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Doggone Good Time

Bring Fido along for the adventure

By Hilary Berg

When vacationing, some people leave their four-legged family members at home, while others never leave their houses without them. This article is for the latter.

Pet-friendly hotels abound in Yamhill County, including Atticus, Hotel Oregon, Red Lion (McMinnville), The Vintages (Dayton), The Dundee (Dundee) and Best Western (Newberg). Many B&Bs and vacations by rental also allow pets. Each place has its restrictions, so be sure to check the fine print.

For vacation pet supplies several locally owned stores can help. Buchanan Cellers (McMinnville) is a must-see; the towering building is a historic mill with original wood beams and floors that add to the space’s 19th century atmosphere. Critter Cabana (Newberg) offer all the supplies you need and animals, too — puppies, fish, birds, lizards and more looking for forever homes. Watch out for the old tortoise roaming the aisles; this place is his house.

You’ll find off-leash areas filled with furry friends and friendly owners, too. The Newberg dog park, located at Ewing Young Park, encourages play with balls and trails outside the fence — a serious skatepark plus a BMX track adds to the fun, offering activities for your less-furry kids. While McMinnville’s dog park on Riverside Drive doesn’t have the additional attractions, its layout features walking paths so you can get your exercise, too.

City parks are also perfect the place to let Spot run — on a leash — and swimming holes along the Yamhill River can refresh your pet, too. Ask locals for the best places to plunge — safely.

After all that play, you’ll be hungry. Restaurants with patios are your best bet. Consider Golden Valley Brewery, Valley Commissary, Grain Station Brewery, Bistro Maison (McMinnville), The Berg Urban Diner (Newberg) and The Dundee Bistro (Dundee).

Of course, many wineries adore dogs, with tasting room guests often gushing over well-mannered mutts and the like. Remy (Dayton), Roots (Yamhill), Argyle, Lange, De Ponte (Dundee), Keeler (Amity) and many, many more. Be sure to contact the winery beforehand to make sure canines and wine mix.

For visiting dog lovers, other opportunities await. McMenamin’s UFO Fest (May 14–16, 2020) in McMinnville gives pets to play dress up — the weirder, the better — to win a prize in the annual costume contest.

McMinnville’s Homeward Bound Pets is the state’s first no-kill shelter with a thrift shop, also in Mac, that helps support the operating costs. It’s fun to peruse the collection of donated items and chat with workers about all things dogs. Mark your calendar for the Dawgs and Hogs Poker Run (July, 11, 2020) at the Salem Harley-Davidson location.

If a loose itinerary is more your style, walking Fido on any of the main streets in Yamhill County and chatting with like-minded people can easily appease your desire to be social with your pooch. Just grab a leash and off you both go. 

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