Tuesday, July 30, 2013

7th Week of Summer: Let's Hit the Beach

Have you ever gone an entire summer without visiting the beach?  As a native Californian you know that it’s possible to take the beach for granted.  But with the coast so close, and with the days getting hotter, it would be a crying shame not to take a little time to cool off at the beach before summer is over.  So this weekend, give yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of life and go relax on the beach with your dog.
Catch Some Rays at the Huntington Dog Beach…

One of the best places for a dog to be a dog is romping through the sand and splashing in the water at the Huntington Dog Beach.  Even if your dog doesn’t like the water, playing on the sand is a better workout for him then walking on concrete.  The dog beach can be found at the very end of Goldenwest Street in Huntington Beach (around lifeguard tower 24).  The dog beach stretches from Goldenwest Street to Seapoint Street (to the right of Goldenwest when facing the beach from PCH).  There is metered parking along PCH or free parking one to five blocks inland, among the homes.  Check out the Huntington Dog Beach website for a list of beach rules and other FAQs.  Don’t forget to bring poop bags, a towel, fresh water for your dog, and sunblock if your dog requires it.  If it is your dog’s first time at the beach don’t be afraid to take it slow.  You want his first experience to be positive so you can come back again. 
Stop for a Bite at the Park Bench Café…

After a good run at the beach, your pup should be tired.  A tired dog is a good dog so it’s the perfect time to stop in at the Park Bench Café for a bite to eat.  Located at 17732 Goldenwest Street, in Huntington Beach, the Park Bench Café is a one of a kind stop for dog lovers who want to enjoy food and the beautiful outdoors with their four-legged friends.  After you order one of their delicious menu items for yourself, be sure to get something for your dog off the dog menu.  Your pooch can get a hot dog (without the bun), chicken, ground beef, bacon, lean ground turkey, and even eggs.  Check out the Park Bench Café website for a complete menu and list of dog rules to make sure your first visit there goes smoothly.  And if you have the energy after eating, you and your pup can saunter around the beautiful surrounding park before heading home.
Or Try Something New…

While the dog beach is a great treat for your four legged friend, sometimes you just want to switch things up.  Why not try a new beach, like Balboa Pier in Newport Beach.  Just south of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach has two piers, the second being Balboa Pier on the Balboa Peninsula.  This area offers a more laid back scene where you can fish from the pier, people watching, and enjoy a bite to eat at Ruby’s Diner while looking out over the ocean.  The pier isn’t the only thing to check out either.  Simply go inland to watch boats come and go in the Newport Bay or hop on the ferry and cruise over Balboa Island for a stroll.  This is a great way to enjoy the beach without getting sandy or wet, and your pup is sure to enjoy going on this new adventure with you.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

6th Week of Summer: A Night in Hollywood

Looking for a new and slightly unusual way to send your Friday night?  How about a night with your pup watching live wrestling while enjoying the taste of Hollywood from a local food truck?
This Friday night, July 26th, you and your pup are invited to the parking lot at 11458 Burbank Blvd. in Hollywood to experience the NoHo Dine-Out Friday Nights.  With food trucks and musicians a regular Friday night feature, this dine-out Friday adds a little extra flare with wrestling brought to you by Knokx Pro.  The fun begins at 5:30 p.m. Parking is on the street and admission is free.  Just be sure to bring a lawn chair to sit on.

If food trucks and wrestling are not your forte, but visiting Hollywood sounds like a fun little trip, you can make a day of it strolling down the Hollywood Walk of Fame with your pooch.  While there, you can also visit the TLC (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre where you and your pup can size up your feet, hands, and paws with the stars.   Afterward, grab a bite to eat on the patio of a dog-friendly restaurant.  Cat &Fiddle, Comedy Store, Irv’s Burgers, Joey’s Café, Mel’s Drive-in, and Toast Bakery Café are all dog-friendly restaurants in the Hollywood area.  Indulge your taste buds and make a day of it with your pup.  He or she is sure to enjoy all the new sites and smells…well most of them anyway.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

5th Week of Summer: A Concert in the Park

Trying to catch a break from this heat? With summer in full swing, it’s hard to keep cool during the day, which makes you want to stay inside. But there is an upside to these hot days, which are those perfect summer nights. 
If it’s too hot to enjoy the day with your pup, spend an evening with him or her instead.  Most cities have summer concert series in the park as well as a few family movie nights.  Not all music line ups are the same.  From classical to classic rock, country and more; you and your pup are bound to find music that you enjoy.

Nearly every city in SoCal has a summer concert series from now through August.  Buena Park, Corona, Fullerton, Huntington Beach ,Newport Beach, Orange, Riverside, and Tustin (just to name a few) have concerts on various nights of the week (though most are on the weekends) and admission is free.  Rockin’ at Dos Lagos summer concert series (in Corona) has a promotion where if you spend $20 or more at The Shops at Dos Lagos on the day of the concert you will receive 2 VIP seats.  VIP seating is limited so be sure to check in at customer service booth starting at 5p.m. to ensure you get your seat.

