How Nicci is using Sniffspot as a mountain replacement for her two active rescues

Louise joined her pitty sister Koko (now passed) when she was 8 weeks old. She was raised by Nicci and her former partner in the mountains of California and has been on many adventures. Running to catch frisbees, daily hikes, and chasing off wolves and coyotes meant Louise had both of her knees replaced before she was 5 years old. Long walks and chasing squirrels became the replacement. 

City Dogs

Moving to Portland, Louise became a city dog. Nicci quickly learned that dog parks were not ideal for Louise. Growing up in the mountains, she loves to run far beyond what a small fenced dog park could provide. They began to run together on the waterfront, chasing geese and enjoying time together rather than forcing group interactions.

Although she lives best with a canine partner in crime, Louise is reactive to some dogs. In a crowded area like a dog park, she has a hard time navigating play between multiple dogs, and can be protective of toys. 

Zeke came home at 8 weeks old, very small and full of personality. Zeke is an energetic and anxious guy. As Nicci puts it, “he has a lot that he needs to get out.” Apartment life requires a little extra work to provide Zeke with some mental stimulation and physical exercise

Zeke is now 16 months, and although he can be easily overwhelmed, he is also very curious about the world around him. Zeke experiences leash frustration, so having an open but fenced area to visit regularly is helpful. “You can almost see it in his eyes when he’s about to have a crazy zoomie moment.” The ability to release his excess energy in a safe space is important for Zeke. 

A friend introduced Nicci to Sniffspot soon after Zeke came home. Bringing her young dog out to these spaces allowed him to learn about the world while she was still learning about him.

Finding Their Spot

“Living in an apartment doesn't give us any room for fetch, so when I learned about Sniffspot I immediately signed up and began trying out places for both dogs to get out their 'puppy' energy,” Nicci remembers. After a year of trying different spots, they found their favorite. Just about a 10 minute drive down the freeway from their apartment (with no traffic) is a fully fenced ½ acre, where both dogs can run and chase the tennis ball. Louise has a signature grumble-bark just for catching the ball. Nicci also appreciates no other dogs around while her dogs enjoy their time at the “doggy spa.” “I just want them to run in peace and be happy out there.” Still no frisbee for Louise, but  they head out to their Sniffspot rain or shine. “I'm so grateful to have such nice hosts to share their amazing yards with my high energy dogs,” says Nicci.

Living Their Best Lives

Nicci and her former partner co-parent Louise and Zeke, and live down the street from one another, enabling the dogs to live their best lives. At home with Nicci, they leverage their exciting Sniffspot time with naps in her cozy apartment. With their dad, they have a large apartment to play in, take city walks, and engage with friends’ dogs who they enjoy, providing Zeke and Louise a rich social life. “They get to play with dogs when they’re with him…and play with each other and run it out when they’re with me,” says Nicci.

Nicci describes Louise as a people lover who is very in tune with emotions and provides a cuddle when it’s needed. She and Zeke have a strong and special bond. When Koko died, Louise mourned her loss in a very noticeable way, even crying out to find her. Despite their age difference, Nicci notices how patient they are with each other, adding “it’s the sweetest bond you could ever imagine.” 

Providing Louise and Zeke with safe outdoor spaces through Sniffspot was an important bonding experience. It’s also been a key part of keeping her energetic dogs happy and enriched. Both of Louise and Zeke’s people have worked to find the best balance for their dogs, and Sniffspot has provided them the opportunity to live in the city in a way that suits them all.