Creating new and fun outings for my dogs sometimes seems daunting during a busy week. I always take both of my dogs for a walk to our local park each day. But I could tell that they wanted more to do. So, I decided to try some new things.
I discovered that simple, everyday errands could also double as fun outings for my pups. They love to pile into the car with me, stick their heads out the window, sniff the air, and anticipate what exciting new place we may be headed to. So, I included them in the following errands and activities:
- The Bank
- The Church (where I work part-time)
- Lowe’s Nursery
- Peet’s Coffee
- Local Park to see the ducks
- Backpacking (with doggie packs)
- Dog Classes
- Local Stores that allow dogs
- Trick or treating at Halloween
- Picnic in the park
- The local farmer’s stand
- Bodega Bay Lodge (local hotel/restaurant)
- Tire store
- Auntie Jayne’s House (my close friend and their favorite Auntie)
See more about these simple and fun outings from my dog’s perspective! They were all a big hit!
My name is Charlotte and I am here to tell you that you should not underestimate the power of simple outings that you might not think of as fun. My sister, Georgia, and I pretty much like to go anywhere with our Mom (except to the vet, which is where I draw the line.) We are getting used to riding in the car as long as we get frequent breaks to go potty. We really like riding in the back seat as opposed to the cargo area, because Mom can reach through the dog guard and feed us treats.
So now that we are used to the car, we can go anywhere! Although we love our local park, we get really excited when Mom takes us to new places that are really different. Here are some of our favorites:
1. The Bank
Now the bank may seem like a really stuffy place to go and most banks are not fond of furry critters inside their hallowed halls of money and gold. Even so, the bank can be a really fun outing for a dog. That is because bank tellers are really friendly toward us dogs if they know we are in the back seat of Mom’s car. And they seem to notice us when she goes through the drive-up teller to make a deposit.
When we pull up to the outside teller, we can hear voices that sound a bit strange and mechanical. Then Mom puts something into a big long tube and whoosh! — it is gone in a second. The nice teller lady with the mechanical voice says she sees two dogs in the back seat. At first, we were not sure if she thought that was a good thing. But, the next thing we knew, the tube came back, kerplunk! Mom reached over to get the tube and took out a piece of paper and two dog bone treats! This is the part that made it so exciting. Mom gave us the dog bone treats, and we are off to our next adventure!
2. The Church
Going to church may not seem like a thing that dogs can normally do. But as it turns out, this can be a really wonderful fun outing for dogs. Our Mom does some bookkeeping for her church, so she makes trips during the week to the church office. She takes us along because she discovered that we really like it. We get to walk around the church campus and smell the grass and the roses. Then we get to go inside the church! Mom has to unlock these really, really big old wooden doors so we can run inside. We love to run around the lobby and the sitting room and look out all of the windows. Then we go into the church office where we can sniff and pick up scents from the office manager’s dog, who was there the day before.
One time Mom let us peek inside the sanctuary, but we are not allowed in there as it is a very special place. We totally respect that and were just happy to be at work with Mom. The best part about this trip is that after the kinda long ride back home, Mom always takes us to a different walking trail as a treat for going with her.
Our Mom’s church really appreciates animals and pets. And every year the pastors have a special ceremony to bless everyone’s pets. See our Mom’s post about this annual event in, Blessing of the Animals.
3. Lowes Nursery
We really, really love Lowes nursery. What a fun outing this place is for dogs! It is huge and seems like a funny indoor/outdoor space with a lots of plants and trees everywhere! For hounds who like to smell and sniff everything, this is pure dog heaven!
Mom likes to shop at Lowes during the week when there are not so many people wandering around, and hardly any other dogs besides us. The first time we went, it was so much for us to take in! Hundreds and hundreds of plants and trees! It was as big as a football field and some birds were flying and chirping high above just below the net covering. Of course, Mom did not let us go near the trees just in case we got any ideas.
We also got to go inside this big store once, where we saw a few other canine pals walking around on leashes or sitting in big carts. Pretty cool!
