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Stephenville couple wants to help travelers with pets have good experiences

Stephanie and John Cherwinski pose for a photo on their stairwell with their 85-pound Bernese mountain dog MacKenzie.
Stephanie and John Cherwinski pose for a photo on their stairwell with their 85-pound Bernese mountain dog MacKenzie. - Frank Gale

Wanting others to have good experiences travelling with their pets, John and Stephanie Cherwinski are providing help online.

John has launched the website www.FurFriendlyNL.ca aimed at connecting travelers with pet-friendly accommodations across the province.

He said both he and Stephanie like travelling around Newfoundland and Labrador and taking MacKenzie, their 85-pound Bernese mountain dog, with them.

While there are about 170-odd accommodations around the province listed as pet-friendly, the problem is that these accommodations have different definitions of pet-friendly.

There are different weight and height restrictions, which can cause a lot of frustrations when travelling with pets if they end up at a place they can’t get in.

Cherwinski said his website is aimed at showing exactly what is meant by pet-friendly and he’s getting accommodations to send him their information so he can post it online. In addition to the website, Stephanie is handling Facebook and he’s handling Twitter (@FurFriendly.ca).

He said it’s certainly not all negative as he and Stephanie have had some very good experiences at different facilities, especially in Western Newfoundland.

In addition to making it easier for tourists and in-province travelers to get around with their pets, the website offers free promotion for people who go out of the way to offer pet-friendly facilities.

“Therefore, hopefully it will result in more places offering pet friendly accommodations,” Cherwinski said. “We’re not expecting a standard for everybody, what we (he and Stephanie) want is more open communication.”

He said tourism is important to Newfoundland and Labrador, so providing visitors with a one-stop ship to get everything they need when traveling with their pet will make the experience a whole lot better.

“Right now it’s a full day process to plan a trip and this will cut planning time down dramatically,” he said.

The site already has 17 accommodations listed on it and there’s already lots of positive feedback, according to Cherwinski.

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