picnic at the dog park

Basil and I recently had lunch with Jason at the dog park near his office. Basil is very friendly when we are out walking / running on our trail, but he becomes very shy at the off leash dog park. I’m hoping with continued visits he loosens up…

Dogs like him, though.

Other long dogs want to make friends…

I made a picnic lunch.

The Big Salad


packed up and ready to go!

Cookie balls!

and water for Basil.

I think I had more fun running around at the dog park than Basil did, but he just needs to get used to it. Dog park picnic may just become a regular lunch date this summer – even if he isn’t outgoing with the other dogs, he does have fun.

Do you have a dog? Are they friendly? Do you take them to off leash areas?


  1. says

    Oh how fun. We like taking a picnic to our dog park too. Though, our dogs don’t really run and play with the other dogs. They sort of continue to stick near us. Maddie does occasionally try to get other people to pet her, but she could care less about the dogs.

    • spabettie says

      I wonder if Basil ever will? he wanders away from us, but keeps a close watch. He seems more into people, also.

    • spabettie says

      ah – okay, Holly… that will make him feel better πŸ˜€ Basil is friendly but is such a sensitive little guy…

    • spabettie says

      well, of course! πŸ˜€ I don’t go on picnics enough, and when I do I always wonder why, I love them so!

  2. says

    You’ve inspired me to picnic this weekend! It’s my wedding anniversary and I was trying to think of something fun/different to do together. It’s supposed to be a gorgeous, not too hot day, perfect for the occasion I think! So fun!

    • spabettie says

      oh, YAY! glad I could inspire anniversary fun – (congrats, happy anniversary!) <3 I hope it's perfect!

    • spabettie says

      yes, that was a PERFECT day, a couple weeks ago – it’s been raining since πŸ˜‰ we’re out of town again, but I hear it’s getting nice again for our return! I love picnics! hope you’re having a great day, Liz!

    • spabettie says

      of course I came with snacks! this was actually lunch time for Jason, so I wanted to make something good for him. Basil was busy sniffing around to enjoy his snacks.. πŸ˜€ hope your travels are safe and smooth, Averie! welcome home!

    • spabettie says

      ah, Sarena I wish I could! I hope you have time, if you throw all the ingredients in a food processor its no time at all! I hope YOU are having a great day and all goes fabulous!

  3. says


    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    I don’t have a dog. I think a dog would distract me too much, and want too much attention from me. If I ever had a pet, it would be a turtle. (Totally serious!)

    • spabettie says

      yes, most likely! good to know and not get one until you can give them attention. my sister had a turtle!! it was getting too big and she sent it to live in the desert (Arizona!) with her Aunt… I think he’s happy there!

      • says

        I honestly believe that you shouldn’t have a pet until you can give it what it needs! Many people get pets because they think they’ll feel better having one … They should think about the pet! Poor things. :(

        All the best to your sister’s turtle! There he goes … *wave*

        • spabettie says

          ah, Kath, just another reason I love you, my friend! I am one of those people who thinks more about the suffering of animals more than people (sometimes… I always feel weird saying this). animals have no voice and are so often abused and it makes me SO sad and SO angry :( so I completely agree with you… it breaks my heart to think of our sweet little Basil pre-rescue – he has a few quirks and nervous tendencies that lead me to believe he was not treated well. it kills me to see parents get kids a puppy for a gift, or a chick or bunny at Easter (yep, that and jellybeans, it’s what Easter is all about, after all!) only to “give it back” when they realize it’s too much.

          oops. *jumps off soap box* πŸ˜‰

          • says

            Before you love me, don’t forget that I *eat* animals! I eat them with the mindset of a Native American, though: thankful that they gave their lives to nourish me. But still – the moment that I feel I can be healthy without meat and fish, I’ll become a vegetarian. I’m just afraid that’l never happen, thanks (:() to my damn dairy and soy sensitivities …

          • spabettie says

            we just figure he must have, as his actions sometimes indicate. we are so happy he is with us too, and we spoil him as he should be. when he is completely relaxed and feels safe, the quirks are less or not there at all, but he is often cautious. poor little guy, it makes no sense to me. Basil sends kisses and wags! XO *wave*

          • says

            If you now somebody really well, you can sometimes infer the missing parts of the picture from how that one behaves. I’m sure you can do that with Basil. :)

            I’ve seen your fb pic of him, and the one that shows how he licks Jason’s nose. These pictures tell that he’s happy with you and loves you. This makes me happy and gives me hope. We all deserved to be treated kindly. I’m happy you give that kindness to Basil!

