Earlier this week we asked you where the best places are to walk your dogs. Your responses came flooding in. Before we could pick a winner though, we had to ask ourselves, what characteristics make a place a good one to walk a dog? If we had to put ourselves in the custom made doggy shoes of our pets, what would we be looking for in a place to make it truly special? So we stuck our thumbs deep in our mouths, sucked as hard as we could, and here’s what we came up with.
1.) Space. This is the most obvious thing. Dogs are active animals, they need space to run around and stretch their legs. If you were cooped up in a yard all day the last thing you’d want to do is take a casual stroll down the road and back. Go for a place with lots of open space and places for your dog to explore.
2.) Things that stick out of the ground. This sounds like a weird one, but things that stick out of the ground are restrooms to dogs. Because of this you want to have enough of them around so your dog never has to travel too far to get to one. So common is the understanding of a dogs urinatory habits that it was immortalized in this statue.
3.) Interesting smells. Dogs love to sniff things. Haven’t you ever come across a dog that just sniffed your knee? You wonder to yourself, “what possible scent could he/she be picking up from my patella”, but for the dog, smelling that kneecap is like reading a well written autobiography. You therefore want to take your dog to a place where it can go on an olfactory adventure.
4.) The social factor. This one depends on whether or not your dog likes other people/dogs, but because we’re talking about dogs here, let’s assume they do. Unless you’re an old spinster, you probably don’t have too many animals. This means that your dog doesn’t get too many opportunities to socialize with other canines. The walks that you take it on are perfect for this. Think of it like going out to for a drink at a bar. You could do the same thing at home, but sometimes it’s just nice to do it in the company of other people.
And thus, with these factors in mind, we’ve taken a look at the suggestions you’ve given us. These are the three places that best fit the above outline.
1.) Every beach in the world. We got a lot of messages from people suggesting the beach that was nearest to them. All of the pictures we got were beautiful and show great places to take dogs for walks. Beaches are spacious, social (usually), are full of the rich smells of the ocean, and are littered with things (bins, other peoples umbrellas, etc) for your dog to urinate on. Here’s a picture of Lagoon Beach that Tanya Michelle sent us.
2.) Every forest in the world. This was another category we got a lot of messages about, and another winner in our books. It’s no surprise really. If people weren’t around the two places dogs would probably live are velds and forests. Whichever one you pick, you’re probably on the mark. We got a lot of messages about the beautiful Majik forest in De Bron, Cape Town. Stunning!
3.) Keurboom park. This one had to get a special mention. It came up in quite a few of your comments and we can see why. It’s a little place that seems to have been formed in a collaborative effort between God and man to be the perfect escape for man’s best friend. It’s spacious, full of towering trees, a social hub, and it smells like the great outdoors. Keurboom Park, our winner for the best place to walk your dog in the Western Cape.