Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Our year with a dog - hikes, happiness & a lot of hair (and some off-leash park tips)

In April last year we got a puppy. A mixed breed black dog with white markings: some labrador, some golden retriever, some border collie (probably), and who knows what else.

His first day in his new home.
He's been a wonderful addition to our family (even when he put holes in every shirt my daughter owned with his puppy teeth!), and I wanted to celebrate his contributions to our happiness and health.

Taking the puppy for a walk.
Yes, I do believe he keeps us healthy as well as keeping us happy. We have always been a walking, hiking family, but now we are even more so: every day the kids come along for at least one dog-walk. Sometimes it's just to the local dog park, sometimes it's stroll around the neighbourhood, and sometimes it's a longer hike in the woods on Vancouver's North Shore. The kids also play with him in the backyard, giving both him and themselves a workout!

Spot the dog.
He's been good for my health too: I take him for a walk most weekday mornings before I sit down to work, and I'm sure the increased activity for me is making me healthier than I was before he came along. Of course, the increased vacuuming has also increased my activity level, though I don't appreciate that quite as much as the walks in the woods!

Dog selfie. Sort of.
Since he's a big dog and loves to run and play and frolic, we like to take him to places where he is allowed to roam around off-leash. Here are three of our favourite off-leash places to go for walks and hikes around Vancouver:

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