Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not All Dog Parks Are Created Equal

This weekend found us with some extra time on Saturday, so we decided to go and check out a new dog park that we've heard a lot about.  I was a little leary because I checked out another new one a couple of weeks ago and Bunny and I were both disappointed in it.  We have a regular dog park that we love, but when it rains, it turns to a mud pit.  I'm not adverse to letting the girls get dirty, but I am adverse to letting two or three muddy dogs into the back of the van.  I'll just say that there's a whole lot of carpet back there.  I also worry about them running like crazy in the mud and slipping and getting hurt.

There are several things about a dog park that play into the mix.  Of course, there's the facility itself and how it's set up.  Also important is where it's located.  There's also the very important dynamic of the other dogs who are in the park.  I will admit that there have been times we've left our favorite if it looked too rough or if certain dogs came in that were really unruly.  It's just not worth the risk for something that is supposed to be fun.  It's also not much fun for the girls if there are no other dogs there.  Bunny's favorite game in the world is chase, and Blueberry isn't going to be the leader!  That's where Her Royal Blueness draws the line.  I don't blame her for that.  Bunny is a bit of a show off at the dog park.

Anyway, we went to this new park after having heard some raves about it from a friend at work.  It's not as close to our house as the other one, but it was a rainy weekend and I knew better than to try going to our old standby.  I'll also admit that I was pretty curious about this park.  It's always fun to try to get action shots when we go, which sometimes works and sometimes does not. 

I am happy to report that it lived up to its reputation.  Bunny and Blueberry had a great time playing with a Sheltie (who learned the hard way that he can't outrun a greyhound) and a husky/pit bull mix puppy who was adorable.  It was green and grassy, plus the cool weather with the hint of rain in the air put the girls in the mood to really play.  Bunny ran so much that she actually laid down in the grass and rested.  That is highly unusual.  We even saw a squirrel with a death wish running along the top of the fence on one end of the park.  It was lucky for him that Bunny was too busy showing off to see him dart off the fence and up a tree inside the fenced in area.

It all made me curious about what others look for in dog parks that they visit.  What are your favorite things about the places where you let your dogs play?

Blueberry Types for the Blog


  1. I'm glad you brought this up. I will show both Moms this post, as I haven't been in a dog park since moving in with them. They're both kind of old and of a pre-dog park mindset, which is one that doesn't even think about things like that because I have a large fenced yard. They believe that if they add walkies to that we're good to go. Actually, we only have one dog park to choose from, really and that's about 10 trafficky miles away and it's not always easy to fit that in on the weekends, which have been awfully busy lately. Dog parks are a new thing in this part of this county. The very closest one is not really recommended because, while it's near the beach, broken glass has been reported in the sand there. We do go for nature walks at a nearby county park where dogs are welcome, but only on leash. Nature walks are nice, but I still prefer sidewalk walks through town where we meet lots of people to talk to. I guess I'm still an urban dog at heart.

    wags, Lola

  2. Wow!!
    Wonderful action shots ....... yeahhhh....
    free running in the nature is the best !!!
    Kareltje =^.^=

  3. Fun in the dog park! The only thing that bugs me is the few who don't follow dog park rules. Spoils it for everyone else.


  4. Wow, your dog park is way better than mine here in New Hampshire. Take a look at and you'll see what I mean! I wish we had grass b/c I love to roll in it but instead we have dirt and my mom says it's clay and she always complains about the mess it leaves on her shoes so she has to wear the same shoes each time she takes me to the park. I know what you mean about good parks vs. bad parks b/c I used to go to another one and I hate it there and we're never going back! You wanna know why? Because a mean man told me to "Shut Up" because I was barking and another mean man hit me on my bottom and I wasn't doing anything wrong! I like the Hooksett Dog park but after seeing your park with the grass and the smiley looking fire hydrant, I wanna go to yours instead! I am super jealous now! Can I move into your house? I promise I will be good!
    P.S. I am your new follower! Please visit me anytime!

  5. I don't ever get to go to a grrreat place like that. I don't think there are any such places around here. I wish there were though. I think it would be very much fun to play with 87 other furfolks.

  6. I wish we had a park like that that I could go haves a run in. The one Mummy takes me to is only very little.

    Yous very lucky. Running is the best!

  7. Great to have a safe place to let loose. You are way too fast for any normal doggie to catch up with.


  8. That looks like a very inviting dog park. I think that big parks with lots of grass and even some water (like a lake) are the best. But, the biggest thing is responsible owners who keep their dogs behaving well. One unruly dog can scare K too much for her to play.

  9. Oh, that looks like a very much wonderful dog park! Mom and dad don't takes me to dog parks much cuz I get kinda nervous when there's a bunch of other dogs all running around outta control. But mom and dad used to take Brudder Ranger a bunch. Brudder Ranger did NOT like the one that was just a fenced in area of dirt cuz all the dogs just hung out at one end and not everybuddy watched their dogs very good.

    But there's another one that's HUGE (25 acres) and has lots of hills and trails and a creek for the dogs to swim in. There's also 4 different ways to get into it so you don't have to just walk into a whole bunch of dogs. Mom says it's a Most Wonderful place but I just don't think I'm a dog park kinda dog.

