All my life, I’ve been a cat person. I liked their begrudging acceptance of affection and our shared love of naps.
And then 2020 happened.
I avoided panic-adopting a puppy in March, but by June, I decided there was indeed room in my life for a fluffy companion. Mid-July, I got the call that the incredibly pathetic looking creature I’d been sent a picture of had arrived in Massachusetts and was ready to come home with me.
It’s been six months, and I legitimately cannot remember what my life was like before I had my dog, Fen. The biggest thing that helped us bond and form a routine was going for walks -- and as a new dog owner, I had no idea how tricky it was to find good spots to walk, especially during the summer.
So, here are a few of our favorite places for walkies -- hope to see you out there!
Nickerson State Park, Brewster: You can drive in and park, or use one of the many walk-in access points. Tons of different trails mean you can vary the route and how far you want to go. The forest provides great cover from the sun and a feeling of wandering through Middle Earth (or maybe just Vermont) -- plus, according to Fen, there are always fun and changing scents to investigate. For the humans, the trails are all well-marked and there are maps at regular intervals.
Our regular routes are the Ober/Deer Park trail, and the Ruth Pond loop, which boasts an unexpectedly brutal hill.
Kent’s Point, Orleans: This spot is puppy paradise! Bounded by water on three sides, your dog can wander without ending up in the middle of traffic. There is a fair amount of parking, and take it slow getting there: the road is narrow and goes by private residences. A mix of woods and tranquil waterfront, walking here is all the best parts of the Cape. And, for the directionally challenged, you can’t get too lost since there’s only one entrance!
Red River Beach, Harwich and West Dennis Beach, Dennis (off-season): If you asked Fen, she’d say that any beach with at least one dead bird is her favorite, but I’m a bit more discerning (about the beaches...not about the dead birds). Off-season, we’ve been loving these two beaches! They’ve got tons of parking and are nice, long beaches with great sight lines. A perfect place for pups to explore and do their quota of zoomies without crowding other people or animals. Plus, on cloudy or windy days, we tend to have the place to ourselves --- no complaints there.
Every dog owner knows that walks are mandatory for a happy pup, but they’re also a great way for us humans to explore new places, enjoy the outdoors, and burn off some of that ongoing-pandemic stress. And, once you’ve done walkies for the day, you can reward yourself with a nice treat! But that’s a post for another day....
Happy walking, and here’s to a great 2021!
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