes a recipe that will help you cool down while you enjoy some yummy Tito’s Vodka. My manpanion’s family created this recipe awhile back and affectionately referred to it simply as “the slush,” I’ve since named it “The Slush Puppy,” because, dogs. It’s refreshing, and a little dangerous since you really can’t tell there’s alcohol. One of the husband’s older relatives who didn’t drink was never fully convinced it had alcohol, but she took some mighty fine naps under a tree in the warmth of the summer sun after slinging back a few servings.
You’ll notice that this recipe starts with 10 cups of water. That means, I hope you’re not planning on drinking alone, because it makes a lot. It’s a great drink idea for a summer party as your signature drink. It does keep well in the freezer if you wind up wanting to have some now and save some for later. You can download and print the recipe below.
One cannot mention Tito’s Vodka (one of the sponsors for the Go Pet Friendly Mystic, CT stop) without also mentioning their commitment to rescue. The story of Tito’s Vodka and rescue dogs are intertwined, you really cannot have one without the other. Throughout their history, dogs in need have found their way to the distillery located in Austin, Texas and the humans who have helped to make the company great, have helped to care for the dogs which in turn has helped their community.
Taki, one of Tito's Handmade Vodka's Distillery Dogs. Photo provided by Beth Bellanti Pander.
Let me share with you a story about Taki, one of the Tito’s Vodka rescue dogs. Let’s start with her “now” and work our way backwards. You can tell that Taki is a beautiful dog. Her smiling face is now a part of Tito’s Vodka marketing, after recently being featured in photo shoots for their marketing materials.
Currently, Taki spends the week as a distillery dog. Helping to keep the humans on task, and rewarding them with affection. She rides the golf carts, catches up on some snoozing, helps to make rounds, and sometimes helps to wrangle a snake. When the weekend comes around, she joins Tito’s staff member, Beth in her home. Taki works on her social skills with Beth, enjoys giving hugs and playing with a soccer ball, and also enjoys spending time with Beth’s dog, Stella, who looks a lot like Taki, and may even be a relative.
Taki’s origin story is that of one of the many stray and feral dogs that have wandered onto the rural distillery grounds. She was a bit too wild at first to be considered a pet, but Tito’s has committed to helping dogs in the community, which meant she still received veterinary care, food, and comfortable lodging. With time, she showed her skills and has since embraced her role as a staff dog and sweetheart.
Be on the lookout for more Tito’s Vodka recipes and rescue stories as the summer continues. Have any fun recipes you’d like us to feature? Let us know! Want a chance to win some Tito’s Swag? Enter our giveaway below!
We’ll also be sharing fun photos from our time at the Go Pet Friendly event in Mystic, Connecticut.
Sometimes rafflecopter is a pain. Here's a link to the giveaway if the widget doesn't show up. GIVEAWAY LINK.