Twelve photos representing seven dogs and one Great Lake. The past few years, whenever someone’s dog is in the water, I ask if I can take underwater pictures of it. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t. Here’s the best ones, including three dogs of winter.
Shilo is lethargic in this Duluth heat. Curiosity that once jetted her off the ground at the potential of capturing what made the random noise in the brush has quelled. She has become a passive witness. Her eyes dart in interest, maybe a quick turn of the head, but nothing is important enough to coax her legs into a sprint. Not on August days when temperatures are 80 to 90 degrees and she can only expire heat while sweating through paw pads or panting.
I brush her almost daily. Removing at least a little of her hair layer may help some trapped heat escape. She has taken to lying on the cement slab in the garage, two large doors remain open letting what exists of the midday breeze wave in, a welcomed visitor.
The other loyal companion, Bear, aka Mr. Bearington, a newfoundland mixed with lab, is still on constant guard. Heat does not deter him from his mission. He remains focused on what happens on the other side of the fence. He must protect us from intruders that might sneak through the boundary. Most of the time it’s another dog, sometimes it’s a skater, a horse, a biker, or the most ferocious intruder this summer, a snapping turtle so small it could fit in the palm of my hand. Still, a snapper is a snapper. Once I realized we were being invaded by such a fearsome beast, I scooped it into a bucket and escorted it to the pond on the back 15.
Duluth’s Parks and Recreation Division announced today that a fenced, off-leash dog park has officially opened at Observation Park, located on West Third Street between Ninth and Tenth avenues west. Features of the new dog park include a double-gated entry so leashes can be removed safely before entering the dog park, a separate small dog area for dogs 20 pounds or less, and off-street parking (at the Tenth Street dead end). Observation Dog Park is the second such park in Duluth. The first, Keene Creek Dog Park, located in Keene Creek Park in West Duluth on Grand Avenue and 62nd Avenue West, opened in 2006. Both dog parks are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Individuals interested in supporting Duluth Dog Parks are encouraged to email Denette Lynch at duluthdogparks @ yahoo.com.
We have just moved from the Twin Cities and I have struggled finding dog-friendly places. Where we lived in the Cities, there were huge dog parks with hiking trails where we could safely let our dog off-leash (and get exercise ourselves), dog-friendly businesses to visit, dog day cares, cafes you could bring your dog, and a lot of special events. (It probably helped that there are publications like Sidewalk Dog to point you in the right direction).
The one tiny dog park in Duluth is inadequate to say the least (we won’t visit again), and while I’ve heard about the Superior Hiking Trail, in many places in Duluth it seems too close to roads to feel comfortable letting my dog off leash (also am not sure how easy it would be to hike it in the winter).
So, dog owners — what are your tips for great places to bring your dog? Where can you let your dog off-leash? I work in Duluth and am staying in Cloquet until we find a permanent place to settle, so am curious about any Cloquet/Esko tips as well.