I recently adopted a dog from the Westerly Animal Shelter, Stand up for Animals and now my life is complete. Right up there with my mom (kudos to you mom) Jaylen – an adorable lab, beagle, terrier mix is my best friend.
I think most dog people share these sentiments about their four-legged friends: they make us happy just being around them, no matter what kind of day you have had their excitement and acceptance being around you is sometimes all you need to perk up, and more than anything they just want to spend time with you.
This summer take a break from monotonous yard work and stick throwing and pack the pooch up for a-stop and smell the daises adventure at some of Westerly’s dog-friendly places that you and your canine best friend will thoroughly enjoy.
Besides all the fun you will have there are many mental and physical benefits from just spending time with your pet. According to the Huffington Post online article: Twelve Ways Your Pet Can Improve Your Health, your dog gets you outside, gets you moving, they lessen allergies, petting reduces stress, and boosts immunities, they keep you present, decrease loneliness, dogs are great listeners, they love you unconditionally, give you a sense of purpose, lessen isolation, and they make you smile.
If your dog is of the active bouncing off the walls from the minute they awake kind than there is no shortage of outdoor running adventure nature walks here in Westerly. But first, if you need your caffeine fix stop off at Junk and Java where they are super dog-friendly, even offering doggie treats and the outdoor patio space is a nice backdrop for coffee with your canine. Let the adventure begin!
Just down the street a couple of miles from Junk and Java is Moore Woods, managed by the Harriet Chapel Moore Foundation on East Avenue this is a really dynamic outdoor space for dogs to be off leash and running through fields and well maintained wide grass paths.
The day we arrived Jaylen had a ball (minus the ball) running off leash and met a couple of very friendly larger dogs and their owners who told us about a group of dog owners who meet early in the mornings between 7-7:30ish on the weekends to spend time with their dogs and socialize with humans. The dogs are free to run the fields with birdhouses all around, stone walls provide a border and it’s a looped well-maintained trail back to the small gravel parking lot so getting lost is not a problem.
If you and the dog are wanting a refreshing treat, try Cold Stone Creamy on Franklin Avenue. We stopped off here before heading to our next outdoor spot and Jaylen enjoyed her peanut butter yogurt in a cup while I sampled my way to the mint chocolate chip with coconut, chocolate sprinkles (called “shots” if you live in CT), and extra mint chips.
Next, it was on to The Westerly Town Forest on Laurel Ave which offers a huge canopy of trees for shade cover with well-marked trails to explore for you and your dog buddy. A looped trail just under three miles takes you through dense forest, across a small power line field, and gives you and the dog a feeling of hiking together. The day I went with Jaylen we didn’t complete the loop as it was dusk, the bugs were out and annoying and she had just come from another outdoor walk so I knew she was a bit tired, okay I’m blaming it on the dog I was tired.
If your wanting to socialize your dog a bit in a fenced in area the Santo Algiere Conservation Park off of Larry Hirsch Lane is a friendly space for all dog sizes and shapes. The first fenced in area is for the use of the Westerly Animal Shelter/Stand Up for Animals shelter dogs but the other two large outdoor spaces offer a public separate small (30 lbs. and under) and large dog space complete with water fountain and chairs for the owners to relax.
The day we went there was a large puppy that had a bit too much energy going on for four and half-year-old Jaylen so we decided to head down to The Chapman Pond Boat Launch located on the property which offers a small dock and cooling off area.
Time for a bath! After all that outdoor time going home with a clean dog is key and why mess up your tub or deal with both of you tangled in the garden hose. Stop by Petvalu off or Route 1 where you and your furry pal can bond even more as you pour on the suds and all the bath essentials are provided. Or if you would rather leave the grooming to the professionals than head over to Petsmart where your pet can get the full spa treatment.
When the doggie date is over the most important takeaway is the valuable time you spent together, which is memorable and priceless.
Places to Play with Pooch
Avondale Farm Preserve/Avondale Rd and Quail Run
Dr. John Champlin Glacier Park/ 5 Kettle Cl
Napatree Point Beach (after 6 pm / May 1st through Labor Day)
Moore Woods/ 134 East Ave
Santo Algiere Conservation Park / 33 Larry Hirsch Lane
Westerly Town Forest/Laurel Ave
Wilcox Park/71 1/2 High Street