This morning while starting off on a very familiar trail near my house Brya was spooked for the first time in her life. I thought she was afraid of one of the dogs approaching us and for the first time in her life did not come to me when called. Like any dog owner, I was embarrassed in front of the people with dogs near me as well as worried that she would run further away from me so I panicked.
I collected her and leashed her to continue our walk. Where than halfway through our route we heard it whining in the woods. I quickly remembered hearing of an injured coyote in this area from a few days ago.
As I thought back, Brya did not leave my side for the entire walk. Why didn’t I trust her instincts? We are fine but even old trainer can learn new lessons.
I have always thought of Brya being a good judge of character for both dogs and people. Why had I doubted her? Because it was early in the morning and I just want to get my walk done. Next time I will heed the warning and pick a different trail.
Just goes to show you, if you really listen dog’s instincts teach lessons every day.
Today I was struck by a bystander in our therapy dog group setting who told me that I am so “lucky” to have such a great dog. To the untrained eye it does look that way and I do feel so lucky to have Brya in my life.
Brya IS a great dog. But she could just as easily been a crazy anxious misbehaving dog. I consider us a team. I put the work (and it was a lot of work) in when she was very young to train her. I tell my clients this all the time- if you put in the intense work, no matter what the age of your dog, for the first 6 months and you will have the rest of your pet’s life to reap the benefits.
I practice exercise, discipline and affection in that order. Because I fulfill Brya’s physical needs and I give her reasonable boundaries and limitations, she is a happy girl. This allows me to give her the affection for a job well done. I never wonder how she will act in a public setting. I have exposed her to many different situations and know that she will behave. How, you say? Because we are a team. She looks to me for direction. I was able to build that bond with her and take the leadership role.
Having such great manners and socialization allowed us to pass the Therapy Dog Evaluation and Certification with flying colors-at 1year old!! We didn’t know what would be asked of us on test day; however, we knew we could handle anything they threw at us…..together! Brya loves her job and we hope the kids/people she visits agree :)
Our situation may be a bit different from most dog owners because I happen to work for myself. Therefore, I was able to spend a great deal of time with Brya and she often comes to work with me. But never think you don’t have enough time to train your dog. Even a small amount of consistent training is beneficial. It may take a bit longer to get results, but they will come!
November is here! Am I running out of steam? YES! Even though I am having 20 people for Thanksgiving dinner and family staying at my house, this challenge forced me to get out there to a new location and out of the local rut I tend to give in to this time of year when there is no “time” to go out of town.
Orleans is a connector town in my mind. This is where the rotary links the mid cape to the towns of the outer cape. My first trail was the Three Ponds Conservation Area. This 2 mile trail was interesting in its layout. It winds around Meadow Bog Pond and Sarahs Pond as well as a few house lots and streets, so keep your pup close by for safety.
I parked at the Meadow Bog Entrance: From the intersection of Rt. 28 and Main Street in Orleans, follow MA-Route 28 toward Chatham for 2.5 miles. Turn left onto Quanset Rd and veer right at the Y to stay on the road. Follow Quanset road to trail head on left (1.2mi). There is a 1-2 car designated parking area on the corner or park at the Town Landing 200 yards farther down the road on the right.
Next Brya and I Headed out to Kents Pond Conservation Area. Another Orleans Conservation Trust property, the trail is about 1 ½ miles long. The outside loop of what is basically a finger peninsula in the northernmost part of Chatham Harbor and is intersected by several connecting trails to make the outing longer by winding around and around. There are benches to watch the beautiful scenery and a boardwalk with access to the water. STUNNING!! A Must See!!Parking is a lot at the end of Frost Fish Lane (watch for signs to Kent Point).
There are several other areas we did not get to but the two that peaked my interest were Ice House Conservation and Bakers Pond Conservation, both owned by the same Orleans Conservation Trust www.orleansconservationtrust.org
In season, the Main Street in Orleans has outdoor patio seating ripe for dining with your dog, but one can usually find a picnic table on a sun filled winter day to enjoy a salad. Don’t forget the beach policy for Orleans is Sept 16-March 14 dogs ARE allowed on all town beaches. Check out Coast Guard Beach for sure!
Brewster was the town of the month for October. What this town lacks in industry, it makes up for it in beauty and charm. This is a town that is reminiscent of “old cape cod”. You won’t find a chain grocery store or restaurant in town, but there are many charming boutique shops and mom & pop stores. Make sure you pop into the Brewster General Store and you will feel as if you were transported back in time.
My first not so hidden gem of a nature trail is the Nickerson State Park. This park packs a big punch. With many fishing, biking and hiking trails, Cliff Pond was a perfect start! We started on Flax Pond Road at the parking lot in between Cliff and Little Cliff Ponds. Keeping the pond on our left, we made our way around the 3+mile loop
where there are many opportunities for the dogs to swim any time of year, and towards the end of the loop is a beautiful sandy beach where we stopped to enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
Running through Nickerson is the Cape Cod Rail Trail which is a beautiful walk in itself!
The next trail we hit is adjacent to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, at 869 Main Street (Route 6A). Just west of the museum you will find a map at the trailhead. Dogs are only allowed October 1-April 30, so this was the perfect addition to our month! The weather cooperated, and although the trail is not long it is full of gorgeous scenery. You should be sure to check the tides, as the plank walkway across the marsh will be flooded at high tide
Be sure to check out the Brewster Conservation Trust properties for more wonderful trails!! There are too many to list, so check them out for yourselves:
All private land trusts are run by volunteers and donations, so consider possibly giving some time or perhaps money to save our open space!
What a beautiful town in this beautiful month of September! This was a perfect pick as we transition from Summer to Fall here on Cape Cod. Containing about 14 square miles and with a population of 5600 people, Eastham is home to the Nauset Regional High School. Interesting fact: this is the only school on the East Coast located within a national park –Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS)
The town of Truro allows dogs Labor Day- June 15 on beaches, so check out Dyer Prince Road and Rock Harbor beach. A recent update from the town: dogs are no longer allowed to run free on this beach, even though they had this freedom for a decade –Brya and I found it to be quite enjoyable in spite of the new rules
For a full list of Truro beaches, see the town web site (download the pdf) listed: http://www.eastham-ma.gov/public_documents/EasthamMA_Recreation/index
On the contrary, the National Seashore allows your pup on their ocean beaches all year long (on leash of course)!! Our favorite in Eastham is Nauset Light Beach. As the name hints, there is a beautiful lighthouse on the property. In season, the bath house is a nice addition to a very sandy day.
However, I was sad to learn that the CCNS does NOT allow dogs to walk on any trails in the reservation. I did double check this fact with a Ranger at the Visitor Center, and she did reluctantly agree with my findings. This is apparently due to the delicate wildlife that lives along the trails. We need to share with all animals right? :)
Do you recognize our clue to the right? This was a hard one! This bone is by the Fort Hill trail (dogs prohibited, but photos allowed)
Not to be disheartened by the bad news, we were off to locate our new trail find!! We headed out to Cottontail Acres.
