The dog days of summer are over but that doesn’t mean a pooch can’t have fun in the fall. I’m looking forward to spending time outdoors in cooler weather and started researching dog-friendly ideas beyond a a day of apple picking. I came across a company called Discover Outdoors that offers day trips from New York City. They have a few things I want to do that include a midnight hike and lake swim but what really caught my eye on their site was a series of dog-friendly hikes. That’s right, organized hiking for city dogs and their humans. Discover Outdoors currently offers three types of hiking trips for you and your pooch. There’s even a hike for people without furry friends that allows them hike with adoptable dogs.
Beginner Hike and Hound and Hike and Hound Pine Meadow
A four-mile hike for beginners and a six mile option for fit folks and dogs around a beautiful lake. The day trip includes transportation from Manhattan, lakeside lunch and time for dogs to swim. The tail wagging day is for both large and smaller dogs, allowing them to explore trails, branches, roots and leaves that are so different from the concrete sidewalks of New York City.
Hike with Adoptable Dogs
Don’t have a dog but want to hike with one? You can hike with an adoptable dog from non-profit shelter, Animal Haven and give these animals some much needed fresh air, exercise and love. The day begins at Animal Haven in Soho, where you’ll get a private volunteer orientation that counts as the first of two for certification as an Animal Haven volunteer. Next you’ll meet your new best friend and enjoy a day of beauty of nature, fresh air, and good exercise.
While it seems that every day is National Dog Day at our place, the actual national holiday is on August 26. I was reminded about this by a press release from Ripley’s Believe It or Not. It turns out the Ripley’s Times Square Odditorium is celebrating National Dog Day by opening its doors to canines for the first time this Sunday and offering free admission to dogs and their humans. Water bowls and doggy biscuits will be stationed throughout the Odditorium for visiting dogs to recharge while exploring 18,000 square feet of artifacts, oddities, and interactive exhibits.
While we couldn’t find any National Dog Day events taking place in Brooklyn, we’re excited about the release of The Crate Escape: Seamus Unleashed on the 26th. This smartphone game lets Seamus get revenge against his arch enemy, Mitt Romney. In case you haven’t heard, Seamus is the Irish Setter that Mitt Romney strapped to the roof of his car for 12 hours during a family road trip. Devo has joined efforts to back the game and is also releasing a song about poor Seamus this week titled, Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro! (Seamus Unleashed) Take that Romney!
Last month we took our first family vacation to Key West and left Laly at home with a friend. Little did we know Key West was dog paradise until we arrived. From the bars on Duvall Street to restaurants in Bahama Village and shops along Mallory Square, the Conch Republic is one of the most dog-friendly vacations spots we’ve come across. Key West even has a dog beach where you can soak up the sun while Fido digs in the sand.
Dog Beach, Key West
The island’s motto, one human family, extends to four-legged friends since they are welcome just about everywhere. Something should have tipped me off when I noticed a large offering of dog friendly hotels in my guidebook. Visitors traveling to Key West with dogs have their pick of accommodations ranging from swanky digs at the Casa Marina to the quaintness of the Francis Street Bottle Inn.
Key West Dogs Love Bike Rides
While in the Conch Republic, we came across tons of dogs living the good life but one in particular stands out. Her name is Cleo, a boxer short wearing golden retriever who is part of the island’s famous sunset celebration. Cleo earns her kibble by doing tricks and cleverly collecting dollar bills from the audience.
As winter sets in, consider taking a warm weather escape to Key West with your dog. I know one day we’ll return with Laly.
Cleo earns the kibble
I’ve recently come across uplifting stories about dogs helping vets with PTS and the organizations that train these companion service animals. But what happens when a soldier stationed abroad bonds with a dog and has to come home? Bringing home their pet is a complicated and expensive process that could use your help. A soldier’s story on Reddit inspired me to write this post. While in Afghanistan he fell in love with a puppy named Khan and has two weeks to get him home to Colorado. Support the cause by visiting Khan’s page on the Puppy Rescue Mission, an organization dedicated to helping troops bring their dogs home.
