18 Aug 2010

Things We Take for Granted: A Dog’s Neighborhood

Mosby with one of his favorite toys, purchased from a neighborhood pet store

In the past month, two of us at The Hill is Home have had to say goodbye to our elderly dogs.  Being dog-less for the first time in 16 years (yes, my old boy was turning 16 this month — he lived quite the life) has made me realize that one of the things I have taken for granted is just how dog-friendly this neighborhood is.

Parks: Okay, we don’t have any official dog parks (yet), but there are trees and grassy patches galore, and more trees and fire hydrants for marking than most city dogs can dream of.  And you can’t forget how many other dogs there are to play with!  I am also realizing now that walks and “park time” were as much for me as for him.  He got to roll around with some of his favorite neighborhood pooches, and I got a much-needed break from work, house chores, and daily stresses.  Yes, I could just go sit in the park for a few minutes each day alone but his daily walks forced me to take that time.

Water Bowls: A lot of businesses may not let you bring your dog inside, but any dog owner can tell you how nice it is that so many put water bowls out on hot days.  It’s a small thing but it makes walking around the neighborhood that much more welcoming.

Pet Stores: It was pretty great to almost never leave the Hill when I needed something for Mosby.  The boutique stores may be a bit more expensive than the chains in Virginia but, for me, it was worth it to support a local business.  I generally always went to Chateau Animaux, since it was the closest to my house and carried my favorite brands, but with Pawticulars and Metro Mutts, you now have as many options for pet products as you do for kid’s clothes in the neighborhood.

Dog Washes: Sometime try washing a 70-pound dog who hates water in your bathtub and you will understand the value of those self-serve dog washes where you are basically paying for someone else to clean up the mess.  Oh, how I loved them.  Yes, the ‘burbs have these too but rarely are they walking distance to your house.

Top-Notch Services: Dog-ma was the best boarding service I could ask for.  When your dog is having such a good time he doesn’t want to leave, you know he was in great hands while you were traveling.  And on the listservs I frequently read glowing recommendations for in-house pet sitting services.  We also have some great dog walkers in this neighborhood.  I used Saving Grace, and loved them, but have also seen countless other recommended in the listservs as well.  (Feel free to leave the name of your favorite in the comments).  As for vets, I never used any of the options on the Hill but it was good to know they were there in case I decided to switch to something closer to home.

Patios: When the weather is nice, the dogs want to be out as much as their people do.  And thanks to the countless patios around the Hill, you have a great selection of places to dine or drink outside with your pooch.  And while some patios are too small for some dogs (and some dogs are not well enough behaved for higher-traffic areas like the patios along Eastern Market), places like the Argonaut offer a larger, and quieter alternative.  Art and Soul even offers a special menu just for your dog!

What are your favorite dog-friendly things about the Hill?

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4 responses to “Things We Take for Granted: A Dog’s Neighborhood”

  1. Katie says:

    I don’t have a dog myself, but I love that our neighborhood is so dog-friendly that I get to dog-ogle when I’m out and about. I love watching the pups on parade around eastern market and nothing is better than dog-watching at lincoln park and dreaming of the day I can own my own.

  2. Leah Stern says:

    My dogs particularly enjoy the high squirrel population on Cap Hill – they would like to voice support for more squirrels, if that’s possible!

  3. Kim says:

    I definitely the fact that I live so close to an amazing vet (Union Vet) for granted. I have friends who’ve tried vets in their neighborhoods, only to eventually bring their pets to Union Vet and deal with the hassles of transporting them there by cab. It’s nice to be able to walk there.

  4. Caroline says:

    Whenever someone asks for dog-friendly neighborhoods I always direct them to Capitol Hill. For renters, especially, it’s a good place to look for housing that will allow dogs and not charge some outrageous pet deposit. Hopefully my dogs and I will be able to move out here someday!

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