Summer Bucket List with a Dog (Great Ideas for a Dog-Friendly Summer)

Summer has always felt like a time of adventure. At least it has to me. Maybe that feeling is something that’s been drilled into all of us from the years we spent in the school system waiting for the freedom that goes along with summer. I find that even though I’ve been out of school for a number of years I still get that rush when the weather starts to become warmer and a little voice inside of me says “go, do the thing”. Every summer I find myself doing all of the things, enough to make summer my favorite month of them all. 

One of the tools that I use to ensure that each summer will be greater than the last is ‘list making’. I love lists. I love crossing things off of my list. Typically each summer I’ll make a bucket list of the things that I want to accomplish by summer’s end, but with my 2018 New Year’s Resolution being to include my dog in as much of my life as possible, I decided to make a dog bucket list of activities that we can enjoy together.

How many of these things are on your list too? 

1. Road Trip

Road trips just SCREAM summer. Driving with the windows down, summer playlist blaring, lemonade (non-pulp) in the cup holder. Nothing makes me happier than the thought of driving around with my main pooches head hanging out the window. Believe it or not, apart from a little 6-hour jaunt up north to go camping me and Django have never gone on a road trip together. That’s why this summer we’re going to plan a little trip. Maybe we’ll link it to the second point on our bucket list?

2. Rent a Cottage

In Canada (where Django and I live) cottages are a staple. It’s basically a National pass-time. Summers are generally spent sitting on the dock reading books, hanging around campfires, and going on evening boat rides. If you don’t have a cottage you make friends with people who do and then subtly convince them to invite you to their cottage home-away-from-home. 

Sadly I fall into the list of people that don’t have a cottage, but the good new is that there are plenty up for rent. Django running around in the outdoors, so this year I want to treat him to a weekend at the cottage.

3. Drive-In Movie Theatre

There is so much nostalgia attached to the drive-in movie theatre! I love anything related to the past and the drive-in gives me a feeling of going back in time that I cherish so much. I love that places like this still exist and that we can still enjoy them.

This is the one thing on the list that I’ve already accomplished (yay me!). Last weekend I took Django on a double date with my friend and her English bulldog, Summer (how fitting of a name to kick off this bucket list). I wanted the dogs to fall in love, like Lady and the Tramp, but in reality, they just ignored each other the whole time. Regardless, we got to see a beautiful sunset, watch Deadpool 2, and munch some popcorn so I call it a success.

4. Doga

As ridiculous as this looks I desperately want to try it. 

For those of you who don’t know, doga is yoga with your dog. I’m confused over if the dog does the yoga, or hangs out with you while you do yoga, but either option sounds exciting to me. From what I’ve heard, there are both classes to participate in for the outgoing dog or online videos for dogs that are shyer. Perhaps we should stick to the online videos because I CANNOT imagine Django in a room full of dogs trying to focus on their stretching.

5. Double Date

This is likely one of the craziest ideas on my list. I want to go on a double date with my dog. Meaning, I want to date someone who also has a dog so that humans can be on a date and dogs can be on a date. I even bought Django a bow tie for the occasion.

 I have no idea where I’m going to find someone to do this with, but I plan on doing it. This whole idea stems from the fact that every time I date someone they are awed by the fact that Django comes before them, so I decided that I need to find someone who has a similar relationship with their own dog. That’s the only way that this is going to work out.

6. Solo Camping Trip

If you haven’t been on a solo camping trip before, you need to do it right now. Going on a solo camping trip in the wilderness, with nothing but what you carry on your back, is a very empowering experience and will leave you will such a solid feeling of pride. The pride that you were able to take care of yourself, be completely content in your aloneness, and also pride in the fact that you didn’t manage to die in the middle of a forest. 

Last summer Django and I took our first solo camping trip, and while I spent the first night shivering in my sleeping bag and jumping at every sound, I came out of that experience feeling so uplifting and proud of myself. So much so that I want to do it again this year, only bigger. Perhaps this year instead of 3 days we’ll go for 5, and we’ll cover more ground in our hikes. 

7. Dog-Friendly Patio

For Canadians, the thought of sitting on a patio in the summer months, sangria in hand, is the only thing that gets us through the winter months. When I was a child, dogs were more than welcome on a patio, and the owner's task throughout the meal was to make sure their dog didn’t snatch a bit of food off of the table. Nowadays dogs have been banished from most patios. 

There are some restaurants that are a bit more lenient with that law, and this summer I intend to find them so that my dog can park his bum on a patio with me this summer.

8. Tattoo of Django’s Paw

I plan on having a lot of dogs throughout the course of my life. I aspire to be a crazy dog lady, and I have no shame in admitting it. Django will always be my first dog. He is the first dog that is completely mine; not my parents, or my partners, but mine. Because of that, I want to keep a piece of him with me even after he’s gone. Django is still a young buck, so it may seem morbid that I’m talking about it now, but I’d like to get a tattoo of his paw on me. 

I am not sure where, or how to style it, and am open to suggestions!

9. Canoeing

When the weather turns nice I try to plan as many camping trips as I possibly can. Usually, I plan at least some of that time to be spent in a canoe. Since I’ve had Django with me, though, I’ve stuck entirely to hiking trips.

Django is a bit of a scaredy-cat and doesn’t like to be in situations that he doesn’t understand. The movement of a canoe would definitely be something that he doesn’t understand. 

To remedy this situation I plan to slowly introduce him to canoeing, a little bit at a time. Instead of signing us on for a canoe trip (portage and all) I’ll plan little afternoon trips with him. I’ll coax him into the canoe first with lots of treats and praise, and over time work up to our big canoe trip. We may not get there this year, but we can start the process.

10. Homemade Dog Treats

I am (admittedly) not the best baker that ever walked this Earth, but I do love the idea of making dog treats for Django to enjoy. Not only will I cut down on the use of plastic, but I will also probably save a lot of money by making Django’s treats for him. Not to mention I think that it could be a fun afternoon, baking and decorating treats for my dog to show him how much I care. 

What’s on your summer bucket list with your dog? Write us a comment about the fun things that you plan to do with your dog this summer!



Jackie & Django