Results tagged “park” from Tails of a Spinning Dog

A typical day in the park

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Hobie now knows the area around the local dog parks, and he starts pulling his leash when we get close, hoping to play some fetch.

The three of us went to the Lapinlahti dog park near Ruoholahti (see map below). This park is a lot cleaner than the dog park in Ruoholahti . Unfortunately, a lot of people in Ruoholahti don't pick up after their dogs, making it hazardous to play in the dog park.

But, back to the Lapinlahti dog park. When we arrive, Hobie will typically sit down and wonder if something is going to come out of our pockets.
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Since it is not really allowed to play fetch in the dog parks we only do this when there are no other dogs around. On this day, Hobie was in luck: his red football suddenly appeared out of nowhere!

Throw it, throw it!
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Gotta catch the ball!
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Then Hobie will run and fetch the ball.

Again, again!
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Although Hobie is nearing the big 1-0, he is still able to keep going for a long time. Most of the time we get cold from standing in the park before he gets too tired to continue.

Ruoholahti dog park

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Hobie checked out his new neighborhood the other day, and there is a dog park literally across the street from our new apartment.

It's not the greatest dog park, and it's very industrial. The dog park is a large rectangle, but wide enough that we can play fetch without worrying about the ball landing outside the park.

One one side of the park is a street, and on the other side is a container terminal. We could actually see containers being shuffled back and forth.

The park is quite large, but it's not a park we would go to unless it was right nearby.

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There are a couple of benches in the park, and while there is a path along one of the long sides, most of it is covered in dirt and grass. Hobie will surely need a bath after playing here on a rainy fall afternoon.

The park was empty when we first entered, so we took out the frisbee.

Hobie has gotten a wart-like growth next to one of his teeth. The vet in Norway said it was nothing to worry about, and that we could just deal with it the next time he was under anesthesia. One side effect is that he will sometimes bleed a little bit, but he doesn't seem to be in any discomfort.

Despite this, he ran as fast as his four little legs could carry him to play with his toy.

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Despite that industrial setting, Hobie approved of the park. In fact, there seemed to be so much to smell that he was too busy to look at the camera.


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After playing for a little bit, another dog came into the park. Poola, a labradoodle. She was only two, but because she was already now much larger than Hobie, they seemed to get along fine. He growled a little bit, but for the most part they were satisfied sniffing each other's butts.

She jumped around and barked at Hobie a few times, and he whined and ran around us, but it helped that we were chatting with the owner, and Hobie had to deal with this strange new creature by himself.

Laakso Dal dog park

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Helsinki has a large park called Central Park.

Yesterday, we took Hobie up there on a 3-hour walk. The park area is beautiful, and there were lots of people out enjoying the nice weather.

On our way through the park we passed through an equestrian center. Hobie didn't seem to care much about the horses, and was (as usual) more interested in practicing his vacuum-cleaner skills on the grass.

We also ran into a dog park there (the official name is Keskuspuiston koira-aitaus). At first it looked a little small, but we decided to check it out anyways.

The entry to a few of the dog parks we've seen have a big dog bulletin board in front, and this one was no exception.

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The park had a decent area with gravel, and then a wooded area behind it. There were lots of trees, and treeroots to smell and run around. It took us about 5 minutes to walk around the dog park.

This is Hobie in the front of the gravel area.

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Although there were no other dogs in the park, Hobie had a good time. He sniffed and ran around by himelf. The last shot is Hobie running around.

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Although Helsinki has a lot of dog parks, some of them are a little sad. We've been to a couple that are very small, and there are no plants, just gravel and some tree trunks to smell. However, it's better than nothing, and it's probably difficult to maintain a lot of plants in a dog park.

This park, however, was very nice. The forest setting makes it much nicer than some of the inner city parks, yet it's very accessible from the nearby residential areas.

Look at the below map for how to find it.

Walk around Töölö Bay

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The hotel we are staying in until we find a place is right on Töölö Bay, between Finlandia Hall and the opera house.

Between the two buildings is a nice park, and there is a path all along the lake. It takes us around 40 minutes to walk around.

We've been walking Hobie there, and the park and area is full of life. There's a lot of runners and bicyclists there (at all hours of the day), and lots of little green areas for picnics and relaxing.

Hobie is of course much more interested in sniffing, but we have to make sure he doesn't run into the path of a bicyclist.

