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Goodbye Boston, We Hardly Knew Ye

We had an a packed week in Boston, so here are some recap photos which we didn’t have a chance to work into any earlier posts:

Theme of the week: Eko staring longingly at ducks

Not even Eko’s best puppy face could save him from a bath at Laundromutt

Everyone on the Freedom Trail Tour gets a badge. Everyone.

Eko did his best Michael Phelps impression at Red Dog

All of our days were packed solid with adventure, but there were still plenty of pet-friendly places and activities we couldn’t squeeze into the schedule.  We really wanted to meet local dog celebrity/ambassador, Catie Copely, at the Fairmont Hotel but unfortunately her schedule was booked.  If anyone visits Boston and gets to meet her, definitely send us some photos.

Eko and I just got to our hotel in Maine after a great lunch and run down the beach.  Winter is still missing in action and we are absolutely loving it.  Let us know if you have any suggestions of where we should go, or drop us a line if you are in the area and would like to meet up.

And of course, you can always follow our shenanigans live on Twitter, @WillanEko

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How Do You Like Them Apples?

Our stay here in Boston has come to a close, and we are on the move to Portland, Maine.  Despite waking up to Fenway Park outside my window each morning, Eko and I had an absolute blast during our week in the city.

To answer the obvious question about Boston; yes, we love them apples.  This week we made a ton of friends, saw some great places and enjoyed playing outdoors in the unseasonably warm weather.  A special thanks goes out to the staff of the Hotel Commonwealth who hosted us during our stay.  Eko now considers himself best friends with at least half the staff. (Best friend meaning that he puppy-dog-eyes them for treats every time we walk in or out.)

The ducks are heading south, we’re heading north

There wasn’t enough time to report on all of our travels this week, so I’ll be posting a Boston recap later today.  Thanks to everyone who submitted ideas for places we should visit in Boston – you really helped us find some gems we might have otherwise missed.  If you know of anywhere in Maine we need to see, leave a comment or contact us @WillandEko

On to the Pine Tree State!

Making A Splash In Boston

On our last full day in Boston the weather had gotten a bit colder, but that didn’t stop Eko from going for a swim.  Actually, Eko would have gone swimming even it was snowing out because we had the indoor pool at the Red Dog Pet Resort reserved for a swim.  The Red Dog complex, located just a few miles from downtown Boston, houses a pet store, a small indoor pool and facilities for dog daycare/boarding.  This place basically has everything for dogs except school buses to shuttle them back home.

Just kidding! They do have dog school buses!

Eko loves to romp through the water when there is a shore, but he is never that excited to jump in a pool.  We hadn’t been near water in at least a couple months, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when we arrived.  Thankfully I didn’t have to do much thinking (YES!) because the trainer, Alex, was extremely knowledgeable and confident.  Eko was tentative in the unfamiliar pool area, but he very quickly settled down and enjoyed the swim.

“No thanks, Alex, I’ll just watch you.”

“Ok, this isn’t so bad…”

“Swimming is awesome!!!”

The pool at Red Dog is used for everything from therapeutic swims for injured or older dogs to training/fitness swims for in shape dogs and pups.  As Alex pointed out, the only way for dogs to get good at swimming is practice and in the winter there is no way for Boston dogs to get that practice outdoors.  Eko’s progress was amazing in just one session, I can only imagine how much more confident he would be in the pool if we went more frequently.

The Red Dog offers a wide variety of services and products all under one roof.  It is also the only place I have ever seen with an indoor pool for dogs.  If your dog is itching for a swim in the middle of a snowstorm or you want to look into a full service daycare in the Boston area, the Red Dog is definitely worth a visit.  If nothing else, you can take a tour of their modern and cool facility.

Back To The Future

As I mentioned yesterday, our Freedom Trail tour dropped us off in Quincy Market.  What I neglected to mention is that we were immediately pulled back into the 21st century by a group of break dancers who had taken over the square.

 

A reenactment of the famous 1777 Battle of Breakdance  

On our walk back to the hotel I decided to head down Newbury Street again.  Even if you’re not shopping it’s still worth your while to walk down Newbury and enjoy the scenery.  As an added bonus a number of the retail stores, like Urban Outfitters, allow dogs.  There is no universal pet policy though, so you will need to check on that at each store.  Eko and I had a particular destination in mind on our walk down Newbury – The Fish & Bone.

They do it all

Don’t worry if you somehow happen to miss the sign out front of the store because your dog certainly won’t let you walk by.  Other stores on Newbury lure shoppers with flourishing mannequins and bright SALE signs, but the Fish & Bone has a much simpler and more effective tactic; a bowl of fresh water and a can of dog treats.  Luckily, the Fish & Bone was our intended destination because I don’t think Eko would have gone quietly if we didn’t at least stop in for a look.  As it turned out, we were greeted at the entrance by a couple of super heroes.

