Google Part II

Google Part II
How Do I…
BY WENDY CRAWFORD

If you’re like me, you probably find yourself segmenting your friends into at least some of the following categories:
1) Those with kids around the same age as mine and whose parents I like.
2) Friends from work and business networks.
3) Long time best buddies.
4) Those who have pets – in particular, dogs that my gang plays with and likes.

A few weeks ago I decided it was time – at last – to find a way to combine some of my interests and friends. And, of course, our dogs. I figured this would expand all our horizons, plus introduce us to new people, activities and experiences … and be FUN.

To be honest, I was surprised at just how many sources there were. And almost all of them had listings for activities and events that were appealing. Interesting not only to me, but to my very diverse group of pals, and presumably, to our dogs. I say ‘presumably’ because, as of this writing, I haven’t heard a woof or arf to the
contrary.

Pull up Google and enter your area, “activities” and “dog friendly” in the search bar. Or go straight to any of the links listed here. Some of the most popular and user-friendly sites are Meetup.com and Smacktive.com (which is very similar to Meetup but an app specifically for Google Android and Apple iOS devices).
Eventbrite.com is another terrific source for finding local events along with a multitude of concerts, etc. After all, ‘Event” is part of their name. Citysocializer.com is a global network – a huge bonus for those traveling, and then there’s Meetin.org. Admittedly Meetin’s site looks pretty old-fashioned (like 20 years worth) but it is crammed full of current info and events. Don’t be put off by looks alone; Meetin is completely managed, hosted and run by volunteers.

From easy walking/socializing exercise trails; to 5k and 10k charity run, bike, walk, or amble marathons; from nature parks or city walking tours with stops for wine and beer at dog friendly establishments; to outdoor art and music festivals – you’ll find them all with a simple search. Most of the sites allow you to post and share info with your pals to make getting organized a snap. Almost every city and town now hosts at least a few dog friendly restaurants and cafes. The Dog Bar theme has grown rapidly across the country. So check your local guides for the most highly recommended ones.

Coffee – morning, noon, and night. Starbucks’ “Puppuccino” might be the record holder for the
‘make-your-dog-dance-with-glee’ award. And it’s free. Dunkin’ Donuts picked up on the trend and now while you’re having an iced coffee your pup gets a small scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the house. In both cases, dogs are only permitted outside due to health laws so be sure to practice the stay command and tie up your dog’s leash while you run in to order.
While the majority of the drive-thru chain restaurants that have complimentary dog treats for your pooch as part of your meal are on the west coast – the trend is moving eastward. The one exception is Le Pain Quotidien. LPQ began in Brussels and now has locations worldwide with patios that are dog-friendly.

Hop on the Internet and start investigating the many things to do with your dog and your pals.
You’ll find yourself with so many choices that you wont know what to choose first.

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