BITS AND BITES OF TRAVELLING WITH DOGS IN NORTHERN ONTARIO

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Northern Ontario differs greatly from our southern Ontario home. Over the years, Tessi and I have been fortunate to explore its dense forests, rocky landscapes and fresh, clear air. Recently we traversed its lengthy span on our trip to Alberta. Listed below are some points on what I’ve learned on travelling through northern Ontario with a dog:
  • The forests hide a variety of wildlife, including black bears. Though I’ve always understood that, seeing a bear walk through our campsite north of Sault Ste. Marie unnervingly confirmed it. Smaller creatures include Massasauga rattlesnakes (in the Georgian Bay region) and porcupines. I’ve always leashed Tessi unless we’ve been on open terrain, where I’d be able to spot any potential threat lurking about.
  • Any campgrounds I’ve stayed at allow dogs. (In my research, I’ve come across exceptions.) They have to be tethered at all times, should be well-behaved and picked up after. For a couple of nights on our trip west, we camped at KOA campgrounds. Each provides a dog walk trail and a small enclosed off-leash area. KOA’s, I find, tend to be more structured and family oriented. For longer stays, I prefer provincial parks, since they usually offer more nature to explore.
  • As we’ve travelled the highways, we’ve come across a generous number of pretty picnic stops. Often they feature small lakes or streams, where Tessi can easily lap up some refreshment. (Though, I always keep bottled water handy regardless.)
  • Because of Ontario’s numerous lakes, canoeing is a popular pastime. Many destinations offer canoe rentals and permit you to include your dog.
  • The Chi-Cheemaun ferry, which carries passengers between the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island, can shorten driving time when heading northwest. Leashed dogs are allowed to accompany you in limited areas on the ship’s deck.
Important Note Keep in mind, when letting your dog loose that he or she should have excellent callback, especially in unfamiliar settings. Some of the places I free Tessi, I only do so because she is well trained and listens to my commands. For Further Reading

© Cheryl Smyth, 2013

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