Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners, whose column appears in more than 200 newspapers, was recently asked the question: … “‘back in the day’ – a few years ago, pre-pandemic – most people did not take their dogs wherever they went. Now that people are starting to socialize again, it’s not unusual, upon arriving at someone’s home, to find that just about everyone has brought their dog …” She asked what’s a person who is highly allergic to do in such situations?
Miss Manners agreed with the person’s observation, noting that dogs seem to be everywhere these days. It’s apparently become a post-pandemic trend. She also provided rules of etiquette for pet parents: Anyone bringing a dog anywhere needs to do their homework. In the case of a private home or social function, ask the hosts if it’s permissible. In the case of stores, restaurants, etc., check websites or call to check on pet policies. According to Miss Manners, once at your destination, a pet parent must supervise their dog’s behavior and ensure that he or she does not approach guests without clear encouragement. As for hosts, it’s their responsibility to let guests know that pets are welcome to attend so that those with allergy issues, phobias, etc., can send their regrets or take appropriate precautions.
Walk into a Lowe’s or Home Depot and you may wonder if you made a mistake and entered a pet-friendly store like PetSmart or That Fish Place/That Pet Place. It’s obviously become “a thing” to take your dog on errands. It’s also become a way for dogs to practice their manners and for puppies to become socialized. If you see a crowd gathering at such a store, no doubt a puppy is on the premises!
While stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot generally welcome dogs, they do not have blanket corporate policies in place. The same applies to HomeGoods. (Service dogs, of course, are welcome.) Instead, policies vary from store to store. Most request that dogs be well behaved; leashes are always required. (Leave the flexi-leash at home and use one that provides more control.) If an accident occurs, be proactive about cleaning it up.
Stores that openly welcome dogs include Tractor Supply, Barnes & Noble, Nordstrom and the Apple Store. In Allentown, The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley actually encourages shoppers to bring their pups along; stores that welcome canine visitors display dog-friendly decals on their doors; many provide treats. Water bowls are strategically placed throughout the complex.
Locally, Festoon, which recently announced it is closing after 19 years, has welcomed four-legged visitors for years. Privately owned pet stores welcome canine visitors, as well.
Kathy Frey has always been ahead of the curve where dogs are concerned, as she always welcomed them to her Festoon shops. On May 1, Kathy announced the end of an era – she is retiring and Festoon, which has been a fixture in Downtown Lancaster for 19 years, will close its doors on August 1.
Kathy and her beloved dogs, (the late) Millie and Turk, posed for our June 2016 cover in support of Take Your Dog to Work Day, which this year will be held across the country on June 23.
Happy trails to Kathy, her husband, Bruce Terkeltaub, and Turk! You will be missed.
If in doubt whether your dog would be welcomed, call or visit the store’s website. Use common sense: if you’re running into a store to pick up some sandpaper, no problem. If you’re there to design a kitchen, it’s probably not a good idea to bring the dog along.
I don’t know who started the take-a-dog-to-a-baseball-game phenomenon, but it’s become a huge attraction on both the minor and major league levels. In the realm of Major League Baseball (MLB), 16 teams participate in some sort of dog-related events. In Philadelphia, for example, Bark at the Park is held once a year; the 350 human-canine tickets for this year’s date, May 23, sold out instantly. A portion of the proceeds from those ticket sales benefit Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
In Pittsburgh, dogs are welcome to attend Tuesday home games, which are referred to as Pup Nights. Once a month (except for July), Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be hosting Pups in the Park. Proceeds from the sales of canine tickets (outfield seats) benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance. In Harrisburg, the Senators host Wet Nose Wednesday for Wednesday home games. The Reading Fightin’ Phils will be holding Bark in the Park promotions on five Sundays during the season.
In addition, several minor and major league teams have dogs on staff who serve as mascots and bat dogs. Others are partnering with service-dog organizations. For example, the Philadelphia Phillies are partnering with Warrior Canine Connection to sponsor a service-dog-in-training. Major, a black lab puppy, will be doing PR and participating in community events for the team.