Last weekend the Brooklyn Dog’s Life pack spent a fun-filled day at Brooklyn Bark’s People BBQ and Dog Swim at Croton Point Park in Westchester. The shindig was hosted by the Fort Greene based dog walking and sitting service. We’re glad they let us in on this great spot where dogs can be dogs and people can enjoy the outdoors. Perfect for a day trip, the park is just a 40-minute drive from NYC or a ride on dog-friendly Metro North. You can also camp and hike there if you’re looking for more than just a day trip.
Rachel and Helen Bowers of Brooklyn Bark were the perfect hosts. Upon arrival, guests received personalized tote bags featuring their dog’s photo that were stuffed with goodies. While the humans socialized and feasted on a grilled Mediterranean spread, dogs enjoyed quality time off leash. The brave ones went for a swim and the naughty ones tried stealing the occasional kebab from the grill. Check on both counts for Laly.
Wild Coyote Studio
Event highlights were live demonstrations by Wild Coyote Studio and Calm Dog Energy Training. James Morrissey of Wild Coyote was on hand to capture the action and share pet photography tips and Anthony Newman of Calm Dog Energy Training held a mini dog training workshop and answered questions throughout the day.
Brooklyn Bark’s People BBQ and Dog Swim gets four paws up. It was a great way to thank their patrons and foster a sense of community among Brooklyn dog owners. A lucky guest even won a day of dog-friendly sailing at the nearby boat club. We look forward to next year’s BBQ and know we’ll be spending quality time at Croton Point Park now that it’s on our radar.
Wild Coyote Studio
So much for all the end of the world, judgement day nonsense. It’s Saturday and we’re still here. Must have gotten rescheduled along with the rain. If you’re looking for something fun to do with your pooch this weekend stop by the NYC Pet Show and Sunset Park Pet Fair. Take that, rapture and rain forecast!
The second annual NYC Pet Show is taking place all weekend (May 21 & 22) at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. We attended last year’s show and feel it’s worth a visit for the samples and demos. Enjoy doggie fashion shows, discovering new pet products/services, and special guest appearances by Victoria Stillwell of It’s Me or the Dog and pet expert, Charlotte Reed who will give tips to city pet owners.
We understand if you don’t feel like leaving Brooklyn. In that case, head to Sunset Park for the first annual Brooklyn Pet Fair. The block party is on from 10am-4pm and is sponsored by Council Woman Sara Gonzalez along with the ASPCA. There will be swag from the NYC Pet Show, adoptable pets, and an”ask the pet experts” booth. For the early birds that got there before the crack of dawn, the ASPCA’s mobile clinic is providing free vaccines, microchipping, and spay/neuter services.
Move over doggie day care, Doggie Day Trips is here. Created by John Bingaman, a former veterinary technician, Doggie Day Trips provides year-round outdoor getaways for city dogs.
“Growing up, I always took my own dogs out for daily hikes and I wanted to be able to do that for city dogs,” said John. “After much planning, preparation, and finally working up the guts to quit my full-time job, the first Doggie Day Trip happened three years ago.”
Doggie Day Trips provides mutts with hours of hiking, swimming, and quality time in the country. Most trips are an hour from New York City and consist of five to six hours of fun time for dogs. Some of John’s favorite spots include Harriman State Park with over 300 miles of marked hiking trails and a few New Jersey State Parks.
According to John, one of the great things about his service is that dogs have a chance to socialize off-leash. A typical outing consists of between three and seven dogs. However, for older dogs, or dogs whose owners prefer they go out alone, he can arrange customized trips.
Safety is a priority on hikes and in the car. John says, “We always make time for breaks and rests, as needed and we do stop for water and snacks on every trip. We also provide roundtrip transportation for the dogs ourselves and take every precaution to ensure their safety, which includes using crates or seat belts provided by the owner.”
Doggie Day Trips is based in Williamsburg and is fully bonded, insured and a member of Pet Sitters International. They cater to adventure dogs in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. Contact John to schedule a meeting and sign up your pooch for a Doggie Daytrip. A special discount will be offered to ABDL readers.