BY JULIAN MORGAN
The hardest part of writing a “Guide to Living with a Dog in Tulsa” is coming up with alternative ways to say “dog.” Everything is more fun with your canine (first synonym is easy) companion. When I call my fur-vorite buddy to the car, he knows the day will go one of two ways: fun adventure or vet (dis)appointment. Despite the risk of vaccinations, he comes running full speed.
No matter what I have planned, I know it will go better if he burns some energy on a good walk. Tulsa has plenty of great trails for owners and pets of all activity levels to explore; there are paths through historic neighborhoods, along the Arkansas River or up Turkey Mountain. The full map of Tulsa trails can be found here.
Another easy walk is the loop around Lafortune Park and Golf Course (about 5k). Stop in at the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) office along the path to say hello or inquire about adding to your furmily (I’m proud of that one).
Now you’ve both earned a breakfast treat. Blue Moon Bakery and Café on Brookside has a quaint, shrub-sheltered dog-friendly patio or Queenie’s in Utica Square is great if you want to do some people watching from their sidewalk seating. The food at either place is solid.
Some unleashed socialization is now in order! Whether you go to Biscuit Acres near 91st and Yale or west of downtown to Joe’s Station Bark Park on Charles Page Boulevard, you’re bound to meet some good buds to run and sniff with on a nice day. (We’re talking mostly about the dogs on that last part.) The dog park behind the Tulsa Historical Society is another safe place for pets to roam free. The park is also an arboretum, which means there is no shortage of trees for squirrel chasing, urine marking and shade basking.
For lunch, I recommend you and your pup find a place with a spacious patio good for people watching. I love Elote Cafe downtown on Boston Avenue for some healthy Mexican dishes, or The Pint on Cherry Street for some gourmet bar food.
Unfortunately, it probably isn’t healthy for either of us to eat our way through the day. Disc golf is something you can master (or fake) while your dog has a chance to take in more sights and smells of Green Country. Our city offers more options than most: Mohawk, Chandler, Riverside, McClure. The list of all 10 is available at TulsaDiscSports.org.
After time outdoors, a bath may be in order. Try Muddy Paws, 2234 E. 56th Pl., which is operated by Pets Helping People and affiliated with the Southern Hills Baptist Church. This program provides job training to women in recovery in Tulsa. They are open to the public and also work with animal shelters and rescues. You, however, will have to get your hair done somewhere else.
Show off ol’ fourleg’s shiny clean coat while doing some shopping. Back at Utica Square Shopping Center, you can spoil your buddy at Dog Dish, a boutique with pet accessories. In South Tulsa, The Posh Pup, 8263 S. Harvard, offers a large selection of collars, beds, outfits, artwork, toys and more.
If bad behavior is keeping your dog in the doghouse, consider a doggy bootcamp. Spirit Ranch Professional Dog Training, 1416 E. 11th St. and a second location in Bixby, offers several levels of classes to get you and your best friend fully prepped for time out on the town.
Dinner and entertainment can be found most days of the week at Guthrie Green in the Brady. The open-air venue features delicious food, movie nights, craft markets and concerts. The Green also offers yoga classes free to the public. Why not bring your dog and make it a doga (dog + yoga) class?
Try to catch PetsWell Pantry mobile pet food truck. With fresh entrees like Chicken Pup Pie, Beef Woofington and Turkey Fetchrazzini, there’s bound to be something your dog will love. Heck, I might even eat one.
Also in the Brady, head to ONEOK Field for Bark in the Park with the Tulsa Drillers. Fans can bring their canine ballplayers out for any of the scheduled dog nights at the ballpark. Owners must present documentation that their pups have received necessary vaccinations.
Oklahoma Animal Alliance hosts Woofstock, Million Mutt March and Rock and Rescue yearly at the Riverwalk Crossing in Jenks. These events offer lots of fun for a good cause, and it’s an excellent excuse to hang at the outdoor bar of Los Cabos Mexican Grill for a tasty margarita.
It’s getting late, but you still don’t have to go home. Your final stop before bedtime is Empire Sports Bar, 1516 S. Peoria. This watering hole calls itself pet-friendly, which means you and your dog can count on bar televisions showing the Super Bowl and the Puppy Bowl.
For visitors traveling with pets, even some of Tulsa’s fancier hotels accept k9 guests. I like the Campbell Hotel on Route 66 and the Historic Ambassador Hotel located downtown. Get some rest and prepare for more fun tomorrow with your best pawl…like paw and pal in one word. Maybe that one doesn’t work? I’m doggone tired…
For a full directory of pet services, visit TulsaPets Magazine.
Julian Morgan tests Tulsa’s brainpower working for Live Event Trivia, a local entertainment company with weekly multimedia team trivia shows at bars, restaurants and private events. She is an all-around Tulsa enthusiast and poodle fanatic. Her ideal day would be to watch period dramas in her pajamas with minimal interruption, but now that she’s probably seen them all she can be found exploring Tulsa’s parks, local restaurants and art exhibits.