Friday, October 7, 2011

How to Be a Tourist with Your Dog Series: Memphis, Tennessee (High Paws Y’all)

 When we started this series, we were curious to see what activities other people do with dogs in their hometowns, see an insider's view of their city, and get ideas for a roadtrip. We were especially excited to see this post from Memphis as my family lives there, but we have never taken our pooches to visit. With the help of gorgeous Parker and his entourage of dog friends, they give us this incredibly detailed lowdown from different types of parks (including the largest urban park in the nation!), recommended doggie daycares, parades, Farmer's Markets (complete with dogsitting!), and concerts.

The south has long been known as a place with LONG, HOT (and humid) summers and mild winters that come crashing to a halt with the sign of a single now flurry. However, I’m sure the term “dog days of summer” was coined somewhere close to the bluff city aka Memphis, TN.  But a little humidity and heat doesn’t stop humans and canines from enjoying a little fun around town.
My name is Rachel and I live in Memphis, TN with my 8-year old Catahoula, named Parker. There are so many excellent things to do for a person and their loyal companion to do around town. Parker and I like to explore them all together.
 First on our list Memphis Parks  - off leash or on leash we always have a blast.
1. Shelby Farms
Memphis is quite lucky to have a plethora of parks around town, but did you know we have the largest urban park in the country? It’s true – Memphis is home to Shelby Farms, which is a park larger than NYC’s Central Park and SF Golden Gate Park. The best part about Shelby Farms Park though is the large off-leash dog park. I’m not quite sure the number of acre’s the off-leash dog park encompasses, but it boosts 4-5 lakes, hiking paths, tall grass and a dog washing station. You can spend well over an hour walking in various directions or stay in one place watching your dog swim alongside his or her 4-legged friends. Others still however use the large space to train their retrieving dogs for hunting or other retrieving purposes. This park is a fantastic place to meet up with friends or just go on a long trail run/bike ride with your dog. 

 2. Midtown Dog Park
One of the two other off-leash dog parks located in the city is the Memphis Midtown Dog Park (@ Tobey Field). The park is sectioned off into two fenced in areas. One section is dedicated to small dogs, while the other area allows medium/large size dogs to play freely. It’s been open for over a year and it’s really become a gathering spot for dog owners. People have brought out baby pools and toys to entertain both dogs and humans alike. Although the space isn’t as vast as Shelby Farms it’s small feel and fund loving people keeps the crowds coming back.

3. Germantown Dog Park
 This park located in a Memphis suburb (right on the border of Germantown/Memphis) also has a two sectioned off areas for small or medium/large dogs to play in, but you must purchase a dog park pass  ($50 annually for Germantown residents/$100 for Memphis residents) for the year. This dog park is unique because it offers a dog agility course.

1. Memphis Greenbelt Park
 Located downtown in an area called Harbor Town is the Memphis Greenbelt Park. This park is a beautiful site that runs parallel to the Mighty Mississippi – great for a sunrise or sunset outing for you and pup pal.

2. Greater Memphis Greenline/Wolf River Greenway both act as connectors to Shelby Farms Park. 
 Why drive your car when you can walk, run, bike or rollerblade with your four-legged friend to Shelby Farms. The Greater Memphis Greenline ( was an abandoned rail(s) to trails project that runs east-west in Memphis. The Wolf River Greenway runs beside the Wolf River in Memphis and Germantown. Both these paved paths provide miles of trails to peruse neighborhoods or get some exercise for you and your pal.

 Dog day cares have become essential to hard working professionals around Memphis. They provide a great source of enrichment for dogs that may be trapped inside for long hours. Plus the day cares often have parties who introduce you to your pup’s new friends.

1. Dogs Rule ( 
 The original doggie day care in Memphis is located in Midtown Memphis. Dogs Rule provides a safe and fun place for dogs to play while their owners are toiling at work. Their staff is knowledgeable and caring with dog wranglers who have been working since the establishment opened.

