Give Scout and Spot the ultimate treat this summer: a week of swimming, hiking and lounging in the woods — with or without you
- Last Updated: 4:49 AM, June 3, 2012
- Posted: 10:26 PM, June 2, 2012
No doubt about it, dogs are becoming more like our children every day: We push them in strollers, buy them cute clothes and organize play dates. The latest signpost? We’re sending them to summer camp.
These fresh-air recreational retreats have daily activities and come in two varieties: ones that pets attend on their own, and ones they visit with an owner in tow.
Whichever you choose, there’s nothing like allowing your furry apartment-dweller to cut loose in a big field and run with his ears back, tongue out and tail wagging. Will there be raids for girls’ underwear? More like for extra treats from the mess hall.
With you: Camp Gone to the Dogs
Where: Marlboro, Vt.; 888-364-3293
When: June 3 to 9
This 250-acre campus accommodates 200 dog-crazed owners and their furry charges for one week each summer. There are 40 to 50 activities to choose from per day, including Frisbee, tricks and games, hiking, dock diving, swimming lessons, hoops, agility and, yes, free-style dancing.
“I take both my dogs,” says Leah Caracino, 40, who’s been going for nine years from her home in Massachusetts. “It’s such a fun place. I have Shetland sheepdogs and CGTTD was the first place they ever saw an actual sheep! Camp, in general, is a huge confidence builder. My older dog loves the dance class.’’
Dorms or woodsy cabins for both owner and pooch have shared bath, and more luxurious accommodations with private bath are available at a nearby inn.
Cost: $1,150 to $1,300 including rooms, meals and unlimited activities for both Spot and parent.
Without you: Farfetched Acres
Where: Chatham, NY; 917-843-4796
Canine guests sleep on sheepskin beds, get daily massages and snack on frozen yogurt at this retreat two hours north of the city, which has trail access to more than 300 acres.
A well-organized program begins at 7 a.m. with an 90-minute off-leash romp on the property, which has an obstacle course of tree stumps, shady wooden teepees for lounging and kiddie pools to splash around in. After that, it’s belly rest, a hearty breakfast and naptime accompanied by soft music in the air-conditioned carriage house.
“I’ve been sending [my dog] to Farfetched since she was 8 months old,” says NoHo resident Leslye Alexander, 48, pet parent to a Bijon/poodle mix named Olivia. “Like a typical neurotic dog mom, I went to check it out first. The dogs were so calm and peaceful; there was no barking. [Olivia] is usually shy but she comes out of her shell there.’’
Meals are homemade and complimentary pickups from the city are made twice each week.
Cost: $65 per day
Without you: Hamptons Canine Concierge Camp
Where: Wainscott, NY; 917-535-0239
When: April 15 to Sept. 15
“We take care of your dogs the way we would your children,’’ says camp owner Edward Alava, who brings his poodle, Woody, and schnauzer, Skye.
“It’s their home away from home.’’
Guests enjoy nature walks, home-cooked meals and trips to the beach. “Dogs can run in the surf and play in the natural pools [near Georgica Pond], which is safer than having them swim the ocean,’’ says Alva. Evening activities include screenings of special dog videos, and, like most plugged-in Hamptonites, social events like Bridgehampton’s Pet Fest.
Cost: $75 per night
With you: The Dog Scout Camp
Where: St. Helen, Mich.; 989-389-2000
When: July 16 to 21
Bring your own tent or RV — or rent a private room in the main cabin at this rustic camp, which features activities like agility classes, as well as educational training sessions.
“This year, there will be Search and Rescue, Scent Detection and Flyball classes, along with topics like canine bahavior modification, reward-based training, crafts, games and more,” says Chris Puls, president of Dog Scouts of America.
Cost: $650 including all activities and food for owner (people bring food for their dog), and lodging runs from $8 per day for use of the camp site, to $75 for a private cabin.