4. Peet’s Coffee — Roosters are Weird Critters
Peet’s Coffee was one of the strangest places we visited a couple of years ago. I tend to be a bit hyper, so my Mom and our dog trainer decided to meet there for coffee to get us used to outside dining. It was going pretty well with us tucked safely under the table with our favorite treats and water bowl. Mom talks about how to do outdoor dining with dogs in her post, How to Enjoy Lunch with Your Dog.
Anyway, we were all happy and minding our own business, when a whole bunch of chickens and noisy roosters showed up! Apparently, they lived at the Walgreens parking lot next door and were fed every day by some kind person. This really got our attention and we jumped up and just stared at them. I wanted to bark my head off to warn everyone, but Mom calmed me down with a lot of new treats! This was a really fun day!
5. Local Park with Pond and Ducks
One of our very favorite dog outings is at a nearby university with a lot of trees, grass, and plants. It is well-manicured with a lot of sidewalks and walking trails, so it is the perfect place to go for a stroll. Be sure to read my fun post about Lucy Pulling the Ball Away, which describes some of our walks at the local university.
The first time we went there, we passed by a human-made pond on a part of the campus with a lot of walking trails and trees. We were very excited! But, suddenly, a whole flock of ducks and Canadian Geese landed on the little lake. And, they were honking to beat the band! So naturally, we started to bark and run after them, as good dogs should do. But again, our Mom gave us a bunch of treats and reassured us that the ducks and geese were ok.
We were also really interested in eating the poop they left on the nearby sidewalks, but Mom steered us away from that delicacy for some reason. Even so, we really, really, liked walking by the ducks! Mom wrote a whole story about our first adventure here When Dogs Meet Ducks.
6. Backpacking (With Doggie Backpacks)
Our Mom discovered a very large regional park close to where we live. The park has a lot of interesting walking trails, hills, and even some cows. We were all very excited the first time that we hiked there and walked for a long time. But on the way back our tongues were hanging out and we were super tired and thirsty.
So, Mom decided to buy us some backpacks, which could store small water bottles, collapsible bowls, and snacks. This helped a lot so we could all stop and take a little break. Backpacking may not seem like an unusual thing to do, but wearing backpacks seemed very strange to us! At first, we could barely move, or so we thought. But soon we realized that the packs were light and that they did not interfere with our walking. And we loved that we could carry our own snacks! Mom has a lot of info about these packs on her Essential Equipment page.
7. Dog Classes
Going to school may not seem like a fun outing, which is why we classify it as an unusual one. The first time we went, we had a lot to take in. There were other dogs and people all gathered together in a huge warehouse. The human pack leader was in the middle of the room saying something to the other human pack members, they we could not understand.
But eventually, we all begin to walk around, then sit, then stay, then run across the room to Mom. And after our Mom repeated a lot of the pack leader’s words to us, it all started to make some sense. We started to look forward to the classes and actually had a good time! It made us think a lot, and we got a lot of exercise. And, we got to spend more time with Mom which is always a plus. Mom says that all dogs should take classes at least once. If you don’t know where to find a good class, check out your local AKC (American Kennel Club).
8. Local Stores are Great Places for Fun Dog Outings
We did not think that dogs could go into stores, but some stores do allow us to come in. And we truly appreciate their hospitality! See this list of nationwide chain stores that allow dogs. At first, shopping in a store seemed like an odd way to spend time, but we eventually discovered that it was a really great dog outing, especially when it was pouring down rain outside.
Last year when it rained a lot, Mom took us to a huge, local pet store. It used to be an old Safeway store that had been converted into this glorious place with all kinds of dog food, toys, supplies, crates, beds, and other interesting stuff. We could walk around a lot and get some exercise and take in all of the cool smells and aromas. It had a lot of space and was not crowded, so it was a perfect place to cruise around and sniff. As you could imagine, our favorite aisles were the ones that had treats and chewy bones.
