Inter-River Off Leash | Dog Park North Vancouver

North Vancouver has it’s fair share of amazing places to take your dog on and off leash and Inter-River Park is one of the best. A river, forest, good photo opportunities and friendly dogs, it’s a city haven for beast and human.


Inter – River Park, North Vancouver


Tikka and I regularly meet up with Roddy (today’s guest dog) and his lovely companion for a 45 min off leash romp along Lynn Creek (name says creek, but I say it’s a small river..) . Water on one side and trees and a hill on the other, there are no cars whizzing by and you forget how close the streets and houses are.


Roddy by Lynn Creek

And who couldn’t love a city that thinks of the canine friend ? Poop bags are provided and walking along the river is all off leash so it’s doggy awesomeness. A good place to come if you have a well behaved dog when you take off the leash, but still want some distance from any roads. Land dogs can stay dry and water lovers can have their fill jumping in the river. The path is wide and has great footing so even on rainy days there isn’t any mud.


Lots of room for stick chewing

The park and path covers a large area, connecting with other North Vancouver trails. Even in summer when everyone is outside on a sunny weekend, there is so much room here you don’t feel cramped. The cool river helps when the temperatures go up, so a picnic along the water with your dog is just the thing to do.


Tikka at a side creek

Inter-River is so popular, a memorial for pets has made a home in the rocks along the river bed. It’s a beautiful place to remember your much loved dog.


Pet memorial at Inter-River Park, along Lynn Creek



Parking is easy, either along the road on Dennis St., or come down Premier St. for parking in the park. Only 20 minutes from downtown over the Iron Workers bridge heading West on the #1 Hwy – take the Lillooet Rd exit (towards Capilano College) and then check out this map for the last minute of driving and parking or click on the Google Map.


When your walk is over, there is a great dog patio friendly coffee stop only a few minutes away, Moja Coffee, at Harbour and Rupert. Great coffee , yummy pastries and tired puppies right at your feet – a perfect morning’s walk.


Moja Coffee dog welcoming patio


Sock Monster or Sock Hero?

Two times a day a black mini monster streaks into the bedroom to steal socks. Or is it a wise hero, saving us from the confines of overheated feet?

Morning clues

Fresh socks disappear from gym bag and any drawer left open while getting ready. Transported to a pile of missing socks in another room.

Evening clues

Smelly socks disappear one second after removal from foot and hitting the floor. Found lying in random places around the house. Sock appears to be shaken to death.

Notes on case

Cats are indifferent to the incidents, and offer no help. Not sure if they are part of evil plan of sock domination.

The true nature of the sock stealer may never be solved, the only thing one can do is find new awesome socks to feed the monster/hero and observe further.



Monster/Hero in action


Monster/Hero at rest


I did just that on a recent ferry trip to Vancouver Island and found these lovelies in the gift shop – Cute as all hell doggy socks from Sock It To Me! I picked up a couple pairs and wore them that weekend, and discovered they aren’t just great designs. They are comfy, soft and they stay up after being on the beach for hours in your rubber boots. Paws up for finding our new favourite socks.



When I came home, I checked out the brand online and found many more dog designs as well as a lot of great graphics for other stuff – cats, dinosaurs, bacon… dozens of fun socks for any mood. Inspiration for our very first Instagram giveaway (details at the end)…

Tikka and her Socks

Sock lover Tikka enjoying her Sock It To Me socks

The knee highs are great for the rubber boots and dog walking in the rain, and there are over the knee, crew and ankle lengths as well. Reading through the Sock It To Me site, they also have a ‘Stretch-It’ sock, for extra room if you have larger calves. Women, men, toddlers and kid sizes … these guys are on top of their foot game.


Want to win our first VanDoggo giveaway? Just follow these 2 easy steps:

Step 1. Follow us on Instagram: @vandoggo

Step 2. Post a picture of your dog with a pair of socks and the hashtag #vandoggosocklove and Tikka will pick one winner on Sunday April 10th and send you 4 pairs of new socks from Sock It To Me!

*I am in no way affiliated with this sock company, nor did they supply me with the sock prize, it’s a genuine find of something new that I love!



Once Feral Tikka | A Dog Story

From a feral pup to working in a Vancouver animation studio, this is Tikka’s story.


Elvis – last trip to Tofino

My husband and I have always had dogs but after our senior guy ‘Elvis’ passed away we were heart broken and didn’t want to look for another companion right away. Instead we decided to wait for our ‘it was meant to be’ moment when a dog would find us. And 17 pounds of awesome surely did.

