Travel with Val: Berkshires filled with dog-friendly sites
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An avid dog lover, Norman Rockwell often took his dogs to his studio, so it is no surprise that a museum dedicated to the famed illustrator is located in the dog-friendly Berkshires of western Massachusetts.
The Norman Rockwell Museum, nrm.org, has a special exhibit called "It’s A Dog Life." While canines are not allowed inside, on August 6 every dog will have its day.
"We invite people to bring their dogs to be part of the parade. We’ll have lots of animal organizations here, puppeteers, balloon artists, art making. It's just going to be a lot of fun for the whole family," says Norman Rockwell Museum Deputy Director Stephanie Plunkett.
My pet Havanese dog Mojito and I set out to find out what this area, located three hours from New York City, has to offer in the dog days of summer.
City slickers used to having their dogs on leash can really let loose in the Berkshires, with at least 7,000 acres of trails open to the public.
"They are nice back-country places. They are beautiful, they are still relatively wild and plenty of open spaces for the dogs to run," says Narain Schroeder of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council.
For more information, visit www.bnrc.net.
Swap the trails for the sales at the Lee Premium outlets, which has an unstaffed pet enclosure.
To make an overnight out of our visit, Mojito and I sacked out at Hidden Meadow, hiddenmeadowbandb.com, where B&B means "Bed and Biscuit."
To end the day, dogs and their uprights can attend the free Inside/Out performances on the grounds of Jacob’s Pillow www.jacobspillow.org.
"We speak in dog at the Pillow. We love dogs and we have a very open campus in that sense," says Jacob’s Pillow Executive Director Ella Baff.
To find out more about the Berkshires, visit www.berkshires.org.
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