This article is part of our Road Trip For Good series with the incredible humans behind the popular 2 Traveling Dogs! Each week they will share their adventure in a new state, and their pups, Peanut Butter Brickle and Digby Pancake will pick their favorite “Marked Territories”. Each state will highlight one special rescue organization that is doing fantastic work to help the dog community. For more detailed coverage, be sure to visit 2TravelingDogs.com!
West Virginia is a state that welcomes you and your dog with open arms. From its kind hearted people to the wild outdoors, this is down-home, mountain living at its best. In our hectic world, West Virginia offers any traveler with two legs or four the chance to reconnect with ourselves, our dogs and nature. Before heading out on on your West Virginia adventure, consider adopting a new travel buddy to explore with!
Brickle and Digby’s Paw-Picked West Virginia Rescue: Homeward Bound WV
It has been said that home is where your heart is. Homeward Bound WV rescue near Morgantown, West Virginia believes this to be true. Their rescues are fostered in homes until their forever family is found. The benefits this provides to their animals is invaluable in giving them socialization skills, training, stability and yes, love.
Homeward Bound WV’s goals are to rescue, rehabilitate, spay and neuter, re-home and educate. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to saving dogs and cats whose lives are in jeopardy. They are all volunteer and their rescued pets live in loving, foster homes. When we met with Mel, her husband Jon and their rescued furkid Harry from Homeward Bound WV at a local pet store, we were moved.
Harry showed the physical effects of an early life filled with much sorrow. Part of a domestic violence situation, Harry had been poisoned and also had lost a leg. Mel explained that Harry was her foster, but after losing a beloved dog, she knew that they both needed rescuing. She went through numerous surgeries with Harry and her husband Jon reasoned that Harry needed them for the long haul. Forever. Harry found his f home with these two loving rescuers. They graciously agreed to play the latest episode of “Stop Hounding Me” and we found out much more about Homeward Bound WV and how they make a difference for their community and their animals in need.
We could see by being around Harry for even a short time that he has a long way to go in trusting humans, but we know that Mel and Jon will always be there for him. This may seem like just another rescue story to some, but every single story is a life, and Harry mattered. All animals in the community as well matter to Homeward Bound WV. They work with local shelters and other rescue organizations. From numerous community events to a well-mained social media presence, everything they do…they do well. Mel told us that there is always “one more thing to do” when you are in animal rescue, and that is certainly true. But Homeward Bound WV’s love of what they do keeps them going.
Their West Virginia community is very supportive of the events they hold and the numerous programs that can be taken advantage of thru Homeward Bound WV. They offer spay and neuter certificates from community grants and are proud to visit area schools in order to educate their young population. It is the dream of every animal rescuer that one day there will not be a need for them, that every animal will have a home. And they believe by educating school-age children on the importance of responsible pet ownership is invaluable. From teaching a child how to greet a dog, to spay and neuter benefits and to lasting relationships with your pets, this rescue is doing that “one more thing”. We applaud them for their proactive approach!
Like all of the states we have visited so far, West Virginia has a long way to go in their animal rescue efforts. But with rescues like Homeward Bound WV, their fosters, local pet supply stores who showcase their animals, and the surrounding community, one day their dreams may be realized. Until them, Homeward Bound WV’s determination to make a difference should be recognized. And it is our hopes the community keeps on supporting them!
At Coopers Rock State Forest, 13 miles south of Morgantown lies a forest oasis. Bands of rock cliffs line the Cheat River Gorge and provide numerous overlooks. The centerpiece among these is the main overlook, which furnishes a panorama of the gorge. Park at the Visitor Center, grab some ice cream first and then head out on the nearby trail for a view of West Virginia that will inspire you and your dog to explore more!
In Bruceton Mills, you will find a camping spot that feels like home. Pitch a tent or bring your RV and stay for awhile at Chestnut Ridge Park and Campground. Located just 10 miles east of Morgantown, this is an oasis on over 16,000 acres. With numerous fishing spots, swimming areas and hiking trails, you and your dog will never want to leave. Catch one of their outdoor concerts in the summer and find out why West Virginia is something you’ve been missing all of your life.
3. Enjoy A Bluegrass Concert With Your Dog
Often called “mountain music”, bluegrass has deep roots in West Virginia. There is no better way to enjoy this music than outside in West Virginia. With outdoor concerts and festivals throughout West Virginia year round, pack a picnic and your dog’s favorite treats, sit back and enjoy. If you feel like dancing with your dog too, no one will judge you. Check each venue for specific dog policies as they will differ.
Forks Of Cheat Winery near the Cheat River produces wine with an Appalachian twist. This is West Virginia scenery at its best. Sit on their back deck with your dog and enjoy one of their many varieties of wine from merlot to fruit varieties. A welcoming staff, gorgeous surroundings and great wine make for a great, West Virginia day. Dogs must be leashed and cat-friendly.
Just north of Fayetteville lies an engineering masterpiece. If your senior dog likes to feel the wind in his fur, you must drive across the New River Gorge Bridge. Completed in 1977, the New River Gorge Bridge is one of the most photographed places in West Virginia. The bridge was chosen to represent the state on the commemorative quarter released by the U.S. Mint in 2006. In 2013, the National Park Service listed the New River Gorge Bridge in the National Register of Historic Places as a significant historic resource. Every dog deserves a joyride now and then and this is THE place in West Virginia!
Located 10 miles east of Grafton, Allegheny Treenware produces treenware individually hand shaped and gouged making every one unique in its own way made from West Virginia hardwoods. Visit with your dog and tour their farm where they create over 170 different hardwood kitchen utensils. You will watch a spoon being made from beginning to end and take this spoon home with you! There is not charge for this tour and the experience is priceless. Advocating a self-sustaining lifestyel, see how they raise most of their food and live as green and organically as possible. They are also proud that their business leaves very little carbon footprint on the environment. They won our hearts by their rescue dogs and currently have six. You must make an appointment and mention you are bringing your dog and be leashed at all times due to chickens and other animals on the property.
7. Make Your Dog A West Virginia Treat
West Virginia’s food is as sweet as its people. One of West Virginia’s prizes are its Golden Delicious apples. Anderson Mullins discovered the Golden Delicious in 1912. This aromatic apple is a great, all purpose apple and is the second most popular apple in the United States. To pay tribute to our short stay in West Virginia, we made a treat that you can eat with your dog. But we kept the recipe simple, because its better to spend your time exploring this great state!