Hope you all had a fun weekend! Saturday was the day we finally made it out to DogWood Park in Jacksonville. I’ve wanted to check it out for months but something always came up or we were too late to visit (::cough cough:: Ryan.) If you’re not from Jacksonville, DogWood is considered a swanky Dog park because of its membership fees and extra amenities. But don’t worry, we discovered that it doesn’t have a country club atmosphere. No snobby mean girl dogs here.
DogWood park turned out to be pretty close to our house (15 minute drive) but we drove right by the small sign on the left side of the road. The park is hidden all the way back down a gravel road and you don’t realize how massive it is until you’re past the check-in building.
We walked into the office to pay his visitor fee ($11) since we’re not members yet. I really wanted to take more pictures but didn’t want to scare these nice new people by going all “Blogger Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” on them. So I only captured a quick shot of the bathing stations they offer. There’s about 4 of them and for a small fee they let you use natural tearless shampoo, towels, massage brushes, ear wipes, etc.
Charlie had no idea why I thought that was cool. He just stared up at me nervously, thinking we were back at a Vets office for surgery. I didn’t post about it on the blog but he just went in a week ago to have a biopsy for a lump on his tongue. They wanted to cut the whole bump out but we thought that was too invasive and decided to wait for the specimen results to come back in January. Poor thing is understandably a little skittish now after having been under anesthesia and handled by strangers for a full day.
Ha ha so freaking happy in this shot! I imagine he was thinking weeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Before long, he found some new friends and went over to say
hello omg omg hi hi hi!
And then we got just as excited when we spotted another Australian Shepherd walking about. I love Australian Shepherds but Merle Aussies are my favorite! They are just gorgeous and I’m hoping Charlie will have a lady friend one day that looks like this.
As we walked further down, we noticed a unique detail posted on trees around the park:
I had a secret plan this whole time though. I wanted to see Charlie swim for the first time ever so we led him down towards the water. The staff told us It’s chemically treated so that it’s safe for dogs. In fact, no humans are allowed in because it’s just for them It’s a dog’s world at Dogwood Park and we’re just living in it.
Charlie watched other dogs jump into the water to fetch but was too scared to do it right away on his own. Instead he was content with chasing and running with his new buddies. It was so fun for us to see him so carefree and playful. After the whole vet ordeal last week, we were glad that he was feeling great and enjoying life.
But then we tried again and noticed him gaining confidence.
He was now a happy, dirty, and exhausted pup so we said our goodbyes to everyone and exited through the trails before leaving home. It was a perfect day that ended with a stunning sunset and the happiest dog on earth.
Later on, Ry and I went to Maggiano’s for a mini date night and I met my new favorite dessert in the entire universe:
Nonna’s Toasted Pound Cake!! This was the best sugary treat I’ve had in a while. Vanilla bean ice-cream sits on top of toasted pound cake with chocolate slivers, caramelized bananas and fudge. I almost forgot to take a picture before devouring the whole thing. I think Ryan had 40% to my 60% because I was trying to be romantical and stuff like a good girlfriend should be by sharing her favorite things. That’s love guys.
By the way, thank you for your treadmill input! I am definitely buying one when I come back from the Keys this weekend for my first Ragnar Relay (details coming soon) and will probably keep my gym membership for now. I just started reading the book “You Are An IronMan”
And may have gotten a wee bit inspired to do some triathlons in 2013. Hell I may even sign up to do a half ironman in the next 2 years if I end up liking this whole 3 sport thing. Ah the possibilities!
Have you ever done a triathlon? any tips?
Ever thought about doing an Ironman?
How did you teach your dog to swim?
I had to work today but get to leave home early for New Year’s Eve Yipee!! A couple more posts to do and then it’ll be 2013. I can’t wait!
-Road Jane0 Click to Like this Post!