The parking lot for this trail is well hidden so keep your wits about you. Heading down Samoset Road, when you get to the intersection with Lawton Road on your left, start to take the turn but do an almost u turn into a paved road just before the property at 875 Samoset. Immediately you will run into the small turnoff which is the parking for this trail. Cottontail Acres is a short, cute hike that is well shaded with trees and beautiful by itself. If you are looking for more, cross Samoset Street on foot in the crosswalk and enter into another larger parcel named Wiley Park. The trails in this 40 acre parcel not only surround Great Pond, but also several smaller ponds for multiple swimming opportunities-Yay! All in all we walked 3 ½ miles total and not only was it beautiful, it was very interesting with a few picturesque spots along the way
Eastham didn’t appear to have too many spots for outdoor eating, but we did find Red Barn Pizza with picnic tables outside (pretty good pizza too); and Ben and Jerry’s for a treat after your lunch. Both located on Route 6.
A great resource when visiting Eastham with your dog is the Eastham Dog Owners Assn web page :
Get out and enjoy!!
Summer has FLOWN by! Brya and I enjoyed our month in these two lower cape towns. They both are what we could classify quintessential cape cod summer towns. Their population more than doubles in the summer months and even with traffic, we always feel like it’s worth the drive.
This tiny town incorporated in 1709 boasts over 15,000 people once summer hits. With over 75% of its land designated as National Seashore, no fast food restaurants and no stoplights, some say Truro is the forgotten town between the popular Wellfleet and Provincetown tourist areas, but it is truly a gem worth exploring!
We started by hitting the Smalls Swamp trail. This loop around the swamp is a quick trip rich in plant life and history! This swamp was the set in the bottom of a former glacial kettle hole. This is just one of the numerous walks in the Cape Cod National Seashore which stretches from Eastham to Provincetown. Visit their site to see what else lies in store for you!
How to get there: From the intersection of Routes 6 and 6A in North Truro, take Route 6 north for 2.1 miles, then turn right on an unnamed road signed Pilgrim Heights. Go 0.5 miles to a large, paved parking area on the left side of a one-way loop. Two trails depart from a trailhead at the northwest side of the one-way loop. The trail to Small’s Swamp goes left (northwest) toward the interpretive shelter. The trail to neighboring Pilgrim Spring veers right (northeast)
Brya and I love the water, so Truro is perfect for us! Your dogs are allowed on all National Seashore beaches YEAR ROUND on leash. All Truro town beaches welcome your pet after 6pm in the summer. We loved Coast Guard Beach, but there are so many more to sample, we will be back! Here is the list to choose from: http://www.truro-ma.gov/beach-office/pages/beach-list-information
While in town, be sure to check out Truro vineyards. A must see! http://trurovineyardsofcapecod.com/index.php
If you’d like to stay in this beautiful town on near the tip of the Cape, the Outer Reach Pet Resort is set on 12 acres in the National Seashore and perched atop a bluff with beautiful panoramic views of Provincetown and Pilgrim Lake http://www.outerreachresort.com/
Being from the upper cape, I did the touristy things for 20 years. Wellfleet has an outdoor flea market by day and drive in by night-done it! The National Seashore has Marconi Beach with great wave action (most every time we see seals, yet where there are seals…….sharks do tend to follow)-done it! But to explore this town with Brya was such a great experience.
I really didn’t know that all National Seashore beaches allow pups all year long! Hard to believe, but I really didn’t. The deal is simple. You must keep your pet leashed and move past the life guard protected area. It is a little walk (so remember all your things in one trip) but it is truly a better spot! The beach is less crowded and we were able to get cell service. Be leery that most beaches require a lot of stair climbing/descending so it may not be a great place for an elderly pooch. Brya wasn’t a fan of the big waves at first, but soon grew to LOVE them! She actually body surfs!
Just this month we received some wonderful news!!! A trail once off limits to dogs is now dog friendly, and a must do! The Great Island Trail is just that, on an island. Therefore, you must watch the tides as it is inaccessible at high tide. Leashed dogs are allowed only on the trail from the upper Great Island main lot and the lower “gut” parking lot to the first dune and out to the beach….year round. Laminated maps are available at Great Island to direct pet owners to the newly opened areas.
How to get there: Turn left off Route 6 to Wellfleet Town Center. Turn left onto Commercial Street. At town pier, turn right onto Kendrick Road, then left onto Chequesset Neck Road to the Great Island parking lot, 3-1/2 miles from traffic light on Route 6. Driving hint: Water view will generally be on your left.
Be sure to check out PJ’s family restaurant, Rte 6 & School St if you are looking for some good eats with your dog. (508-349-2126)
ADVENTURES IN VERMONT
The Paw House Inn is located in West Rutland, VT. Close to Pico an Killington Mountains and about 5 minutes to the bustling town of Rutland, this Inn is a perfect location for all dog lovers. The Inn’s motto is “we cater to dogs, we tolerate humans”………and they mean it!
We were welcomed by the resident dog, Stanley, and were given a tour of the grounds. The owner told an interesting story about the eccentric neighbor who is an art collector of sorts and has many “interesting” sculptures surrounding the Inn’s property. Here are just a few:
This Inn is SPOTLESS!! I am a clean freak, so for me to say that is something, especially about a house with dogs in it! The mud room after entering allows the humans to take their shoes off and towels to wipe any dirty dog paws. So many cute touches throughout!
Our room was on the second floor and immediately knew we were in good hands. There was a framed dog bed with a bowl and towel for water, a towel in case of rain or an impromptu swim, and even a sheet to put over the bed in case your pup joins you for sleeping.
Saturday we dined on the back porch with Brya and most of her friends for a gourmet breakfast which was delicious, then headed off to the indoor farmers market (dogs are invited)
Since it was spring, the weather was just warm enough for a hike The staff at breakfast was so helpful in giving us a list of possible trails. We finally settled on Pine Hill Park and it did not disappoint !!!!! Breathtaking landscape and views awaited us at every turn. Brya found several rocks to climb throughout our hike:
Another great feature of the Inn is the on site kennel. This separate building has kennels to keep your pup safe and cool/warm (depending on the season) if you have to go somewhere that isn’t dog friendly or just want an afternoon of human sightseeing. Although we didn’t use this service for Brya, it was nice to know it was available!
It was so wonderful to be in a place that reveres these animals that are our family as much as we do, and to be around fellow dog lovers was such a treat. Brya made wonderful friends and I know we will be back!
Check them out for yourselves: http://www.pawhouseinn.com/
So its summer…..dogs aren’t allowed on the beach, right? Wrong!
In Provincetown, one of the most dog-friendly towns on the cape, dogs are welcome on the beaches on leash all year long. In fact, you may have your well behaved dog off leash from 6-9 am AND 6-9pm. But be sure to pick up after your pooch, if you know what I mean ;) We have to keep the beaches clean so our furry friends don’t lose this invitation.
Sometimes in the “dog days of summer” I get lazy. Not really, but I am definitely less motivated for a long walk. I think Brya feels the same way. Being near the water always helps! Just walking down the main drag of Commercial Street is a trip. Several stores and banks allow dogs inside the store, plenty of watering holes line sidewalks, and you can even get a dog cookie like we did at Paws & Whiskers Dog Bakery.
