A Dog's Day Out


Article by Julie Burton

Photography by Julie Burton


Meet Stella, the lab.

Dogs don’t speak but yet, they do. Of course, they do. They enjoy playing with toys, they’re good running partners (no matter how much you hate to run), they definitely love a long nap, and a streak grilled to perfection? Muah. They’ve nailed that begging thing down.

Dogs are family members. Your home is their home. And Kansas City is a great place to call home if you have four paws and a wagging tail. Sorry, cats. Not you.

We made the perfect Dog’s Day Out itinerary in Kansas City. Stella speaks dog.

3:00 AM I start the day off by peeing on mom’s bed because she forgot to take me outside to pee the night before.

3:05 AM I get uncomfortable laying in my own pee and start whining in mom’s face. She growls (she literally growls), grabs her phone to see the time, growls again, and gets up. FINALLY!

3:07 AM I accidently peed again on the floor and I slowly look behind me to see if she's seeing me be bad. But it’s her fault for not taking me outside last night. She's watching but she doesn't yell. I watch her clean the carpet, turn around, and go back to the bedroom. I lay in the corner of the room because...

3:12 AM “STELLLAAAAAA!!!” Mom must have felt my pee in the bed. But my bladder feels much better and I can go back to sleep while she rips the sheets off and starts laundry.

9:09 AM The kids arrive in mom’s room. “WAKE UP. WAKE UP. WAKE UP! MOM! MOM!” It's music to my floppy ears.

10:13 AM We begin our adventure at Homer’s Coffee House in Downtown Overland Park. Mom orders me a pup cup for breakfast – the most delicious sweet, homemade whip cream.

*Insider tip: Most coffee houses will serve your dog a pup cup. Stay local!

10:29 AM I poop on the sidewalk because coffee shops make me poop. Then I wag my tail as I watch mom find a baggie to pick it up. The kids keeping yelling, “Ew, Stella!” I continue to wag my tail because everyone poops.

11:23 AM There she is. We arrive at my favorite place on earth after mom’s warm, pee-soaked bed – Bar K Dog Bar.

*Insider tip: Bar K Dog Bar features a modern bar, restaurant, event space and off-leash dog park. It’s located in downtown Kansas City on the shore of the Missouri River in Berkley Riverfront Park. Dogs are $15 on the weekends and $10 on the weekdays. Humans are free.

11:27 AM FREEDOM! Sniff this dog’s butt. Sniff that dog's butt. I run from that yippy little dog nipping at my paws. I pee on the turf and I somehow lose my family. I chase a dog through the woods then cool off under the shower. I see a family and say hello. I see another family and say hello. I love all the pets. I play fetch a nice, young man. I jump on top of a picnic table because they don’t care what dogs do here. I run across a stage. Where is my real family? Oh, at the restaurant. I bark at them to let me in because I know they have a doggie menu.

12:02 PM LUNCH! Ah, yes. I’ll have the beef stew with water. So refreshing. I beg my family for table scraps because let’s be honest here - I'm good at that.

*Insider tip: The restaurant features a “healthy casual” menu for humans. Food is sourced from businesses that share commitment to humane and ethical farming practices. There is a full bar outside and inside the restaurant. They also feature a menu for dogs. Entrees include beef stew, chicken risotto, turkey and sweet potato meatballs, and a doggie breakfast burrito. Treats and desserts include ice cream nuggets, cookies, beer paws whiskey biscuits, and turkey bacon jerky.

1:10 PM Leave Bar K. WHERE NEXT?! I pass out in the car because Bar K is also really good at making dog pass out in the car.

1:34 PM We arrive home and I take a nap on mom's freshly laundered sheets. Mom shops for me online at Three Dog Bakery for treats and The Curious Pets for a new collar.

3:30 PM Mom wakes me up. TIME TO GO! We arrive at ....TROLLEY TRAIL! Aw yeah! Tail wag. Tail wag. We take a quick jog, on a leash because the rules think I'm going to run off (I'm totally going to run off). I tried to drag mom for the whole 6.5 miles but she wasn’t having it. So we turned around and got in the car again.

*Insider tip: The Trolley Trail is also known as the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail. It’s a 6-mile path populated by walkers, runners, and bikers. The route is one of the last pieces of the Kansas City’s original streetcar system. And yes, dogs are required to be on a leash.

5:35 PM STARVING. Mom pulls up to Rock & Brews in Overland Park’s Prairie Fire. Yes, I'll take a burger! Craving it all day. Bowl of water too. It's been a ruff day. Bad joke. Bad joke.

*Insider tip: This all-American restaurant and bar serves classic comfort food and craft beers. Dogs are allowed on the patio and they do offer a dog menu. The dog menu features: roasted chicken and brown rice, bacon, chicken breast, burger patties, or a hot dog.

6:39 PM Take a photo opp with Bruce Springsteen. My favorite song is "Born to Run."

7:24 PM We get in the car and arrive home. I beg mom to take me outside to poop and pee again. She won’t make that mistake again. And goodnight.

*Insider tips:

Other dog friendly patios in Kansas City: Grinder’s Pizza, Fringe Beerworks, Diametric Brewing Co., Char Bar, Iron District in North Kansas City.

Other off-leash parks in Kansas City: Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park, Shawnee Mission Park.

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