Over the past couple of years living on Cape Cod, I have taken my dogs to some great walking trails/bike paths. It’s hard to stay active during the colder months so I wanted to share some places that may be new for you to try. Here are my favorites:
1.) The place I love most is the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth. The view is absolutely gorgeous. Oceanic views that lead into a quiet paved bike path with benches along the way. There’s also a charming small bridge.
2.) Bass Hole in Yarmouth. There are trails that loop around and the boardwalk is lovely. This place has special meaning to my heart now since I got engaged here this past December.
3.) Captain Bangs Hallet House Trail in Yarmouth Port. Not only is there some history to read along this trail but you can also see a gigantic weeping beech tree.
4.) Bayberry Hills Golf Course in Yarmouth. I used to go here all the time with my dogs. It’s a beautifully paved trail that goes through the golf course. Plenty of parking!
5.) The Cape Cod Rail Trail in South Dennis. We love to go on family walks here with the dogs and our daughter. It’s a peaceful paved walk and there are also wooded trails along the trail if you want to explore! There is also abundant parking here as well.
I hope you can find some adventure this weekend and future weekends with these trails. Things call only get better from here. Your canine besties need a break too:)
I was watching the news one morning in the height of the pandemic amidst other violent happenings around the world. Death was pouring from the TV screen. So much heartache. My daughter starts to giggle loudly and when I look at her I see my pug Finn licking her on the cheek. Laughter. Smiles. It seems that during the pandemic everyone has started to catch on to one of the most positive things in life: dogs! According to the MSPCA back in April, there was a 20% adoption rate increase and almost 350 animals were placed with forever homes. I couldn’t find any statistics from the last five months but I can only guess that it has gone up even more, especially during the summer months. Even then, that’s a huge percentage increase and one of the best things to come from this horrible pandemic.
I think if everyone in the world realized how a dog can give them as much love as they need ALL the time, the world would be a much better place. It is proven that your mood increases and you even sleep better with a dog in your bed! Having one around brings comfort and security. I know with my dogs, if I step outside for just one minute and come back inside, they act like I was gone for hours. The pure excitement and unconditional love they give me is priceless and the fact that they also give that love to my daughter is beyond words to describe. What if we all treated one another the way dogs treat us? With loyalty, kindness, respect, and love. If we cared about strangers the way our dogs care about us, things would be so beautiful. We have seen people come together during this unprecedented time but it could always be better.
So, if you’re looking for something to be positive about, adopt a dog (or a cat, or a parrot, or a rabbit, or any animal that you fall in love with at the shelter). I have had a dog in my life before I was even born. We always had all kinds of fluffy critters in our household. Having animals in your home also helps with your baby’s allergies. The more pet dander, the more immunity your baby has and allergies are less likely to be developed.
There are so many positive outcomes for adopting a dog. I would recommend doing some research on the breed you are adopting so you know how to properly take care of them. Dogs who have herding backgrounds tend to need more exercise and stimulation in their daily routine. Taking care of a dog isn’t easy though. They can become expensive real fast and they need nurturing and love like every living thing. If you don’t have the money (times are tough right now) or the love to give, then save it all for a time in your life when you do. It is unknown when things will begin to improve, but if you do one great thing and adopt an animal in need, then that is one of the most positive things you can do! Here is the MSPCA link for adoptable animals at their Cape Cod facility: https://www.mspca.org/adoption-search/.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like my dogs have also felt the isolation anxiety during the pandemic. We were mostly inside for three months until things started getting back to the new normal. We only did shorts walks around the neighborhood and the backyard. So, when it was finally safe to be out and about, I knew they needed to go on some adventures too. These are my personal top five favorite dog friendly restaurants.
- Truro Winery in Truro- I have been here a few times this summer and the wait is never that long. The tables are socially distanced and everyone is wearing a mask when they are not at their table! You need to order from their food truck in order to get a seat. Bring your fluffy friend and enjoy some wine and food!
- Cape Cod Coffee- For breakfast or lunch, there are three locations! Mashpee, Mashpee Commons, and Hyannis. The coffee is great but on the pricier side of the spectrum. If you go to the Mashpee Commons location, you can also enjoy some shopping. There are plenty of great stores to visit.
- Pepe’s Wharf Restaurant in P-Town – Great lunch or dinner spot with a beautiful waterfront view. If you are a fan of coconut, try their homemade cake.
- Hog Island Beer Company in Orleans- They are doing a fantastic job with social distancing by having all of the tables spread out and wearing masks. The cauliflower balls and garden salad are awesome and they have a great cocktail menu, which is great for non beer drinkers. A fun place to go with your family and furry friends.
- WayDownTown Restaurant in P-Town- Another right-on-the-beach spot! Can’t go wrong here! All of the menus are disposable and tables are respectably six feet apart. The burgers are a popular menu choice here.
Please make sure your doggies are well behaved and know their basic commands before taking them to any public restaurant. It won’t be enjoyable for you or other customers if your dog is constantly barking! I have been the person with the barking dog, so I know the “Oh no they’re giving me the your dog is ruining my meal look.” Most dogs do enjoy sharing a meal or two with you, so you may get lucky with the good behavior. If you have a puppy, it is so important for their development to be socialized, even at a distance. It is never too early to start training puppies to have good table manners!
There was no doubt in my mind that my dogs would absolutely LOVE my daughter. They follow her around now like they used to do to me. If she cries, they are concerned for her well being. They lick her tears away. They let her experiment with patting and grabbing their fur. They wait by her bedroom door in the morning and sniff to make sure she’s in there. They can’t wait for me to wake her up so they can wiggle and parade around for her. They have become more territorial on our walks and warn any other dog that she is “their baby.” Yet, there are a few things I did before my daughter was born and continue to do now to make sure this special bond will last:
1). Have someone from the hospital bring home a blanket with your baby’s scent so they can smell it before you come home! I know this can be tough to do now because of Covid 19. If you are able to have someone watch your dog(s) the first couple of days you are home with your newborn and give them a blanket instead. That way, they can adjust to the new baby smell before coming home to their new favorite tiny human!
2). Play youtube videos of babies crying so they are familiar with the sound.
3). Have a baby scented candle around the house (yes, these do exist).
Baby Scented Candle
4). Baby toys squeak! Just like dog toys. Try to have a few baby toys around before your baby is born. Throw them on the ground, hold them and make them squeak! When your dog shows interest, tell him to leave it and direct him towards one of his own toys.
5). Once she/he is here, try and include your dog in daily activities. Going on walks together is a BIG deal. They were the only ones in your life before the baby! So let them know that your new bundle of joy is now a part of the pack.
All of these suggestions will make your dog(s) more comfortable with your baby but the most important thing to always do is be patient and kind. Their whole world has instantly changed and it may take them some time to adjust. Not all dogs are happy like mine about having a new baby in their life. They may rebel and act out to get your attention. I have seen dogs go backwards in training and act like they aren’t housebroken anymore. When this happens, it can be extremely frustrating for you. Just remember how they must feel and try to work through these set backs. Usually they aren’t getting much attention when they rebel, so try taking them on a special adventure! Bring them to their favorite walking trail or get them their favorite treat. Of course, don’t do this after they do the unwanted behavior because it will confuse them in thinking they are being rewarded for it.
I hope these tips will help you feel a bit more confident welcoming your newborn into the life of your pets. Feel free to e-mail me with anymore questions and I will be more than happy to help!