If you are feeling adventurous, head out to the breakwater at the absolute tip of the Cape. You can walk for what seems like a mile, but I’m sure is a bit less, across this stone jetty and make your way over to the lighthouse. Be warned, this trail is 4.93 miles long, so make sure you time your tides right so you don’t get stuck……that’s right it almost happened to us, yikes!
If you aren’t as adventurous of just feeling a bit on the lazy side, Beech Forest Trail is a cute trail that is just over a mile: http://www.hikingcapecod.com/beechforest.html
Lastly, Try walking the neighborhoods of this hustling summer city and you never know who you will find! We walked by the Pilgrim Monument and realized we hadn’t actually appreciated the significance in a long time, probably since visiting in grade school! For those of you who live off cape, check out the story as we know it: http://www.pilgrim-monument.org/overview-faq#.VbDB_nLbLj0
I would be remiss without mentioning the Provincetown Dog Park, located at the intersection of Route 6 and Shank Painter Road http://www.pilgrimbarkpark.org/
I didn’t see a lot of shade, so maybe not a great location for a mid day romp, but a great looking park. Its nice for folks to have some human interaction as well!! The dog park site also give you a great selection of hotels and restaurants that are dog friendly: http://www.pilgrimbarkpark.org/Ptown.html
One fact remains, BRYA AND I LOVE PTOWN!!!! Come down and enjoy!
Does it take a little extra effort to bring your pet on vacation? Yes.
But it pays you back tenfold! After my son’s recent college graduation, we decided to try and have a family vacation ON Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire before he heads off into the world. With some on line research, were able to find a house on VRBO.com that would accommodate a dog (there were actually many listings with different amenities).
This home in the beautiful town of Meredith was smack on the banks of the quiet, picturesque Fish Cove. Abutting a loon sanctuary and tucked away in a residential area, we had the best of both worlds! We had quiet peace in the mornings for jumping off the dock and kayaking, and yet we were a quick boat ride out to the main part of the lake for tubing and sight-seeing. This was not our first visit to Lake Winni, but certainly our best!
Seeing the lake from the water was so much fun and interesting—we decided they may need some signs for navigation out there…it’s so huge! The boating was a bit of a challenge from a newbie’s perspective as the lake is known for the massive amount of rocks to maneuver around. Our Navigation Map purchased at the local Mobil station helped immensely! NH isn’t called the Granite State for nothing!! Donning her life vest, Brya came everywhere on the boat with us and there was plenty of public docks to stop and walk around in each of the main towns around the lake.
We found many eateries when we docked the boat that would take the dog. All patio venues will allow dogs to dine and some even offer water bowls and treats. Many ice cream spots will give you a doggie cup J When in Wolfeboro, we dined at Dockside with a covered patio and great simple but tasty summer foods. My kids tell me the fish & chips were awesome! I was amazed at how many dogs we saw in our travels boating this enormous lake.
The water was definitely the draw to this vacation. Although we walked our area of Stonedam Island daily, Brya LOVED kayaking with us. We usually get in the kayak on Cape Cod from the shore, but by day two in NH she was jumping in from the dock into her spot in my kayak ready for our next adventure. We found a few islands that were purely conservation that we got out and explored. My favorite spot was “Sally’s Gut”, a little canal that is VERY shallow and boats must be careful and slow but is a kayakers dream!
In Brya’s 2 ½ short years of life I have found that not only has traveling made her a happier dog, but she is so easy to take anywhere! By being exposed to so many different situations, we have increased the bond of trust between us ………never mind it brings both of us a lot of joy ! Give it a try!
Brya and I just wrapped up our first season as a Therapy Team at CAP (Companion Animal Program).
I must say I have been drawn to volunteer work my entire life, and this job did not disappoint! After being certified, we visited nursing home residents, college students, rehabilitation patients, as well as the awesome middle school students at the Wixon School in Dennis
People wonder (and we get asked frequently) how just bringing a dog in to a facility is therapeutic. Many studies have shown that Pet Therapy :
-Reduces anxiety, loneliness & helps people relax
-Stimulates communication, increases mental stimulation, and can act as a catalyst in emotional therapy process
-Makes reading easier for a child with a dog present and it is shown to reduce self-consciousness, it also helps to practice reading in a less stressful environment
-Lowers blood pressure and could reduce the amount of medication and not only slows your heart rate and decrease blood pressure, but the animal’s does as well!
-Helps with physical therapy by encouraging increased movement in joints, maintain & increase motor skills, and helps stroke patients exercise longer (studies show they walked up to 35% farther and 35% faster with pets than human therapists)
All of the facilities Brya & I visit bring a different aspect to the reward we get from being there. Can’t wait for next season!
You wonder how dogs are allowed into such sterile buildings? The biggest concern, particularly in hospitals, is safety and sanitation. Most hospitals and other facilities that use pet therapy have stringent rules to ensure that the animals are clean, vaccinated, well-trained and screened for appropriate behavior. In fact, there is a process for all dogs to go through to be certified as a Therapy Dog.
To shed a little light on this wonderful organization; around since 1986 over 200 members and over 130 Therapy Teams visiting 35 facilities and 7 libraries. If you are interested in becoming a therapy team on the Cape, feel free to contact CAP:
FALMOUTH in June
This month we straddle the spring/summer seasons, but here on Cape Cod summer is already in full tilt! Dogs are allowed on the beaches Oct 1-April 30, so off to the trails we went!
The Knob-Quinnaquisset Ave-One of my favorite haunts! Such beautiful landscape and places to roam all year long on the ocean! Some pluses are the many spots for awesome photos and two small beaches that allow the dogs to swim even in the summer! Minuses to this location are the limited parking spots and the trails are not very lengthy. A definite must see!!!!! Map: http://www.saltpond.info/pdf/trailmap_knob.pdf
Crane Wildlife Reservation-Located on Route 151 this 1800 acres of property was acquired from Frances A. Crane in 1958. The landscape is so vast and starts in an open field (which can get muddy) and heads into an array of wooded trails that intermingle. If your goal is to let your dog run, this is the perfect place to make it happen! Trail Map: http://www.300committee.org/documents/Craneeast.pdf
Shining Sea Bikeway is a bike/walking trail that extends from Route 151 all the way down to Woods Hole. Along the way, such beautiful landscape surrounds you that I got lost in it and ended up walking 8 miles…..yikes! A typical up and back you have several opportunities to sit on a bench and people watch or sit and listen to the birds. Helpful hint: when you are a walker, stay to the right of the trail and listen for bikers signaling to pass. Trail Map: http://www.woodshole.com/documents/bikewaymap.pdf
Long Pond-This walk is awesome! Starting on Brick Kiln Road and park just before the Goodwill Park. The walk is approximately 4 miles around the pond and is gorgeous. We saw a lot of wildlife and the only downside I saw was that the dogs are not allowed to access the pond since it is a source of drinking water for the town. Trail Map: http://www.300committee.org/documents/LongPondfinal.pdf
Bebee Woods-Depot Road, Falmouth. This hidden gem is located just behind the Cape Cod Conservatory at the end of Depot Road is a playground for dog walkers! There are two ponds, well marked trails and lots of shade for the summer. When the beaches are off limits, head here! You can tailor make your walk as long or short as you’d like! Trail Map: http://www.300committee.org/documents/BeebeWoods.pdf
I can’t fail to mention the Falmouth Dog Park located on 254 Brick Kiln Road-there are ongoing events and ways you can help fundraise for the park…for more info: http://www.falmouthdogpark.com/
Falmouth has an AWESOME main street with many patios to eat with your pooch and a large grassy common area in the center to sit for a picnic. Some ideas:
Stone L’Oven-271 Main Street http://stonelovenfalmouth.com/
The Pickle Jar-170 Main Street http://www.picklejarkitchen.com/
The Raw Bar-56 Scranton Ave http://www.falmouthrawbar.com/
Well, we did it again! May was a two town month :)
Apparently, the people in Chatham and Harwich are passionate about their towns. All my cape followers guessed my “secret” clues very quickly which shows me that I need to get down cape more often. Not only are these two towns unique and beautiful, there are so many places to visit with your pup while there!
