Last week I wrote about Winslow Park, and its place in the panoply of “destination walks” that Ricky and I take daily. Loyal followers know well by now that since Ricky is a “reluctant” walker on his home turf, I take him each day for a drive — his favorite activity in the entire world — to a different destination in order to “walk.” Though I somehow doubt that Ricky’s as into aesthetics as I am (he does, after all, prefer walking near dumpsters and eating dirty napkins), I figure that as long as we’re getting in the car and going someplace, we might as well go someplace nice.
Below, then, is a rundown of our rotation of destination walks — all within a 10-minute radius of our house — with pluses and minuses for each. (Please note that the rotation shrinks drastically from April through September, because of our town’s inspired summertime no-dogs-on-the-beach rule. )
Greenfield Hill Church (Fairfield): Very pleasant drive along Hulls Farm Road and Bronson Avenue; I can tell Ricky really likes it by the tone of his snoring. Quaint, picturesque church green. Quiet atmosphere, good for introspection. Frequency of dog encounters: Medium-to-low. Bottom line: I would like this peaceful spot a lot more if Ricky didn’t spend the whole walk tugging us back toward the car.
Soundview Drive: Sweeping water vistas, impressive beachfront mansions. Super on sunny days. Frequency of dog
encounters: Very high. Bottom line: A good solution — one of those rare instances when my highly opinionated beagle and I are on the same page.
Longshore: Though the grounds are obviously beautiful, they leave Ricky unmoved. Literally. We seldom make it out of the parking lot. Bottom line: Likely to be dropped from rotation.
Burying Hill Beach: Absolutely gorgeous on nice, sunny days; slightly colder than Antarctica when it’s windy. Ricky can be coaxed into covering a lot of ground along this picturesque crescent, provided he gets a treat every 7 yards or so. Frequency of dog encounters: High. Bottom line: Super-convenient because of proximity to home. Bummer that it’s off-limits in the summer.
Southport Harbor: Picture-postcard pretty. Ricky enjoys both the grassy space by the harbor, and the street, in either direction. Generally seems to find high-grade poop to sniff in front of mansions on Harbor Road. Frequency of dog encounters: Very high. Bottom line: One of Ricky’s favorites.
Winslow Park: Covered in detail in previous post, Old Dog Learns New Tricks
Southport Beach: Pretty much same deal as Burying Hill Beach, but lots of storm damage; have been avoiding lately.
Compo Beach: Winslow-Park-on-the-water; the other pooch capital of Westport. Dogs seem to be less clique-y here; Ricky is more readily accepted into their “play groups.”
The ‘hood: A word of explanation. Yes, I’ve accommodated Ricky’s strange aversion to our home turf by taking him on these destination walks, but I’ve always been a little resentful that he shuns our neighborhood. So lately I’ve been “tricking” him by taking him for a nice drive along Beachside — and then coming back and parking on our block. My thinking: As long as he gets there by car, he won’t mind where we wind up. Bottom line: Ricky’s not buying.
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