Where to walk the dog?
Now that it looks like winter has finally set in, taking that daily walk with your dog can be a bit more of a challenge. The City of Marquette has something to make it a little easier, and maybe more fun… the City Dog Park at Tourist Park.
A recent visit found no fewer than 20 walkers and at least that many dogs. Adriana Vermeulen was there with her son Eziah and dog Roxi. “We try to come as often as possible. Almost every day.” says Adriana. “We’re meeting friends here today.”
Walking the dog, being outside, meeting up with friends while socially distancing… it’s everything you and your dog need to survive the pandemic.
According to Better Health Channel, dog owners enjoy a number of health and social benefits by walking their dog a few times a week, including improved cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, stronger muscles and bones (built up by walking regularly), and decreased stress.
Local dog whisperer Andrew Bek says there’s more to it than that.
“Walking your dog is a bonding experience that strengthens the connection between human and canine. I’ve seen a lot of people walking with their dogs during the pandemic. This is very encouraging. ALL DOGS need exercise.”
Bek also has some thoughts regarding how to get the most out of your walk.
“It’s very important to be fully present. Both the human and the dog need to pay attention to what they’re doing and where they are and who they are with.”
And since you’ll probably encounter other parties during your walk, behavior is important too. According to Bek, “It’s important to let them know in ways they can understand what is wanted and what is unwanted. Giving positive reinforcement when preferred behaviors occur makes those behaviors more likely to reoccur.” And makes the walk more enjoyable for all involved.
“To a dog, a walk isn’t just an opportunity to go potty. It’s a symbolic migration with their leader,” says Bek. Just the same, don’t forget the bag.
The Dog Park at Tourist Park is very convenient with plowed trails and handy parking. And it’s a whole lot safer than trying to navigate neighborhood streets with city traffic and unplowed sidewalks.
Although Tourist Park is not entirely enclosed, there are enough barriers to discourage most well-trained dogs from taking off.
If you’re having trouble fitting a walk into your schedule, the dog park is open 24 / 7. All you need is an Off Leash Area pass, available through the city clerk’s office. You can access the park pass application at the City of Marquette website.
Looking for something to do?
Your favorite restaurant or watering hole may not be open, but there are alternatives.
Superior Lanes in Marquette Township is open for bowling! Days and hours are listed on their website, and like other similar businesses, they’re adhering to current COVID-19 restrictions with mandatory masking and social distancing.
But they’re open!
General Manager Deana Groop says that even though there are limitations, people can still enjoy a game or three.
“We would recommend making reservations online (for a discounted rate) but walk-ins are welcome too.”
There’s currently no food or beverage service, but when fully operational, Superior Lanes is a strong advocate of buying local. Says Groop, “We highly recommend our local products! When we’re able to serve again, we would love for people to check out our 24 draft beers and local food items!”
Marquette Cinemas is also open. Also in Marquette Township. Also with limited days and hours. Also with COVID-19 restrictions.
But they’re open!
According the Jack Pancheri, Operations Manager, they’re following all the pandemic rules with spaced seating and mandatory masking. And no food or beverages for guests, but they do have concessions on a to-go basis.
“We have a great movie line up, and at 25% capacity social distancing is easily accomplished.”
Check their website for shows and times. Pancheri says reservations aren’t required. Just stop in.
And did I mention? They’re open!
Or how about a Sleigh Ride?
The Up North Lodge outside of Gwinn is where you’ll find horse drawn rides from Melchiori’s Cold Springs Livery.
Now through January 3rd they’ll offer four sessions every day, at noon, 2, 4, and 6pm. It’s good family fun for the holidays, followed by some hot cocoa by the outdoor fire, and maybe some world-famous ribs to take home.
Reservations for the sleigh ride are required. Visit the Up North Lodge website or Facebook page to find out more.