It’s August. We already have anxiety over not wanting summer to end, and if you’re like most people, summer seems to have flown by because of how busy life has been.

It’s August. We already have anxiety over not wanting summer to end, and if you’re like most people, summer seems to have flown by because of how busy life has been. So don’t get into back to school-football-turtleneck mode just yet. Live it up and enjoy this last full month of sweet, sweet summer with – who else – your best buddy, your Lab.

1. Spend time at the beach. There are lots of dog friendly beaches to choose from, and if you haven’t spent a solid chunk of time relaxing on one or haven’t made frequent visits yet this summer, use this month to do so! Bring along your Lab’s favorite water toys so that he can fetch and play in the surf. Bring an umbrella or choose a shady spot so that you both have some respite from the sun, and remember to pack two water bottles – one for your dog and one for you – to stay hydrated.

2. Go stargazing. Lay a blanket out in the front yard (or park, wherever you decide to go stargazing) and invite your Lab. She can be useful as an extra heat source or as a pillow, plus we’re sure she’ll enjoy the ear scratches and belly rubs. A perfect opportunity is August 9-16, the Perseid meteor shower. The biggest part of the show should be August 11-12. Don’t miss it!

3. Make homemade popsicles. It’s a treat you both can enjoy as the ingredients are a mix of water and fresh summer fruit (not fruit juice) like strawberries and bananas. Add some peanut butter or plain yogurt for extra taste and protein.

4. Attend an outdoor concert. Go downtown to the pavilion for a summer concert. Stay at a safe distance for your Lab as the noise level can be high and to have easy access to space for potty breaks.

5. Take up geocaching. Spend more time in the woods and look for hidden treasures. Since this all happens outside, your Lab can come along for the thrill of the hunt. Geocaching with your dog is explained in more detail in the July/August 2016 of Just Labs.

6. Enjoy lunch outdoors. One of the best parts of summer is being able to eat al fresco. Many restaurant establishments are fine with pets accompanying their owners on outdoor patios. It’s at your discretion whether your Lab is well-behaved enough to go on such a social outing. If not, enjoy a meal out on your own deck instead of eating at the kitchen table.

7. Host a party. Invite all your Lab’s friends for an end of summer bash. The dogs will enjoy playing together, and you’ll get to have fun with other owners.

8. Go out for ice-cream. Many ice cream shops have outdoor dining areas, so bring your Lab with you the next time you crave this delicious treat. And yes, your Lab can have a little ice cream – plain vanilla is best.

9. Hit the trails. Try a new one that you haven’t explored before. Your Lab will love being outdoors as much as you, and you’ll both benefit from the exercise.

10. Relax under a shady tree. We don’t take enough time to stop and just be. Find a comfortable spot on a lawn, on a blanket, or on a hammock and simply lay there for a while to enjoy the warm weather, slow down, and watch the clouds go by. It’s rejuvenating for the spirit. Of course, your Lab will surely want to be nearby so share the experience together.

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