“THE BABY ALWAYS WINS.” Simple, obvious and yet immensely profound. Susan A. was a professor *and experienced mother of two young boys* when I was working at the University of Wyoming – she often spoke wisdom in a realistic, understandable form. As a first-time mother-to-be, I was a walking target (hard to miss) for those willing to share a little guidance, old wives’ tale, simple axiom, wise maxim, old proverb or other type of unsolicited advice on all the ways in which to have, raise and/or really go wrong with this parenting stuff.
The knowledgeable contributions did not go unappreciated – it’s just that I received a LOT of them…and many contradicted one another, which negated the entire process of information gathering. This one, however, stuck. It made sense in theory…in practice, well, there was no denying the fact: SIMPLE, TRUE, UNDOUBTEDLY CONFIRMED…the baby always wins.
You can’t spoil a baby. It’s effectively been proven and is particularly true in the fist six months of life. What happens after that, well, let me tell you – the baby is sill going to win, just not as often. As I pondered Susan’s wise words, I had to wonder if the same applied to my furry baby.
Our lovable Bichon Frise Fiona Belle joined our family during a season of tears. She filled our hearts (and arms) with exactly what we needed following a heartbreaking miscarriage. Needless to say, our fuzzy lap dog was a bit spoiled in her young years and she deserved it – she saw us through hard times and happily moved with us from home to home until we landed back in Colorado. Unfortunately for her, as our family grew, the opportunity for one-on-one time faded. She did, however, get plenty of attention from the kids (just not the kind she had in mind!).
We’ve always considered Fifi a member of our family – we just forget about her sometimes – not out of a lack of love, but because an inordinate amount of brainpower is devoted to the children’s needs. Including her on our family summer road trip of obligatory fun, mandatory bonding and indisputable adventure in the state of Wyoming just seemed right.
Upon arrival at our favorite dog-friendly hotel, we learned that they had *let go of the friendly part.* We were sure our day trip to Ayers Natural Bridge would be a thrill for everyone…but we were greeted with a NO DOGS ALLOWED sign. An outdoor park in the middle of nowhere…in Wyoming…of course man’s best friend is excluded, what were we thinking?
This is our smiling Fiona Belle – waiting in the car – just before we were asked to leave…yep, for having a DOG IN OUR CAR!?!
So, our summer road trip was a bit of a flop, but we managed to have a few good laughs. As I was planning our winter getaway, I had to wonder…where can we go with our sweet Fiona Belle and still achieve a fabulous family vacation? Ironic twist to the story: The Park Hyatt at Beaver Creek welcomes man’s best friend with open arms…yes, one of Colorado’s finest ski/in-ski/out resorts – located right at the base of the mountain! Phew, what a relief to learn that not everyone has turned their backs on our lovable, domesticated animals AND that the true value of our four-legged friends is being recognized (in style). The Park Hyatt’s PaMPeREd POohES program offers full amenities in luxurious surroundings – tailored specifically for our beloved pets. Thank you, Park Hyatt, for welcoming our entire family and for helping ease the worries of vacation planning.
Oh ya, I should mention that dogs are welcome in the gorgeous, great outdoors at Beaver Creek! If you’re going to spoil your pooch, you’d best do it up right! …Not to mention the fact that Beaver Creek has become one of our FAVORITE Colorado destinations (and not just because they serve chocolate chip cookies everyday at 3:00 p.m.).
So, next time Noelle randomly tells me she thinks she’s going to cry – I ask why – and she says, “Because I’m not in Beaver Creek.” Fiona Belle can give a little whimper too and I will rest assured that I have totally and completely succeeded in the inevitable spoiling of my baby AND my furry baby too!
feature photo: miltonmanner