2. Brown Dog Lodge ( 
 Opened in the last four years as a day care and boarding facility it provides a fantastic operation in East Memphis. They provide an array of services including a spa like experience for your dog. Owners at work or vacation need not worry as they can always check in on their pups happens via the web cams that can be viewed from their website.

SPECIAL EVENTS – Memphis has a few special events throughout the year that may give you and your dog an opportunity to hit the town together.

1. Bark In The Park
 The AAA baseball team, Memphis Redbirds (, hosts an event each spring where you can bring your dog to a baseball game. The day at the park includes bleacher or bluff seats and pet owner/dog look a like contest.  What a great way to spend the afternoon and support the Memphis Redbirds.

2. 4th of July Parade (High Point Terrace) 
Each 4th of July weekend the High Point Terrance neighborhood hosts an annual parade where dogs are encouraged to attend.  People dress up their dogs with red, white and blue bandanas or walk them around in the parade around the block. Neighbors set-up water stations for the dogs to get a refreshing drink along the parade route.

3. Dog Days of August
 All dogs and their owners were invited to Memphis Botanic Gardens ( to enjoy a day of activities to beat the heat this past summer. The afternoon was filled with a doggie-expo, a hot diggity dog play pool area and a variety of dog contests that ranged from tricks to costumes.

4. Memphis Farmers Market ( Farmers Market ( 
 Two of the Farmers Markets located in town offer you a chance to go shop for local goods and bring your dogs along for the shopping trip. Although most dogs aren’t allowed in certain areas, stations are set-up for free dog sitting while you go shop for your fresh fruits and vegetables.

5. Levitt Shell Concert Series ( 
 Enjoy an evening filled with music, a picnic and your favorite pup while you’re in Overton Park. The Levitt Shell provides concerts in summer and fall for free in Thursday-Sunday. Pets are welcome as long as you are outside of the main seating area, but there is plenty of opportunity to find space if you find an artist you’d like to hear!
I’m sure I’ve left off some other favorites around town, but there is definitely a lot to explore for you and your puppy friend while in Memphis. Parker and I hope to see you in down south soon!

We have loved being armchair tourists and reading all the insider tips of things to do in your city with dogs. Next week will be our final Tourist post!
Sirius Republic is donating 2 collars and we will have a random drawing of all the submitted 'How to Be a Tourist with Your Dog' posts to have 2 collar winners. Winners can chose from a standard collar, or an 'Adopt Me' collar to promote your foster or adoptable dog as modeled by foster dog Levi


Kate said...

Wow! Great guest post! Who knew there were so many awesome dog-friendly places in Memphis?! And Parker is ADORABLE! Those spotted ears are too cute for words...

Anonymous said...

We always stop in Memphis on our drive between DC and Austin (we have done this about 5 round trips with Chick over the past 7 years). Next time around, I'm thinking we should stop for a couple of days and let him experiene some of these wonders. Thanks for a great guest post!

The Daily Pip said...

What amazing pictures. I have always wanted to go to Memphis - and now I really want to go!

Kristine said...

Memphis has never been on my radar. I never would have suspected it to be such a dog-friendly city! They had me with that first photo. It looks like the dogs down there know how to party!

Anonymous said...

Parker is a very lucky dog to have such a kind owner to take him to play all over town. He sure does have some cute puppy pals too!

Two Pitties in the City said...

I had no idea Shelby Farms was the biggest park, and I do love seeing all these details. We are hoping to get the pooches to Memphis next summer. They would love to hang out with your crew!

Two French Bulldogs said...

Cool post. Love the first picture and seeing all the fun our furry friends pawticipate in
Benny & Lily

Bobby said...

It is great to see dogs have been thought of in City planning.
Memphis in particular looks great for dogs.
Licks Bobby

Daisy Dog said...

What a fun summer series! We enjoyed every post, as we do all your posts :)

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