Most of the trail around the lake has a division that separates pedestrians from bicyclists.

At the southern end there is a small candy booth and boat rental place. We went by the little beach and shot a picture of Hobie waiting patiently for some newly-bought treats.

We couldn't resist taking Hobie out on the little pier, to see how he would react. It wasn't very sturdy, so he was a little careful, but with the lure of a treat he willingly walked along.

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Hobie meets friends at Mountain Lake

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We took Hobie to Mountain Lake, and we brought his squeaky football.

The ball immediately drew the attention of another dog that was there (the middle one in the first picture). At first the owner seemed a little hesitant, but we told him it was fine that he was interested in the ball.

For a few minutes I would throw the ball, and they would both run as fast as they could to get it. Most of the time Hobie would win the mad dashes.

Hobie and two friends running in a row at Mountain Lake

Another dog also came along. This dog was mostly interested in sniffing the other dogs, though, and just run along because it seemed like something fun to do. Hobie behaved very well, and didn't growl at all at them. He just circled around, and tried to make his way back to us with his ball.

Hobie running side by side two friends at Mountain Lake

Unfortunately, this was one of the last times Hobie got to play with his football. Only a few days later we took him to a bonfire at Ocean Beach. The group we were with took turns throwing his ball, but as we were leaving we couldn't find the ball. Hobie was more than willing to roam around looking for it, but to no avail.

Pug Sunday

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Hobie went to Pug Sunday in Alta Plaza Park today.

It was a little chilly, but there were still around 20 pugs in attendance. There were pugs of all shapes and sizes, from tiny pups to one that looked a lot like Jabba the Hut.

A few pugs wore clothing. One fashion-conscious pug simply wore an LV collar, while the pair in the picture donned SF Giants jerseys.

Pugs in SF Giants costumes play at Pug Sunday

Hobie trotted around a little bit to check out the other dogs, but he didn't really care too much for them. In fact, he decided to just sit down and look at us.

Hobie does not want to play with the other pugs on Pug Sunday

There were more people than dogs at Pug Sunday, and several people brought blankets and just sat on the grass waiting for playful pugs to approach.


Alta Plaza

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Yesterday, we took Hobie to Alta Plaza Park. It's about a 15-minute walk away from our apartment, and the views are great. I think only part of the park is supposed to be an off-leash area, but dogs run around happily throughout the park. There's also a dog watering hole near the tennis courts.

On our way there we picked up some croissants at Le Boulangerie on Pine Street. There's usually a few dogs waiting (patiently) for their owners outside.

Hobie waits outside a bakery

Once up at the park, Hobie ran around while we had breakfast. The hill behind Hobie is USF's Lone Mountain campus.

Hobie at Alta Plaza park

There are a lot of small dogs at this park, at least when compared to Alamo Square.

Pine Lake

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We took Hobie to Pine Lake last weekend. It's right off Sloat, and it's surprisingly quiet. There were a lot of dogs there, despite the dog run being under renovation.

The dog area seems huge, and it's one of the biggest dog parks I've seen in San Francisco. Dogster has directions and the address.

It sprinkled a little bit, so we had to deal with a muddy, but happy, dog.

Hobie at Pine Lake

There are a few short trails behind Stern Grove, and Hobie had a great time running around there. For the humans, though, the walk around the actual lake was nicer.

Dancing dog

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Today was a gorgeous day in San Francisco, and we took Hobie to a local field to play a little fetch.

When working out, it is important to warm up, so first we do a few laps.

Hobie runs around the field looking for his ball

When we are warm the real exercise can begin. As you know, Hobie is a dedicated fetcher, and there's nothing like grabbing a ball mid-air. Today, however, we were working on Hobie's dancing skills. This is a new dance that we are calling "fetch."

The Hobie fetch dance

Curious dog

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We took Hobie to Golden Gate Park today. We walked around the Polo Field, and there was another dog walking on a parallel path. Hobie was very curious, and stopped a few times to get a better look at that other dog.

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He would walk up between the trees separating the two paths, and just observe, while looking very alert.

Haircut and vaccinations

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Hobie had a busy Saturday. In the morning Gladys dropped him off at Kate's Cat and Dog Salon. He was getting pretty hairy, so it was about time.