Locally, the Lancaster Barnstormers have been sponsoring dog-friendly games for years. Pet parents are welcome to bring their dogs to Wet Nose Wednesday games (June 7 & 21; July 5 & 19; August 2, 16 & 30; and September 6 & 13). The Capital Blue Cross Backyard (a grassy pet-friendly seating area) is reserved for such fans on those game days. New this year is the Barnstormers Dog Club. Various levels of memberships are available that provide perks such as Yappy Hour beer specials, baseball cards featuring a photo of your pet, dog-friendly ice cream and more. The dog-friendly festivities kick off with Pet Fest on June 4, featuring vendors on the concourse and other special activities. For details, visit lancasterbarnstormers.com.
Note: As a rule, teams require proof of immunization and liability releases that can be submitted online.
Missy Wilson, whose family owns Setter (as in the dog breed) Ridge Vineyards in Kutztown, is the voice behind the podcast, UncorkPA. A recent podcast was devoted to dog-friendly wineries, notably Mountain View in the Poconos, that she described as “extremely dog-friendly” thanks to the 100 acres that dogs are welcome to explore. In addition, pet parents are welcome to post photos of their furry family members to the winery’s Facebook page on Woof Wednesdays. The winery also sells plush toys and treats for pets to enjoy while their humans relax over a glass of wine.
Missy also noted that Pennsylvania’s vineyards, wineries, breweries, etc. are some of the dog-friendliest places you’ll find. She advises potential visitors to call or visit the website of a destination they would like to visit to confirm its pet policy. She also recommends that you bring toys, treats and water along. A leash is also a must. PA Wine Association: pennsylvaniawine.com.
True to Missy’s word, Lancaster County is indeed home to pet-friendly vineyards, wineries and breweries. For example, dogs are welcome at Nissley Vineyards Winery & Estate (Bainbridge), anytime except during special events. They are also prohibited from the winery’s second floor. Nissleywine.com.
At Grandview Vineyards (Mount Joy), dogs are celebrated on Wag & Wine Wednesday (1-6 p.m.), when they are permitted on the deck. Dog-friendly beverages and biscuits are made available. Grandviewwines.com.
Moon Dancer Winery (Wrightsville) welcomes dogs to lounge around their outdoor tables. Moondancerwinery.com.
At Britain Hill Venue & Vineyard (Quarryville), pet parents are welcome to walk their dogs across the beautiful acreage. Dogs are also welcome on the covered patio and the shaded lawn area. Britainhillvenueandvineyard.com.
At Waltz Estate Winery & Tasting Room (Manheim), pets are restricted from entering the tasting room; however, they are invited to relax on the lawn (leashes required). Waltzvineyards.com.
As for other food and drink venues, more are welcoming dogs to the premises. Some include:
Sickman’s Mill (Conestoga) welcomes dogs to visit this summertime creekside gathering spot that is home to Jimmy’s Place (named after the owners’ late dog), where Jimmy Juice (orange juice, vodka and a secret ingredient) is available in cans or on draft along with other PA-made brews and spirits (such as River Dog Rum). Dogs are welcome to play on the grounds (under owner supervision) but are restricted from tubing down the Pequea. Sickmansmill.com.
Spring House Brewing Company’s Hazel Street headquarters has a patio – Dalton’s Doggie Deck – that is dog-friendly. Food and beverages (for humans) can be ordered at a walk-up window. The dog menu features Chow’s Chicken and Barley’s Burger Patty. Fresh water and treats are available, too. Springhousebeer.com.
Wacker Brewing Company/Wacker’s Roadhouse (Willow Street) welcomes dogs to lounge on the patio that is furnished with umbrella-topped picnic tables. Wackerbrewing.com.
Dog parks provide secure environments in which dogs can exercise and socialize.