Chatham has beautiful beaches to enjoy with your pup September 16-April 30, but don’t worry, there are plenty of things to do in the summer season as well. We started May by heading to the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (Clue #1)
This beautiful stretch of beach and scrub is basically hidden from the general public….unless you are looking for it you wouldn’t stumble across this gem. You have to enter in to a neighborhood that makes it appear that you are entering a private subdivision, however just after passing the sign, you’ll see a paved driveway on your left that will lead you to the parking lot. Keep an eye out for seals that populate this area and be very careful of ticks as we had plenty on both human and dog!
For more trail hikes see: http://www.chathaminfo.com/nature-trails
Another wonderful trait of Chatham is the number of patio dining spots along the wonderfully quintessential main street for dining. We also came across the beautifully constructed Dog Bar at the Chatham Squire, so make sure you stop in for a fresh drink of water on your stroll.
One of our favorites in the summer months is the Cape Cod Baseball League. You can watch games with your pup on the hill –just bring a chair or blanket and some refreshments! The field is near the rotary at 750 Main Street
Lastly, the Chatham Bars Inn is a beautiful waterfront resort that is pet friendly. They have beachfront dining as well (Be sure to ask if that is allowed with your pup in the summer season) There is a $100 pet fee Mid June – Labor day + $40/night fee. http://www.chathambarsinn.com
HARWICH was our second destinationl!
and the D Isabel Smith Monomoy River Conservation Lands. Thompsons Field is more wide open and apparently a very popular dog spot where you are allowed to have well behaved dogs off leash. The field portion of the conservation is a dog park-like atmosphere, and there is NO hunting on this property which is a nice change. The D. Isabel Smith property is more of a traditional trail and nicely shaded for the upcoming heat.
For trail info: http://harwichconservationtrust.org/trails/
Don’t forget the rail trail is right off Main Street (aka 39) where you can have a great paved walk while keeping an eye out for bikers passing you on the left. When traveling to the main street town center we happened upon the Adirondack chair randomly placed in front of a pediatric dental office-so cute! Brya and I didn’t find any restaurants in the main section of town, but plenty of places that do take out and right on the main road is a gazebo which would be a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a sandwich.
Harwich has a Cape Cod League team as well-you can catch their games at 105 Oak Street.
On our way out of town was where we captured the rocket and other lawn “ornaments” in a private yard just before the intersection of Rte 39 and Rte 137. We are not short on art-loving eclectic people here on the cape but that prized possession was just too unique to pass up a photo op!
Sooo much fun heading down cape! These two are must see towns!
DENNIS is where it’s at this month! Now I know why people rave about the beaches in Dennis……it rocks!!! Being from the upper cape, we are used to having a lot of rocks under our beach blankets but not here. What fun we had exploring this huge town with so much to offer the pet friendly world! This is the first month the snow is GONE! Now we deal with mud here on Cape Cod.
Located on South Street just off Route 6A past the Quivet Cemetery, this beautiful piece of conservation is a cooperative project that results in heaven. We started from the first parking lot after the cemetery, but if the first lot is full there are other opportunities to park along the road. As we meandered along the woodsy trail that had beautiful glimpses of Culvert Creek to our right we were thrust into an open field just before joining the off-road trail leading to the beach. Although the beach ground remains rockless, what lends to the beauty of this location are the rocks that jet up along the waterline. Brya loves to climb so she was so thrilled to do so and run and play in the waters of Cape Cod Bay. Best news—-leashed dogs are allowed YEAR ROUND on this property. Yay!
Another beautiful white sandy beach is Mayflower Beach (Clue #2).
Located on Dunes Road also off Rte 6A, is not as easy to find as you think but there are signs so just be on alert or use your GPS. This is a great flat beach walk with beautiful stone jetties. Unfortunately, dogs are not permitted Memorial Day through Labor Day on this beach, so get out there quick or mark this on your calendar for Fall!
This property was surprisingly large and we were able to do a 4 mile walk, but you can mix and match your route for a longer or much shorter walk. The parking lot is located on Setucket Road and has plenty of parking. I am told this place is well attended in the summer for its shady trails and access to the Pond, so I would recommend going early or later in the day to avoid crowds. Trails are marked by either a white or red arrow affixed to tree bases. Starting from the trailhead, take a right when you dead end at the pond. It would be hard to get lost in here as most trails intersect or loop around to dump you back to the main trail. If your dog is a mud seeker, beware as there are several swampy areas in the middle of the tract…..or be prepared to get the shampoo out when you get home.
A much smaller walk, but ever so beautiful, Swan Pond Overlook Conservation Area
is located on Center Street (from Rte 134, take a left on Upper County Road and left on Center Street…parking lot on right). This property is GORGEOUS and all 4 loop trails give you a quick woods walk and if your pup is a swimmer you can certainly tire them out on Swan Pond! A great find!
Pet Friendly Eateries
Box lunch Patriots square, Route 134, Dennis-sandwiches, outdoor seating
Kreme & Cone Corner Rte 134 & Rte 28, on Swan River, Dennis-great fried clams!
The Dog House Outdoor picnic tables with umbrellas, 189 Lower County Road, Dennisport
Remember to ask if you see the restaurant has an outdoor patio, most will allow you to have your dog join you there!
Other quick notes:
Cape Cod Rail Trail-also on Route 134-huge parking lot! This trail is well shaded for the upcoming summer months. Keep in mind that as we get to the warmer months it will be increasing in traffic and you will be expected to share the road with bikers and rollerbladers.
Remember your bike path etiquette and stay to the right and pass on the left.
I basically live on the Sandwich and Barnstable town line, so I decided with the area beating the record in snow totals, I might as well stay close to home and do these two towns I know so well. Again I am only highlighting a few trails for this series, but as I do others along the way I’ll be sure to share those too!
