Dog Mom Guilt is a real thing and I’ve felt it almost every day since I adopted my little angel fur baby #OliveRoll just over a year and a half ago. I think the first time Dog Mom Guilt left a lump in my throat and caused a tightening in my chest was the first night we brought her home and had to leave her alone in a crate to sleep on her own downstairs. I’ll tell ya, I’m a total sucker when it comes to my dog, and she now always sleeps in bed with us every damn night (and I love it).
But outside of the little pangs of guilt that came with everyday life as a dog owner (mainly brought on when having to leave the house without the pup in tow) there’s no greater Dog Mom Guilt-inducing time than when a travel opportunity calls and your dog can’t come.
Because I travel often, I feel this a lot. And if the feeling itself wasn’t bad enough, lately my sweet Olive has started to respond to any travel, even if it’s just overnight, by being angry and aggressive towards me in particular. In other words, she gets pissed off when she gets left behind and she wants me to know it.
Unfortunately for me, I’m not Paris Hilton and travelling with my dog everywhere I go–especially when planes and different countries are involved– just isn’t an option. But if I could, I would. So when the Westin Harbour Castle recently invited me to enjoy a staycation at their property along Toronto’s waterfront, I was quick to accept.
I had never stayed at a hotel with a dog before so, to be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. At most, I just figured it meant my dog could join in during my sleepover and that was about it. To my absolute surprise and delight, it ended up being so much more.
A popular hotel location for tourists and conferences, the Westin Harbour Castle is a pretty standard hotel that feels somewhat like a place you would get booked into for an overnight business trip. But despite not being the most contemporary hotel in town, I must say that they made my dog feel like the princess that she is, and I couldn’t have been more grateful for it.
A few minutes after we’d checked in and started to settle into our room, we heard a knock on the door and were treated to a surprise bottle of prosecco and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries from the Westin Harbour Castle PR team that we were thrilled to receive.
All I could think was, “How thoughtful! This is so nice!” before popping the bottle open and indulging in the sweet treats while enjoying the incredible view of the water and Toronto Islands. Olive was happily sniffing around and trying to figure out exactly where we were when a few minutes later there was another knock on the door. “More room service?” I wondered.
But this time the delivery wasn’t for me, it was for Olive herself.
What was delivered included a large ‘Heavenly Dog Bed’, two bowls for her dog food and water, and even a little white dog bone containing poop bags inside that couldn’t have been more needed as I’d just realised I’d run out. “Room Service! For my dog!!” I genuinely could not believe my eyes.
Olive is normally very attached to Josh and I and couldn’t help but think that it was a shame she wouldn’t get much use out of her very own, hand-delivered dog bed (since she loves sleeping in bed with us so much) but she surprised both of us by settling into her new bed quite quickly, even opting to stay in her oversized personal dog bed over jumping into bed with us. As only a fellow dog owner could understand, it was actually kind of hysterical, and amazing to see. “I need to get this girl one of these beds” I noted, out loud to Josh.
As I had shared on Instagram the morning after our stay, the first time I laid eyes on Olive she was behind bars at the Toronto Humane Society in a bare little doggy cell. To be able to see her get pampered like a VIP guest by the Westin Harbour Castle literally brought tears to my eyes, and overwhelmed me with (very happy) Dog Mama Feels which are also a thing, by the way.
If you are travelling to Toronto and looking for a dog-friendly hotel to stay in with your fur baby, I would absolutely recommend it. Not only will your dog get treated as well as you will (if not even better), but the waterfront location is perfect for making sure your pet gets the exercise and access to nature it needs. See below for a few more candid pictures from our overnight stay!
For more information on the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, click HERE.
Thank you for having us!
(Story by Editor-in-Chief, Gracie Carroll)