Ephrata Unleashed Dog Park, which opened earlier this year, was made possible by the Borough of Ephrata, Mainspring Ephrata, sponsors, donors, volunteers and Petsafe. Ahead of its opening, it offered a class in April called “Dog Park Safety and Etiquette.” The 40,000-square-foot park is divided into two areas and is open to the public.
160 Old Mill Rd., Ephrata. Ephrataunleasheddogpark.weebly.com.
Salisbury Township Community Park
In addition to a nature preserve and recreational areas, the park is home to an enclosed, off-leash dog park that is open to the public.
750 White Horse Rd., Gap. Salisburytownship.org.
Dog Park Mount Joy
Opened in 2016, this 3-acre park, located within Rapho Community Park, is divided into two sections. It’s operated and maintained with funding provided by membership fees, fundraising events, donations and the time and talents of volunteers.
960 Strickler Rd., Mount Joy. Dogparkmountjoy.com.
Beau’s Dream Dog Park
In 2012, Angela Bauman and her dog, Beau, entered a contest sponsored by Beneful Dog Food and won a $500,000 makeover for the dog park at Buchanan Park. The design/build was overseen by Nate Berkus (HGTV), Jason Cameron (DIY Network) and pet expert, Arden Moore. Open since 2013, it offers two areas and amenities such as splashpads and a seating deck for pet parents. It is open to the public.
901 Buchanan Ave., Lancaster. Facebook.com/beausdreamdogparkbuchanan.
Overlook Dog Park
This multi-acre park is located within Overlook Park in Manheim Township. It’s managed by the township and the Manheim Township Dog Owners Group. Registration is required to use the park that has spaces for small and large dogs.
2040 Lititz Pike, Lancaster. Manheimtownship.org.
Noel Dorwart Park/Nature Area
Located off Farmingdale Road, the park is situated on land owned and maintained by the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. It offers a play area for dogs, however, it is not enclosed. No matter, dogs will love walking along the 1.3-mile trail that loops its way through fields, woodland, wetlands and waterways.
408 Parklawn Ct., Lancaster. Easthempfield.org.
For one reason or another, a dog park may not be the best choice for your dog. Enter Sniffspot, through which backyards, fields and other privately owned outdoor areas are available to rent. Lancaster is home to several, including an oasis in the Southern End – The Pond – that offers five acres of what many who have visited call a canine’s “dream come true.” (Plus, as the name indicates, a water feature.) The place is gorgeous. Reviewers give it a 5 (tops) rating and Sniffspot ranks it as a Top Spot. Another destination that has earned a 5 rating is Aunty Sooz’s Backyard Pup Playland in East Petersburg that offers an enclosed 1/4-acre of grass and clover. Zoomie Park in Mount Joy offers three enclosed pastures and optional amenities such as a baby pool. Laurie Yost (Playful Pups Retreat) in Elizabethtown, makes an enclosed play yard available through Sniffspot.
Rates vary anywhere from $8 to $14 (or more) an hour. New to Sniffspot is membership plans.
For details, visit Sniffspot.com.
Some breeds of dogs need to be kept busy and engaged. Such drive is literally in their DNA! Activities like agility, nose work, dock diving and herding provide ways to unleash that pent-up energy.
Wendy Jordan’s facility in Conestoga will be offering agility classes throughout the summer (the next six-week session begins June 25). Be forewarned, classes fill quickly due to Wendy’s reputation and experience in the world of agility. (In addition, all members of the training staff have a minimum of five years of experience.) She also teaches a relatively new sport called nose work that taps into a dog’s natural ability. In addition, Dog Sense offers boarding, daycare (there’s a waiting list), training, behavior consults, grooming and more.
Rocky Creek Dog Agility
Kim and Mark Malmer operate an agility-training program at their farmette in Ephrata. Kim has been handling and training dogs for years and has earned titles and credentials from nearly 10 organizations. She is also a judge for agility events. The facility offers a training field with equipment, an indoor area, a pond and a swimming pool.
