Wednesday, March 26, 2014

City Dog: On Finding Things to Do with Our Dogs

While our pups always have an extra-full social calendar, someone had a good question wondering how we figure out so many things to do with our pooches.
We have gotten a bit creative, and here are some things we do:

Staying Aware
Since the Internet has made our adventures so public, we always have the incentive to be on the lookout for different things to do with the pooches. Chicago is generally very dog-friendly and most outdoor places, and even many indoor places that don't serve food, will be dog-friendly.
Most of the time we will have visited a location or event beforehand to be able to judge how crowded or drunken the crowd might be before taking our pups. The worst thing they could ask us to do is leave. The only time I was ever asked to leave was at Joanne's Fabrics when I was holding former foster dog Jack Frost in my bag.

The major exceptions in the city are Millennium Park (they have park security guards that ride around on Segways and I was once disciplined for sitting on a wall in the park), Lincoln Square Folk and Roots Fest, Circus in the Parks, the sand area of human beaches, and music festivals. The only place I have ever heard of in the entire city that actually discriminates against specific breeds is the Randolph Street Market which advertises being dog-friendly, but has this confusing, discriminatory statement.

Some unusual things our pups have done: Shakespeare in the Park (Mr B was even 'part of the play'), Visited Navy PierMovies in the Park, Shopping at the Downtown Nordstrom's Mall, a Vaudeville Carnival, and Wine Shopping.

Being Creative
While the city does have many specific walks and festivals just for dogs, lately we have been avoiding them seeing that they can be so over-stimulating.
We try to find things that we enjoy doing ourselves and decide if it would be fun, safe, and comfortable for the pups to join us. We found we don't run into many other dogs, so it's a good way for dogs to get exposed to new things without the added excitement of other pups.

We have taken our pups to join us for Lakeside picnics, drive-in dining, art-filled walks, sitting in squares, local shopping, and neighborhood explorations.

Annual Activities:
Through the years we have figured out some of our favorite, annual, can't-miss activities. Many of these tend to be a bit more crowded, though we have figured out some strategies to keep these safe and comfortable for our pups.

These activities have become a bit more Deja-vu on our blog, but we really look forward to: Chicago Pride Parade, Halsted Halloween Parade, Watching the Chicago Marathon, St Patrick's Day, CHIditarod, Dog Trick-or-Treating, the Secret Air-and-Water show.

And we are always interested, how do you find dog-friendly activities to do with your pups, and what are some of your favorites?

Follow this link to see everything the pups do in the city
Dog-friendly Shopping
Dining Outdoors with Dogs who are Uncomfortable with Outdoor Patios
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m @ random musings said...

In the city of Auburn (WA), additional registration of "dangerous breeds" is required. They include dogs that "have an appearance and physical characteristics substantially similar to the following breeds" !

Two French Bulldogs said...

Do you ever go in the lake?
Lily & Edward

Unknown said...

Thank you for the creative ideas on what we can do with our four legged friends in our spare time! I recently adopted a dog and I am always on the lookout for fun things that we can do together. Not only do we get to spend time together, but it also gets him socialized and used to other people and dogs!

caitlin said...

I never knew that about the Randolph Street Market. So disappointing!

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