It's the dog days of summer here in Michigan and it's my dog's first birthday to boot (Happy First Birthday Kaj!). So in honor of my canine best friend I'm going to feature ten dog-friendly things your dog (and you) will love about St. Joseph, Michigan.
1. First off, I have to say that St. Joseph is the dog-friendliest town I've ever been to. And because dogs are so welcomed and accommodated here, you see them everywhere! Probably the most popular spot for dog walking and dog socializing is Lake Bluff Park. Beautiful view of Lake Michigan too! In various places along the sidewalk of the park there are "Mutt Mittens" so you can clean up after your dog. Very handy to have around because no dog wants to step in some else's poo!
2. St. Joseph has a terrific off-leash dog park! It's located in Kiwanis Park on Pearl St. just off Langley. It has two good sized, fenced in areas, one for big dogs 30 lbs and over and an adjacent area for the little ones under 30 lbs. Both areas are mowed regularly and nicely maintained. No fee for admittance.
3. There are doggie drinking fountains located around Lake Bluff Park and in the Dog Park as well. There's nothing like a nice cool drink of water when you're out for a walk or a romp. This makes it very easy on dog owners... you don't have to carry your own portable dog bowl with you. And being at doggie level makes it very easy on the doggies too! :-)
4. We have a dog-friendly hotel in town! The Silver Beach Hotel is happy to have your canine pal as a guest with you. There is a one time $25.00 room cleaning fee and dogs must be on a leash when outside of the room. The Silver Beach Hotel is on Main Street and just a block away from Lake Bluff Park and all the great downtown shops and restaurants. :-) [100 Main Street St. Joseph, MI 49085 ph.269.983.7341]
5. There are two radio stations broadcasting in the greater St. Joseph area that have "pet shows" with lots of good tips for dog owners. WSJM (94.9 FM) has "Pet Talk" on Saturday nights from 10pm till midnight. And COSY-FM (103.7) has a show on Saturday mornings at 9:30am. Your dog will appreciate all that you'll learn about him from these shows.
6. We have some terrific digs for dogs here in St. Joseph. If you'd like to board your dog while you're in town you'll be pleased to know that a new facility, Mutterly Love, is here for your baby! In addition to boarding, they also offer grooming, training, doggie day care, and lots of love :-) They are open 7 days a week and the daycare rate is only $2/HR. Don't leave your dog in a hot car while you're at the beach (where dogs are NOT allowed), be kind to your canine BFF and leave 'em at doggie daycare. Mutterly Love is located at 200 Kerth St. in St. Joseph ph. (269) 983-MUTT (6888).
7. If you'd prefer to bathe your dog yourself, you're in luck! There's a 24 Hour Do It Yourself Dog Wash at the corner of Cleveland Ave. and Washington Ave. So if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk while you're out for a midnight stroll... no worries mate! Just bring him over to the Sparkle Quik Lube and clean him up!
8. And speaking of "out walking", there is a really neat walking trail in St. Joseph that your dog will love. The John and Dede Howard Family Recreation Trail skirts both Lake Michigan and the St. Joseph River. You can catch it at the pedestrian bridge from Lake Court Street (behind the water treatment plant) and go all the way to the Bicentennial Bridge on the St. Joseph River.
9. Dogs love FuzzyButz Bakery! This is a terrific place to take your canine BFF. They have all kinds of fresh baked dog treats, even for those with sensitive stomachs. It's more than just a bakery though, they have lots of toys and dog apparel too. Your dog will really enjoy this place and you will make him feel special with treats from FuzzyButz! They're located at 613 Broad Street in downtown St. Joseph. ph (269) 983-WOOF (9663).
10. If you're looking for a more full service pet store you can't beat Martin's Paw Mart at 2121 South Cleveland Ave. in St. Joseph They have everything from crates, to chew toys, premium dog food, treats, leashes, collars, apparel, and more. The staff is friendly and they accept pet food donations for the local Humane Society. ph (269) 983-5270.
If those aren't enough good reasons to bring your dog to St. Joseph, I'm sure these parting shots will convince you that this is a dog-friendly town... these dogs are enjoying one of the free concerts in the bandshell along the St. Joseph River.