You can imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered Rover.com was interested in doggy city guides in Denver, CO. Rover.com is a site where you can browse potential dog sitters and boarders, arrange meetings, and pick the sitter/boarder who you and your dog click with the best. Here’s the local Denver dog sitter page for my Denver readers.
I literally couldn’t get this post up fast enough. Despite my eagerness to take Linus out to explore and discover his favorite places, I’ve had quite a few obstacles, including moving and settling in, starting a new job, and getting snowed in for several days.
There were a few days, however, when both scheduling and the weather were in agreement, and we hit the ground running and came upon various dog parks and a dog-friendly bar in Denver and surrounding areas.
Over the past year of owning my energetic and playful fur baby, I’d like to say I’ve become a connoisseur of dog-friendly venues and developed a keen eye for pros and cons while entertaining and exercising Linus. Thus, my rating system for each dog park is based on: size, terrain, pet station availability, friendliness of dogs, owner responsiveness, and cleanliness.
Englewood Canine Corral Dog Park
First up, we have Englewood Canine Corral Dog Park. While we appreciated the spaciousness and friendliness of the dogs and owners, the mulch caused some concern about splinters getting stuck in Linus’ paws. Otherwise, it was a pleasant doggy atmosphere surrounded by a beautiful park.
Linus’ rating: 4 out of 5
Green Valley Ranch East Dog Park
We live just a few blocks away from a dog park. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to rate the Green Valley Ranch East Dog Park because our enjoyment there has been so inconsistent. In nearly all of the times that we’ve gone, we came across neglected dog poop and irresponsible owners who would leave their dogs with their children running a muck and unattended. The other disconcerting discovery is that folks seem to lose their dogs often around here.
Cons aside, Linus has enjoyed some romps with other playful dogs at the spacious 2-acre park with its shady area, benches, and available water bowls.
Linus’ rating: 3 out of 5
Expansive even for Linus’ long-legged standards, Stapleton Dog Park is impressive in its size as well as for its amenities. There are several covered sitting areas that provide shade and water bowls. Multiple entrances allow for the ample dog traffic here, and our brief exchanges with the owners and their dogs have been pleasant and fun.
The dog park is sandy, which makes it easy to pick up after Linus; but, it’s also a challenge to walk and run around in. When the sand became too hot, Linus found some relief in the shade. He did, unfortunately, have to avoid the territorial, stuck-to-their-master dogs if he didn’t want to get snapped at.
Linus’ rating: 4 out of 5
Having saved the best dog park for last, I just had to mention this vast open space even though it is outside of Denver. It is a heaven for active dogs and trail-loving owners. The moderately easy trail winds up at a steady incline to a breathtaking view of the adjacent winding Glendale Trail (where dogs must be leashed) and surrounding Pikes Peak and the Colorado Front Range. Near the top, there are picnic tables, benches, and a small agility area. The 17-acre space gave both Linus and me the opportunity to burn off some energy in meeting other dogs along the trail and explore the natural terrain.
Linus’ rating: 5 out of 5
When I think about The Watering Bowl, I think about a place that formed from a brilliant idea with good intentions that simply never delivered properly. I also think about the utter disappointment it left me with. I just wish so badly that that idea focused more on the quality of food before it came into fruition.
They got the dog-friendly part down, for sure. The dog park/patio area provides ample space for dogs to meet and greet, and I know that Linus had a blast with that in addition to picking up crumbs at people’s feet. But, perhaps, it was rather too dog-friendly for my taste because nobody seemed to have the sense or urgency of picking up after their dog whose little poo nugget lay right next to our table. I took it upon myself to clean it up before our food arrived.
“We eat with our eyes first,” and how I wish that weren’t true in this case! I sat stunned and confused staring at this watery salad mixed with spray canned cheese nachos. It tasted just as disgusting as it looked. To get the horrid taste out of my mouth, I reached for my iced tea only to wash the food down with a taste of metallic water and cardboard. Perhaps the only close-to-redeeming food items were the dessert: caramel cheesecake for my husband and me, and a peanut butter and bacon dog biscuit for Linus.
While all expectations of this joint’s food have left me forever, I actually would still recommend The Watering Bowl — but merely to dog owners for meetings such as first-time dog introductions for prospective dog boarding, sitting, dating, etc. over a drink or two, which is what I’m thinking of doing through Rover.com.
Linus’ rating: 3 out of 5
I hope these reviews are of some use to Colorado visitors and residents. So many more dog-friendly adventures await us out there!