Man and Best Friend at the Landis Arboretum

By Sam McClary

Sam and Precious at Landis
Sam and Pre­cious at Landis

When I first make people’s acquain­tance, they are gen­er­al­ly sur­prised to learn I have a Pomeran­ian. Appar­ent­ly, I don’t strike peo­ple as the soft and fluffy” kind of dog per­son. It prob­a­bly doesn’t help that I am 62” and tip the scales at 240 pounds, sport­ing a pletho­ra of tat­toos and piercings.

But looks can real­ly be deceiving. 

My Pomeran­ian, Pre­cious,“ is five fluffy, adorable pounds of ter­ror, or at least so she thinks. When my wife Mor­gan first brought her home, I was assum­ing she was your stan­dard run-of-the-mill ankle biter. Yes, she’s noisy and yap­py and can be a lit­tle skit­tish around any­thing big, loud, or unex­pect­ed. But when I start­ed to get to know her, I found she was at her calmest, hap­pi­est, best self when out­doors. After tak­ing a few short hikes and see­ing how she held up, I knew we had a new hik­ing part­ner. After Mor­gan and I dis­cov­ered the Arbore­tum, it wasn’t long before we decid­ed to see how Pre­cious would like it. It was a resound­ing success.

The Arbore­tum is an impor­tant resource for so many more rea­sons than peo­ple real­ize. It is a place where all crea­tures, both human and oth­er­wise, great and small, can stretch their mus­cles, their aware­ness, and their imag­i­na­tion. Togeth­er, my dog and I explored nature and that sub­tle, often under­es­ti­mat­ed, human to non-human rela­tion­ship. And I was able to work on stay­ing in shape while iden­ti­fy­ing the Arboretum’s count­less trees and plants and a myr­i­ad of bird life. 

Pre­cious? She does what dog’s do: sniff here, roll there, walk through the mud here and there. She loves explor­ing – and encour­ag­ing me to do the same. I was also able to encour­age Pre­cious to be a lit­tle more socia­ble with oth­er dogs. As long as the oth­er dog own­ers are on board, it’s a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to see how your dog acts around oth­er fur­ry friends. 

Lan­dis has always wel­comed well-behaved, leashed dogs and their peo­ple. With the excep­tion of just a few times a year (plant sales and the 5K races), you can bring your dog for a short romp or a long walk on our trails. It is impor­tant to pick up your pet’s waste. Please use the waste col­lec­tion sta­tions locat­ed near the park­ing lot kiosk and the Meet­ing House.

Plant peo­ple? Dog peo­ple? Peo­ple peo­ple? Come to the Arbore­tum, stretch your legs, your leash­es, and your mind!

Summer 2023

Volume 41 , Number 2

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