Live in Clarendon Park? Got a dog? Then this article is for you! Pick up your poodle and prepare to partake in some pooch-friendly pursuits.
1. Stock up on supplies
Pampered pugs and cosseted cockapoos are in for a treat at All About Daisy. The gift shop on Montague Road, which specialises in recycled homeware and jewellery, also stocks canine goodies. Their dedicated doggie range is called All About Dogs. It includes high quality food, hand-baked treats and eco-friendly accessories. Brands include Beco, Pooch’s and Soopa.
“People are thinking more and more carefully about the food they eat. Food miles and ethical production are increasingly important. Dog owners want the food they give to their dogs to meet the same high standards as the food they eat themselves. That’s why we’ve gone out of our way to source the highest quality dog food and treats we can find. The same goes for our accessories – our dog leads are handmade in Kibworth using offcuts from the clothing industry. It’s all in-keeping with the All About Daisy philosophy.”
Michelle Harvey, All About Daisy
Jones’s Café Bistro on Queens Road also sells bags of organic peanut butter and apple dog biscuits. Handily, they’re on the counter, next to the delicious cake selection. So you and your canine companion can both enjoy a treat while you watch the world go by from Jones’s dog-friendly outdoor pavement area.
2. Go back to school
Fenton! Jesus Christ, Fenton!
Whether it’s chasing other animals, weeing on the carpet or humping your neighbour’s leg, most dogs have a few anti-social foibles. The good news is that help is at hand from Calm Paws Leicester. Calm Paws is based right here in Clarendon Park and provides a range of training services. Offerings include one-to-one training, ‘Walk & Train’ and puppy socialisation classes. Shirley Ayre, founder of Calm Paws, has been working with and training dogs for six years and is a member of the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers.
“We have a range of training to suit every dog, human and budget. Our bespoke one-to-one training sessions focus exclusively on you and your dog in the privacy of your own home. Meanwhile, our brand new puppy socialisation classes are small, friendly and full of fun. We ensure that your puppy feels safe from the start, while coaching you in the best ways to introduce your puppy to new things in a supportive and structured environment.”
Shirley Ayre, Calm Paws Leicester
3. Have a bite to eat
There are plenty of businesses in Clarendon Park with outdoor spaces where your mutt can join you while you chow down on some food. When the weather’s chilly though, you probably want to hunker inside, which limits your options. Thankfully, there are a few indoor eateries that fit the bill. Well-behaved doggies are particularly welcome at Fingerprints and Coffee Ethic, both on Queens Road.
If you’re in the market for a pizza, your luck is in, because Halcyon Kitchen is fido-friendly throughout the ground floor seating area. Sit back, relax, tuck into an authentic stone baked pizza and try to ignore the pleading eyes staring up at you…
4. Go for a walk
Walkies! With Victoria Park nearby, we have one of Leicester’s best parks right on our doorstep. There are swathes of open green spaces for energetic paws to roam over. And if you get one of those plastic catapult things to fling Rover’s ball about with, you can relax on a bench with a Baxter’s pasty while he does all the running about. Result.
Work commitments or health problems might mean you need a little extra help exercising your flea-bag. The plethora of local dog walking services shows you’re not alone. Pride in Pets is a local business that has achieved several accolades for its services, including at the 2018 Leicester Mercury Business Awards.
“We provide solo walks, group walks with three to five dogs at one time, home comfort care and home sitting care with our staff staying in the home with your dog so they don’t have to leave the comforts of their own bed while you’re away. We even offer wedding chaperoning for your dog!”
Hannah M, Pride in Pets
5. Unloose the caboose
Pet ownership can be an expensive business. I didn’t want this listicle to consist only of things that are going to cost you money. Happily, the simple pleasure of defecating in a public park or by the side of the road is one your treasured pet can enjoy daily without hurting your wallet. Unless you fail to pick up after they’ve dropped anchor, in which case you could end up with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100.
Single and looking? You’re in luck. Numerous romances have blossomed between dog owners while Pongo and Perdita were busy downloading some brownware. Just don’t get so distracted that you forget to clean up afterwards.
6. Strike a pose
Is your hound as pretty as a picture? A painted portrait is a classy way of capturing Fido’s good looks and personality. For local artist Ellie Loseby, pet portraits represent a very compassionate side to her art…
“I love creating pet portraiture not only because of the deep emotional and sentimental value but also the playful aspect to the work. Pets often have a distinct character that is key to successfully portraying their lovable nature. As a dog owner myself I understand the amazing relationship between us and our pets, which is why I wanted to honour them in my art, capturing moments in bespoke artwork. Clarendon Park’s close knit neighbourhood makes this relationship all the more special, the bond between pet and owner seems to expand further through its social nature creating a compassionate community where social connections only enhance our appreciation for our animals and each other.”
Ellie Loseby, Artist
If photography is more your thing, head over to ZigZag Photography’s studio on Portland Road. Your pooch can either join you as part of a family portrait or take centre stage themselves. You can even buy a gift voucher for a Pet Photo Shoot – a sweet and quirky gift for your favourite pet-lover.
7. Get drunk
If all else fails, there’s always beer. And there’s something about a canine companion and a pint of real ale that’s a particularly winning combination. Queens Road Tap is run by the folk at Tollgate Brewery, an independent microbrewery based in Ashby-de-la-Zouch. It sells a selection of local ales, craft beers, ciders, wines and gins. Dogs aren’t just welcome at QRT – they’re positively encouraged. It’s rare to pop in for a pint and not see at least one pooch enjoying the laid-back vibe and eyeing up the pork scratchings.
The Clarendon pub on the corner of West Avenue is somewhere else that offers a friendly welcome to both two-legged and four-legged visitors. The pub reopened recently under new management but remains Clarendon Park’s one and only proper old-fashioned boozer. The weekly pub quiz has semi-legendary status and there are regular live music gigs and live sporting events on the big screen for you to enjoy in comfort with pooch in tow.
“Dogs are very welcome in The Clarendon. We have plenty of canine regulars and we even have a jar of dog biscuits behind the bar.”
James Bodell, The Clarendon
QRT and The Clarendon aren’t the only mutt-friendly drinkeries in Clarendon Park. Rosebud, on Queens Road, has its fair share of canine regulars too. And as well as grabbing a drink or two, there’s the option to tuck into some of its Greek-inspired food dishes.
Fancy heading a little further afield? The Cradock Arms on Knighton Road, The Real Ale Classroom on Allandale Road and The Cow and Plough at Stoughton Park on Gartree Road all have excellent dog-friendly credentials.
8. Show your creative side
While you’re at Stoughton Park, how about a bit of pottery painting? Muttleys are welcome at Lollipops Pottery Studio – they can even join in with the fun. And there are refreshments on hand to sustain you through what will inevitably be a messy business (at least you don’t have to clean up afterwards). If you fancy making a day of it, there are plenty of picturesque walking trails nearby, including one that goes to the pretty village of Stoughton via a picturesque lake.
Over to you
This light-hearted ramble through some of Clarendon Park’s dog-tivities only scratches the surface. What’s your favourite thing to do with your dog in Clarendon Park? Which Clarendon Park businesses provide the best service to your four-legged friend? Let fellow dog owners know by commenting below.
Thank you to all the humans and dogs who helped me out with this blog post. You’re pawsome.