Who doesn’t love a picnic on the beach? Well, me, for one. Heat, sand flies, screaming kids? Nope, my idea of the ideal picnic is in a dimly lit room with my PB&J and the TV on. But most folks enjoy picnics, especially if they can bring their fur-baby along. Having done extensive research, I’ve come up with the Ultimate Dog-Lover’s Picnic Basket.
Days of Wine and Dogs
No summer outing would be complete without a bottle of wine. What better than a Chateau la Paws Merlot from Rosenblum Cellars? Described as a “medium-bodied, velvety wine brimming with ripe plum and juicy black cherry,” it not only has rave reviews, but this winery is wholeheartedly committed to animal welfare organizations around the country such as North Shore Animal League America, which states on its website that it is the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization in the world.
Add crackers, a robust cheddar and there you have it. When it’s time to fold up the tablecloth and put away the utensils, Cynthia Rowley-designed tea towels will help with clean-up. I need not add that a water bowl and plenty of water must be included.
It goes without saying that this repast will only work on dog-friendly beaches. Those are few and far between in Santa Cruz county, so travel south about 45 miles to charming Carmel-by-the-Sea. This hamlet is probably one of the most dog-friendly towns on the central coast, if not all of California. Water bowls are stationed in front of most businesses and there is no shortage of eateries and lodging for you and your pup. The town’s dog-loving vibes might be because former movie star and lifelong animal welfare advocate, Doris Day, calls Carmel home. She founded the Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1978, whose mission is “to reduce the pain and suffering of non-human animals through legislative initiatives, education and programs to develop and enforce statutes and regulations protecting animals.” The organization also inspired “World Spay Day,” which has helped spay 1.5 million animals. Doris also owns the Cypress Inn (super dog-friendly, natch), where my late dog Oliver and I had enjoyed lunch a few times. Oliver was impressed that he got his very own menu.
Carmel’s beaches are leash-free and frolicking dogs add the perfect entertainment to a day well-spent. Whatever beach you decide on, I wish you an experience free of sand flies, unbearable heat and screaming kids.