We have one child but we’re a family of four.
Six and a half years ago and long before our daughter was even an idea, we got our dog F.
Our friends mocked us a bit, calling F the starter-kid.
I denied it; although I’ll now admit, I did treat the dog like my little baby. Actually, if the kid had come first, he/she would be named F.
I love that little dog. She’s like a black lab trapped in the body of a white Shih-Tzu. She can swim, hike and isn`t too yappy. I use to worry about her getting enough exercise, looked forward to surprising her with trips to Conroy Pit and put such thought into what she got for her birthday.
Then came the not-so-furry little one.
And suddenly our poor little pup moved down on the priority list. She’s not as far down as the fish, but things have certainly changed in the last three years. She’s gained some weight, there are fewer trips to the park and I can no longer remember her exact date of birth.
Poor F, despite our best intentions, has pretty much been getting the shorter end of the stick (pun intended) for the last three years.
It didn’t help that the little one and F weren’t instantly BFFs and my pregnant mental photos of a sweet toddler cuddled up asleep on the couch with an adorable dog as the sun shines in never did develop. It’s actually only in the last few months that they’ve started regarding each other with something more than indifference.
They’ve started to play together and the little one is now old enough to help feed F and take her for a walk. Lately F always comes up to hang out in little one’s room at bedtime.
I feel bad about neglecting F. However, her burgeoning friendship with little one and the nice weather might be the kick I need to start giving my first-born a little more of my time and attention.
So…If you too have neglected the dog, or if you’re new to downtown Ottawa dog ownership, here are some links to help you connect…
A blog all about Ottawa dogs, dog stores, dog services and dog adoption shelters: Ottawa Dog Blog
A handy tool to help you find local dog parks: Ottawa Dog Park Finder
Some City of Ottawa information on dog parks: City of Ottawa Dog Park Information
Some National Capital Commission information about dog walking: NCC Dog Walking Information
Some information about an Ottawa dog café: The Doggin’ It Cafe
MacDonald Gardens Park: This park in Lowertown East has big hill in the middle that can make for a good workout.
Rideau River: There are a few dog parks along the river. Three nice ones are Dutchie’s Hole (Sandy Hill), Windsor (Old Ottawa South) and New Edinburgh Park (New Edinburgh).
Jack Purcell: I believe this is the only fenced dog park. It’s recently been redone and can get quite busy.