There’s always one downside for going on vacation. I know, you’re thinking there can’t be a downside, you’re leaving your work, bills and responsibilities behind, but you’re also leaving that furry little friend to wonder why you’re not home at 5:42 like a usual day. So, why not just bring Fido along for the ride? You’d be surprised how pet friendly LaGrange County businesses are. So to prove my point, I buckled my family dogs, Maggie and Molly, in and we headed for a day of adventure.
Of course I would suggest stopping at the Visitors Center first when you get into town. Here you and the pups can find all sorts of area information and get suggestions on where to go and what to do from any of the staff. They even made a couple new friends with the sweet little girls that happened to be in there.
Since it was a Tuesday, what better way to start out our morning in Shipshewana than the Flea Market – especially since it’s not as hot as in the afternoon. You can be assured, they won’t be the only pooches there. With hundreds of vendors, there was plenty for Molly and Maggie to sniff, and more than enough new friends to make. Shoppers, vendors, workers, they were all stopping to give some much needed attention to the girls. There’s also plenty of food courts to get some water for them (and Nelson’s chicken for me).
The Flea Market isn’t the end of it, just a few blocks away is the downtown area that will please any shopper. And of course there’s merchandise for the little ones too. On Harrison Street is The Corner Gathering, and they have a wonderful welcoming outside the door telling you to bring those dogs on in. And right when we walked in, the dogs were offered water and treats. Plus, they have so many items to buy that are dog related from coffee mugs to signs. And this was just the first shop! They can walk all around downtown and the boardwalk, dipping into a few other pet friendly shops as well. Cherry Pickers, Cornucopia, Country Yard Outlet, Lasting Impressions, are just a few to name where the pooches can shop ‘til they drop (or you too, I’m not sure who was about to drop first, me or the dogs).
After returning to the car for some water and snacks, we headed out of the downtown area to give some of the other shops some love. Plenty of locally owned places spread throughout the countryside of LaGrange County welcome you and your dogs. Maggie and Molly weren’t short on the attention, everywhere we went there’s plenty of people blurting out “awwww!” as they walked by. And I can’t tell you how many different store employees offered them treats, water, anything that the dogs might’ve wanted.
After all that shopping though, we were ready to head to the hotel for a little “cat-nap” (like what I did there, haha). We checked into the Holiday Inn Express in Howe. As soon as I opened the door to our room, Molly and Maggie quickly checked the place out, then hopped on the bed to close their eyes. Of course, the Holiday Inn Express isn’t the only pet friendly hotel. Howe also has the Super 8. Plus if you wanted to stay in Shipshewana, you can choose between the Shipshewana Super 8 and the Der Ruhe Blatz. Plus, campgrounds around here are very pet friendly and always like to see your furry friends just as much as they like to see you.
I decided to leave the dogs to rest a little longer while I went to grab something to eat. They were filled with treats and snacks all day long, so they were doing just fine. I finally got something to fill my stomach though, and returned to find them just how I left them. Little did they know, the day wasn’t finished. I loaded them back up in the car and headed for their nightly walk, but this wasn’t around the neighborhood at home like usual. The Pumpkinvine Trail is the perfect place for a dog to get some exercise. The entire trail is paved and most of it is shaded for a beautiful evening walk. You get warm greetings when you pass by a biker or a fellow walker. After we got back to the car, I realized how tired I was, so that means their little legs had to be done for the day. So, to treat the already spoiled dogs (and myself) on being good all day, we took a little detour to Lucy’s in LaGrange for some ice cream. It didn’t take long for me to set the little puppy ice cream bowls in front of them before there were no traces left behind. So, that means they got to sit, watch, and beg while I ate my own.
Once we finished that, I decided it would probably be our last stop of the day. We had enough excitement and went back for a much needed night of sleep. Of course, this was just one day of activities that could be done if you bring your dogs along. There are plenty of parks, stores, and activities you can do with them while you’re here. And the people you meet along the way, both locals and visitors, are always so friendly. They come over to pet your dogs, but then a conversation and new friendship sparks in no time. Why leave your dogs at home when you can enjoy your vacation without picturing those sad puppy dog eyes waiting at home for you.
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