Pet Parenting
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5 of My Dog’s Favorite Mommy-and-Me Adventures

Riggins and I love to spend time together camping, at the dog park, even just heading to a fast-food place on a soda run!

Wendy Newell  |  Mar 24th 2016


My sweet boy, Riggins, has been in my life for 10-plus years. We’ve known each other since he was 3 months old. It’s no secret that I’d happily take him everywhere with me, if it were allowed. Together we make the perfect team.

I’m sure you and your sweet pup have your favorite places to go. Maybe there is a specific walk where you both get to look at and smell gorgeous flowers. Perhaps there is a neighbor your dog loves to visit, wagging his tail nonstop on the way there. We all know what our four-legged babies like to do, and being with us is at the top of their list.

Here are our favorite activities together.

1. Going to the dog park

Dirty and waiting for me to throw the ball. Riggins favorite things in the whole world. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Dirty and waiting for me to throw the ball. Two of Riggins’ favorite things in the whole world. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins favorite outdoor activity in the entire world is the dog park. He has been a regular at dog parks since he was old enough to attend (most parks have a dog age requirement).

We are lucky enough to have a number of options within a short drive from our house. Riggins’ favorite is the Silverlake Dog Park. Its name is a bit misleading. This is L.A., so it isn’t so much a lake but a reservoir.

I’m pretty sure this is Riggins’ favorite park because it is disgusting. It’s all dirt, and because it is at a bit of an incline, water that runs down the middle has carved jagged scars through the ground. PERFECT for tennis balls to fall in and play hide and seek! The dirtier the better for my boy!

When Riggins was little, he would hit the park at full speed, running circles along with anyone who would join him. Now his main focus is to chase (not bring back — just chase) tennis balls. I love my baby boy so much, I’m happy to comply and will listen to my podcasts while constantly chucking balls for him.

2. Hiking

Riggins and me at Runyon (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins and me at Runyon. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

If I’m going to be outside, I figure it’s only fair that I get exercise, too. There are a ton of hikes available to us, but our absolute favorite is Runyon Canyon.

If you don’t live in L.A., you may still have heard of Runyon because it is where many celebrities are seen “hiking.” It’s a hill that seperates Hollywood from the valley and is a quick drive from Paramount, Warner Bros., and Disney studios. The absolute best thing about Runyon Canyon is that it is a legal off-leash dog-friendly hiking area. More than one person has described it as Doggie Disneyland.

Riggins looks over Hollywood at Runyon (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins looks over Hollywood at Runyon. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins has been going there since he was old enough, much like he did at dog parks. If I am to be honest, he actually started going younger than when he should have been (bad dog mom!). Actress Selma Blair once scolded me harshly for that on a hike when Riggins was a tiny little puppy. I lied to Selma and demanded he was indeed old enough to be there. I’m not proud of my actions, but I was a working mom to a rambunctious puppy. I was tired, and he needed exercise!

Riggins and I still do Runyon together, and my adorable pup is pretty confident that he owns that hill. He has every right to think that. After all, he has peed on every square inch of it.

3. Taking road trips

Rare road trip where Riggins and I where both in the back seat together. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

A rare road trip when Riggins and I were in the backseat together. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins is a great road-tripper. When you open the car door to tell him it’s time for a ride, he will jump up and settle down in the backseat. In fact, if it looks like I won’t be taking him, he does what he can to sneak out the back door and go to his side of the car and wait until I give in and take him along.

Riggins and me hanging out at Yosemite. (Photo by Christy Newell)

Riggins and me hanging out at Yosemite. (Photo by Christy Newell)

He knows his spot. It’s behind the passenger seat, where he can be buckled up and look out the window. It’s also an easy reach for me to pass him dog-friendly road-trip snacks, not to mention close to a cup holder where I can put some water for him to lap up while we drive. When he gets tired of looking around at the cars whizzing by, he can plop down and close his eyes.

Riggins is a great driving partner. He will stay up with me on long rides and always lets me pick the radio station and podcasts.

4. Going camping

Protecting the camp! (photo by Wendy Newell)

Protecting the camp! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

I’m pretty sure Riggins likes camping so much because, much like at my sister’s house, all his favorite people are there. He’ll happily hop up the stairs of my folks’ motorhome and plop down in his place to get ready for the trip to the campground. My mom is sweet enough to make the dining table into a bed for him so that he can be comfy.

Hanging with mom in the motor home heading to the camp ground. (Photo by Doris Newell)

Hanging out with mom in the motorhome, heading to the campground. (Photo by Doris Newell)

Once at the campground, Riggins’ job is to be on high alert for anything and everything out of the ordinary. All odd activity will be given the appropriate alert bark. Once it gets dark and everyone is safe and settled, Riggins can join me in our tiny little tent, where we hunker down for the night. Sometimes a midnight pee is necessary, just to make sure everything is still on the up and up outside. It is, after all, Riggins’ job to make sure all is well.

5. Soda run

Selfie while stopped. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Selfie while stopped. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

When I’m stressed and need a timeout, I need a soda. Riggins is happy to join me on my quest for bubbly refreshment. “Let’s go for a ride,” I’ll exclaim, and Riggins will bounce up from wherever he is and head to the back door. He’ll climb into the car and happily join me on our trip to the local fast food joint’s drive-thru. It’s a short adventure, but sometimes even the smallest amount of time together is a necessary and happy break during a long day!

Where do your and your pup go together to have fun? Let us know in the comments!