Dog Days of Summer: Ocean City, MD

Nugget and I have had a lot of fun taking mini road trips to the beach together. I am lucky enough to have a family home to stay in right outside of Ocean City, so bringing my pup along for vacation is easy. I have been able to find some really fun, dog-friendly spots to hang out if you are vacationing on the eastern shore.

1) Assateague Island: Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the Ocean City beach or boardwalk during the summer season. Thank God for Assateague Island! Dogs are welcome here which makes beach days a lot more fun. There is an entrance fee, but I always just get an annual pass for $40. It’s well worth it. Nugget and I have spent many summer days enjoying the various activities the island has to offer. If it’s a particularly hot day, I like to throw on Nugget’s life jacket and take him to the bay side of the island to swim. The bay is perfect for us because the water is very calm and shallow, but still a perfect place to cool off on a hot day. We swim together, and Nugget chases his tennis ball in the water. The area is also equipped with grills, bathrooms, and kayak/SUP rentals. Additionally, the beach area is lined with trees which many people use to hang hammocks on.  

There are also various short hiking trails throughout the island. This is a great opportunity to do some sightseeing and let Nugget expel some energy. Nugget and I have been hiking, running, and biking together on the island and we always come back tired and content.  

2) Ayer’s Creek: I’m a huge fan of kayaking, and I frequented Ayer’s Creek even before I had Nugget. They have very affordable kayak and SUP rentals, and dogs are welcome! I took Nugget along on our most recent excursion, and it was a blast. Nugget took a bit to get adjusted to the kayak, but he did great. I can’t wait to try it again.

3) Burley Oak Brewing Company: Beer and dogs are two of my favorite things so obviously Burley Oak made my list. Burley Oak is located in Berlin, and you can enjoy some unique craft beers with your dog by your side. I usually take my dog in the early afternoon because the building is small and can get crowded later in the evening. It’s my go-to spot if we are stuck inside because of a rainy beach day. 

4) Berlin in general is a great place to take your dog when they have events. There are often events on the weekends that take place right on the main street, and some stores even put water and dog treats on the sidewalk for the dogs to enjoy. Berlin also has Stephen Decatur Park which has a track to run on, tennis courts, pavilion, grills, and a playground. Nugget and I often go there to run or relax. 

5) Although dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk during the summer, there technically is an area they are allowed. At the very beginning of the boardwalk on the inlet side is the Inlet Village which is a paved area with stores and restaurants. There is a pretty large dog boutique in there that has dog and beach themed treats, accessories, and souvenirs. It’s really awesome, and they have a lot of unique things. I really liked that they had a large variety of breed-oriented accessories. I can never find anything that is for Puggles, and this store has a lot! Additionally, there is a little restaurant that overlooks the water called the Frog Bar. It has cheap, good food, and you can bring your dog to sit on the deck. 

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any quality places to put Nugget in daycare in the Ocean City area. I have tried a couple of dog facilities in the area when I wanted to let Nugget play while I had visitors in town, and they were very unprofessional and careless with the care of my dog. I would only use them in a real pinch in the future. 
Thankfully, Nugget and I have overall had great experiences on the eastern shore. Are there any other places you can add to the list?  


Nugget, CGC

Nugget and I arrived to take our CGC test on June 5th. I was very nervous, but excited to get it over with! It was more challenging than expected due to unforeseen obstacles. 

Right when we were about to start the test, a little child walked by squeezing a squeaky toy that sounded like a duck. Nugget had never heard that noise before and obviously became distracted and eager to find the toy. Luckily, this was before the test began so I was able to give him a moment to calm down and redirect him.  

Later in the test, we turned a corner and there was dog food spilled all over the floor! It was a major distraction, but the trainer quickly led us over the area into a clearing for us to continue our testing. 

Overall, Nugget did great, and he passed his test. Nugget now is officially “Nugget, CGC”. I am very proud of him and cannot wait to frame his certificate.

Doggy Bucket List

Sometimes it’s good to take a break from training and do some fun activities with your dog. It strengthens the bond with your dog and takes the pressure off training. I’ve been thinking about all of the fun things I want to do with Nugget, so I decided to make a “Doggy Bucket List”. This is what I have so far:

1) Run a dog friendly 5K. I really enjoy running, and I’ve done a ton of various runs. I have never done a race with my dog though! Nugget and I go running together a lot, so I would love to bring him along with me for a race. I will be on the look out for any future doggy races. 

2) Hike on the Appalachian Trail. I love this trail, and I have hiked on all different parts of it in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. It’s time to take Nugget along to check it out! He loves hiking with me, and I’m sure this trail will be an adventure for him.

3) Kayak. Kayaking is one of my absolute favorite activities. I travel to the beach a lot in the summer, and there is a dog-friendly place nearby to rent a kayak. I can’t want to get Nuggy a life-vest and take him out to sea. 😉 

4) Paddleboard. This is another fun one to try while at the beach. It’s a lot easier to fall into the water on a paddleboard as opposed to a kayak, so I will see how Nugget feels on the kayak first.

5) Bake dog treats at home. I have found so many doggy treat recipes on Pinterest! I plan on baking some yummy home-made treats and snuggling up with Nugget for a movie night.

6) Wear matching Halloween costumes. Yes, I am totally that person. I have never been able to convince a boyfriend to do a couple costume with me, so Nugget gets to be the one to match me! 

7) Beach day. The beach is my favorite place in the whole world. I plan on taking Nugget on a lot of beach trips. It will be so fun to see him play and dig in the sand and frolic in the waves. I’m sure he will LOVE it.

8) Road trip. I would love to do a mini road trip somewhere and stop at a bunch of places to explore. My best friend just moved to North Carolina, so it would be great to travel to see her and stop for hikes along the way! 

9) Camping. I’m not sure what Nugget would think of camping, but I’d love to try it. I’m sure he would love to be out in nature, but he may be too stimulated by all of the noises at night to relax. I guess the only way to find out is to go for it!

10) Swimming. I think Nugget is still getting used to the idea of swimming. He has slowly become more comfortable wading in streams, but initially he did not want to go in at all. I’m obviously not going to force him to do anything he does not want to, but I think he will love it once the hot days of summer roll around! He has a lake at his dog park, so hopefully he will enjoy a quick dip with his doggy pals.

11) Photoshoot. I’m going to have someone take professional pictures of me and Nugget outdoors. I really don’t have many pictures of us together, and the ones I do have are “selfies” from an awkward angle or using a timer. Nugget is my family, so we need family photos 🙂

12) Get a tattoo. (sorry mom) I have 7 tattoos now, and I plan on adding a tattoo in honor of Nugget. If the tattoo idea doesn’t work, a t-shirt or a piece of jewelry to honor Nugget could work too!

I’m sure we will experience many adventures together, but this list is a good starting place for us! Now we are so ready for summer.