Monday, 10 June 2013

Exploring Pup-Friendly Places

Since getting our fur baby, Hugo, my husband and I have not only been initiated into the sub-culture of dog-ownership, but our lives are slowly beginning to center around "cool places" for Hugo to go for a walk and/or play.  Most of my evenings are spent shoveling down some food followed by a jaunt with the baby that will hopefully tire him out long enough for me to work on the blog (as you can see, that is going really well!), homework, writing about IBS or housework.  I have stopped thinking about what I want to do and imagine what is going on in his little brain and think - would Hugo like this?  And how could I not - he is just so damn cute!

In this vein, I have found a few of those "cool places".  These discoveries occurred out of necessity as I quickly realized that Hugo is too stubborn and too nosy to walk up and down our street.  He wants to stop and watch everything - that leaf blowing by, that car pulling out of the driveway, that bird flying in the air, those people shutting their curtains - Hugo is now the neighbourhood watch.

As endearing as this can sometimes be, it drives me nuts.  I am not one for standing around, I like to move and at a good clip.  Hugo has not yet adopted this habit of mine.  So, I was forced to be creative - I took him over to Hail Pond, a little trail around a pond that I never want him to swim in.  He doesn't do too badly there, you have to drag him the first half of the way, armed with treats and a black heart that will allow you to ignore his fake choking dramatics.  But, once he reaches that invisible halfway point he books it.

Now that he has been doing Hail Pond for awhile, we have added another spot into our routine - Hemlock Ravine Park.  This park is all charm, especially given the story behind the heart-shaped pond.

Hugo loves it here - this is where he met his friend Axel, the Bernese therapy dog.  They became fast friends and I had a glimpse of Hugo's future size - he will likely outweigh Axel!

I let him off leash here and we are working to ensure he sticks close to me.  He does pretty well; he likes to do short bursts of galloping - perhaps he is imagining himself frolicking in the Swiss Alps, the land of his ancestors!


  1. Lyndin - here are some recommendations of places I like to take my boys:

    Long Lake – on the back side of Bayers Lake (it is off-leash): It is a short walk into the lake, there are usually a ton of dogs. If you are inclined, you can do some rough hiking as well.

    The Bluff Wilderness Trail: There a tree routes you can take – Ive only ever done the easy one (which is about 10 K from your car in the parking lot and back). It is BEAUTIFUL. Quite tough in spots. Loads of swimming opportunities. Bring a snack. This is a weekend type of spot. Also off-leash.

    Shubie: I'm sure you know about this. This is off and on leash. Just follow the signs. Great trail and they have a dog beach too. Nice easy walking. Nice people too.

    Finally – my absolute Fav: Second Lake in Lower Sackville. You can hike in the woods (my fav) or stay on the well-maintained trail. It is off-leash as it is Provincial Crown Land. It is about 5K from entrance, around the loop and back to the exit on “the loop” but longer if you do the woods trails. The woods trails aren’t super well marked though, so make sure you are with someone who knows them the first couple of times through.

    Hope Hugo enjoys!

  2. Thanks Niki - this is fabulous! Maybe we'll check out Second Lake with you and your fur babies sometime soon!