Batman and Robin – two Chocolate Lab brothers

After Batman and Robin initiated Mr. Eko into the Justice League of America, we checked out the rest of the store.  The Fish & Bone is a small shop, but every inch of it is packed with great products for your pet – a lot of which are tough to find in other retail stores.  The staff helped us pick up a couple treats and a new shampoo for Eko.  Yeah, I know, he just got a bath, but that clean coat never lasts long on the road.

Newbury Street is a must visit for anyone visiting Boston, and the Fish & Bone is a must visit for anyone walking down Newbury Street.  Be sure to check it out when you’re in town.

Our visit to Boston is quickly coming to a close.  Before we get out of town let us know if we missed one of your favorite pet-friendly spots in the area.


Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Treats. Preferably Treats.

Despite being the home of the Red Sox, Boston is actually an extremely cultured and historic city.  It’s tough to walk a block without passing a building or location of seminal importance to the founding of our nation.  It’s a lot to try to sort out on your own, so Eko and I decided to take a walking tour of the Freedom Trail.  Your dog always needs a walk, so why not combine it with some history and education too?

 

Prior to our tour, Eko defended the Tufts campus from squirrels

The Freedom Trail Foundation runs tours from 11 am – 3 pm on the hour every day with a tour guide who adopts the persona of a notable character from the revolutionary era.  Our tour guide, Elizabeth Murray (Cara McIntyre) was one of Boston’s most wealthy and powerful female residents.  Elizabeth immediately recognized Eko as a Ridgeback, which means she must have also been a time traveler because the first Ridgebacks weren’t around until the 20th century!!!

Talented people make difficult things look easy and the same held true on our tour.  Cara effortlessly guided us through the revolutionary era history of downtown Boston, rattling off names, dates and interesting pieces of trivia the whole way. Who knew Paul Revere was also a dentist?

Listen my Eko and you shall hear / Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere

I recommend the tour for any humans who visit Boston, but I especially recommend the tour for any human/canine teams.  I was so impressed at how welcoming Cara was of Eko.  Eko was on his best behavior for most of the tour, but at one point he decided to dramatically flop on the ground.  Cara graciously made a quick joke and went right on with the tour without missing a beat.  Sometimes you can feel out of place with a dog in tow, but this tour was not one of those places.

Our awesome guide, Cara

The tour costs about $13 and it might be the best $13 you spend in Boston.  You get to take in the city sights, learn some fun history and your dog gets some great exercise.  The tour ends in Quincy Market, a cool area for shopping and eating.  Eko and I walked down the streets and soaked up the scenery, but there was a problem.  I had to go to the bathroom, I was hungry, I was alone, I was four miles from the hotel and I was attached to an 85 pound puppy.

My lack of planning could have been disastrous, but luckily I met a guardian angel.  Desperately hungry, I asked one woman where she got the Chinese food she had in a to-go container.  As she pointed to a nearby building, she must have seen the sadness on my face because her next words were, “If you want, I could watch your dog while you run in.”

Now Eko is not only my loyal companion, he is also my co-worker so I don’t ever leave him with anyone I don’t trust.  Despite my (many) shortcomings, I pride myself as a judge of character, and I could tell that the young lady would dutifully watch Mr. Eko.  I dashed into the building, went to the bathroom, grabbed some food and returned as quickly as I could. The name of our hero turned out to be Kyle and I just wanted to thank her here for saving the day!

Thank you!!!!

So the moral of today’s adventure is to take your dog on the walking tour of the Freedom Trail AND plan ahead if you are doing it alone!

We only have two more days in Boston so don’t forget to let us know about any places we’ve missed.  Drop us a line in the comment section or follow our antics live on Twitter @WillandEko.

 

We Have Not Failed. We Have Just Found 10,000 Ways Not To Find A Dog Park.

Well, we made it as far as Boston Commons before our plan fell apart.  The Boston Common’s Dog Park is actually a section of the park where you can let your dog off leash between 6am – 9am and 4pm – 9pm.  The area isn’t fully fenced in, so you should only visit if your are confident that your pup will stick nearby.  Eko and I missed the time window this morning, but we plan on checking back tonight or later this week.  If you are local and visit the park, let us know so we can meet up.

We missed the dogs, but Eko enjoyed the ducks

The dog park aside, the walk through Boston Commons was great.  The Commons is one of the county’s oldest parks and there is plenty of scenery to enjoy.

Eko introduced himself to one of the residents at Frog Pond

From the Commons we headed up for a run along the St. Charles River.  The river path is a great place for a walk or run, and there are multiple access points from downtown Boston.  There is plenty to see as you work your way down the path.

You can enjoy the view from the docks. And you can hope you dog won’t jump in after the ducks.

Eko was ready to defend the harbor. As you can see from my face, I was not expecting Eko to be so eager to man (or dog) the guns.

This evening Eko and I are going to check out Peter’s Park, a fully enclosed off-leash park.  If we have time, we’ll try again to swing by the Commons and check that out as well.  And as always, if you have any suggestions about where to visit in Boston, please let us know! We have already got a few reader suggestions that we’ll be following up on while in town.