What does a perfect day for a dog look like at Norton Commons? Well, that’s pretty much any day for a pooch living in the dog-friendly community. We hung out with Henry the Golden Doodle and talked with Rebecca Blackburn of the Pet Station Salon and Boutique to get the inside scoop on a dog’s life in Norton Commons. And here’s what that entails.
Henry, 6:30 AM: Is it time to get up? I think the sun is up. Is the sun up? Yep? Why are you all still sleeping? What does “the alarm hasn’t gone off yet” mean? They love it if I jam my snout right in their faces, that usually makes their eyes open. Great! Awesome! You’re awake! I’ll wag my tail furiously. This means it’s time to get up and eat so we can go outside and plaaaaaaaaaaay!
Great, ok, I’ve had my breakfast and they’ve had their bowls with handles of that really strong smelling liquid and I can tell that if they had tails they’d be wagging them a little bit now. Mom’s looking at that little glowing thing in her hand, uh-oh. I’ll go grab my leash to let her know it’s time, just in case she forgets that Every. Single. Day. we walk to the park after breakfast.
Woo-hoo, off we go! There are SO many smells since last night. Hang on, what’s your hurry? I have to check MY Facebook on this lightpost. And this one. And this one. Oh, hey wait, there’s my buddy, I hope he’s going to the park too. Yes! He’s headed that way. See you there, pal! We’re almost there. Who’s there today? I see the pug, and the min-pin, and the Pom. Anybody else? Oh, here comes the Great Dane. We’re going to have the best time EVER you guys!
Whew, ok, was that only half an hour? I am wiped. I need a break. Good thing mom is ready for her next bowl of that stuff. I’ll just chill here outside the coffee shop while she goes in. No thanks, I don’t need anything, I’ve got my water bowl here. Oh, who’s that coming? I know him. I know him!! Mom sure does like this place. My friends’ people do too. Maybe it’s like their park. Except they sit and move their mouths and make weird barks while they drink that stuff. Yippee, it’s time to go!
Oh, YES, we’re going to the salon! I’m going to get so much attention here, and all that weird snipping stuff that makes people want to pet me. I can see mom through that glass wall. She’s laughing. Oh geez, I hope she’s laughing with me, not at me.
Now what? I’m ready to show off my new ‘do. Hey, hey, hey, I know, can we go back to the park? Yes? YESSSS! They will all be so jealous. Oh, look, somebody dug up a dirt clod. I should totally wallow around in that nice, cool … wait, WHAT? Why can’t I roll around in the dirt? Alright, I’ll just sit here and look pretty. Hey, is it time for a nap yet?
Nap time’s over, woohoo!!! I feel like a new animal. And the whole family is home, yay, my people, my people, OMG I missed you SO much I thought you’d never be back. I’m going to wag my tail so hard I almost fall down which makes you do that funny barking sound. Ok, now what? Oh goodie, you’re getting my leash, let’s go, let’s go, I have places to go and dogs to sniff!
Hey, my buddies are out for an evening promenade too. It must be Yappy Hour. I crack myself up sometimes. Ooh, are we going to that place that smells like good food with the patio? What’s that you call it, Citizen 7? I don’t know what that means but I know I love love love their patio.
Here’s what dogs in the know and their people know about Norton Commons: People here love their dogs, and dogs love it here.
“Most homes have a dog and if they don’t, they’re thinking about getting one,” Rebecca says. She and her family, including at the time a Great Dane named Chanel, were one of the first 30 families to move here 10+ years ago. “That’s why we opened our business,” she says. “Everybody had a dog. We envisioned what Norton Commons would be like years from then and it’s just like we thought.”
More pet-friendly businesses have opened up over the years, including: Citizen 7, Commonwealth Tap, Johnny Brusco’s, and Mercato Italiano, which all have patios; and Meeting Street Coffeehouse with a dog tie station and community water bowl. The latest is Commons Corner Apothecary, which fills canine and feline prescriptions, as well as carries dog vitamins and supplies.
Pups can expend all that energy at three parks complete with entry vestibules for safety, fresh running water, and comfy seating for their people. Dog waste stations around the neighborhood help keep things clean, plenty of walking trails offer exercise, and some pooches even enjoy an afternoon swim in the small lake. Dogs are an expected part of the community in Norton Commons – some homes even boast amenities for dog lovers – think dog-washing station, dog runs, and even a dog toilet. It’s a dog’s life in Norton Commons and it’s a good one.