Friday, October 8, 2010

A Fun Activity To Do With Your Dog

The weather seems to have gone directly from burning-up, nearly 100 degrees to cold and rainy fall days virtually over night. In a week the temperature has dropped nearly 50 degrees, which has me wondering if another snowpocalypse is just around the corner.

The shift drop in temperature is making my wardrobe selections difficult, but it is making it nice to spend time outside with Milly. I'm perfectly comfortable during the day (when it isn't wet and rainy) in jeans and a fleece, and the chilly air seems to have give Milly a rush of youthfulness that makes it very enjoyable to spend time with her outside on various adventures.

Last year, Milly and Tina and I all went on an apple picking adventure at an Orchard off I-66 in Northern Virginia. If you haven't checked out Love, Tina Marie, I highly recommend you go over to her blog for the latest crafts, recipes and life adventures. In my research, I have found apple orchards to be extremely dog friendly, and Milly loved her time picking apples with us last year.

Apples are great. I love to munch on them, and the act of picking them is quite fun. There is something neat about going back to your roots, in an extremely controlled setting, and paying someone to let you pick your own fruit. It gives you a sense of being somewhat self sufficient, without the added cost and headache of maintaining an apple orchard, which in the DC area probably requires a very large bank account, which I do not have. It's very easy to pick entirely too many apples while at an orchard, but if you ask me, there's no such thing. You can come home and throw them all in a pot and make apple sauce. Don't think you can eat all that apple sauce, toss the apple sauce in the crock pot and with a few simple additions you have apple butter by the time you get home from work!

Enough about the human side of apple picking, what makes it great to do with a dog? Well, first, you will run into other apple pickers, and running into strangers is great socialization for your pooch. Apple orchards are in rural fields, and dogs enjoy getting out of the city just as much as you do. Apples are a healthy treat for your dog, and aid in digestion, just don't over do it. Milly loves to snack on apples, she prefers them sliced, but she has been known to eat the apple whole. I do not allow her to have more than one apple per sitting, though. Apple orchards also have a variety of apples, so you can pick one, take a bite, if you don't like it, maybe your dog will! I know Milly and I have slightly different preferences in apples, and it's fun to each take a bite of an apple and compare notes, or in her case, tail wags. I recommend you bite the apple before your dog, unless you're into dog slobber, in which case, have at it. I am not, however.

So before winter sets in, look up your closest Orchard and go out for some fun picking. Call ahead to make sure they allow dogs, but many do. I only found 2 out of 20+ in my area that did not allow dogs. You also will probably want to pack a water dish and a jug of water, as being outside on a sunny day, even when the temperature is below 60 will make your dog parched, especially if they snack on apples like Milly does! This weather is truly perfect for excursions with your favorite canine companion!


  1. That sounds like a wonderful idea! We will have to check into doing it! Thanks! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

  2. fun! what orchard did you ultimately decide on? i also live in NoVA and would love to take my dog apple picking.

  3. I have tried unsuccessfully for the past two years to find apple orchards in the DC area that allow dogs...where did you take yours? I wish there was a list somewhere of the ones that do!