Boyden Conservation is owned by the Town of Sandwich and great for a quick walk. Located on Cotuit Road near its intersection with Quaker Meetinghouse Road. The trail loop is approximately 1 mile, but that is not the intrigue of the trail. The best part of this walk is the field visible just off the trail so you can’t miss it! You can use this field for ball play, training purposes, or just to add mileage to the trail walk by doing its circumference. Tucked way in the back of the field surrounded by woods is a very cool cemetery where Clue #1 was taken
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Cape Cod Canal in Sandwich! This side of the canal is blessed with picnic tables at the beginning with bathrooms (always important). Marked and well maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers, this asphalt walkway is 6.5 miles to the railroad bridge, so if you are feeling energetic you could complete all 13 miles! Just past the marina at the canal is the Welcome Center open “in season” with its own covered picnic area and walk to the jetty at the mouth of the canal.
Located right off Route 6A, this beach is a six mile long barrier beach with both a trail along the marsh as well as paved trails. I learned a few new things about the beach after being a frequent visitor for many years. Run by the town of Barnstable, the upper parking lot land was donated by the Bodfish family and named in their honor as Benjamin Bodfish Park (parking lot by snack shack). You need a resident sticker for Barnstable or Sandwich to park or you will pay $15 for the day in season. Leashed dogs are allowed year round on the trail that starts from the guard shack (deep sand in spots) and on the off road beach (for which a special sticker is required-of course I have one). The main beach welcomes dogs September 15-May 15 and not during the summer months. One last note: the entire property allows hunting so be sure to check the season before heading out…. especially on the marsh trail . I have found it isn’t a hugely popular place for hunting so the risk is minimal.
There is a great book about the history of this area:
Locals raved about Eagle Pond aka Bell Farm and Little River Sanctuary in Cotuit (a village of Barnstable) so I had to see for myself. I found a few parking lots, but the largest and most convenient is just off Route 28 on Putnam Avenue. Owned by Barnstable Land Trust, a private organization, the trails around the pond are beautiful and private. However, there is a spot that you must cross a private road (Little River Road) to access the rest of the trail, and a few spots were close to the main roads, so I was a bit nervous about that. The good news is that once you cross the street there is a lovely field lined with bird feeders where we found this funny post with distances to local and NOT so local places from the trail Clue #3. It cracked me up! We will definitely be back when all the snow is melted. Here is the link to the trail map.
To learn more about the Barnstable Land Trust and how you can volunteer or donate to keep these lands pristine check out their website: http://blt.org/
There are plenty of eateries in both Towns, just a few to mention:
Sandwich: Café Chew has outside tables as soon as the weather turns as does the restaurants at Russells Corner; also not to forget the many ice cream stores some of which offer wonderful sandwiches as well -Ice Cream Sandwich; Shipwreck; Twin Acres, and Sweet Carolines. Pet Friendly Hotel=Sandwich Lodge Resort
Barnstable: Main Street in Hyannis offers many outside tables to eat and Barnstable village has the Barnstable Tavern with a courtyard and many wonderful take out spots where you can venture out to eat at the nearby marina. Pet friendly hotel: Comfort Inn, Hyannis
What a challenging month! I was able to do all but one trail in this month’s review. I did walk it in December so I did include in this article. I must say that the die-hard walkers are out there in snow shoes and cross-country skis with their dogs and everyone is still having fun! If you think your favorite trail is impassable because of snow, double-check because I was pleasantly surprised everywhere I went!
This trail is 19.3 acres of oceanfront dunes and salt marsh on Vineyard Sound. It is the only town-owned saltwater beach surrounded on 3 sides by water! When you start out, I suggest you start on the scrub brush trail. You will enter through the gate at the entrance to the parking lot. Beautiful at any time of year, unfortunately dogs are not allowed in the summer months. About 1 mile in you can take one of the sandy trails on the right to walk on the Waquoit bay side. Kayakers and kite surfers populate this area in the warmer months, and Washburn Island is in view as you stroll along. Technically part of Falmouth, this island is available for camping and hiking but you need a boat to access! Check out the website for more info http://www.waquoitbayreserve.org/visit-the-reserve/camping As you reach the point of the peninsula, you will see the jetty that separates Waquoit Bay (where I took the picture). A popular spot for fisherman, be careful climbing the rocks in the winter (live and learn) and follow the beach back to the parking lot. One of my favorite haunts! Give it a try!
Directions: From the Mashpee Rotary take Great Neck Road South past Roche Bros market and main entrance to New Seabury.. when the road bends to the right, stay straight on Great Oak Road. Take this to the end until you see a sign “all beaches”. Do not turn into the first state park lot. Just before you turn left into the parking lot you will see the gate referenced above.
Clue #2-not so obvious! Heritage Park
This was a trick! Picture was taken at Heritage Park which is 27 acres of recreational fields, playground and basketball court. A fun place for sure, but not so much for dogs! I went about a mile away to one of my top 10 walks on the cape. Lowell Holly Reservation is located on South Sandwich Road near the Sandwich town line. Owned and operated by the Trustees of the Reservation, the trails are wonderfully marked and maps abound so there is no excuse to be lost. The parking lot is small but the sign is visible from the street. This 135 acre conservation area is a GREAT place to take your dog all year long! Again surrounded on 3 sides by water, Brya loves all the opportunities for swimming. You could spend an entire day at this location in the summer as picnic tables and a portable toilet is available. Several “Beach” areas for lounging and trails are well shaded for those hot summer days (oh doesn’t that sound wonderful this time of year?) Definitely a must see. Have fun!
trail map: http://www.thetrustees.org/assets/documents/places-to-visit/trailmaps/Lowell-Holly-Trail-Map.pdf
clue #3-Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge
Located just off Great Oak Road, this huge piece of conservation is owned by the US Fish & Wildlife Service and has an enormous amount of trails, abundant wildlife and beautiful bodies of water both salt and fresh water to visit. For more information visit their site :vishttp://www.fws.gov/refuge/Mashpee/about.html
Lastly, a great area to visit with your pup is Mashpee Commons! Located right at the rotary at the junction of Route 28 and Route 151, this open are shopping mall is home to many high-end stores and great places to eat. We visited with the owner of Hot Diggity Dog who was very helpful directing us around the plaza and letting us know that in the nicer weather you have several options for dining. Bobby Byrnes has a patio, as does Panera Bread and Starbucks. Many stores have water dishes out available for visiting dogs, and the Black Dog Store (circa Nantucket) allows dogs inside their store. Even in the winter, just walking around the complex is something different to do. Open year round, Sweet Waves frozen yogurt has a few tables outside in good weather as well as a few Adirondack chairs. Brya loved her dish of vanilla!!!
Remember to support local businesses and volunteer or donate to these conservation groups who keep the areas we enjoy in such pristine condition.
This was a TOUGH month for dogs (and people) when you get 3+ feet of snow in one month! Even difficult for die hard walkers like me & Brya weren’t able to get out every day and experienced a bit of cabin fever. Now that we have given in to the fact that it’s not going anywhere, we have learned to embrace the snow!