    Wiggles & Wags,

    PeeS. Brudder Ranger should be writing again soon. He's kind of a perfectionist so it takes him awhile to get everything "just right."

  10. Looks like a grand time was had by all!

    We don`t have dog parks, but we do have acreage for leg stretching and squirrel chasing!

  11. That looked like the best of fun! Bailey always barks at dogs who can run faster than her whilst she gives chase!
    Great pics and video.
    Martha & Bailey xxx

  12. Dory has had a couple of bad encounters with bigger dogs and doesn't have a lot of fun at dog parks...but we do try to get her out to picnics and such with friends and dogs she has grown up with whenever we can.

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  14. Do you know what caught my eye? Even though your gorgeous greyhound could run like the wind, that little Sheltie, being a herding breed, used his/her head and tried to cute her off at the pass. The little Sheltie knew that it lacked the speed but instinct told it to stop running behind and to take a different route.

    Now, I'm certainly not saying one breed is better than another but being someone who has lived with herding breeds for a long, long time (I'm old as dirt), I always get chills when I see a dog do what it was bred to do. The greyhound ran like the wind. The Sheltie tried to cut it off at the pass.

    Gosh, I just ♥ dogs and the talents each brings to the table.

  15. Uhm, cut her off at the pass - although it was 'cute', too☺

  16. when i first saw the shot of the three woggies i just knew that one was a pibble =)maybe a long lost welative our ours teehee
    glad you had so much fun

    pibble wiggles
    the pittie pack

  17. Wow you can run like the wind! We don't have special dog parks .

    Wiry wags Eric xx

  18. We have a very large 'race track' in our back yard. All fenced in and a gate that opens between it and the rest of the yard. Like near to an acre. Never do dog parks. Great photos and the fun! Thanks so much for sharing it all!

  19. What a fabulous find! Thank you for sharing. Our big thing is .... hiking off leash. We go to places where we can be alone.

  20. We are always so interested to read about dog parks. They don't exist here in Ireland at all. There are lots of parks where we can go - with Clive on a lead but equally we have plenty of parks where all the dogs are free to run around and play together!

    We go to a local green area twice a day to let Clive have some 'downtime' - a quick run around because he is in jacket working a lot of the day! Several of our neighbours are usually there with their dogs and they are all off their leads and playing with the local kids there.

  21. We have a nice one about ten minutes away but Mom has only taken me their twice in the two years it has been open -

    Something about taking too long to khatch me so we khan khome home -

    I'm not sure what she means by that ;-)

    Thanks fur sharing your khool furiends AND fun!


  22. Silly Shelites.. They never learn. I think all that barking makes their brain freeze up or something. At least he was smart enough to cut the corners to gain ground! I bet there were some tired hounds after that romp!

    Michelle & Brutus

  23. Bunny
    what a joy to watch you play catch me if you can..i'm suwe i couldn't , you wun like the wind only mowe gwaceful..bootiful!!!

    I go to a pwivate pawk two bocks fwom my house. It's not vewy big and it has cement instead of gwass, but we go thewe cause mommi and Daddi think it's vewy safe fow me.
    I'll let Mommi talk:

    you pay $60.00 a yeaw and get a key, and evewyone is very responsible about keeping it clean..we pick up immediately and clean out water bowls etc all the time.and the doggies who join have to give proof of up to date vaccinations and good health, also, no dogwalkers with ten dogs can come . It's impossible to keep your eyes on that many dogs and it increases the danger in some of the dog runs around us.
    there are certain doggies who come at the same time each day, so we form nice groups of friends and the doggies know each other and are safe. If any doggie gets the least bit aggressive, they go in time out and if it continues , they go home..

    anyway, Youw pawk is way pwettiew than mine and you need all that lovely soft gwass and lots of space to wun, so i'm soopew glad you found it
    smoochie kisses

  24. That park looks wonderful - glad you found a place that wasn't full of mud after the rain :)

    Pugs & Kisses,

    Yoda & Brutus

  25. Bunny, you seriously have a pretty pawsome dog park! Ours is kinda dinky and the good one is about an hour away from our home. SOB!
    You look so beawoootiful running free like that!

    Wags and Woofs,
    Mack and Mia

  26. that does look like a totally awesome doggie park!
    i like a doggie park with some shade for resting, and a nice pond or lake for swimmin'. my mama and daddy look for a tall fence, multiple entrances, and water spigots so me and asa can have drinks.
    the booker man

  27. Sure Bunny had a great time there! Follow the leader!
    Dog Parks? What is that?? hmmm...
    We don't have them here... not a single one!
    Sooo... my mom enjoys watching me running around the dinning table! Oh-oh!
    Kisses and hugs

  28. My favorite part about our dog park? Finding it empty! :)

  29. hello greyhounds its dennis the vizsla dog hay wow yore dog park has a sine!!! and grass!!! and chairs!!! owr dog parks mostly just hav dirt and sand and sumtimes the oshun!!! i want to come and visit yore park!!! ok bye

  30. How evers did I miss this most fantastical post? Furst lets me just say watching Bunny run was very most beautiful and exciting. Her is veery much graceful and faaaaast. Mum gots all kinds of goofy watching her run...mum was pretty mesmerized by it.
    Now about DOG PARKS...we don't haves one so all this was kind of new to me. But very informative incase we ever come across one. By da way, where do my tax money go to??


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