[Editor’s note: Holland the Pup will be providing firstpaw tales of her travels with her dad in her new column “Enjoy the Ride.”]
Hey guys! My name is Holland the Pup and I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be sharing my journey through a column called “Enjoy the Ride with Holland the Pup.” This will be so much fun for me and you’ll get to read about all my travels and adventures through my eyes! I’ve been to some pretty amazing places over the last couple years and I have big ambitions for the future.
So you may be wondering a few things like who exactly am I and how did I get my own column? I mean, can I even type? (Not quite, but I’m pretty resourceful.)
Back in the summer of 2015 I was turned in to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. I don’t recall exactly how I got there or where I came from, but I do know I was about two years old (around college age in dog years) and because I just had a litter of puppies my belly was shaved and pretty droopy. The staff at the shelter were super friendly, but I must admit it was pretty scary being there because I only had a small kennel and I didn’t have a human parent anymore. That was until one day when this aspiring food and travel blogger called the Traveling Food Dude (most people just call him Adam) came by the shelter and ended up adopting me!
Adam played with me for a while outside the kennel before signing all the paperwork needed to adopt me and then he brought me outside where I saw his big blue pickup truck. He opened the back door and I had the whole back seat to myself as we drove to my new home. My new dad lived in a little apartment in downtown Tampa that was right across the water from the arena where his favorite hockey team, the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, played! (Most people call it Amalie Arena.) When we went for walks we often walked right by the arena and it wasn’t long before my dad got me my very own Tampa Bay Lightning bandanna. Adam decided to name me Holland because both sides of his family are Dutch and he has always loved the name Holland.
Living in downtown Tampa was super cool. There was always things to do and we went on lots of little adventures. There was a dog beach close by, lots of urban dog parks, and we even went for boat rides on occasion. There was a thing called the Tampa Riverwalk that we walked down on our longer walks and there were always lots of other doggos to stop and say hi to along the way. One of the biggest highlights of living in Tampa was being able to meet Thunderbug, the Tampa Bay Lightning mascot, a couple different times, like when I won a grant from the Petco Foundation.
My dad and I bonded pretty quick. He spent lots of time with me and was very gentle. I’m pretty sure wherever I lived before the Humane Society was a scary place and I wasn’t treated very well. Even though I’m very playful, I’m also a very quiet dog. I’m not sure why, but I hardly ever bark. Even when dogs around me bark I pretty much just stand there and listen to them and never bark back. In the five years my dad has had me I’ve only barked three times! My dad likes to brag about this and I hear him tell other people that it makes traveling with me super easy.
My journey got really wild when my dad took a break from his corporate career in 2018 and we left our apartment in Tampa to travel around North America! I had a blast living in Tampa, but hitting the road and exploring new places is really exciting! I’m going to share the sights, sounds, and tastes of all the places I’ve had the chance to visit in my column and I’m so glad you’ll be joining me on my journey!