I'm a huge dog lover - so I was pretty thrilled when my boyfriend surprised me with a dog for my Christmas present!

The puppy was born eight weeks ago on April 3rd in Spokane, WA, and made his way to Texas last week to meet his new parents. He's a chunky yellow lab who's very smart, and loves to play with squeaky toys. We named him Murphy, or Murph for short, after a famous pub in downtown Honolulu where we met in college.

Now that I'm a new mom, and my time revolves around my 'baby', I've been trying to find some good places to take him on walks or on errands with me in Nacogdoches. Here's a list of the top five dog-friendly places in Nacogdoches:

1. Lanana Creek Trail in Nacogdoches

The Lanana Creek Trail begins at E Main St. (at Liberty Hall), and continues for 2 miles all the way to East Austin St. along the west bank of Lanana Creek. The trail features many hills, curvy paths and bridges under majestic trees, which makes for a scenic and relaxing atmosphere. Your dog will enjoy running and walking outside - but mostly appreciate the shaded areas. There's even a few water fountains for you and your dog to take a minute to rehydrate.

The trail also passes Pecan Park and the SFA Athletic complexes, as well as the Azalea Trails and the SFA Arboretum. Lots of space for your pup - but make sure to keep them leashed at all times.

Be sure to sign you and your dog up for the Blueberry 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, June 11th. The trail will follow the Lanana Creek Trail, and all proceeds will go towards funding the Dog Park Nacogdoches. All dogs who enter will receive a doggie bandana, and the first ten runners to cross the finish line will receive free Kiwanis Blueberry Pancakes. Yum!

2. SFA Recreational Trails 

This newer trail is located off of E. Starr Ave and N. University Dr.

You can easily park in the paved area, and access the wooded trails from one of the many openings.

This trail is great for dogs and humans, as it offers both paved and non-paved trails with lots of greenery and trees. The total course is about 2.58 miles - a distance that will most definitely tire your puppy out without making you too sore.

3.  Fur Masters

Think about your ultimate spa getaway package. Now, picture your dog in your position.

Fur Masters is the ultimate grooming place in Nacogdoches. Their website offers many before and after photos, frequently asked questions, doggy treat recipes, specials and a "pet of the month" feature.

The good thing about this place is that they are a "No Cage Grooming Facility", which means that the dogs are kept in a safe, open area where they can freely run around! Since my dog is a labrador retriever, I don't think I'll be bringing him in here to get his hair styled, but I'm sure I'll be taking him here to get his long nails clipped!

4. Petsense

This store will make your pet feel like a 'kid in a candy store'.

Petsense, located next to Fudruckers off of North St.,  allows dogs of all shapes and sizes to walk around in the store, and they don't have to be leashed - they just need to be carried or to stay close to their owner.
I find it really convenient to have my dog around as I shop - that way, I don't have to worry about tying him up outside in the heat or leaving him in the car.
It's also fun for the dog as he sniffs around all the food and toys aisles - it makes it hard for me not to spoil him!

5. Support Dog Park Nacogdoches

For years, dog lovers have been trying to build a dog park in the Nacogdoches community.

The Dog Park Nacogdoches Facebook page explains that this non-profit organization's goal is to "establish a community project designed to create an off-leash dog park where our four legged companions can socialize/play/exercise in a safe, clean and well maintained (completely fenced in) area along with their human counterparts."

I personally would love to bring Murphy somewhere to run around freely when he gets a little older. If you would love a place like this for your dog in Nacogdoches, 'like' the Dog Park Nacogdoches Facebook page, and sign up for the Blueberry 5K Run/Walk on June 11th.

You can even upload a photo of your dog on the group's Facebook wall!

Where do you like to take your dog?