The groomers there do a very nice job, but for some reason they never call us to let us know when Hobie is done. Every time Gladys has asked them to give us a call, and this time they even confirmed her phone number. Oh well, what matters is that Hobie gets groomed well.

He started spinning around in his kennel when Gladys came to pick him up. We decided to take him to Golden Gate Park, since we hadn't taken him there in a while.

He got to play a little with one of his favorite toys, and he was very happy to run around.

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Playing fetch is serious business, and it's very important to get the ball. Hobie looks quite athletic (and fierce!) when leaping in the air for the ball.

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After being in the park for a couple of hours we went to B&B Pet Supplies to get his vaccinations. There is a pretty cheap vaccination clinic there every once in a while, and it cost less than $40 to get his annual shots. Hobie behaved well while waiting in line, and he didn't protest at all when the needle got inserted in his lower back.

It went much better than last year, when a another dog peed on him.

New friends

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On our way to Pug Sunday, Hobie made new friends wit Lou and Tinkerbell.

Hobie meets Tinkerbell


The dog walker takes Hobie to the park

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From the dog walker:


We had a great time at the park.

Playgroup at the park

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From the dog walker:

Hobie did great today at the park.

I think the dog walker takes Hobie to the beach at least once a week. Lucky dog. We're pretty happy when he doesn't go to the beach too, since he's not as dirty.

Playing with a view

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A while ago we took Hobie to play at Crissy Field. His little football is one of his favorite toys.

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When he first got the ball, it took him a while to figure out how to get it in his mouth, since it's pretty big. When Hobie plays with a toy that is just a little bit too large to bite around, he'll get frustrated and whine while pushing it around. It's pretty funny.

Ears go flop

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After Hobie's last haircut, we went exploring Glen Canyon park. It's a beautiful canyon park tucked away behind Twin Peaks. Hobie had a few obstacles to run through, including jumping over some fallen logs. Watch his ears flop!


Do I look like a fire hydrant?

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We took Hobie to Mountain Lake Park today. There's a great dog run area there. We sat down and spoke with an older woman who also has a Schnauzer. Here's her dog:

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When we sat down, about 5-6 dogs came over to us, all wanting to smell us and say hello. I got lots of dog slobber on my jeans, including some that smelled like vommit.

Hobie says hi to a pug:
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Maybe that's gross enough, but then I notice the other Schnauzer walking around my leg in a suspicious manner. Then he lifts his leg and pees on me!

I moved my leg, and didn't quite know what to do. I said out loud that the dog just peed on me, but nobody really reacted. Both Gladys and the people next to me noticed, and just kind of shrugged. OK, I guess those things happen.

Well, within a few minutes, another dog tried peeing on me, too. I guess I now smelled like a good spot to mark. Apparently, I got peed on two or three times as we were sitting there.

Great. Now I know what a fire hydrant feels like.

It's almost baseball season again!

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The weather was really nice this weekend, so we took Hobie to a nearby park and played a little catch. Well, it's actually Gladys and me playing catch, and Hobie racing back and forth between us.

Whenever one of us "misses" and the ball drops to the ground the salt & pepper speed-racer in not far away.

We tried to let him have his own ball, but it's just no fun to play with another ball when we're throwing something else around.

All-American dog

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Now how many dogs do you know love to play football and baseball? Well, if you know Hobie, then you know that he is an All-American. Football is his favorite, though baseball comes in at a close second.

We decided to bring him for Sunday baseball, hoping that he would behave. We had him chase thebaseball for about 20 minutes before game time to tire him out. While he was tied to the bench, everyone played with him. At one point, he jumped at the ball, not realizing the leash length. There was a violent jerking motion, but he was fine. When he wasn't choking himself, he kept spinning in circles, nonstop. After the game, we played a little more catch.

All that constant play came with a price. We were walking from the garage and noticed Hobie limping. It was funny and cute but then we realized it might be something more serious. I examined his foot and sure enough, his left foot pad was cracked and some of it had torn off. It was raw and soft
and he flinched when pressure was applied to the footpad. Hobie is now limping around with a sock bandaid.

He spent of today in recovery; not once did he bring me a ball to throw. He barely made it down two blocks to go do his business this morning. He was lagging behind and I had to constantly coax him to walk.

We'll keep his outdoor activity limited tomorrow as well to let him heal. It would be awful for his footpad to get infected. Until then, the limping continues. Poor Hobermeyer.

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