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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Love your Dog Park?
You Can Help Save it!

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Blog the Change
What's happening with dog parks in your area? Although my meager efforts to monitor things is clearly not thorough, I can't help but notice news flashes about the occasional dog park that is closed due to lack of funding for maintenance. I know if it is happening here, it is likely occurring in other areas as well. Times are tough for cities, with tax revenue lagging behind previous years; this means non-essential services have to be cut. Dog parks are sometimes first on the ax list. 

Worse yet, some communities don't have a dog park at all, and have no hopes of getting one during these challenging economic times. My mother's town has only a paid membership dog park, although it is a nice one. Thankfully she enjoys her membership several times a week to keep her little Jacque well socialized and exercised.
© Carrie Boyko
Jacque is a Well-Adjusted Playmate
So, perhaps you're asking yourself what you can do about this. I've made a small effort to get something going here--awareness. If you're concerned about the fate of your own dog park and don't want to risk losing it, you can adopt it. Here's how:
  • Let your city know you'll be walking the park each week, picking up trash and missed landmines in an effort to assist with the upkeep. 
  • Tell them how important your park is to you and your fellow dog lovers, and their dogs. Ask if your park is at risk.  
  • Encourage others to keep up their end of the bargain by following the park rules and cleaning up after their own dog. 
  • Finally, if you learn that there may be trouble brewing, be proactive. Rally a group of regular park-goers to help with maintenance throughout the week.
One more thing--by following up with regular training and good leadership, we can all bring a better-behaved dog to the park. Why is this important? Because a dog with issues may be a ticking time bomb at a dog park. Be sure your dog is ready before bringing him into a busy, high-spirited play group. If your dog needs socializing and has shown any signs of anxiety in groups, start small and work up gradually to larger groups of dogs. Choose off days and times in the beginning, so your dog can learn the ropes and practice his social skills without being overwhelmed.
© Carrie Boyko
Visit Adopt a Dog Park for
Tips on Getting Involved

Finally, I'll be happy to include you or your dog, as the sponsor of your local dog park, on my Adopt a Dog Park site. Send me your name or your dog's name, along with a photo of Fido if you like, and I'll post them on the site. My email address is Check it out and join the fun; dog parks are a great way to meet other dog lovers, while your dog enjoys the social exercise and playtime he craves. 

Before I go, there's one more piece of business. Be sure to stop by Btc4Animals to thank them for sponsoring this Blog the Change day. You'll find links to loads of other causes that may pull your heartstrings. Check 'em out and pick one to get involved in; it's great karma. See you at the park!
© Carrie Boyko
Tanner is Greeted by Park Visitors

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Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! I'm Sugar. Visiting you from SPBH. Looking forward to your visit to my blog n be bloggie friends.
Golden Thanks for the information. I am very fortunate to live in a dog friendly town n got lots of dog parks n beaches.
Happy BLOG HOP Weekend. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Lavinia said...

Hello, thanks for the visit and the nice comment.

I don't know a lot of dog parks in my country, but I have noticed an increase in "no dogs allowed" signs. Thank you for sharing this information.

Ruff Toy Reviews said...

Ah, this is a topic near and dear to me! I worked for over 5 years on a local committee trying to get a dog park going, and can tell you I only have the highest regard for people who take this challenge on. We made very little progress in convincing the city it was worthwhile... in fact they thought we were big ole pains in the you-know-where. That committee has given up, most of us have now moved to other communities. But now, several years later, there is a new committee trying to do the exact same thing in the old town... eventually cities will learn that dog parks are worth the effort and do more to bring the community together than they imagine. To all you brave souls trying to get one started in your community, keep up the fight!

Pup Fan said...

Great post... saving dog parks is definitely an important cause! We've lived in areas both with and without dog parks - these are important community resources. Thanks for what you're doing here.

Oskar said...

We don't have any real dog parks around here.

Nubbin wiggles,

Chandra said...

Great post! Thanks so much for raising awareness for the importance of local dog parks and the responsibility we all need to accept in order to continue to enjoy them. Bravo!

-Chandra at Daley's Dog Years

Kim Clune said...

I love this! What a terrific grassroots way to save dog parks. Thanks for Blogging the Change - and for creating a website devoted to this idea!

KimT said...

Park sounds like a good idea...gettin' cabin fever here!!
That's an awesome idea to ensure parks are available!

Sage said...

What an important issue to us dog lovers! We've lived in places without a dog park and it's hard to socialize and exercise your dog. Fortunately, we now live in a dog-friendly city, but it could always become an issue even here.

Diana said...

It is definitely a good idea to make sure your dog is trained ready to go to the dog park, i hate it when there is a dog who can't be controlled who disrupts all the other dogs.

Kristine said...

Great, great cause! There was a huge risk last year of the city closing down one of the most popular dog parks in the area. They claimed it was due to lack of responsible ownership. But local dog owners got together, petitioned the government, and so far the park remains open. It is a constant battle but it is one worth waging for anyone hoping to have a great space to take their dogs. We need more parks in this city, not less.

Thanks for doing so much for such an important personal issue!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. We are big fans of our dog park and I definitely try to go around and pick up missed droppings and trash. I wish, sometimes, that people cared as much about it as I do. I am glad to see you being proactive. ^.^

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