Between today's absolutely gorgeous weather and the inspiration offered by today's Washington Post travel section on hitting the road with Fido, Stan and I decided to take Allie on a little field trip. We didn't go nearly as far afield as the WaPo travel crew ventured with their four-legged friends; instead, we headed over to dog-friendly Old Town Alexandria.
First stop on our itinerary was Founder's Park, located at 351 Union Street. This lovely waterfront oasis abounded with people and pooches--no wonder, with temperatures hitting the low 70's. We headed up to the northern end of the park, where we knew we'd find a doggie exercise area. There we tossed Allie a tennis ball several times, got acquainted with a Doberman mix named Joseph and his person, and then headed to our next stop in a roundabout way.
The roundabout way took us on a path along the Potomac, where we stopped occasionally to watch the boats skimming the water. An open gazebo made for especially nice viewing, not to mention a photo op or two. After awhile, though, our appetites got the better of us, and we headed to our next destination.
That next stop was Pat Troy's Ireland's Own, which Stan and I have visited many times, but where Allie was a guest for the very first time. We were welcomed enthusiastically by the hostess, led out to the doggie patio, and ate a tasty lunch while a harpist played some Celtic music. We think Allie appreciated the music, because she wagged her tail enthusiastically whenever the harpist played. Then we meandered back to Founder's Park, where we let Allie run around a little before we headed back home.
I'll be honest: between Allie's car issues and her sometimes over-the-top enthusiasm in greeting strangers, we haven't taken her out and about much lately. Now I regret that. Exploring new places not only deepens the bond between person and dog, but also provides the dog with much- needed physical exercise and mental stimulation. Until today, I hadn't really given Allie much of a chance to show how far she's come. But today she did great in the car, she was polite and mannerly throughout the excursion, and (bonus!) is plenty mellow this evening. I suspect a lot more field trips will be in her future -- which will nice for us all.
(Pictured above: Allie and me at the aforementioned gazebo, overlooking the Potomac. We're both feeling pretty happy. )