I brought my dogs to the bar for the first time in 7 years. Should I try it a third time?
We set out to spend a day outdoors, together, including the dogs. Because we wanted some beers after a hike, we brought the dogs with us to the Canyon Grill west of Horsetooth Reservoir.
The last time we did this, we had just adopted Bella, a Husky mix who had been returned to the animal shelter twice for behavior issues. We had her with us in Old Town outside Pueblo Viejo, it was a super stressful experience, and we hadn't done that since.
Seven years later, both Bella and Rosie (another, older adopt) get pretty worn out in the heat, even though hiking is about their favorite thing ever. This, we found, made all the difference in the world.
This isn't to say it was a perfect visit. Bella, a self leader, wanted to get up and sniff around the place, but she never did. Rosie, however, ran over to see the owners of a pit bull (not the pit bull itself) while I was pouring my beer. I immediately jumped up and went over and apologized, but the owners were completely cool.
While that story isn't terribly exciting, it may offer a tip and/or some inspiration.
On another note, Reservoir Ridge is amazing. It's one of City of Fort Collins' free hikes. Obviously dogs are allowed. It took us a couple hours to do the loop, and it was a perfect mix of adventure, great scenery, and an escape from crowds. We'd been invited to join some friends hiking Horsetooth Park, but we declined for that very reason, and were not disappointed.
There are three entrances to Reservoir Ridge. One is from atop NoCo Rd. 25G (which crosses Horsetooth's dams.) Another is from Overland Trail and offers a super long walk through a field before you get to anything cool - although the field is arguably gorgeous as well. The one I recommend is the further north entrance, also from Overland Trail, where you get to some good stuff fairly quickly.