Tom Lohr lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he explores the region with his canine sidekick, Ella the Brown Wonder.
Dogs Like Dates Too
The weekend is coming up, and it is time to make plans to renew and refresh before hitting the grind again on Monday. Weekend activities for many of us include date night with our significant other. For some of us, it means another round of scanning internet dating sites so we can eventually have a significant other.
Do you know who would love to spend date night with you? Someone who won't be disappointed if you didn't dress up or shave your legs? Your bestie, the real love of your life, that furry bundle of energy who fanatically greets you every time you come home. Even if you end up on a human date, there are three evenings in a weekend, and your pooch would like to schedule some time with you.
Doggie date night is the perfect prescription for bonding with your canine, and it can include activities both of you will enjoy. Your dog will get the attention it craves, and you will get some unconditional love and a little hair stuck to your clothes.
Dates for Dogs
Every dog likes to go for a walk or play ball. It's time to think outside of the box and add some spice and variety into your relationship with Rover. Here are ten ideas to show your darling dingo just how much you care.
1. See a Drive-In Movie
This is a seasonal activity, and some folks do not live within a reasonable distance of a drive-in theatre. They are slowly dying off, but they still exist and are a cultural relic of the 20thcentury that you should experience before they are all gone. Most drive-ins do not care if you have your pet with you—if it brings in customers, it's all good. For your hound, it's a dream date. It gets to go for a ride, and then sit in the car with you and eat snacks while enjoying a throwback dating activity.
2. Visit the Local Big Box Home Improvement Store
The big two allow you to bring your well-behaved and leashed partner with you. It is a great opportunity to check out those new appliances or power tool you have been drooling over. Your dog will get to stroll the aisles and get pets from a slew of new people.
3. Shop for Some Bling
Home improvements stores are not the only venue you can take your canine into; many pet stores allow it as well. If you take a look at your dog's collar, you will likely find that it could stand replacing. Shopping for a new one is an outing any pooch will enjoy. Plus, it is filled with toys and treats, letting them work those puppy eyes, guilting you into purchasing more than just a collar.
4. Go on a Sniffing Expedition
Most of us walk our dogs, and all of us experience Fido wanting to sniff every scent along the way, resulting in repeated tugging on the leash to move along. Instead, take a stroll down a local trail or on the sidewalk in your neighborhood. Let your dog sniff everything it wants for as long as it wants. This is an activity that is best done during the summer months when darkness doesn't come until late, and the weather is more human-friendly, and the exercise will be good for you.
5. Go on a Playdate
One of the reasons humans go to clubs, bars, and other date friendly places, is to socialize. We crave human interaction, no matter how much we love our pets. While your dog loves you even more, there is nothing like romping around with someone of your own species.
Find a friend via a dog-centric Meetup or put an ad on an internet chat room. After meeting your dog's potential playmate in a public place and giving that person a proper sniff down, if they meet your approval agree to meet up at a park and let both of your dogs chase each other around. It is a much better alternative to a dog park where there are scores of strange dogs that yours may not care for. Plus, you are more likely than not to step in dog poop. Keep socializing more intimate, and plan for a one or a few other dogs in a more tranquil setting.
6. Movie and Grooming
Sometimes you just need to sit on the couch and watch an old Meg Ryan movie to help you cope with your dateless weekend or help you get over a recent breakup. Pop that chick flick into the DVD player and have your furry friend lay next to you. While you watch and pine away, have a brush in one hand and give your dog's fur a good grooming. By the time the couple in the movie get back together, you probably won't feel any better; but your dog will have a shiny coat and have enjoyed every minute of it.
7. Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Do you know who loves the smell of hot dogs wafting through the air at a baseball stadium? You, me, and every canine on the planet. Most Major League Baseball teams and many Minor League Baseball clubs have at least one Bark in the Park per year. It lets humans bring their well-socialized and leashed pet to the game.
You will need to show proof of rabies vaccination to gain entry, and most ballparks have a designated section or seating area for you and Bowser.
Caution: many of these events are sponsored in conjunction with the local animal shelter, and they bring dogs available for adoption. You just might leave with more dogs than you came with.
8. Play Hide and Seek
That same game you loved as a kid will also be enjoyed by your dog, who never seems to lose its child-like playfulness. Tell your dog to stay (it does know how to sit and stay doesn't it?) and then hide somewhere in the house and call your dog. Dogs love hunting, and there is nothing more they would rather hunt for than their favorite human.
9. Let It All Hang Out
One of the mysteries in the world is why dogs do not like it when humans blow in their face, but the first thing they want to do on a car ride is hang their head out the window and let the wind make their jowls flap.
Sticking its head out of the window on a fast car trip isn't the safest thing for your pet to do. Instead, join the local neighborhood watch group, and a few times a month, take a slow drive through the streets and let Rex put his head out and bark at anything and everything it wants.
10. Strike a Pose
One thing many of us regret is not having enough images from our youth, important events in our life or of the people that meant something to us. Most dogs, like myself, are extremely photogenic. Spending an evening photographing your four-legged bestie is a fun activity that will have both of you laughing. Our furry friends cross the rainbow bridge far too soon, having pictures to remember them by will be one less regret in your life.
Remember That Your Weekends Are Limited
Saturday night and nothing to do? Your pal with paws is ready to saddle up for any adventure you have in mind. For them, an evening with you is the perfect date. Each of the above activities will make for a doggie date night that you can enjoy and give your dog the thing it desires the most: time alone with you.
© 2019 Tom Lohr
Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 12, 2019:
Great suggestions. I especially like number 10, because a few years later all of us are like "Remember when Rover was a puppy and..." I always tell people to take more pictures! (Where are the photos of Ella?)