Head to the beaches!! They are usually clear enough to walk since the snow blows into the bluffs, and if you prefer the woods for less wind chill, believe it or not we aren’t the only ones that walk in the deep snow on the trails and eventually “cut” at walkable path over time. Many trails have been tamped down by cross country skiers and snow shoe enthusiasts. Most dogs don’t care at all that we have deep snow or that it is bitter cold. So bundle up people! Some of the most beautiful landscape pictures I have are captured in the snow (especially with a black dog).
If you just can’t get out or don’t want to, stimulate your dog inside! Yes, having mental stimulation is sometimes as good as a 3 mile walk outside. This will keep them from getting bored and in to trouble J See my inspiration Caesar Milan’s article for some great ideas on this concept.
Does your dog suffer from peer pressure? Yes, it does really exist in dogs! Even Brya is known to be swayed into mischief if surrounded by her friends who are not listening. So how do you handle this when it happens? Just give up since they are pretty well behaved “most” of the time? No!!!!! Unfortunately, if you do that the behavior over time will just get worse!
Here are some easy things to do! Start with finding a “doggie” friend that IS behaved so that your pup sees that you can be in a group and still behave. Then practice your obedience with them. If you have having great results, add in a dog or two and keep working. If you don’t have any furry friend that behaves, consider not walking with that group, OR you could put a long light line on your dog while walking. Giving you a way to “reach out” to your pup will enable you to enforce your rules and obedience, showing them they must listen even if everyone else isn’t.
Just know that dogs do respond to boundaries (just like children), and are better off for it!! So many studies show that well trained dogs are more calm and well adjusted making life as a whole great for all.
A short window of time training your dog pays off for years to come!
January was the month of Bourne
Congrats if you guessed It!!!!!!
Bourne, MA is the first town you hit after crossing either the Sagamore or Bourne bridge. Here is a review of all we discovered!!
Clue #1 This colorful wall is the underpass below the railroad tracks at our first stop-Monks Park, one of the many wonderful properties of the Bourne Conservation Trust. Located on the shore at the end of Valley Bars Road, this favorite of the locals is on the small side (20acres) but packs a big punch! There are loops and cross trails that are very well marked. You will encounter some moderate hills and do use caution when near railroad tracks and the water. This property borders Little Bay with beautiful views throughout and several access points. The property adjoins another trail named Little Bay so we combined the two and were able to squeeze out a great 3 mile walk. We will definitely be back in the spring when the ice breaks! Trail map: http://www.bourneconservationtrust.org/maps/4-littlebay_5-monks.pdf
A stop at the Lobster Trap on your way out after a walk would be a great treat! 290 Shore Road, Bourne. They have outdoor seating in season to sit with your dog and great take out year round!
Clue #2 Four Ponds Conservation is absolutely magnificent…….located on Barlows Landing Road just past County Road with ample parking on the right. Brya is a Lab afterall, so water is our best friend! This 280 acre property is owned by the town and very well maintained. My only criticism is there is not a trial map on the property so we walked “blind”. For those who love adventure like me & Brya, you too could get a bit lost and end up in the adjoining Pocasset Town Forest like we did! There are literally hundreds of different ways to enjoy this property. I did finally find a trail map when I got home; however the trails were marked by different names. It should prove to be helpful anyway! http://www.bikerag.com/images/MAPS/MA/ma_four_ponds_bourne_map.png
Clue #3 Ironically, the town of Bourne stretches long and wide encompassing the Cape Cod Canal which in itself is a perfect location for walking your dog. This third clue was at the windmill poised at the entrance to the Aptucxet Trading Post (pictured) anchored by the Abandoned Grey Gables Station (on right) originally built for the use of President Grover Cleveland during his presidency in the late 1890s to access his summer home in Bourne. For more history: http://www.bournehistoricalsociety.org/aptucxet-museum/
The Cape Cod Canal paved trail is well maintained and spans 13.5mi from Railroad Bridge to the Sandwich parking lot. You will often see tugboats, barges, and other boat traffic. I once saw a seal swimming along at low tide. After finishing a respectable 4 miles on the canal we stopped at Gray Gables Market under new ownership after being closed for two years. This store located at 185 Shore Road, Bourne, has been a landmark in the town for years, so we are glad to have them back! You can get everything from fresh made donuts, sandwiches, groceries for your visit, and any other essential you can think of!
Clue #4 You would drive right by Bourne Sister’s Woodland as we did if you weren’t really carefully looking. Tucked away between two residences, on County Road just before Shaker Drive where there is enough parking for 2 or maybe 3 cars. By far the smallest conservation area we traversed, but so quaint! The heavily wooded trails are well marked and abut a small pond and Brookside Golf Course. This is where we found the Christmas tree fully decorated by the “forest elves”. If the walk isn’t quite long enough, the Leary Property owned by the Town of Bourne is directly across the street that abuts Eel Pond and is beautiful in its own right.
Make sure to come back in season (spring-fall) and dine outside at the landmark Chart Room, located at 1 Shipyard Lane, Cataumet which has a history all its own and breathtaking views.
We are so lucky to have such wonderful conservation trusts and local pet friendly restaurants here on the Cape. Please consider becoming a volunteer or give a gift to keep these trails as fantastic as they are today and try some great local food! There are so much more to do in this town….Brya and I will be back for sure!
Bourne Conservation Trust http://www.bourneconservationtrust.org/index.html
Gray Gables Market
Before I describe to you the towns of the Cape I am exploring this year, I feel the need to give a little Cape Cod history/geography for those readers not from this area. This “island” of Cape Cod was once a peninsula until the discussion started about creating a water way to make it easier for trade in the 1800s. This wonderful man-made waterway and the three bridges spanning it are maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Two are roadway bridges – Bourne and Sagamore, and the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge carries railway freight and limited passenger services onto the Cape… including the most recent addition of the Cape Cod Flyer bringing tourists to the Cape without the traffic. For more history on details of this transformation see this editorial:
Most people, however, incorrectly see the canal as Cape Cod’s western boundary. Historically, the entire Town of Bourne (which was a part of Sandwich until 1884) was considered Cape Cod hundreds of years before the canal was built. The Town of Sandwich also extends over the Cape Cod Canal onto the mainland side of Cape Cod.
Many have referred to the shape of the Cape as an arm where Sandwich starts as the shoulder, Chatham the elbow and Provincetown the fingers. Also, each town is divided into regions called villages. This tends to cause some confusion if you are told a location is in Pocasset and aren’t sure if that is in Bourne or Falmouth (by the way it’s Bourne). When in doubt, ask a local. Cape Cod is a friendly place!
Have you ever seen a dog bark and take a step back? There are so many cues in body language that would benefit those of us who own dogs as well as people who just encounter dogs in daily life.
A bark can say two things: coming toward you and barking usually means they are being protective of something….barking but standing still or going backwards usually speaks to an unsure dog just voicing their fears.