Sadly, this store closed recently. So, Mom took us to another local pet store, but it only had two or three aisles and was very small. Still, it had everything a dog could possibly need, and we enjoyed going there. Mom also found a local Petco store that was pretty big, so we can go there as well as to Lowes when it rains again.
9. Trick or Treating
Trick or treating two years ago was one of the weirder things that Georgia and I did. Mom put little hats and bibs on us and we walked outside in front of the house for a bit. Then we went inside and waited. We did not actually ask anyone for treats, nor did we do any tricks.
But pretty soon a bunch of little kids, (we think they were kids) started coming to our door wearing funny hats and masks. Mom let us go out onto the porch to greet them. She gave them wrapped-up snacks from a big bowl, and of course, we got some of our favorite dog treats when they left. We were interested in what the kids got, but Mom said “No Candy” for us as it would make us sick. All in all, that was a pretty fun night, even if we did have to wear funny hats.
10. Picnic in the Park
Of all of our fun dog outings, picnics seem to be really simple and easy. Picnic in our local park is kind of fun and unusual for us because Mom let’s us sit on top of the picnic tables! We would never be allowed to do that at home. That gives us a really great view of everything that is going on in the park. She brings her lunch and some special treats for us, like bits of cheese, apples, and our favorite–carrots! Georgia really likes to hang out around picnic tables because she can usually find some extra snacks that somebody left behind.
11. Local Farmer’s Stand
We live close to an old country road and some farms. One of the nearby farmers has a very large vegetable stand that is open daily, and Mom sometimes takes us with her when she shops. We get to walk around with her and pick out veggies and sometimes we even get to go out into the field and watch the farm hands pick fresh produce for us. Mom always gives us a carrot on the way back. We want to go to the really big farmers market, but Mom is concerned about the crowds and the number of other dogs that hang out there. But still, we are hopeful, and we think Mom may change her mind soon.
12. Bodega Bay Lodge and Spa
This very fancy spa and lodge by Doran Beach in Northern California is close to the ocean, and it is really special. They have a really classy restaurant and outdoor patio area with a view of the beach. After we have spent a couple of hours walking on the beach, we come here to get some clam chowder and carrots. The staff loves to have dogs around and always bring us our very own bowl of water. Sometimes when our friend, Auntie Gloria (whom we adore) comes with us, she orders wine which is really special. Of course, we get more water as we don’t really like wine, and it is not good for us anyway.
We haven’t actually stayed overnight here, but Mom has. She says that in time she will let us stay with her, as this hotel is open to dogs. So, we are looking forward to that. This will be a really fun outing for us dogs! We try to remind our Mom that we really, really love going to the beach. She even wrote a post about it which you can see here.
13. The Tire Store
One time when we started to head out in our car for a hike, the car felt very bumpy as we backed up in the driveway. Turns out there was a nail in the tire due to some construction work down the street. So, our trip was delayed. AAA came out and pumped up the tire. Then we all went to the tire store together to get the tire fixed.
Mom had checked ahead to make sure we could come along and they said, “Sure!” We really appreciated being welcomed like that! So, this was a really unusually fun outing. We got to all sit around a big lobby at the tire shop. Mom brought our water bowl and a lot of treats. It was great fun to sniff out the other people who were also waiting around for their tires to be fixed. We also got to go on a long walk in a neighborhood we had never seen before. Mom seemed relieved when the bill came and the tire was fixed, so I guess it was ok for her too.
14. Auntie Jayne’s House
In our household, there is nothing better than good friends! Our Auntie Jayne comes to visit us sometimes, and we love to see her! She is a lot of fun and was instrumental in helping our Mom decide to adopt us. So, she will always have a special place in our little doggie hearts.
We also go to visit Auntie Jayne at her house as well. Visiting Auntie Jayne is not so unusual as it is unique to us and our relationship with her. She has a really great house, and when she gets her yard more dog-proofed, we might be able to do a sleepover. For now, we all get to go on long walks by the creek over to Starbucks. Then we hang out for a while munching on carrots while Mom and Auntie Jayne drink lattes.
Well, this wraps it up for the special and sometimes unusual outings that we love best!