The Five Spot: The Dawg Daze of Summer

It’s July. Summer has finally arrived on the Palouse, and with it, the dog days: those long, hot days, when the air is still, the sun’s heat pours down, and so does the sweat. And if we human beings are hot and sweaty, imagine how our dog friends feel! Here are five things to do to take care of your dog, and have fun with him or her, during these sultry summer months.

1.     Visit Tonda and his dog, Moose, at their fly fishing and outdoor outfitting shop Backcountry Lark on Main Street, and ask for a quartet of dog-booties, to protect your pup’s feet when out walking on hot asphalt or sand. While you’re there, ask Tonda where his favorite local fishing spots are, and plan a fishing excursion with your canine friend. Do be mindful of strong currents in rivers, and keep your dog on a leash if you think the current would pose a danger to a swimming dog. For more safety tips on being around water with your dog, check out http://www.dogtipper.com/tip/2013/08/tips-lake-river-swimming-dogs.html.

2.     Chic dog-booties in hand, head to the Mutt Strutt at noon on the Fourth of July at Friendship Square. The most patriotically dressed dog wins a prize! Free popsicles for all! And for dog-lovers, the event is a prize in itself.

3.     Love dogs, but don’t have one? Go visit the therapy dogs that Palouse Paws with a Cause volunteers bring to the Farmer’s Market most Saturdays. It’s a win-win: the dogs get socialized with lots of people, and we get to pet several adorable dogs! (Just FYI, the Moscow Farmers Market requests you leave your own dog at home.) Or give your time and energy to dogs in need: volunteer to help at Humane Society of the Palouse.

4.     A fun romp can always be had at either of Moscow’s dog parks. We love the fields at Mountain View Park, which are available for off-leash fun when no sports games are in session. Be aware that this is a large open field without fencing, so appropriate only for pooches that stick around. A fully fenced, smaller park can be found adjacent to the Humane Society’s facility at 2019 E. White Avenue.

5.     Kamiak Butte, Virgil Phillips Farm, and Robinson Park are just two of the many county parks on the Palouse that make for good hiking, bird watching, or just tossing a Frisbee. Google your park of choice to find out about its rules and facilities.

In her youth, our dog, Poppy, was best friends with Spud, the man who came twice a year to service our sprinkler system. She loved to bite the water, and made a fun game out of running from sprinkler head to sprinkler head on the attack! On days when we can’t get to a park, river or lake, we still play Bite the Sprinkler in the back yard.

When ranging abroad this summer with your dog, remember to always bring water and a bowl, a leash, and poop bags, and plan ahead to locate cool spots like ponds or other respites from the heat. And never, ever leave your dog friends in the car – especially not in warm weather. Poppy and I look forward to seeing you and your pup around town!