Let’s focus on approach. In the graphic below on the surface, the dog just looks interested in the baby, but really the dog is afraid. A dog can become aggressive just as easily out of fear than real aggression. Especially for children we just need to know how to approach a strange dog. Harder to do than say, but the best way to say “hi” to a dog is to get close enough for them to smell you FIRST, then lean down with a closed hand and pet under the chin or the belly. Our first instinct is to crouch down (submissive posture), speak baby language (weak), and go for the pat on the top of the head (threatening).
Dominance-Chest forward, tail high…………be careful!
Fear-Tail between the legs, ears back, quick bark……give them space!
Calm submission…alert but tail neutral and playful……..ideal!
Now I get that you aren’t going to be scanning each dog at the dog park or on a trail, but if you could remember just a few things you will not only protect yourself but the dog as well. Lastly, you are part of the body language equation. If you are fearful, dogs treat you as submissive. If you are confident and calm, they should react in the same way.
In general, we should stop treating dogs as children and treat them as dogs. No one is saying we can’t spoil, love and hug our dogs; but by nature they are animals. We can not reason with them. They are black and white. It all starts with body language.
1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of what your blog is about.
Where’s Brya blog began late in 2014. I have always been a dog lover and losing my last pup was devastating so I wasn’t sure I could get another—OF COURSE I COULD! Brya was born 1 month after I lost my Macie. Brya (loosely translated= “new beginning”) was my sidekick from the day she came home. Being a trainer I was inspired to bring her everywhere for socialization and training purposes. She was a natural, and I very quickly realized she was a ham! I started shared our trail adventures with clients, friends and family….then by popular request to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter followers; and now the blog!
2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud.
The finest accomplishment on my blog in 2014 is getting started. I spent several months toiling over the details to get it up and running. I’m already planning a revamp of the look but excited to see what is yet to come this year!
3. What lessons have you learned this year-from other blogs, or through your own experience -that could help us all with our own blogs?
One lesson I learned was to DO WHAT YOU LOVE! There will always be similar blogs, but if you put your heart and soul into what you love it will shine in your words and pictures.
4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?
First and foremost, Brya is my hook!!!!! Everywhere we go, I get comments about her and how special and well behaved she is! Facebook seems to be the best way to bring people to my blog once they see the pictures. I’m looking forward to networking with more blogs and businesses this year to increase traffic.
5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?
My most popular post was about Brya being certified as a therapy dog. I am not surprised, just happy! All of my life I have volunteered, but this new journey of visiting the elderly, students and children is the best yet! People totally underestimate the power of dogs in our life and I hope to educate everyone to appreciate that fact.
6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?
My favorite post in the short time I’ve been “live” would have to be The New Age Of Play because I encounter so many people on the trails who are misinformed of their dog’s behavior (good & bad).
7. Has you policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?
One of my goals this year is to partner with businesses and start to review specific locations. So excited!
8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?
Being green to blogging I wouldn’t even begin to think I have advice for anyone. With that said, I would recommend not to over think things. Don’t think it has to be perfect.
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015?
I would like to make the site more user friendly and expand with media content and sponsors.
10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
The one thing I would ask of the blogging community is traffic and networking. Help! Brya is destined to be a STAR!
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The new year is upon us. Time for reflection and goals for the next 12 months.
In reflection of 2014, I am thrilled the blog has finally come to life! This concept has been in the works for over a year and I’m sure it will be evolving as Brya and I grow and expand our reaches. Cape Cod is a beautiful place and I feel blessed to live here and have the opportunity to share its beauty with my fellow pet lovers. I sincerely hope you go out and spend quality time with your dog. The time is not only great for bonding but can also be meditative.
Resolutions for 2015 on behalf Brya and myself:
- We would like to spend time walking in a new town each month. I will report on what we found, our favorite trails and stops.
- We will be getting more involved in the dog therapy community and embarking on new programs and opportunities.
SEND US YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS/WALKS/TRAILS TO CHECK OUT! LOCALS ARE MY BEST REFERENCE!
On my usual morning trail walk, I saw this quote on a plaque placed on the bridge over a creek. It so sums up my life these days!
“The path of life is seldom straight, around each turn adventures wait”-Mother Nature
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Brya was brought into my life for a reason. I am not fully sure why yet, but around each turn I am enjoying the adventure!!
This week we started an adventure of being a new Therapy Dog team with CAP (Companion Animal Program). It was pure joy to see the smiles on the client’s faces at Royal Megansett Nursing Home and the kids joy by hugging the dogs at Cape Cod Community College for finals week. One girl said to me “this made my whole day worthwhile” as she thanked me on her way out-PRICELESS.
Looking forward to my journey with Brya and hoping the adventures never stop.
The Knob, Woods Hole
Feeling the winter blues starting to kick in I go back in time to one of my favorite summer places. Not the most challenging or lenthly walk, but so very beautiful! Located just off Route 28 on your way to the Ferry Boats. Take a right at the lights at Quisset Harbor Road and park as far to the end of the parking as you can. The entrance to the conservation runs parallel to private land, so if you follow the parking lot and walk close to the water you should run right into the sign.
Part of the Salt Pond Areas Bird Sanctuaries, this piece of conservation is surrounded on three sides by Quisset Harbor and Buzzards Bay, making for some spectacular view and pictures! There are a few spots to walk down the rocks onto a beach that are very dog friendly…even in the summer!!
This is truly a gem of a spot in virtually any season-give it a try!
We’ve all been a little lax about walking on trails in the winter without regard to hunting areas or seasons. The recent shooting of a man in Barnstable jogging in the woods with his dogs reminds us to be more careful! Remember hunters are out looking for deer at dawn and dusk. If this is the only time you can be out, and you must go in areas known for hunting, wear ORANGE
For more information on hunting seasons:
Remember, some private conservation trusts prohibit hunting so they are safer and there is no hunting on Sundays ******* SUNDAY IS ALL CLEAR*************
So people, be safe and get walking!
Seabury Farm-West Barnstable
Do you ever feel like you are in a rut? Same three trails for a month! Well, I decided on my way home from the Barnstable Registry to pull over into a parking lot that looked inviting just before the West Barnstable Elementary School on Route 6A.
At the start of the trail, the view of the rolling field was beautiful, but the trail itself was narrow and overgrown with briars. Brya being a delicate flower was having trouble pushing through so over the vines she went. This area did finally join what looks like a fire road which lead me to my first trail map sign. Yay!
We walked a good 2 ¾ miles on the Blue Trail (marked by blue triangles on the trees) that had some impressive hills to climb. I hear after the fact that the blue trail could be up to 5 miles! Keep in mind that this area has hunters and December is Deer Season in Massachusetts. Brya and I both don orange vests in these areas and try to walk at times that hunters are less likely to be around-mid day and Sundays. . We saw two HUGE deer and Brya wasn’t the slightest startled. I, on the other hand, had to take a deep breath to move on with the hike. Hope they last through the hunting season L
The trail we followed was well marked, and there appeared to be many offshoots that we could explore in future visits. The map shows the Red trail leads you to Cape Cod Community College-interesting!
All in all, great find and we will definitely be back!
