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In Search of a Pub to Hang Out With the Pups

The tables were far from heavy enough for me to anchor my Siberians, so I had to hold onto my little titans while doing my impersonation of a dog sled.

My family and I were all packed up and ready to head out to Fort DeSoto Park's well-regarded, dog-friendly beach when my wife, a U.S. postal worker and weather hound, informed us of nasty, impending weather on the St. Pete side of town.

One thing about living in the St. Petersburg-Tampa Bay area, there is no shortage of things to do with our little fur balls, no matter the weather. So we dropped those plans for some indoor activities with the dogs.

I decided to check out O'Brien's Irish Pub, at 701 W. Lumsden Rd., in Brandon, and meet friends, who head there for the Yappy Hour. There were a few patrons having a cool one while their dogs socialized with other Canine-Americans on the patio area.

I asked when Yappy Hour started and got a few laughs from the locals. It seems that last Sunday was the last actual Yappy Hour of record, even though the management says that we are more than welcome to bring our friendly dogs to the patio any time.

I asked what happened and got enough different stories that I could set up a game of gossip with enough scenarios to support a game of Clue. Some guys brought a few less than friendly pit bulls to the bar... Customers complained that the dog owners were getting preferential treatment... The area was too small to support the growing crowd...

And, my favorite: A dog decided to "mark" his territory and it was a patron's motorcycle. From what I understand, it was hilarious watching the big guy freak out about his newly shared bike and he's not welcome back, according to witnesses.

We sat around and had a couple of sodas while waiting for our chicken fingers to finish cooking and decided to take the guys out for a good run. The tables were far from heavy enough for me to anchor my Siberians, so I had to hold onto my little titans while doing my impersonation of a dog sled.

I'm just a little tired of chasing this Yappy Hour across the state so I'm giving it one more chance at Tia's Tex-Mex on Fowler the last Thursday of this month. A couple of the characters I met at O'Brien's told me it is still an on-going theme, so I'll bite, once again.

I heard about a new park from a couple, Ray and Lianna, who carried a Yorkie. The park opened at 10119 Windhorst and is called the Tampa Dog Park.

I didn't have my Mapquest handy to find the new Tampa Dog Park, so we headed back to the Mango Dog Park, . The dogs got their much-needed, off-leash run. 

Of course, the Tampa Bay area is known for its abundance of green spaces dedicated to our four-legged friends, including six well-manicured dog parks in St. Pete alone.

Here's the quick list:

  • : 7th Ave. and North Shore Dr. NE
  • Lake Vista Dog Park: 1401 62nd Ave. S.
  • Walter Fuller Dog Park: 7901 30th Ave. N.
  • Crescent Lake Dog Park: 1320 5th St. N.
  • Coquina key Dog Park: 3595 Locust St. SE
  • Kenwood Dog Park: 401 20th Street N.

This weekend, I am loading up the family for a day at Fort DeSoto Park and Beach. Hopefully, I'll get to meet some of you out there, and we can let our guys get acquainted.

I've been doing a little checking and according to the Florida Botanical Gardens web site, dogs are allowed in the park. I can't seem to get anyone to answer the phone and am curious...Do they actually let me bring my pups into the place, or do they kennel?

I've done the kennel thing before at Universal studios and was less than happy at my dogs' state of mind when I arrived later that night. If anyone can share their experience at the botanical gardens, I'd love to hear about it.

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