Off to Dog Camp

Vacationing at Glen Highland Farms

Relaxing with Nekoe, my best friend, at dog camp.

Swinging in a hammock next to a bubbling brook on a lazy summer afternoon, my Kindle in my lap, I wondered whether life could get any better. Ten feet away, splayed in the grass enjoying the cool breeze, my two companions lounged agreeably chewing contentedly on sticks. Yes, they had paws and wore fur coats.

There are two kings of dog owners. People that have dogs and 'dog people.' The first group enjoys canine companionship. Dog people, however, take matters a bit farther by organizing their lives around their dogs.

And, I admit it. I am a 'dog person.' So, the idea of taking a vacation without my two best friends is not particularly appealing.

Now, many vacation destinations claim to be 'pet friendly.' Inevitably, the guest is greeted on arrival with a long, laundry lists of rules regarding one's dog's behavior. One's pet must be confined to a crate when unsupervised, on a leash when enjoying the grounds, and kept quiet to avoid irritating other guests. Often, the 'pet friendly room' doubles as the smokers' accommodation. In other words, it feels like one is paying a great deal of money to be treated as a second class citizen.

At Glen Highland Farms, located near Morris in beautiful upstate New York, the needs of dogs and their owners are the focus of the vacation experience. This 175-acre, former dairy farm, bisected by a clean swim-able creek, is comprised of bucolic woodlands, cedar forests and a wonderful pond. There are miles of well groomed paths to roam. No need for hiking boots, simply strap on a pair of Tevas and go.

The property is carefully fenced. So, one's furry companions are welcome to roam off-leash throughout. It is dotted with carefully manicured rest spots thoughtfully appointed with hammocks, lounge chairs, umbrellas and ice water for one's canine friends. They is an agility field complete with equipment and a meadow perfect for fetching a Frisbee.

Nekoe samples the local fauna.

The dogs and I often spent our days wandering from spot to spot. A morning hike was usually followed by an afternoon spent reading and lounging. A relaxing day capped by swim by both dogs and humans in the creek.

There is a well-equipped central outdoor kitchen with both gas and wood grills. A bunk house contains large fridges, utensils and pots. Basic spices are also available. The kitchen has a large roof to protect chefs from the elements as well as free WIFI. It is also perhaps the other place that cell phones function on the property.

The kitchen is the central social gathering spot for Glenn Highland experience. All the guests meet while preparing meals. Within a day or two, one has made friends and is sharing the food and cooking. The evening often ends with either star-gazing or by sitting around a bonfire.

Social aspect of the kitchen is a particularly nice benefit for guests traveling stag with a pooch in tow. By day two, we had found companions, both two and four legged, to join our adventures.

The outdoor kitchen is the social center of the Glenn Highlands experience.

Glenn Highland has a variety of accommodations are available: RVs, tents, cabins and cottages. Bathrooms facilities are shared. Except for the tents, each has a small fridge. A two-day is required.

Glenn Highland Farm is located at 217 Pegg Rd. just outside Morris, New York.