Our Littlest Hobo | Dog Photography

‘There’s a voice that keeps on calling me
Down the road is where I’ll always be

Every stop I make, I’ll make a new friend
Can’t stay for long, just turn around and I’m gone again.

Maybe tomorrow, I’ll find what I call home
Until tomorrow, you know I’m free to roam.’

~ Theme Song: The Littlest Hobo

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Photo of Tikka inspired by ‘The Littlest Hobo’

Who remembers the classic Canadian show ‘The Littlest Hobo’ that aired on CTV in the 70’s and 80’s? Damn, was that a smart dog, coming to everyone’s help physically and emotionally. Finding the lost, thwarting kidnappers, solving crime and patching up broken relationships was all in a day’s work for Hobo. Just check out some of these episode descriptions…Was there anything this wonder dog couldn’t do?

-Hobo rescues a politician’s son from kidnappers.
-Hobo helps an ex-convict pursue an honest lifestyle.
-Because of their parents’ objections, a young couple’s marriage plans appear doomed, until Hobo comes to the rescue.
-Hobo turns health inspector when botulism is discovered at a campground

We all have a Hobo resting at our feet, helping us get through the ups and downs of navigating this crazy world. And I’m thankful that our little one did ‘find what I call home‘ and made her final stop with us after her feral start in life (read more here). A nod to all the rescuers and fosters that open their homes to the Hobos that are roaming, literally and figuratively, and need their own family to settle down with.

If you want a trip down memory lane or want to see a true piece of Canadian media history (not to mention watching an amazing dog actor) here is the first episode.

New Addition to VanDoggo – Dog Travel List

For all our loyal followers and new visitors, a big hello from VanDoggo! Thanks for stopping by to checkout our ramblings and photos from our recent trip to Europe with Tikka. The support and growth for our little blog has given us the ‘warm and fuzzies’, so thank you!

As our amount of posts grow with recent trips and upcoming travel with Tikka, we knew we had to get all of our adventures into a handy list. If you are new, you may not know that Las Vegas has a hotel with a dog park, or Tofino on Canada’s West Coast is a paradise for dogs. Have a look at at our list of dog friendly places to visit:

Dog Friendly Travel


We love to hear about everyone’s adventures so don’t be shy and leave a comment! And check back as we have lots of exploring to do!

Tikka Vandoggo Vancouver Dog vintage suitcases

A Doggy Day at the Beach, San Vincenzo | Dog Travel Italy

Reading up on all the dog friendly things we could do on our trip to Italy, one particular place stood out to us as a ‘must – visit’, the Dog Beach at San Vincenzo, in the Livorno area of Tuscany only one hour south of Pisa.

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This little piece of doggy heaven completely caters to its four legged visitors and it’s impressive to see how much thought goes into creating something solely for the dog’s well being and happiness…other countries need to take note. There are dog friendly beaches around the world, but this is on a whole other level with a huge off leash beach, dog events, parasols and loungers to rent for a shady nap and dog treats sold right on the sand.

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Unfortunately we missed the beach season by just a few days, so although the beach was open to visit, the services had closed for the season so we couldn’t take advantage of everything Dog Beach had on offer during the summer. Coming from Canada, the temperature still had the heat of a July day, but alas was turning too cool for the sun loving Italians. It was still a fantastic afternoon and the beach was busy with dogs and owners enjoying the Tyrrhenian sea and warm sand.

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In the regular season, one side of the beach is set up with bright yellow sun umbrellas with reserved loungers for rent and you can have your dog right next to you or on your sun bed. The other side is an open area that you can bring your own chairs or towels and lay right out on the beach. There is a bar and food right at the entrance and they have items for your dog as well. Doggy ice cream anyone?

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Other amenities include: Fresh drinking water, showers (dog and people), agility course, weekly vet visit, monthly dog events, washrooms, easy parking, and direct access to the sea. All that is required from your dog is that they are behaved and show absolutely no aggression towards other dogs or people. Fair enough for such an open area with so many off leash dogs.

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Now look at all these happy pups on the San Vincenzo Facebook Page! That’s what going to the beach is all about 🙂

And if you are not in the Livorno area, the dog beach page on the Explore Italian Culture website lists more dog friendly beaches all around Italy, ready for you to take your sand loving dog to! Each one has different regulations, so do a bit of reading before showing up (size of dog, muzzles needed, vaccinations etc…)

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Can’t wait for our next trip to visit them all!

