Dog Friendly Travel

Road Trip Day 2: A Change of Plans in Baltimore, MD

Written by Rachael Sando

After a long day of travel and a difficult hike for Harley on Day 1, we decided to adjust our plans for the following day.

I know that every year of the MyDogLikes Road Trip will pose different issues that impact the planning and execution of our adventure. Last year our work schedules created a frenzied pace where we covered 6,000+ miles in two weeks. We often got into our hotel rooms at midnight and left by 6am the next day. Other than our time at the BlogPaws conference, we never spent more than one night in the same place!

Our gorgeous and sweet senior Golden Retriever, Harley

This year we have an infant and a senior dog (actually a geriatric based on his size) that we need to accommodate. That’s why we are allowing ourselves to take a deep breath, recognize how blessed we are – not only to have expanded our family with a human baby, but to enjoy another year with our sweet senior boy, Harley.

Baltimore – Our Home Away From Home

My sister has lived in Baltimore, MD for about 8 years now, so we visit often.

We wanted to start our journey here to see her and to share some of the parks and trails that we frequent on our visits. As an added bonus, my sister recently had a baby who is only 2 weeks younger than our little man and we had yet to meet her!

Charlie visiting with dog-cousin Mia in Baltimore, MD

Let Him Rest? 

Harley is arthritic so it’s a bit of a Catch 22. Even though he was tired and sore from the previous days hike at Ricketts Glen State Park, we knew we needed to keep him active. So after giving him a good nights rest and some loving we wanted him to take a short walk and get moving!

We packed up the babies and the dogs and 45 minutes later (seriously babies take a long time to get situated), went on a walk!

Gwynn Falls Trail – A Touch of Country in the City 

We made our way to the nearby Gwynn Falls Trail, a 15 mile multi-purpose trail system, named after Gwynn Falls, whose course it follows.

What is really unique about this trail system is that it passes through the city of Baltimore as well as some of the outskirts.  The mainline of this trail system is 10.75 miles long and runs from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to the border of Baltimore City/County at I-70. This trail system also has a number of branches including the Middle Branch Trail, the Hutton Trail, and the one that we frequent the most, the Dickeyville Branch.

Gwynns Falls Trail - Baltimore Maryland

We love this trail because it is a short walk from my sister’s home, its quiet, and you feel so far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Its not uncommon to run into some wildlife, and because it uses a road (Wetheredsville Rd) that is closed to cars, its easy to push a stroller and is accessible to people of all abilities.

We weren’t looking for something epic today, just comfortable and easy for our big guy – and this was perfect. We did an easy couple of miles of out and back before returning home and hanging out in the yard.

Reflecting and Relaxing

Last year I would have been freaking out about this change in plans. But as the sun set on this day spent mostly at my sister’s home, I couldn’t help but be completely overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude for love that makes the miles between sisters seem small, the addition of two healthy babies to our family, and each of our sweet senior dogs who have been with us through marriages, cross state moves, graduations, buying homes, etc. – basically becoming adults.

It is always good to see family - both human and canine!

Its hard for me to imagine Harley not being a part of my life – its too painful. He is our heart dog who still has so much energy and vigor, but occasionally needs life to move at a slower pace. He deserves it.

So on this day where my biggest accomplishment was loving on my whole family, fur and human, Im just going to be thankful for all the love in my life.

Tomorrow we start our journey to Myrtle Beach, SC – feeling refreshed and ready for adventure!

Visit our Road Trip Home Page

About the author

Rachael Sando

Rachael is a School Psychologist with degrees from the University of Rochester and RIT. Though a lifelong dog lover, this passion has taken on a new direction through the utilization of therapy animals in her day job. Charlie, our Golden Retriever, works with Rachael as a school therapy dog in a local primary school where he brings comfort and support to students and staff on a daily basis.


  • you might want to try some arnica montana pills, homeopathic for Harley. also if you can have some acupuncture or get an assisi loop (need prescription for this) will help. also massages will help, as well as heat and cold. it is so hard watching them get older. i know, i cry almost everyday i look at my sweet elder gal, who is almost 16 yrs. old, with dementia, bad back disc, deaf, almost completely blind and terminal cancer. wish you the best in your travels. maybe a doggy cart or one of the harnesses that go around his waist to help him walk. i have one of those self heating pads that she lies on, it warms up with body heat. also use arnica and assis loop.

  • Sounds like a good plan. A baby or a senior dog would be tough enough, but both is really a big adventure!

  • I am impressed that you got out of the house for a multiple mile walk with 3 dogs & 2 infants. I don’t think I would make it around the block!

  • I grew up in Baltimore and remember how lovely Gwynns Falls was. Glad you found a way to do an “active” rest after your more strenuous hike.

    It must have worked–everyone looked fit and happy at BlogPaws!

  • Sometimes slowing down just a bit is exactly what’s needed! It’s tough to face our dogs growing older and not being able to do all that they used to, but sometimes it reminds us to enjoy exactly what we have. ♥

  • Hugs to Harley. Do you have him on anything holistic, like Dasuquin? Also Sunshine in a bottle from Animal EO is a good product, you put about 4 drops on his food. We have 3 dogs & 2 are seniors