Scorton Creek, Sandwich
What does a dog freak do on Cape Cod in summer? Why we tube down the creek (yes the dog too)
Seems simple right? Wrong!!! So many details to figure out. What way is the tide flowing? Where do we park? Remember to bring a waterproof bag for keys (both sets)!
We parked one car on the shoulder of Rte 6A by the Scorton Creek bridge. The tide for us was coming in so that would be our ending point. The other car we parked at East Sandwich Beach. You must walk to the end where the launch is.
Don’t forget some rope or bungee cords to tie the tubes together. We had 4 girls, 1 dog and 2 ropes :) Such a blast!!!!!!
Dogs in the wild give certain cues to one another as “talk”. They growl as a warning or nip as a correction. These dogs speak with eye contact and the position of their tail. With all this they are functional as a group and realize and RESPECT the social cues given. They immediately know their status in the pack.
Today’s owners are encouraged to “socialize” their dog. Bring your pup to a dog park, let them loose on a trail. These aren’t bad things, but people forget that not everyone’s dogs are friendly. Not every pet owner is responsible. So how do you get a dog with no social group to learn how to behave?
1. When you start your socialization keep the leash on! This provides you and your dog with a sense of control. Begin with safe scenarios like finding friends with dogs you know and are respectful.
2. Keep unknown dogs at a safe distance. The more you go out and have a happy experience around new dogs, you and your pup will be more confident.
3. Don’t think every owner is responsible. If a dog is charging you and the owner is yelling “he’s friendly” – use your own judgment. When in doubt, step between the oncoming dog and your dog. Taking the role of protector gives them a reassurance of trust.
4. Educate yourself. When in doubt, contact a professional. Training is work, but the effort at the beginning of your dog’s life will pay off ten fold in the many years to come!
Hathaway Pond, Phinney’s Lane, Barnstable 1.5mi
(exit 6, head East and left on Phinney’s Lane, left into parking lot) –need a Barnstable Beach sticker to park Memorial to Labor Day
This is a perfect little hike for someone who is out for a quick jaunt in the beautiful woods. Start at the fence to the right when you drive in and follow the trail directly around the pond. First stop is a small beach on the left allowing you a quick swim for your pup before moving on. The main trail has several offshoots. We found the trail has some gentle hills and is wide enough to pass someone coming the other way, but be sure to watch out for roots everywhere! Brya found a rock or two to climb (she secretly thinks she is a mountain goat)
Around the half way point around the pond you bear right at the next 2 forks in the trail because a left turn here would send you to the water’s edge and a dead end. After that, bear left then stay straight for the remainder of the trail. When in doubt just keep your eye on the pond, as long as it is stays on the same side you should be all set. Have fun! We did!
Block Island has been on my husband’s bucket list for a long time. We finally bit the bullet and just got in the car! Getting to the ferry in Point Judith, RI was easy and parking a breeze! Book on line if you can prior to your arrival as seats go fast! http://www.blockislandferry.com/
Dogs are allowed on the ferry in any outdoor area and we met several friends on the trip over, both four and two legged. As soon as you exit the ferry, the welcome center is there in “old harbor” to assist you with any plans for the day or even if you decide to stay overnight.
We decided to walk to the lighthouse. There was a Del’s Lemonade stand to quench our thirst–almost a mirage on this hot summer day. Most beaches on the island allow dogs on leash and we were able to stop and let Brya swim several times. Lunch was a breeze with many outdoor patio spots to allow Brya to lay under the table or off to the side. So many dog lovers, it was so refreshing!
The island itself isn’t terribly large, but we were able to eek out a 10mile hike around the bulk of it! New harbor was a treat with outdoor restaurants and bars with games being played right on the dock…..so fun! We loved our visit to this great dog friendly island–highly recommended!!!!!
The pull to Provincetown is undeniable for any dog lover. A place unique in so many ways, we are never at a loss for things to do.
Strolling down the town’s main drag, Commercial Street, water bowls literally lining the street in front of the many unique stores that allow you to shop with your dog. The local bank has treats at the ready, and the town hall provides a doggie drinking water fountain!
For our afternoon hike we choose the Long Point Trail to the lighthouse. This 4.93 mile beach walk was challenging. The journey began on the beach just off of Commercial Street. We needed to plan our trip around the tides, as parts of Long Point Trail are submerged at high tide. Leaving a few hours before low tide we were able to walk along the shoreline crossing Provincetown harbor on a dike. We pass a Cape Cod Bay beach and the Woods End Lighthouse.We reach Long Point Lighthouse at the very tip of Cape Cod, and one of the most stunning unspoiled beaches. Added to the National Historic Register in 1987, the light and its 1904 oil house are the only structures left on Long Point, which is now part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. What a great workout in the sand for both girl and dog. Not a trail for colder months or for the faint of heart. Whew!Breakwater-longer than I thought!!
Still full from our lunch, we aren’t thinking of a big dinner, but of course we worked off enough calories to require ice cream! The Ptown Scoop on Commercial Street is so amazingly pet friendly. It is hard for Brya to decide between the “Pilgrim Bark Park” (vanilla based ice cream with a peanut butter bone); or a “Cool Treat” ( a frozen non-dairy wheat and gluten free delicacy made of apples, bananas and peanut butter).
Rejuvenated, we head to Race Point Beach to enjoy the sunset with a bottle of wine. Provincetown allows off leash (for well behaved) dogs from 6-9pm, Brya finds several friends to romp with in and out of the water The fond memories of the beautiful Provincetown and so many places and activities left undone, we will be back time and time again! Until next time!
Training is an important part of creating a happy environment for travel. My hope is that everyone who reads this blog is able to go out into the world with just their best four legged friend and a great leash, leaving behind all the gimmicks like clickers and treats. A good obedience foundation is all that is required for your dog to have that respect and bond for you to venture out into the world
Anyone who feels that dogs want to serve us is mistaken. Dogs are really all about serving themselves. Nothing personal, its just who they are. Don’t get me wrong, we feel like they want to do their best for us; but when push comes to shove, will they listen in a loud, busy environment or react badly when other people or dogs are around? Without training, dogs can be over protective of their owners. They feel responsible “for” their owner instead of responsible “to” them.
So get out there and spend some quality time working on those essential obedience commands and get them all polished. Take your first steps out close to home. Exposure…..that’s what will create confidence in you and your pal. Then head on out into the world being confident that your dog with behave in all circumstances.
I LOVE to kayak! When purchasing my last kayak I made sure my new friend would be able to fit. She already loved the water, but I wasn’t sure how she’d respond to being in a small cockpit. I spent some time at the lake close to my house testing her in short jaunts to be sure she would love it. Many times she will fall asleep while I do all the work! Apparently the water has as much of a calming effect on her as it does me.
Making sure she was safe with her life preserver, we headed off to Roger Williams University. This was my mothers day gift to be out on the water with all my babies. My son who attends Roger Williams, my daughter and my Brya (my husband as well) all came to kayak this beautiful Narragansett Bay around the Mount Hope Bridge. Such a spectacular day. Would recommend to anyone. There is a launch site right at the town of Bristol base of the bridge