Its a dog's life in a dogs town

Blu Bird’s owners Natalie and Ryan Sinclair say that he likes driving into town for the Car Show in their blue 67 Camaro. Blu Bird is a 98 pound American Bulldog mix. His sister, a chihuahua, prefers to stay home. “He loves having a lick of ice cream from Scoop and getting a treat from the ladies at the yarn shop!! He’s a happy Winters Camaro boy.” Courtesy Photo

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There are few responsibilities in this life that look back at us with empathy, that sit with us just to be near and are soft to touch as a dog. Some are small and scrappy others are tall and devoted, but they all require a bit more than food and water. Like humans, even the most lethargic dog requires some fun, daily outdoor play and recreational sniffing.

When the asphalt isn’t too hot, Winters is quite a dog-friendly place. Here are some points of interest for dog owners:

Dog Parks

Walnut Park has a circular walking path with manicured grounds surrounded by a large field to train or play with your leashed dog in the middle, but for off-leash fun, there is a large enclosure for dogs to run, play, sniff and socialize with you and their other mutt buddies. The off-leash dog park can be accessed directly on the Dutton Street side of Walnut Park. Bring a dish for water and keep a close eye on your beast, even while off-leash and off duty your dog is still very much your responsibility, there are two pet cleanup stations conveniently located by each gate.

Willow Canal another off-leash enclosed dog park can be found on Matsumoto Lane (behind Taco Bell). It is a great place to bring your frisky dingo for an easy gambol and prance around the park. The convenient location makes it a great puppy pit stop on the way in or out of town. There are benches, a water faucet and a  cleanup station.

A favorite dirt trail to Putah Creek can be found along the paved walking path by the Community Center. A steep gravel path will open to the right and switchback down to Putah Creek’s edge. A well-worn dirt path will take you along the creek. Dogs love the water; it’s cool and fresh running with a hint of fish. Mind the posted ordinance to keep your pets leashed though, there will likely be other dogs and families enjoying the creek with you along the way.

Be advised, there are foxtails around town and along the creek path. These can get stuck in eyes, ears, noses, and paws. If this happens, they will start sneezing or worrying the affected area and should be taken to the emergency room immediately. Foxtails can develop into serious issues. Monticello Veterinary Practice MVP is  at 9253 Johnson Rd., and U.C. Davis Small Animal Clinic is a 20 minute drive away.

Dog-friendly restaurants and stores

Buckhorn Steakhouse, Putah Creek Cafe, Hoobys Brewery, Steady Eddy’s Coffee House and Preserve will all welcome diners with dogs with accommodating outdoor service. Many shop owners will welcome in docile dogs, though please secure permission upon entering. Water bowls are strewn along downtown sidewalks, Serendipity Hair Salon at 19 Main St., The Scoop at 11 Main St., but outside the Yarn and Fiber store at 14 Main St. seems to be the most delicious of the watering holes.

Do you know those extra-special businesses that pass out lollipops to well-behaved kids, or those particular houses that pass out king-size candy bars on Halloween? Some downtown businesses have a particular fondness for furry friends too.

For treats, first stop in Ace Hardware, then cross the street to First National Bank (see Karianne’s desk if she isn’t too busy). By far the most widely known dog lovers are at Steady Eddy’s Coffee House, where a k9 cookie jar is hanging to the right the front door.

Resources for Winters pets and pet owners

The Facebook group Pets Lost and Found Winters CA is a local community of pet minded residents that keep a keen lookout for any loose pets. Users can post information about pets that have gone missing or have been found. The page is diligently facilitated by Sharon Bloom.

For those looking for a dog, check out 3R Rescue. If you don’t already have one, they will set you up with a dog to foster or for keeps. Visit 3rrescue.org for more information.

The Yolo SPCA is another resource for responsibly rehomeing an animal or finding a new pet Find them at yolospca.org.

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