*This post is part of our traveling around Italy with our dog. Here are some other dog friendly activities we discovered in Tuscany:

Visiting a Tuscan Winery with your Dog

Biking to San Galgano Abbey



Howloween, a Camera and A Simple Dog Costume | Dog Photography

Packed up the camera gear, some props and headed out to the woods in North Vancouver for a Halloween themed dog photo shoot of Tikka dressed up as, well you’ll see below…


On my way to Grandma’s house, I’m picking up a scent…familiar, but not quite dog…


There’s something right behind me isn’t there?


My, my, Tikka. What big eyes you have!


My, my, Wolfie. What bad breath you have.


Not to mention your nails need a trim.

Tikka was an ever willing Red Riding Hood, working for mere dog treats, and the wolf gloves were more of a plaything to her (made more so as her Dad was filling those gloves). This could be a simple Halloween dog costume to make yourself, but we picked up this $7 kids cape from a party supply shop and came across these fantastic gloves at the same time, just $15!

Happy Howloween everyone!

Check out more photos and how this little dog has been helping me with photography. Read More…

Visiting Florence with your Dog- Part1 | Dog Travel Italy

Ah Florence!

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I’m on vacation!

Our first city adventure with Tikka in Italy finally arrived as we rolled into this beautiful Tuscan city late in the afternoon on a warm September Day. Tikka, passed out in the back of the car, was again of no help with navigation so we found ourselves doing a few loops around the old city before zoning in on the exact street that took us to our hotel. Confession: we did have an ‘oh, crap… we are going down a one way street the wrong way’ moment. Glad we got that out of the way early on in our vacation, we knew we’d do it at least once!

After a quick check in at the hotel, we unloaded our bags and we were off with Tikka by our side to get our bearings before the sun went down. Florence is everything people write about in poetry, paint in pictures and sing songs about. Gorgeous, inspiring and welcoming… even for dogs.

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View of the Arno River and Oltrarno district at Sunset

Our first night took us down to the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) for a fantastic view of the setting sun. With it being our first night around any major tourist attractions, we were surprised at just how crowded the streets were for late September. Quick note to selves that our city walks would be best early in the day to beat the masses and this plan paid off our entire trip. By going out early we not only had the city and views to ourselves we also saw the buildings and landscapes in the fresh warm glow of sunrise.

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Look closely to find Tikka and her Dad on Ponte Vecchio

And that’s just what we did on our first morning. Up at 7am to walk Tikka across the Arno River and climbed the stairs to Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo Square) for the view of all views over Florence. Tikka enjoyed the early 45 min blood pumping walk after all the driving the day before and seemingly enjoyed the panoramic view as much as we did.

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This is what early mornings are all about, just look at that view!

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Sunrise at Piazzale Michelangelo

On the walk back we made a typical Italian breakfast stop at the bottom of the hill, close to the river at Cafe Rifrullo. We could get used to this! Fresh flaky pastries and top notch espresso to get our day going, all while our dog could have a quick nap beside us. The best part was watching all the locals with their dogs come and go – clearly Italian baristas are the bartenders of the morning, getting to know their regulars with quick chats as they came and went.

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Our favourite little dog friendly cafe in Florence

We made our way back through the Florentine streets to our hotel, stopping along the way to wonder at the numerous statues at Loggia dei Lanzi and the elaborate designs of the Florence Duomo. Crowds were still light so navigating the streets was easy with Tikka on the end of the leash.

After chilling for a few hours in our room we ventured out again for a meal at Fishing Lab Alle Murate with Tikka under our table. Yum! Highly recommend the Sea Bream and Tuna appetizers..Incredible!


Late afternoon and a lot of walking later, we decided to leave Tikka at the hotel and walk up the 400+ steps of the Palazzo Vecchio to take in the vista and explore the battlements and prison cells of the tower. Arriving late in the day there was zero line up and the light was beautiful over the rooftops. This was one type of place where dogs weren’t allowed, a lot of museums won’t let dogs in. She wasn’t complaining…all the walking and new sights, sounds and smells left her completely crashed out in the room.


Let’s get climbing



View from the tower of Palazzo Vecchio

We finished out our busy day with an amazing dinner at a little restaurant called Trattoria Sostanza. We made a reservation ahead of time and let them know a dog would be in tow which was no problem. When we arrived, they couldn’t have been more accommodating or dog friendly. We were at a table where she could lay out of the way of any waiter’s feet and there was already a full water bowl ready for our arrival. It was just an introduction to how dog friendly the rest of our trip was going to be! 

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Read the second part of our visit to Florence with our dog where we visit parks, explore Oltrarno and check out the Mercato Centrale.

This post is part of the Vandoggo series of traveling around Italy with your dog.