Michigan, mutts and more. This fall, my dog and I spent a weekend filling shopping bags in the Rochester Hills region.
Michigan is becoming one of my favourite travel-with-the-dog locations. Maybe it’s the bi-annual Rochester Writer’s Conference we attend; maybe it’s the number of dog festival like Dog Bowl; maybe it’s the dog-friendly cider mills, or maybe it’s because many destination travel spots are dog-friendly, such as our favourite Mission Inn Resort on Mackinac Island.
Or maybe it’s because I can shop with the dog in Michigan’s Oakland County and region. At least, that’s what we did last time we were there.
Plus, we had a new Norwegian harness: Go Boldly by Hamilton. And this one might be our favourite yet. My dog Victor’s advanced years invites a harness that’s easy to put on. The Go Boldly Norwegian doesn’t pull around his belly nor do I need to manipulate his legs through complicated straps. Go Boldly fits around his chest and the added padded ‘handle’ sits on his back like a service-dog harness – very handy at crosswalks.
The matching Get Out & Go Leash clips onto a ring on the back – no neck pull – and if I must grab the extra handle (especially in traffic), it’s there as a useful modification to the traditional harness.
Another modification? The canvas poop bag dispenser accessory attaches to the leash with Velcro straps – the zipper is on the top and dispensing is on the side, so no obvious plastic sticking straight out.
(Hamilton Pet Products gave us a Norwegian Harness and Leash in exchange for an honest review).
So here we go. We’ve got our Go Boldly harness, matching reflective Get Out & Go Leash and detachable waste bad dispenser. Victor is harnessed up and snapped to my belt.
Bring on the dog-friendly Michigan malls:
The Mall at Partridge Creek
One of the first dog-friendly place dogtrotting.net ever discovered and it was euphoric: The Mall at Partridge Creek is designed like a ‘village’ complete with walkways, grassy spots and poop bag dispensers. Outdoor café-style seating allows for snacks with Fido and most stores are dog-friendly.
We’re back again, this time spending a lot of time in the dog-friendly L.L. Bean. Missing is both Carson’s (our favourite Michigan department store that folded in 2018) and Neuman Marcus (clearly, still around but not in this mall). Things are noticeably quieter but the same number of dogs still roam – I overhead one shopping ask, “what’s with all the dogs? Is there an event or something?” No, just another afternoon at The Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township, Michigan.
The Village of Rochester Hills
Designed to look like a small-town centre – or village main street – The Village of Rochester Hills is a smaller version of Partridge Mall with a slow street running through it. Easy to walk down one side and up the other, this street-like mall includes a Barnes & Noble (not dog friendly thanks to a café which puts them in a unique ‘health code’ category) and other recognizable shops, most let my dog venture inside.
Harnessed up, we went boldly into many of my favourites: Victoria Secret, Chico’s, J. Jill, The Gap and J. Jill, which I hadn’t see before. I’ll admit, I miss Carson’s as an anchor store – Victor roamed with me there too. But let’s hope it’s Michigan-based replacement also welcomes pups.
If lunch or dinner is on the agenda, I suggest giving the eggplant parm a try at Bravo! Cucina Italiana a try or any fish dish at Mitchell’s Fish Market.
Pet People Pet Store
Across the street from the Village of Rochester Hills is Pet People. We hadn’t been there before but it’s a chain across the US – more upscale pet shopping with brands like colourful Up Country collars (Victor insisted on buying the doughnut one) and Yeoweee! cat nip toys for our girls Daisy and Sally. (affiliate link)
Popular with Victor – he’s actually picky about treats – are the Pet People in-house brand of crunchie treats. Available in a variety of flavours and shapes, I chose all peanut butter blends for my pup because that’s his jam. He snapped up the cheese and liver flavour first, but softer Pooches Peanut Butter Patties posed a close second.
These treats can be bought bulk-bin style, mix and match, for $8 per pound, so Victor went home with a variety bag. Pet People is at 3038 Walton Blvd., Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Where did we stay? At the always pet-friendly, always no-charge for pets Red Roof Inn. (affiliate link)
Hamilton Go Boldly Norwegian Harnesses and Get Out & Go Leashes: