Amy Burkert and her husband Rod created GoPetFriendly.com to help people enjoy extraordinary travel experiences with their pets. They believe it should be simple and hassle-free to include your furry loved ones in all of your leisure activities.
The idea for GoPetFriendly.com originated in 2008 after they found “Buster” – an intimidating, yet shy and fun-loving black German Shepherd – behind a construction dumpster. Unable to locate his owners, they decided to adopt Buster into their family, which included their 3 ½ year-old Shar-Pei “Ty”. After working with several trainers, the formerly reluctant Ty accepted Buster as family and now the two are brothers – playing, cuddling, and competing with each other.
With both dogs settled in, the Burkerts decided to plan a trip for the entire family. However, what they thought would be fun and easy ended up being a daunting and time-consuming task. Finding acceptable accommodations with pet policies that met their needs was a hassle. Locating restaurants that allowed Ty and Buster to join them and activities the whole “pack” could enjoy together was another challenge. Out of this challenging experience the Burkerts created GoPetFriendly.com.
Recently Amy teamed up with Kim Clune of ThisOneWildLife.com to create BtC4Animals.com - a website that features a weekly cause and provides their readers the opportunity to Be the Change for Animals. Inspired by BlogPaws' Be the Change Movement, Amy and Kim wanted to create a site where all animals lovers can focus their attention, contribute just a few minutes a week, and take action to make the world a better place for animals.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Happiness to me is being able to live your passion. Sometimes life throws you a curve, and in our case it was Buster. When he arrived our lives took a turn, and it couldn't have turned out better. We've been able to redesign our lives around what we love the most - traveling with our dogs. What makes it even better is that we're able to help other people have more fun with their pets! It's pretty amazing, really.
If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why?
Even though I'm a "dog person" and allergic to cats, I think I'd choose to come back as a cat. Is there anything better than spending the day sleeping in the sun? I also love their independent nature.
What is your pets more treasured possession?
Ty's favorite possession is, far and away, his bed. He spends many hours every day curled up, stretched out, or sprawled across it. Come to think of it - he's a lot like a cat! I think Buster's favorite possession is his leash. He LOVES to go for walks, hikes, really anything outside. When the leash come out he gets all excited because he knows we're going to have fun. It's funny, because in so many ways our dogs are complete opposites.
Your proudest achievement so far?
I think the fact that Rod and I have happily spent the last four months living in a 24 by 8 foot space with two big dogs. He's my best friend and a fantastic business partner. We're having a great time and we're both looking forward to seeing where this adventure take us.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Anyone who's helping animals is my hero. We are have different things to offer, and when someone uses their abilities to help animals - that touches me. There is so much to be done that sometimes it seems overwhelming, but these people are out there making a difference every day - and that's what matters. One injured, starving, abused, or homeless pet at a time. I'm so grateful that fantastic dogs like our Buster are getting the chance to make a difference in the lives of the people who adopt them. Buster has taught us so much, and I know there are a lot of other people out there that feel the same way about the pets they've adopted.