Yappy Hour at Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

Ocean views and canine companionship unite at a special hotel hang-together.

BARKERS BEYOND THE BEACH: One of the most positive developments to happen in recent decades has been the legalization of certain stretches of beachfront designated for dogs and their humans. The ocean possesses a draw for both pups and people, one that has to do with beauty and mystery and how good it feels to romp in the foamy, sandy goodness (that's a feeling that's typically enjoyed solely by the dogs on the beach, though sometimes their humans join in). But what if your pooch isn't a Pacific lover, by nature? Or, for that matter, what if you personally dig the sea breezes and sunset-sweet vistas of the ocean but can't get down with the whole sand-in-your-shoes scene of being right at the place where water meets land? There are other endearing options available that involve A) your hound and B) the Pacific but C) a distinct lack of sand in your shoes. Look to Yappy Hour at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. It's a people + pooches gathering on the resorts vista-plentiful Dana Lawn, an above-the-sand perch that allows you to soak in the H2O-nice views without wading into the foam. Plus? There shall be treats, for both the bipeds and the four-footers, including...

HANDMADE DOG BISCUITS: These for-Fido goodies are accompanied by flavored water -- think bacon, chicken, liver, and more -- which may make your little one wish for the same at home. (C'mon: liver water likely is a game changer in the life of a dog with an adventurous palate.) The humans in the group can go with wine or burgers or "assorted sushi boxes" and desserts that include ice cream. And think how easy the ice-breaking shall go: Everyone'll be there with their dog, so all one needs to do is approach another human and ask "What's your dog's name?" As for the proceeds of the evenings? The Wounded Veteran's Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence is the beneficiary. As for the nights to come? Aug. 13 and Sept. 10 are your 2015 arf-awesome dates. Think of it like a dog beach scene, sans the sand but with lovely beverages and a sunset to boot.

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