After a few months of light browsing through the local shelter adoption photos (as one often does when at a dead end resolving a broken formula in excel at work) we came across this cutie and thought, she looks just like Elvis would have as a puppy! The next day we stalked her profile, repeatedly going back to the Vancouver HomeFinders Animal Rescue  site to look into those eyes again and again and again….

Tikka close up adoption picture

Tikka’s adoption photo by Ben Johnson

We inquired about her, fully expecting she would already be spoken for, but we were ecstatic to find out that HomeFinders was still working through the applications and they could add just one more to the pile. During the adoption process we were told her back story and the reality of what dogs go through to find their homes (the lucky ones) is always heartbreaking.

Tikka was brought to Cam Bellamy at  Northern Animal Rescue Alliance (NARA) as a pup in the back of a pickup, skinny and matted with dirt. The people that brought her in were kind enough to catch her from her feral state, and get her to a shelter. But they didn’t want to touch her (insert sad sniff) – they let her roll out of the back of the truck when they dropped the tailgate. She fell right into her rescuer’s arms and Cam held her tight, telling her she will be loved from this moment on (insert happy sniff).

It took Tikka a while to warm up to her new surroundings – this was the first note I had about her background:


Tikka was born feral and then mishandled which is a nice way of saying moderately abused… she has come miles and miles….
When Cam up in Terrace first got her she would scream and pee herself anytime anyone came in the room, scream when handled, terrified of household objects, noises.. couldn’t handle a collar or a leash.


After spending a few weeks with Cam and her foster cats, she was ready to find her forever home. Through NARA’s connections, she was flown from Terrace to Vancouver via HawkAir (this airline does amazing things for rescue animals) and was put in an amazing foster home while getting socialized and spayed. That’s how she ended up in Kristy’s care, who gave her nothing but love and confidence and a cat family to curl up with at night. And a lot of socks to steal out of the laundry basket.

My husband and I were vetted with meet and greets, home checks and email discussions. A  lot of time is spent getting the right adopters and adoptees together, as good rescue groups always have the animal’s welfare as a priority. The much awaited ‘big thumbs up’ finally came to us and we were ready to take her into our own arms!

Tikka in our arms

A happy home for Tikka right in our arms.


Respecting her nervousness to the world she was getting used to, we took things at her pace and kept reinforcing her with positive training and a safe environment. Tikka never wanted to do anything wrong and she had so much try in her personality, we knew her nervous behaviour was a result of her early environment and not her default nature. As she became braver through positive experiences in familiar and then new places and new people her confidence grew… And within months she was excelling in her obedience classes, flying around agility courses and learning odor detection with a police officer and a class of 100 pound dogs. Our latest adventure is search and tracking and we both love it.


There will always be a feral side to Tikka, even as assimilated as she appears to be and there are remnants to the abuse she suffered. There is a lot of respect for these traits and experiences she had but we treat her like the incredible, stable dog we always knew she could be.

And she would never be the dog she is today without all the amazing network of people that led her to us. A million times thank you!

Running Dog in Vancouver dog park

Dog Days of Spring | A Dog Story

Spring arrived over the weekend and the glorious display of cherry blossoms and other early blooms are underway all over Vancouver. A favourite time of year for Vancouverites as the days become a bit longer and dog walking in the the dark starts slipping away. No one said it would be drier, but rain doesn’t drag us down over here on the West Coast.

Dog with cherry blossoms

Tikka and the first day of spring

If your dog isn’t shy around crowds and festivities there are many outdoor festivals celebrating the cherry blossoms coming up. Check out the list at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival website:

And the not so fun side of Spring, the bugs are back…Not sure if they ever truly go away in this mild climate but they come out in force as it warms up. The mosquitos were on a binge this Saturday during our dog tracking class in Lynn Valley – stopping for longer than 5 seconds quickly turned into a buffet for them. Dogs were oblivious but fleas and ticks will be spiking in numbers soon enough, so keep checking your dogs.

Dog Tracking in Lynn Valley, Vancouver.

Dog Tracking in Lynn Valley, keeping ahead of the mosquitos.

The best part of this change of season is the patios start opening up on sunny days, allowing us to enjoy a tea or grab some lunch after a walk with Tikka. Although there are lots of establishments around town that allow you to have you dog either at your table or next to you, tied up to a patio fence, I’d love to see a Vancouver that opens this up even more. It’s a dog city with dog needs and having a snack with your canine friend should be more accessible. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on where you can go, I have a few favourites to share when they open up and I can take some photos.

Now spring forth with your pup and capture the start to this season!