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Tag: dog friendliest

The dog-friendliest town in America

Once again, we’ve stumbled upon a little piece of paradise.

Between its natural beauty, its abundance of dogs, and the respect townsfolk seem to have for both, Provincetown is the sort of place you don’t want to leave, but can’t afford to stay.

For example, dogs are allowed on all the town’s beaches — all the time. And between 6 and 9 a.m., they don’t even have to be on leashes.

Just about every restaurant with outdoor seating welcomes dogs, and most kick in some treats and bowls of water as well.

Its dog park, Pilgrim Bark Park, is spacious, tidy, free and open to everyone, and it’s generally rated among the top five in the nation. There are gobs of businesses devoted to dog — from groomers, to vets to doggy boutiques.

Another big factor in P’town’s dog-friendliness is the Carrie A. Seamen Animal Shelter (CASAS), which put together this past weekend’s schedule of doggie events. Seamen was a Boston lawyer for 20 years who settled in Provincetown and in 1971 helped to found the Provincetown Animal Shelter. Upon her death, she bequeathed money to establish a new, no-kill animal shelter.

All of that, and more, have earned Provincetown the title of America’s “dog-friendliest city,” an honor bestowed by Dog Fancy magazine last week, which, by the way, was Dog Appreciation Week in Provincetown.

The weekend’s activities included the official presentation of the honor, the dedication of a dog statue at the town hall, dogs shows, dog blessings, a doggie parade and more.

I pulled into Provincetown knowing nothing about it – other than that it was northernmost tip of Cape Cod, loved dogs and was likely to be expensive.

(Which is why we ended up camping out — more on that and Provincetown tomorrow).

Driving up Cape Cod, where I’ve only been once before – for a quick newspaper story – I quickly became enamored. With each passing town, found myself saying to myself, “I could live here … I could live here.”

Hitting Provincetown, and its artsy, restaurant-laden, cedar shake rusticness and near overwhelming quaintness, I said it again, but — after a $17.50 parking space — added, “if I was rich.”

It doesn’t take long for anyone to see that it’s also very gay friendly town — both when it comes to tourists and those who call it home. Hanging around in town, dog and people watching, I noticed that pretty close to the majority of couples walking down the street — and the majority of those holding hands — were of the same gender.

It struck me — part of my travels being devoted to recording how the country has changed since John Steinbeck and his dog crossed it 50 years ago — that this was probably one of the biggest ones of all.

Attitudes toward gays — though in a lot of places they still have a long way to go — have changed a lot over the past five decades.

In Steinbeck’s day, a same sex couple walking hand in hand down the street would likely be subject to name calling or worse. Today, in Provincetown and a lot of other places, it doesn’t merit a second look.

As the bright and warm morning turned into a gray and chilly afternoon, I sat on a bench and wondered if there’s a connection between the two — a place’s level of dog-friendliness and its level of gay-friendliness. What, other than tolerance, is the common denominator, if there is one?

Part of it, likely, is a function of capitalism. Appealing to the gay crowd, like appealing to the dog crowd, can bring in customers. Part of it is probably sheer numbers. Maybe places with a lot of dogs are more likely to become dog friendly, and places with a lot of gays likely to become gay friendly.

Does the influx result from the friendliness, or does the friendliness result from the influx?

These are the things I pondered as I sat on a bench, and the skies grew grayer, and the people and dogs kept passing by.

Provincetown named dog-friendliest city

Dog Fancy magazine has named Provincetown, Massachusetts, America’s most dog-friendly city.

This year’s 2010 DogTown USA contest, sponsored by WAHL Clipper Corp., named the 40 dog-friendliest cities across the U.S. in honor of the magazine’s 40th anniversary.

The criteria used to select the winning city include dog-friendly open spaces and dog parks, events celebrating dogs and their owners, ample veterinary care, abundant pet supply and other services, and municipal laws that support and protect all pets.

“All dog owners know of a few local shops or restaurants that allow dogs, but it is remarkable to have an entire town where virtually every establishment opens its doors to dogs – even the bank,” says Ernie Slone, Dog Fancy editor.

“Where else can you take your dog along for a whale-watching or sunset cruise, walk miles of off-leash scenic beaches year-round and enjoy one of the nation’s finest dog parks? Provincetown nearly swept our major awards this year, with its Pilgrim Bark Park finishing at No. 2 in our national ratings of dog parks.”

Rounding out the top 10 cities, according to a press release, are:

•Carmel, Calif.
•Madison, Wis.
•Benicia, Calif.
•Fort Bragg, Calif.
•Lincoln City, Ore.
•San Diego, Calif.
•Virginia Beach, Va.
•Sioux Falls, S.D.
•Salem, Ore.

The complete list of all 40 cities is available in the September issue of Dog Fancy, on newsstands July 27, 2010.

Food & Wine mag picks 5 dog friendliest cities

71034227_43e5d06c50_o-copyFood & Wine magazine has named what it considers the top five dog-friendliest cities in the U.S. They are: Boston, Chicago, Miami, San Diego and San Francisco.

The article in the magazine, published by American Express, focuses mostly on dog-friendly dining and lodging opportunities. Here’s what it had to say about the top five:

Boston: Dogs are allowed on the city’s public transit system, and there’s an off-leash dog park in Boston Common. Dog-friendly restaurants include Rocca Kitchen & Bar (around the corner from Peter’s Park dog run), where a section of the patio is set aside for diners with dogs, lined with water bowls and treats from nearby Polka Dog Bakery. Dogs are also welcome — when the Red Sox aren’t playing at home — at La Verdad Taqueria.

Chicago: The city’s park system includes the 18-mile Lakefront Trail and three dog beaches. Dog-friendly restaurants include Brasserie JO, which offers complimentary house-made dog biscuits.

Miami: Most shops on Lincoln Road Mall put out water bowls, and many local restaurants allow dogs, including Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink,  where dogs can feast on dog treats baked by the pastry chef.

San Diego: In addition to its numerous dog beaches, the city abounds with  dog-friendly restaurants, including Nine-Ten and Cafe Chloe, where 75 percent of the staff volunteers at animal-rights agencies.

San Francisco: The pedestrian walkway on the Golden Gate Bridge and the historic streetcars both allow dogs. Dog-friendly restaurants include Pizzeria Delfina and Taylor’s Automatic Refresher, with a dog-friendly patio that’s ideal for watching sunsets.

(Photo via San Francisco Citizen)