Play: August 2008 Archives

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.


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.


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.


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.

Lapinlahti dog park

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Hobie has checked out some more of the local dog parks. This park in Lapinlahti (the official name is Lapinlahit koira-aitaus, and the address is Lapinlahdentie 6), was a nice surprise.

It's not as nice as the Laakso Dal park, but it's much closer to downtown Helsinki. It's behind an office building and a hospital building, and about a hundred meters after the end of Lapinlahdentie.

The park has two areas, one for large dogs and one for small dogs. The photo below is of the small dog area.

Both areas have bark or wood pulp covering. The large dog area has better ground covering, so your dog is likely to get less dirty in wet weather in the large dog area.

We're usually not sure which area to take Hobie to. He's not that fond of a small hyperactive dogs, but he's not quite the size of the bigger guys either. This time we took him to the small dog area, since it had the most trees.


When we went there the dog park was empty, but that didn't stop Hobie from running around.

The small dog area is clearly marked with a sign.


Hobie was hoping we'd pull out a toy while at the park, and waited patiently for something to come out of the bag.


This is the big dog area. It's not much larger than the small dog area, but has fewer trees, so the bigger dogs can run more easily around.


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.


Scary umbrella

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Hobie has been afraid of umbrellas for as long as we've had him.

We thought that maybe his fear had eased up while he was in Norway. Oh, no.

On a walk this morning, it started raining, and we took out an umbrella. Hobie instantly stopped, his tail as far between his legs as it could go (considering it's docked), and he did not want to keep walking.


Eventually, we got him to walk between us, with the umbrella partially covering all of us, but Hobie was an unhappy dog until he noticed the hotel a few steps away. Then he walked as fast as he could to get inside.

We had to hurry up the elevator, because we know that Hobie likes to dry off his back and face on carpet. He enjoys rolling around on his back while wet. While this looks funny, I'm not sure that the other hotel guests would enjoy a dog rolling around on the floor. Not to mention that it's probably not that clean.

Swimming Schnauzer

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Today we took Hobie to a lake in Bymarka. My sister had taken him earlier this summer, but it's been a while since we've seen him in the water. The last time was at a coworker's pool, where he struggled to get to a ball.

We brought a ball, but I quickly discovered that it didn't float, so I had to go out in the water and get it. Sticks, however, worked just as well with Hobie. We'd trow a stick out in the water, and Hobie would go hopping after it.

He would even stick his entire head under the water looking for the ball. We could see little bubbles of air coming from his nose as he exhaled underwater.

His eyebrows would obstruct his vision, so he had a hard time locating the sticks if they moved. In the above video, he couldn't quite find the stick, and swam back ashore to locate it, and then goes back for it.

Of course, after Hobie gets wet, he likes to dry off, preferably by rolling around in dirt. We put him back on leash to avoid him getting too dirty, but he still managed to pick up enough dirt to fill the backseat of the car.

Walk in the woods

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It's been relaxing to take Hobie for walks again. Although he hasn't changed much, we do notice that he has gotten older in the past year. He wants to sleep much more, and doesn't mind staying on the sofa for a few hours.

Nonetheless, he is still excited to be outside for a walk. We took him out in Bymarka last week, and he enjoyed sniffing new bushes, and romping around the trails.


He has also taken a liking to drinking from streams. It's actually really convenient - we don't need to bring water for him, we just lead him near a stream, and Hobie goes straight for the cold, fresh water. drinking_in_bymarka.jpg

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Play category from August 2008.

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