Many people have commented that my city of Annapolis, Maryland is an incredibly dog-friendly place. As a dog, I can wholeheartedly, tail-waggingly tell you this is the truth. My experiences on my multiple walks around town every day plainly prove this point. My human and I meet so many other people who smile at me, exclaim over my handsomeness (can’t blame them there!), and give me some great ear scratches. I love meeting people and showing off my tricks (to demonstrate that I am not just another pretty face), but the best is when the humans have a dog companion to play with. And there are a TON of dogs in Annapolis, from my neighborhood canine pals to the many dogs visiting our beautiful city with their people on vacation. The perks of Annapolis continue: doggie water dishes outside many of the downtown homes and shops; kind merchants who give out dog biscuits when I visit their stores; restaurants that provide doggie menus along with whatever my human wants to eat; and, amazing dog parks and green spaces where I can romp, roll, and retrieve my favorite ball. All of these wonderful things exist in the aromatic backdrop of a waterfront, 300+ year old city saturated in rich scents that delight and intrigue my constantly curious nose. Yep, it is good to be an Annapolitan dog. But within these amazing features of my city, there are some serious temptations for mischief. As faithful canines, we have to find that balance between doing our best to be the finest companions to our humans and following our natural canine urges that makes us, well, dogs. Some of these urges, though, can lead us into trouble. When faced with a temptation, our instincts can override the desire to please our humans with good behavior that keeps us safe and healthy. I know that my human wants the very best for me, but sometimes it is really difficult to understand the rationale behind certain directions. Luckily, my human has me outfitted with a Your Perfect Puppy harness that allows me to be a comfortable, cheerful pup while giving him the ability to easily remind me of my manners. This keeps us both very happy. Treats. Free, delicious treats within my reach are a prime example of how my harness helps in times of serious temptation. Some wonderful stores in Annapolis actually leave out an entire bowl of treats on the sidewalk for the dogs walking by. Incredibly kind, right? And serious score, right?!?! When I see one of these biscuit-filled bowls, I’m thinking they do this especially for me, but my human says something about “only allowed one. “ Honestly, it’s difficult to hear him in these moments because all of these treats are just sitting there, unattended, in a bowl on the sidewalk, their smell wafting up to me, triggering my impressive capacity to produce saliva, and prompting an inner voice that resolutely directs “MUST. EAT. ALL. TREATS.” The treats seem to be just waiting for me, Walter, and I am very willing to demonstrate my gratitude to the generous shopkeeper by displaying voracious enthusiasm and sucking down every crumb. You know, just to let them know that the treats were really good and much appreciated. Clean Plate Club, anyone? I can kind of hear my human’s voice commanding me to be easy. I strain forward with all of my 95 pound might, but the harness pulls me back, cushioned on my chest and stops any progress towards my goal. My human then gives a tug on the handle of my harness, and I sit, coming out of my food frenzy as he leads me away with a singular treat. Though I look back longingly at the treat bowl, I know I’ve made my human happy by getting my gluttony in check. I still don’t fully understand why I couldn’t have every single one of those unguarded treats (he uses nonsensical words like “obesity,” “pancreatitis,” and “sharing” to try to explain), but I truly am happiest when my human is happy. And, I got a treat out of it!! Yeah, Annapolis is a good place to be a dog. What are the best parts of being a dog where you live? Do you run into tricky situations in your home environment too? I would LOVE to hear about your experiences and what it’s like to be a dog in different parts of the world. I’ll be back soon to talk about a second Annapolis temptation. It’s a tough one that involves unauthorized swimming in the rivers and creeks that envelope Annapolis. I’ll go into this and discuss the important differences between river water I swim in (good!) vs. clean water I bathe in (awful!) that humans just don’t seem to understand. Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope you are the best, happiest pup you can be today!!