By Marilyn Marks
At least in regard to canine culture, Hartford has undergone a “cool” transformation. Long ago, “way cool” California and “sophisticated” New York City became known for the proliferation of day cares, parks, and bakeries that catered specifically to canines. You can now take advantage of these opportunities in and around Hartford.
Day care for dogs?
Why shouldn’t dogs have a place to go to learn social norms and burn off excess energy when kids need the same thing? The following is an alphabetical list of dog day care facilities located in the Hartford area, organized by town:
- – Bloomfield, The Good Dog Spot!
- – Colchester, John Gagnon’s Dog House
- – Farmington, Canine Clubhouse
- – Glastonbury, Central K9
- – Manchester, The Dog House
- – Manchester, Canine Country Day School
- – Newington, Behavior Bound Canines
- – Newington, CT K9
- – Rocky Hill, Best Friends Resort
- – South Windsor, Brady’s Place
- – West Hartford, Planet Dog
Be sure to conduct a comprehensive inspection of the facility; the safety of your dog is dependent on the ability of the staff to select dogs that are friendly to one another and to control the play. You should start looking for a dog day care facility as soon as possible because one opens up somewhere in the world every minute.
In New York City, where space is at a premium for everyone, dog lovers have successfully lobbied for and received designated fenced-in areas where their canine companions can play, tug, and wrestle while their human companions engage in conversation. In the state of California, dog parks are typically much larger open areas, and both dogs and their owners are free to walk around and socialize in these areas.
Granby and West Hartford, both located in the Hartford metropolitan area, are currently working on the development of dog-friendly space. Granby has agreed to rent space in Salmon Brook Park, and West Hartford is evaluating whether or not the project is feasible. The Granby group can be reached at this number: (653) 4090. Keep an eye on the local newspapers in West Hartford for updates on the construction of the West Hartford park, or send an email to [email protected]. Off of Route 10/202 is where you’ll find Nod Brook in Avon. This open space plays host to hunt trials and allows owners to let their dogs run free for the purpose of training them to hunt. Others are welcome to run and play there when it is not being used for competitions; however, they are expected to be respectful of the dogs that are being trained there.
You can find a list of other places where local “dog people” congregate to exercise their dogs by going to the website www.ilovethisplace.com and clicking on the link for “Connecticut Dog Fun.” Dogs are welcome in most Connecticut State Parks, but they must be kept on leashes. Visit the website http://www.dep.state.ct.us/stateparks/index.htm to learn more about the individual parks. Farmington River Trail and Stratton Brook Trail are two of the trails that are maintained by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
Bakeries for dogs?
You’ve missed out on quite a sight if you haven’t been to the Three Dog Bakery, which is located on Farmington Avenue in the West Hartford Center area. The bakery case contains cookies and cakes that have a mouthwatering appearance, but humans have no business eating them. Although they are made with ingredients that are safe for human consumption, they do not contain any sugar. As a result, we do not particularly enjoy the taste of these treats, but our dogs love them. A shop known as Reigning Cats & Dogs can be found directly across the street from one another. In addition to a few baked goods, they sell a curated selection of gifts for both people and pets, in addition to ultra-premium foods for dogs. Pampered Paws is the place to go in Granby if you want to spoil your canine companion with some tasty treats and the finest in canine nutrition. The Animal Bath House in Glastonbury offers a variety of gourmet foods for canines in addition to its charming selection of dog-related gifts for human customers.
Up until very recently, dog owners and their canine companions were able to take advantage of the many restaurants in West Hartford Center that feature outdoor seating. Unfortunately, this use is prohibited by state health codes, and the town has recently increased its enforcement efforts in response to resident complaints. While it is possible for owners to bring their dogs to sit outside the fencing with them while they dine, the limited space and the behavior of the dogs make this impractical. In spite of this, you can go to West Hartford Center at virtually any time of the day or night and see a large number of people walking their dogs, most of which are well-mannered. A lot of shops put water bowls for dogs in the front, and some of them even let their owners bring their four-legged friends inside with them if they are on a leash.
When you go out to enjoy life with your dog, remember to be respectful of people who may be less obsessed with dogs than you are. This means picking up dog poop and handling your dog carefully so that he or she does not become a hazard to others.