          • spabettie says

            yes – I think I know which photo you mean, Jason sitting by a fireplace or something? oh, no, maybe out by the pool? (he does that a lot…) πŸ˜€

            Kath, I wish more people were like you. I almost said “I wish there were more like you” – but no, the people already currently HERE, I wish were more like you (see the difference?) πŸ˜€ We SHOULD be treated kindly, and we should all approach everything and everyone WITH kindness… too many people have their own agendas or their own insecurities clouding their day to day actions. I just tend to stay away from them if I can. πŸ˜‰

          • says

            It’s the fireplace photo. :)

            And yeah, I totally see the difference! Like you, I’d opt for more Kath-like people, not more *actual* Kaths … CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW INCREDIBLY BOOOOOOOOOOOORING THE WORLD WOULD BE IF IT WAS JUST FILLED WITH MULITIPLE MES? 😯 😯 😯 (Not to mention the terrible amount of SPELLING MISTAKES going around everywhere … πŸ˜€ You now I love very hard everytime I see a peace that make sense. ;))

            Seriously, I love you. And Basil. And Jason. (… No, better not. He belongs to you. But *wave* hi Jason! :D)

            You may be almost at the other side of the world, but hey, there’s somebody who gets me! How awesome is that?! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

          • spabettie says

            aw, but I actually didn’t mean that at all – it would also be a better world with more Kaths in it!! :) i meant, lets not add MORE people that are Like You, lets make more of the people already here Like You.

            I may have drank too much kombucha or had too much sun today… πŸ˜‰ and that’s okay – Jason is VERY lovable – I know you two would hit it off, and have a lot to talk about, especially musically – when he is around and I play your music he always knows what it is – the day he took your survey, he then spent a LONG while reading your blog, and one thing he said was you have great music taste. πŸ˜€

          • says

            Aww, thank you so much! Actually, I have a little surprise for you. (I’m currently sending thank-you-packages to all the people who’ve especially helped me to get those amazing 1300 (by now :D) participants by linking from their blog to my study. Everybody gets something I think suits him/her (my Mom has knit socks for HEAB’s little one, other people will receive flowery spice mixes, almond butter, etc), and I an working on putting together a CD for you. I know we have a very similar taste in music, so I can just put on there what I like the best (with the little limitation that it only has 700 MB) with worrying any further. I’ll send it durng the next days, so you’ll receive it within a week or two.

            I’d love to hear Jason play. One day! You know I’m determined to visit you one day! I don’t know if I’ll manage it this year, but I definitely will! And then I’ll tickle Basil’s ears. (I look forward to that especially, next to trying one of your making-me-drool juices, and talking with Jason about music and the world. I just hope Basil won’t hate that. :D)

          • spabettie says

            ah, I am so excited for that!! what a sweetie you are. I hope HEAB shares Summer’s socks, how cute! πŸ˜€

            I rarely hear Jason play live – he goes to a friend’s place weekly for that, although I get the benefit of the recordings! They do talk about actually playing a gig out sometime, which would be great because the times I have heard him in his old band setting, I was in awe. πŸ˜€ Perhaps I can send some of his music your way – he also produces music here at home and some of it is incredibly soothing and we play it at night as we sleep. I wonder if there is a way to get it to you over the wires, so you can listen now as you work? I will ask him tonight! Otherwise, you may be getting music by mail also πŸ˜€ XXO!

          • spabettie says

            well, not SHARES Summers socks WITH others… πŸ˜‰ she usually shows the cute baby things people send – so I’m thinking she will πŸ˜€

          • says

            I hope so! At the same time … I’m afraid my Mom would have to knit for the whole blog world then. The socks are *really* cute, I’d have kept them for myself if they hadn’t been *so small*. πŸ˜‰

          • spabettie says

            and yes, it is VERY awesome – to connect with someone on the other side of the world. XO ! some day… you can snuggle with Basil in REAL time!

