Photos: K. Lessard
The other morning, I had an itch – an itch to do something new, go somewhere new, sniff something NEW. So I did what any adventurous tail-wagger would do: I jumped on the bed, ran around in circles, woke up my human and woofed, “To Eagan We Must Go.”
What’s nice about Eagan is that it’s a lovely, green, spacious suburb that’s close by – and easily accessible by the major freeways. During my whirlwind tour, I eyed many trails and walking paths – wait, did someone just say “walk?”
I even spotted what I thought were huge puppers along the way, but my human insists they were something called horses.
Here are just a few reasons why I give Eagan two paws up and a Basenji tail wag.
I’m going to start with a delicious duo: Cupcake and The Mason Jar (pictured above). Like a bonded pair of pups, they offer everything that’s good and drool-worthy in the world in one Dalmatian spot, including a dog-friendly patio with both sunny and shaded areas. Not only does the Mason Jar patio have umbrellas and a couch, it has charming overhead lights for a fun evening atmosphere.
The food is delicious (my human had the scramble which I considered taking for myself), the staff is very kind (one even told me about her pit/boxer mix) and water bowls are available upon request (humans get their water in mason jars). The best part? Super fancy cupcakes can be ordered for dessert, and more can be brought home for you and me, I mean, for the other two-leggeds that might enjoy such delicacies.
If brats and beer (err, bier) intrigue you, check out New Bohemia Wurst+BierHaus’ dog-friendly patio and unique menu. Your sniffer will go into overdrive with the aroma of foods like smoked elk and jackalope wursts; humans can make them into combos with beer and fries. They offer vegan options, too.
Paws down, Pellicci Ace Hardware is one of the friendliest retailers we’ve been to. I dig the atmosphere, which feels small-townish yet offers everything you’d need and expect in your local hardware store. The staff are A+ and will offer you a treat immediately upon walking in (or maybe more, if you’re a really good boy or girl). I know through my conversations with the staff that a local Great Dane makes his hangout there and he’s so big, his chin rests on the counter for his treat (way to work it, pal). As for the supplies, from pens to primers, to pipes and Post-it® pads, to paints and plungers, Pellici’s is pitch Poodle perfect for leashed and well-behaved dogs.
If you’re interested in eclectic and unique clothing, jewelry and gifts, strut yo self down to newly-opened Poppy Smooches. Located within the Twin Cities Premium Outlets, this little gem makes four-leggeds feel extra fancy by their extra personal service AND treat bowl at the counter. While my human was checking out the sustainable lip balm and a neat-o bowl made in Turkey, I was practicing my best pout to beg for another treat. Poochy patrons can visit any time of year, but this fall they will have even more gifts for sale for the upcoming holiday season, so make sure to remind your human and check that out. Plus, the store name sounds like “Puppy Smooches,” so what more do you need?
Eyeology Optical & Gift Boutique offers prescription eyewear, over-the-counter readers and sunglasses, fine jewelry, clothes, gifts, and more. Leashed and well-behaved dogs are welcome here, and if you find yourself a bit parched, just ask the friendly folks for water – they’ll happily oblige. If they have treats in stock, they’ll offer you one as well.
As I mentioned, there are a lot of walking areas within Eagan so you can’t go wrong. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my new fave place to get my fitness on — Lebanon Hills Regional Park, the largest park in the Dakota County park system. The view is beyond spectacular, there are 1.5 million sniffs along 19 miles of nature trails and there are nearly 2,000 acres of woods and lakes – my kind of place. And the sniffs will continue, for they are actively restoring prairie and forest, and planting more than 3,000 new trees and shrubs. Leashed pets are welcome; don’t forget to have your human pick up your doo doo and dispose of it properly, and don’t forget to bring your own water. Admission is free for Fido and human.
Although I prefer playing with people, my peeps woof that the City of Eagan’s Off-Leash Dog Area within Thresher Fields Park is a great place to meet new furry friends while getting in some hiking-type activity under your leash. There is even some agility equipment and a fenced in area for small dogs. A permit is required; paw the website for more deets.
Make sure to bark hello to the friendly Eagan folks when you visit, and tell ‘em Sidewalk Dog’s Kramer sent ya!