When you go, don’t forget a blanket and or lawn chair for you and your pup to sit on.  And most importantly, don’t forget your petiquette while enjoying the concert.  Remind your pup to be on his best doggy behavior at all times.  Keep him on his leash, be sure to pick up any messes he leaves, and bring plenty of fresh water for him.  
If you are wondering if your city has a summer concert series, check your city’s website for upcoming events.  If your city doesn’t offer any concerts, consider visiting a neighboring city or taking a field trip to a completely different area.  If you have children and would prefer to go to a movie in the park instead, check your city’s website for those options.

Monday, July 8, 2013

4th Week of Summer: Take Me Out to a Ball Game

Looking for something to do tonight? With the 4th of July just behind us, American traditions are fresh in our minds.  That’s why it’s the perfect time to indulge in one of America’s favorite past times: baseball.

With the Angel’s Stadium so close by, it’s hard not to be exposed to a baseball game at some point in your life.  And really, a live baseball game is something to be experienced at least once.  But tickets to a major league game can be expensive, especially if you want to bring the whole family (and you can forget about bringing the dog).   
Well this year you can share a live baseball experience with your whole family and your dog at ‘Man’s Best Friend Mondays’, at the San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino; home of the Inland Empire 66er’s.

Whether you like baseball or not, Man’s Best Friend Mondays are a great opportunity to try something new, meet new people, create new memories, and help support a local animal shelter.  Starting tonight, Monday, July 8th, 2013, you and your furry friend can watch the 66er’s go up against the Ranch Cucamonga Quakes. Tickets are just $8 and the proceeds help the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside.  Tickets are for a lawn seat so be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chair and water for your pup.  And for yourself, be sure to get a $5 food voucher for a hotdog, chips, and a soda to enjoy during the game.
If you already have plans tonight, that’s o.k., you and your pup can still catch a game before summer is over.  Man’s Best Friend Monday will take place again on July 22nd, when the 66er’s take on the Lake Elsinore Storm, and then again on August 26th, when they play the High Desert Mavericks.  

Each game starts at 7 p.m. at the San Manuel Stadium located at 280 South E. Street, in San Bernardino.  You can check out the Inland Empire 66er's official website for more information.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

3rd Week of Summer: Fido and the 4th of July

What makes the 4th of July special to you?   Is it the barbeques? Is it the parades? Is it the fun memories of family and friends? Or is it the chance to watch a firework show?
The 4th of July is a special part of our culture, so it makes sense to share that special time with the four-legged family member too.  Any 4th of July parade is a patriotic way to celebrate our freedom and it’s a great way to involve your dog in the celebration as well.

Enjoy the festivities of 4th of July this year by lining up along Main Street in Corona for their annual 4th of July parade.  The parade starts at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Main Street and Ontario and continues until 12 p.m. ending at Main Street and Olive Street. 
Anaheim will be holding their 4th of July parade in Anaheim Hills, starting at 3:00 p.m. from Canyon High School near the corner of Santa Ana Canyon Road and Imperial.

The Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade is said to be “the largest Independence Day parade west of the Mississippi River” with more than 300 entries, from bands and floats to celebrities and community groups.  The parade starts at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway and will end at Main Street and Yorktown Avenue.

The Newport Beach Harbor Old Glory Boat Parade is a festive spectacle of boats, decorated in red, white, and blue, cruising around the harbor.  The fun filled day begins at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast for a donation of $8 per person.  Lunch and dinner (tri-tip and chicken) will be available from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. for a donation of $10 per person.  There will be raffles and live entertainment throughout the day as well.

There will plenty of patriotic parades throughout Southern California this Independence Day, such as the parades in Ontario (Inland Empire) and Lake Forest (Orange County), so check your local city calendar to see if your city will be hosting a parade this year. 
No matter what parade you choose to go to, get there early if you want a good spot.  And don’t forget the lawn chair, sunblock, and plenty of water for you and your pup.

**Dogs and FIREWORKS:

Fireworks are a major part of our Independence Day celebration, but they are not the way to share the celebration with your dog.  Unless you are just watching fireworks on TV, be sure to set your dog (or cat) up in the house to block out most (if not all) firework noise.

Fireworks can make the perfect dog turn into the most neurotic dog you’ve ever seen.  To help keep your dog’s sanity and your property in tack, do the following: 

1.      Make sure your dog is inside the house before leaving for the night.  If you have an outside dog, then put them in the garage (after the sun goes down so they don’t suffer a heat stoke).  If your dog is allowed inside the house, put them in a room furthest from where you think the firework noise will be coming from (for example, if the fireworks show is at a local school just east of your house then put your dog in the furthest room to the west).

2.      Turn on soothing music.  Classical music is the most soothing, but anything will do as long as it isn’t angry or harsh music that would cause your dog further anxiety. (FYI: the classical FM station is 91.5). You don’t want to turn the volume all the way up, making your dog deaf or causing more anxiety, but make it loud enough to distract them from outside noises.

   Enjoy your Independence Day with your whole family, four-legged family members included!