          • spabettie says

            hee! love that! it is so fun chatting with you… I’m happy to see you are taking mental breaks from what must be busy time…

  4. says

    Oh Basil – such a sweetie! Dottie is not very well socialized, but luckily my sister & her GF have a little Chihuahua that she’s getting used to. They spend lots of time together now & after 4 months of fairly frequent visits they’re much more “normal” around each other. If this continues to go well we just might try the dog part too!

    • spabettie says

      aw, I bet that is so fun to watch Dottie and the chihuahua! Basil is VERY social on the trail… I think he just needs to feel familiar there. He used to act aloof around my mom’s 2 doxies when they were new, and now they all run around together.

  5. says

    How fun! I love taking my dog to our unofficial dog park in our neighborhood! She is super friendly with everyone and loves playing with all the dogs! I love when I have half days or days off and take picnic’s too!

    • spabettie says

      Heather, aren’t dog parks SO fun?? I love watching all the dogs run free! I’m looking forward to the day Basil joins them, he’s timid right now! πŸ˜€

    • spabettie says

      ah, I wish Sadie and you could have joined us – if you’re here in July you should road trip up here with Sadie?? πŸ˜€

  6. says

    Awww, Basil! I bet he’ll open up to the other pups if you go back regularly. Tell him I sometimes have social anxiety, too. A glass of wine usually helps. πŸ˜‰

    Add this to the list of things we’ll do together when I come visit Portland!

    • spabettie says

      hee hee – he did dip is tongue into our prosecco on new years eve… hmm.. πŸ˜‰ I’ll take you two to the dog park and you can stick together… πŸ˜€ I’m thinking he just needs to get used to it to feel comfortable, he was too busy sniffing around to play with the pups. as soon as the weather is steadily nice (hopefully soon!) we’ll be out there a lot.

    • spabettie says

      of COURSE he does – that’s the dachshund in him. πŸ˜‰ okay, I think it’s the DOG in him, but whatever! πŸ˜€ poor baby, I hope he’s feeling great soon – give him ((hugs)) from me + Basil. and to you too! XO

  7. says

    I wouldn’t be able to take Corky to off leash areas! He either is a) very up in other dog’s faces wanting to play and wrestle which irritates them or b) oddly aggresive to certain dogs, trying to hump them and snarling. Luckily he gets along GREAT with other relative’s and friend’s dogs, but I just wouldn’t want to risk it w/ stranger’s dogs at a park!

    • spabettie says

      I like you… πŸ˜‰ there are people who take their dogs anyway – either already knowing, or not caring?? it’s insane. those are also the people who aren’t paying attention to their dogs and should be. I’m glad you care enough (for Corky, mostly!) to not take him there. Just let him play with his pup pals that he already knows! πŸ˜€

  8. says

    The lighting in your kitchen is so PERFECT. I wish I could get light like that naturally. Your photos look amazing :) btw, did you get my muffins? I dropped them off last Monday before my holiday and JUST thought about them this morning!

    • spabettie says

      yes, we received them thankfully before we left town – we LOVE them (I’m planning to post about them soon!) πŸ˜€ they are deliciousness…

      and this comment made me LAUGH. you have NO idea how many times I want to SCREAM at the lack of light in our house, it is absolutely horrid. we have the weirdest set up and window situation… any photo that looks decent is because of my photo lighting, and that is rare. we are currently looking at houses, and one of my BIG wants (needs?) is natural light. when we got this house I wasn’t as into my food photography, it was more outdoors anyway. πŸ˜‰ (but thanks for the photo compliment…) XO!

  9. says

    Clyde does that same perch-on-the-car-window thing! Clyde loves other dogs, but it’s me that is scared to take him to a dog park. He’s so little I’m afraid something will happen to him, even in the small dog section!

    • spabettie says

      I LOVE when Basil stands up like that when I’m driving – people see him and it makes them smile :)

  10. says

    I have a little chi-weenie dog, and as far as being friendly goes… if she doesn’t know you and you don’t come bearing treats, you’re likely to lost a limb 😐
    Well, she isn’t that bad anymore. But she used to be terrible! She’s better with people, but other dogs are a definite no at this point. I’m scared she’d pick a fight and get snapped up by a bigger dog!

