Big Ideas for Your Little Buddy
From travel to playing in the park, there are more options than ever before
Malu Carmona and Poomba, her good-natured Pug, love spending their weekends at Hidden Valley Regional Park. Ever since the Reno, Nev., residents discovered Link Piazzo Dog Park (www.washoecountyparks.com) nestled within the 480 acres of Hidden Valley, it's been their local favorite.
"As soon as I dangle his leash, and say, 'park play?' Poomba starts to bark and begins to wiggle, not just his tail, but his entire behind, in excitement," Carmona says. "He knows that means it's time to take a car ride and head outdoors."
Pals at the park
And unlike some of the parks they've been to in the past, the dog park has fenced areas for both big dogs and smaller ones where they can run freely without a leash. "There are so many beautiful trails for us to go on leisurely hikes and walks, and we'll also enjoy a meal in one of their shaded areas. But Poomba likes spending his time outside unleashed—scrunching his nose and sniffing around."
These days, when it comes to smaller dogs, big perks usually follow. Due to their size, smaller dogs are much more likely to be welcomed in parks and shops around the nation, and in some cities, even public transportation is on-board with you bringing your smaller dog along. "As much as we like spending time at home, we make it a point to visit other places," Carmona says.
Victoria Jacinto and Java, her caramel-colored Pomeranian, have taken Sacramento's public transit (www.sacrt.com) together on more than one occasion. "Java and I like to venture out every so often, so I went ahead and brought him with me for a surprise excursion." For the two of them, getting there was half the fun: "The sound of my voice keeps him occupied and him being so close to me makes me happy. The next thing I knew, it was our stop!"
Paws for a shopping break!
Sacramento is just one of many cities around the U.S. that gives you the option to explore your surroundings with your little dog. New Yorker Alfredo De Borja knows that he doesn't have to leave Ebeneezer, his Standard Schnauzer, at home when he goes out. "Aside from your typical spots like Central Park and coffee-shop patios, there are a lot of dog-friendly stores around that'll be glad to have us both in to browse," he says. From department stores such as Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue to centers like The Shops at Columbus Circle in Time Warner Center, some of New York City's favorite shopping establishments welcome both two and four-legged customers, with some even offering a bowl of water and a treat!
"With Ebeneezer's personality, he's always curious," De Borja says. "Just because he's a smaller dog doesn't mean he doesn't have a lot to give. I've never had such an eager, ready-for-anything pal like Ebeneezer. We make a great team!"
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