OUR DOG may be your most loyal friend, but let's face it, she still can't drive.

So planning the field trips is up to you.

When Li'l Poochie wants to get out of the backyard, take her to one of the East Bay's many dog parks or on a stroll to one of many pup-friendly cafes or stores.

We've listed a handful of dog-tacular places to take your canine, but for more, check out Bay Area dog bible "The Dog Lover's Companion to the Bay Area" by Maria Goodavage (Avalon Travel Publishing, $17.95).

So get your tail out of the house and your paws on the ground!

Drigon Dog Park, Seventh Street west of Mission Boulevard, Union City

When this park first opened in 2002, some city residents were upset because it was nicer than a lot of human parks. Like a dog-sized Disneyland, the park is dotted with fire-hydrant statues and agility equipment on a carpet of lush green grass.

Named for Union City's first K-9 police officer, now deceased, the park draws folks from all over the Bay Area who bring their dogs to jump through brightly painted tire hoops and frolic on the dog-bone-shaped pathway. The park is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. six days a week. Closed Mondays for maintenance.

Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, Richmond

Water-loving dogs can splash to their wagging tails' content at this 21-acre park with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin County.

Sure, humans can also fly kites, watch birds and have a picnic here, but for dogs, it's all about the off-leash access to the water.

And once she's splashed around and gotten sufficiently soaking wet and disgustingly dirty, take your canine to Mudpuppy's Tub & Scrub, a vendor who will give you a place to clean her off for a mere $11.

While the dog is drying, visit the Sit & Stay Cafe for a cup of coffee and a pastry. Heaven — for pooches and people.

Tilden Park, Berkeley

Affectionately called "the jewel" of the East Bay Regional Park District, Tilden is not entirely open to dogs. They can't roam in the nature area (or the golf course; but everybody knows that dogs think golf is boring).

But they can wander (leashed — the fines are stiff if you're caught without one) and picnic on Tilden's many grassy hills, take a swim in Lake Anza and ride the park's steam train. Yes, the steam train. Rides on the roughly half-size Redwood Valley Railway cost $2 for humans, but dogs ride free.

(Although the idea of dogs on miniature trains is indisputably hilarious, gauge your dog's tolerance for nonsense. My dog, for example, had no interest in being on the train and spent most of the ride trying to wriggle her way over the side.)

George, 1829 Fourth St., Berkeley

Oh, there are fancy stores for doggy consumers, but George is a doggylicious consumerist treat for those fanatical about their furry friends.

Owners Bobby Wise and Lyndon Lambert say they're the original (and the only) members of PATA, People for the Aesthetic Treatment of Animals. And what better time to indulge than 2006 — the year of the dog in the Chinese calendar?

Whether puppy needs a $10 St. Francis of Assisi medallion for her collar or a striped, $90 French-sailor sweater, she's sure to find togs for dogs to suit her tastes.

If you can't make it to the store, check out the Web site at http://www.georgesf.com.

After a trip to George, mosey down Fourth to Cody's Books, 1730 Fourth St., where dogs are welcome patrons. You and your dog can pick up a copy of The Bark, the Berkeley-produced "magazine of modern dog culture."

Del Valle, 7000 Del Valle Road, Livermore

A big blue sky — a big blue lake — and all of it open to dogs. Hello, beautiful East Bay Regional Park District.

Does your dog like to hike? There are 3,900 acres to do it in. Is she a swimmer? People and pooches can take a dip in the lake year-round. A roasted hotdog lover? Dogs are welcome at the park's 150 camp sites.

Does she love to boat? (Boat?) Actually, yes, if you rent a rowboat or patio boat, your dog can come along on your fishing expedition. 

Sunol Regional Wilderness, Fremont

Wilderness is right. There's perhaps no place else you can go in the East Bay that seems so far away from the world and yet be within a 30-minute drive of Fremont and even closer to Pleasanton. Dog visitors can spend their time there sans leash. How's that for fancy-free?

With a few caveats, of course. Sunol is well-loved by families and dog-lovers, but it's also a favorite spot for equestrians. Keep your leash ready if you see a horse and your dog freaks out.

Also, it's home to quite a few cows. You don't want your dog to spook the cows, because they're a lot bigger in real life.

But other than these large-animal distractions, you and your dog can explore the gorgeous spring wildflower show and the burbling of Alameda Creek.

Redwood Regional Park, Skyline Gate staging area, 8500 Skyline Blvd., Oakland

The East and West Ridge trails at this stunningly beautiful park are canopied with trees, so they're a shady haven on a hot day.

And Redwood Regional Park is another East Bay park that allows dogs to be off-leash as long as they're on voice command. (Be sure about this. There are lots of squirrels and other little furry critters to distract a dog.)

Nearly every walker and jogger along these wide trails has a dog, and at some points, the trail is even wide enough to toss a ball around.

With its huge trees, mud puddles and dog-friendly attitude, this park is a winner.