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!