Some welcome centers might have guides steering you in the right direction, giving you tidbits of insider info along the way. In Nevada, we have a way of doing things a little differently. Ours just happens to walk on all fours.
I get the amazing task of traveling Nevada’s turf, and sometimes I just don’t want to leave my canine companion at home. I am familiar with the hot spots close to home base, but I know we are both tired of the same ol’ same ol’. Sure, we’ve been park to park and enjoyed some amazingly scenic hiking trails, but I was looking to step it up a notch for my furry friend. Amazingly enough, I uncovered the charming and informative Shorty the Wonder Dog, a resident expert on all places pet-friendly in Nevada!
Shorty suggested meeting at a park, so I arranged to meet up with the local celebrity at Mormon Station State Historic Park in Genoa. I was really thinking this would be an opportune time to pick Shorty’s brain regarding my dog dilemma. After all, he is an expert on pet-friendly travel in the state of Nevada, with two published books to boot. I knew he could break it down, educating me on what a dog really wants in the Silver State.
Shorty popped out of the car and we were off and running…literally. For being 12 years old, Shorty had just as much energy as a young pup. Mormon Station is a great place to bring your dogs, but as I was practically begging for new places to check out, Shorty quietly reminded me of another excellent place in the great State of Nevada to roll around in. I don’t care if you’re human or not, after being cooped up in the car for hours on end, sometimes you just want to get out and roll around on some grass. A place where you can just let that freak flag fly and kick up your feet…whether it being two or four. Tip #1: Shorty let me know that the savory sensation absolutely must happen at the serene Carlin city park. This soft, carpet-esque knoll is otherworldly, and you must experience it for yourself. One afternoon spent rolling around on this slice of heaven will leave you restored and ready for the next venture.
After stretching our legs and getting to know each other a bit more, we decided we needed to address that rumble in our tummies. Shorty is always looking for a nice patio to stretch his legs on, sunny or shaded and we definitely got what we asked for at Genoa Station Bar & Grille. Also known as the ‘Youngest Bar in Nevada’, they had both indoor and outdoor dining options, so we opted for a sunny patio table on this beautiful summer afternoon.
While I enjoyed my human food, Shorty ponied up to a bottomless water bowl on the front steps. After a few laps, Shorty reminded me that it doesn’t take much to keep him happy, but a water bowl is a definite must. Elko is what he dishes up as a ‘good dog town’, mainly because many businesses do just that, putting water out on the sidewalk for four-legged friends, welcoming them with a smile and a good head scratching...tip #2 noted. A stop at Cowboy Joe’s or Ruby Mountain Pawn, and you’re guaranteed to get some good old-fashioned attention!
So, now that we enjoyed the ‘Youngest Bar in Nevada’, we were basically obligated to enjoy some refreshments and much needed shade at the Oldest Bar in Nevada, The Genoa Bar & Saloon. Posted up on some comfortable outdoor benches [and lucky for Shorty, another water bowl], we enjoyed some refreshments and a few good head scratches by some of his fans. Being a canine celebrity is a tough gig, but someone’s got to keep up with public appearances, right? This reminded Shorty of his third tip: places where you are treated like absolute canine royalty. You must swing by the Laughlin Welcome Center, where the ladies working there will actually get down on the floor and cuddle with you. Talking about really ‘putting on the dog’…right?
Nevada’s oldest establishment put us in a bit of a daze; it was relaxing and we both agreed we could go for a nice quick little nap, if only we had a good place to do it. This brought back some good memories for Shorty, and he introduced me to tip #4: the Prospector Hotel & Casino in Ely, where they’ve got the pet lodging nailed. With an exclusive wing devoted entirely to your furry friends, how could you go wrong?!
Sadly, it was time for us to part ways for the afternoon. While I was headed back to the office, Shorty had some other things in mind…like dipping a paw or two in the Truckee River. Never one to pass up some deliciously crisp waves on that soft white underbelly, Shorty said Verdi’s Crystal Spring Park takes the cake for a nice cool dip. Tip #5, officially noted!
Excited to have gotten so many exciting pointers on places to take my pooch, I was so happy to have spent the afternoon with Nevada’s premier four-legged celeb. Next time you’re planning on heading to our neck of the woods, don’t leave Fido at home…there are plenty of fantastic places that definitely cater to your furry friends!
Sadly, our favorite four-legged Nevada icon left us in March of 2015. Shorty, we will forever remember your fun-loving nature and serious efforts in making sure every pup trekking this place has a comfy stay. Thanks for paving the way, Shorty. Your Wondrous ways will be missed!