  11. says

    Yea! A basset in the background! Basil is too cute rolling around in those last pictures! :)

    I didn’t take my boys (basset hounds) to the dog park until they were much older (I was unaware of them until we moved to the DC area). My oldest, wasn’t really into meeting the other dogs but loved meeting the people, whereas the younger loved frolicking with the other dogs. Of course, his version of frolicking was mounting them, so I was usually running around stopping him from doing that. Heh. Everyone had a good laugh, because he was a senior dog by then and he was just too silly. After my oldest passed away, I’d still take the younger one. He started to expect it as part of our day (the dog park was part of the apartment complex). When we moved to San Diego, the dog parks were much bigger, and he was no longer the ‘resident dog’, so I didn’t feel like he liked it as much, so we hardly went. I miss the little guy. :(

    Anyway, try to read Basil, you’ll know if he will warm up or not. My oldest really never did, he much preferred to be outside the fence hanging out with people who were not in the dog park. I think that with older dogs, you have to make sure that the younger dogs don’t play too rough. I think that’s why my oldest didn’t like it too much.

    Sorry about writing a book here. I love seeing pictures of Basil. I miss my boys.

    • spabettie says

      don’t be sorry, Nic, I loved reading it. bassets are my second favorite Long Dog :) having a pup in your life is SO fulfilling, and even though it is SO difficult when you lose them, it’s still worth it… I still miss my old pups. you can always visit here and look at Basil photos.

      my mom has two brother dachshunds – they’re around 4 now, I think. they LOVE to “frolic” with Basil in that way. πŸ˜‰ its pretty funny, poor Basil just stands there until I shoo them away!

      Basil sends love, *wag wag wag* XXO!

  12. Kathy says

    Be careful at dog parks. We brought our pup to a few in our area since he was 8 weeks old to socialize him, and he loved it! Just taking the exit on the freeway and he would start to get all excited. He loved to play and interact, and it was a good way for us to meet other like minded doggy people. Until he got attacked. He was about 1 1/2 years old and a group of dogs started playing too rough, and it turned into a “pack” mentality where they were all fighting and he got bit in the face. This happened again at a different park with different dogs, and he is now aggressive towards all other dogs. We’ve started him in training again to re-socialize him in a structured environment, but the damage is done. Most trainers do not support dog parks.

  13. Colleen says

    aww. Our Dachshund isn’t very outgoing at the dog park either, but is the same way on walks! We don’t know what it is about the park that intimidates him.

  14. says

    I have a weiner dog too! His name is kenny and hes 5 now. He loves people and dogs when people bring their dogs to our house. But when we take him to the park and another dog wants to sniff him or play he gets a little stand-offish. He either ignores them and stands there uninterested or he will growl at them. He never bites or fights or anything, he just gets a little moody. Once he gets to know a dog tho he is fine! Keep bringing him to the off-leash park, he will get more comfortable. My dog use to hate the dog walkers group but now he has gotten use to them and loves all the dogs. So just keep at it!

    • spabettie says

      hi Matt! I went to your blog, looking for dachshunds, obviously! πŸ˜‰ sorry about your broken fibula, ouch! Kenny is VERY cute and sounds like he’s keeping you as active as you can be! :)

      we have been back to the dog park a few times, Basil remains standoffish. He doesn’t look like he’s not enjoying himself, so we continue to go – he just seems more interested in sniffing around than interacting with other pups. I think next time we’ll try a longer visit. πŸ˜€

      • says

        I just realized, Kenny opens up a ton with other dogs when he’s with my grandma’s dog who he spends time with and has become good friends with. I think having a pal makes him more comfortable. If Basil has a friend, bring that dog too! Might bring out his inner social skills!

        • spabettie says

          we have thought about getting Basil a sister… :) I know he really likes being the one and only, but I think he could get used to another Long Dog around the house! I think it would be so much fun, and definitely beneficial for him. Basil just turned nine – some of the dachshunds that I grew up with, when they were getting older we would get a young dachshund – I think it keeps them young! :)

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