Canine Country Club
Some dogs take to water like, well, ducks. If your pup loves the water, put this dog resort and spa in Manheim on your must-visit list. Canine Country Club, which is owned by Gary and Kim Buchen, grew out of their garage and now encompasses two facilities, The Club and The Windsor. The Windsor location is home to indoor and outdoor pools. Offerings include private (reservations needed) 30-minute or one-hour sessions (no more than two dogs) and group swims for three or more dogs. Swimming lessons are also offered. Also available are open swims indoors (Tuesday and Thursday, 12-8 p.m.) and outdoors (Monday and Wednesday, 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6:30-9 p.m.). Reservations are not needed to attend; multi-use passes are available. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit … humans are welcome to join the fun.
Oscar’s Pet Resort
In addition to offering a full complement of services, Oscar’s is home to a Sports & Rec division whose activities are based in the Doggie Dome. Activities include all levels of agility (for fun and for competition). The Doggie Dome is also home to a club whose canine members are at advanced levels of agility and meet to reinforce those skills. The Doggie Dome also offers treadmill training, nose work, clicks for tricks and cart-pulling.
Sadly, not every dog has a place to call their forever home. As a result, rescue organizations and shelters take on the responsibility of providing dogs, cats and other animals with food, shelter and medical care until they are adopted. Fundraising is vital to such work.
Mini Pints for Pups
Launched in 2018 by Humane PA (which includes the Lancaster Center for Humane Life-Saving), the organization partners with breweries to host a series of fundraising events that feature tasty brews, food, yard games, prizes and more. Leashed and well-behaved dogs are welcome to attend. Best of all, $1 from every drink sale goes to Humane PA. The itinerary includes stops in Lancaster and Berks counties. The Lancaster events will be hosted by Pour Mans Brewing Co. (June 4, 12-4 p.m.), Raney Cellars Brewing Co. (June 24, 2-8 p.m.), Twisted Bine Beer Co. (July 16, 12-4 p.m.), River Trail Brewing (August 24, 4-8 p.m.) and Wacker Brewing Co. (September 24, 1-5 p.m.).
For details, visit Humanepa.org.
Yappy Hour at the Railroad House
Last summer, the Railroad House Inn put its patio to use as the site of fundraisers for several rescue organizations. Owner Joey Bowden recently announced the Yappy Hour fundraising series will continue this summer as follows: June 8,
Pitties Love Peace; July 13, Leo’s Helping Paws; August 10, Sebastian Foundation; September 7, Homeless to Home Husky Rescue; October 12, TBA. Guests are welcome to bring their (well-behaved) dogs along. Adoptable pets will also be on hand. Events are held rain/shine, 5-8 p.m. A portion of all proceeds will benefit the organizations.
For reservations, visit railroadhouseinn.com.
A birthday, a gotcha anniversary, good behavior, welcome home … all are deserving of a special treat, a new collar or the latest toy.
Basset & Lab
This pawsome shop is owned by Mike Good and Alison Bowser, who became acquainted through a dog trainer. The bakery features dog-friendly treats, deli items (peanut butter bacon sticks) and cakes that look good enough for humans to eat (they are made with dog-friendly ingredients). The boutique is stocked with creature comforts and the latest gear. The food selection emphasizes health and wellness (chemical- and GMO-free and non-processed).
1352 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster. Bassetandlab.com.
The Barking Baron
After a 30-year career as a nurse, Deneen Ostasewski, was looking to make a career change. A lifelong love of dogs inspired the idea of opening a boutique dedicated to dogs. An empty storefront provided the perfect location. The selection is phenomenal –
think canine-chic. Ever better is the fact that it shares the building with Cottage & Vine, a plant store. The two stores join forces to create a courtyard entrance that is always welcoming and sometimes whimsical.