Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dog Parks

Dog parks are generally so much fun - for both the human and dogs.

There is such joy in watching your pet run loose and find new play companions.

They also give humans a chance to get out and interact with others.

Some dog parks even have walking rails for owners to use while rRover is playing.

My Favorite place to run Bailey is Huntington Beach Dog Park.
One walks down a 20 foot cliff' to three miles of beautiful white sand beach.

The dogs are safe to run with ocean on one side and the cliff protecting them from Pacific Coast Highway on the other side.

It is also a great spot for visitors to watch the local surfers. The parade of dogs - every size and breed -
the sea breeze, crashing waves, and near perfect weather, makes this my #1 choice. It is one of the cleanest beaches in southern California.

But, as with anything, a few inconsiderate people can ruin the dog park experience. Here is Dog Park 101 from the W.O.O.F. (We Offer Off Leash Fun) committee that oversees the three large dog parks.
  • Dogs must be leashed when entering or leaving the safety entrance of the Dog Park. (Do not keep your dog leashed inside dog park).
  • Dogs and children must be accompanied by an adult.
    Maximum of 3 dogs per adult.
  • Dogs that are aggressive, in heat or sick are not allowed.
  • All dogs must have current vaccinations and license.
  • Owners are required to pick-up and dispose of their dog’s feces both in and out of the Dog Park.
  • No strollers, carriages, bicycles, or children’s toy allowed in Dog Park.
  • No smoking, alcoholic beverages, food or dog treats allowed in Dog Park.
  • Owners must carry a leash and closely supervise their dog(s) at all times.
  • Owners are liable for injuries or damage caused by their dogs.
  • Owners use the park at their own risk.

Most of the rules are common sense. A leashed dog inside an area of unleashed dogs is vulnerable. Having children running around the park unsupervised can be an attraction for some big dog to chase them or two dogs running may not be watching the children and run into them -possibly causing injury. Strollers or bikes can cause obstacles for running or may be damaged by dogs. Smokers tend to leave cigarette butts that are poisonous to dogs. Someone carrying a treat or sandwich in their pocket can find themselves cornered by dogs with sensitive noses. The best guideline is to have control of your dog -even off leash.

Since Bailey is my service dog, I am often asked if she ever gets to be "just a dog." It's obvious by the smile on her face that she really enjoys dog parks!

Pictures: top left; two unknown dogs at dog park top right: Bailey and Zetta at Huntington Beach Dog Park center bottom: Bailey at HP dog park

edited 10:35

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