Friday, August 12, 2011

Places to take your dog in Portland

Liam enjoying the Rhododendron Garden
Liam enjoying the Rhododendron Garden.
People who have small dogs may not always want to take their pups to the dog park. Big dogs can do big damage to small dogs, and taking a little dog to the dog park can be unnerving for dog and owner alike. Luckily, there are many places in Portland that allow dogs on leashes. You can take your small dog without worrying about bigger dogs bowling over your little one. These are just a few of my favorite places:
  • Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. This large park has literally thousands of rhododendrons on display, along with many beautiful trees and ferns. Ducks and gees wander freely about the grounds, and I've even seen heron fishing in the ponds. It's a great place to take your dog for a stroll. You can teach the dog not to chase the wildlife, and you can see some lovely plants in the process.
  • Lucky Labrador Brewing Company. The SE Portland location has ample outdoor seating with sturdy benches spaced widely apart. The bar sells peanuts, which make great training treats, and many dog owners come on sunny days to relax with their pets. Some patrons do let their dogs run around off leash, but most owners are respectful if you ask them to keep their dogs away from yours.
  • The Grotto. This is a Catholic sanctuary, but even people who don't have a religious bone in their bodies might appreciate the big carvings and iconography. The plants that surround the grotto are also quite amazing, and very few dogs go here so you're unlikely to run into another dog charging away without a leash. 
  • Home Depot. I take Liam here to help him work on his distractability. There are people, kids, carts and crates here and it's a great opportunity for me to encourage him to look right at me instead of everything else that's going on. Plus, there are rarely other dogs in the store. I should mention, however, that Home Depot is considering restricting dogs in their stores after a little dog bit a greeter on the nose. (Note: I said a LITTLE dog, not a pit bull. Even little dogs bite!) Check your store before you go, in case your store has changed policies.
Now that summer has finally arrived in Portland, it's time to take your dog on an outing!