Even if your pup enjoys perching on freshly laundered bedding, wears a bow while scorning the less privileged, or prances on the city sidewalks like an urban aristocrat I have news for you: your darling doggy is still a doggy, and like their human family members, dogs crave escapes to the country.
Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate bows and bedding, even the occasional designer dog treat shaped like a cupcake. Emma, my lady basset hound, actually seems to be fond of city life. She is happy to lounge around, take walks in the park, and hunt for scraps of pizza and fried chicken on the streets. But she, like most dogs, is happier when provided with regular doses of time in the wilderness. As for Oliver, my dachshund, the city cramps his style, and he would give it all up in an instant for a full-time rural life. Regardless of their varying degrees of tolerance for the city, both of my dogs are transformed the moment they get out of the car in the countryside. First, they spend about twenty minutes running in huge circles – Emma the Basset Blob becomes Emma the Basset Missile, chasing after Oliver. Then they find whatever river, pond, or lake is nearby. Emma wades just up to her chest because she’s no Michael Phelps, and laps up the cool mountain water, ears floating on the surface. After a few minutes her nose kicks into gear, she puts it to the ground and starts tracking little animals while Oliver, my amphibious super-dachshund, swims after dragonflies. He could do that all day, but instead we head to the trails and spend the afternoon hiking, and everybody is smiling.