The dog park : Bow Wow

Imagine a park for pooches—where they can run, play and swim with their buddies—it’s a dream come true for many pooches in Ohio (U.S.) and their pet parents. Alum Creek Dog Park is a four-acre, fully fenced off-leash play area for dogs.

The-dog-park--Bow-WowPet parents are always on the lookout for places where their pooches can run and play without a leash. It keeps them healthy, well socialized and better behaved. Spending time with your dog at the park can also strengthen the pet and pet parent bond. However, most of the parks are not dog friendly and they are left with little or no choice. Recognising this need, Alum Creek State Park in Central Ohio came up with the Alum Creek Dog Park in June 2006, which is a four-acre, fully fenced area where dogs can run, play and swim in a leash-free environment. 

The idea was conceived…

The project was initiated by Denis Beuhler, an Alum Creek State Park employee. As a long-term employee of the park, Beulher knew that many park visitors were coming to the park to recreate with their families, including their dogs and a fenced dog park was needed at Alum Creek State Park.

The indulgence…

Built in a beautiful old apple orchard alongside the lake at Alum Creek State Park in Delaware County, the Alum Creek Dog Park has a popular ‘dog beach’, where water-loving dogs have free reign of the state park’s shoreline. A large three-acre section allows plenty of room to run, while a half-acre section provides an area for smaller dogs. Both areas have plenty of trees for shade, park benches and drinking fountains. Besides, there are canine agility equipment, a playground for children and a basketball court.

The footfalls…

The dog park is very, very popular – on a nice day in the summer approximately 1000 people or 850 dogs visit the park on weekends while around 350 dogs visit per day on weekdays. However, on cold winter days, around 100-150 dogs visit per day.

Enhancing pet adoption…

People have started adopting dogs from the rescues in Central Ohio because they now have a place where they can bring their dogs for exercise and socialisation and to meet other pet parents. 

Abide by the rules…

Dogs should be current on all their shots to use the park, and aggressive dogs are not allowed. Each dog must display current license and rabies tags. No puppies under four months old is allowed because they will not have had all of their vaccinations.

Besides, all dogs must get along well with humans and dogs of all sizes. Dogs in heat are not allowed and all dogs must be closely supervised and within sight and voice control of their handler at all times. All dog handlers must be at least 18 years old, or supervised by an adult. No more than 2 dogs per handler are allowed. And, the handlers need to pick up dog waste immediately and place it in the trashcans.

The extravagance…

The dog park was built with out-of-pocket costs of $24,000, and over 1,400 volunteer hours were donated to clear brush, trim trees and install fencing. The volunteers continue to work with park staff to upgrade the facility and perform routine maintenance, as well as raise funds, greet visitors, and educate dog owners using the park.

The significance…

The park is very important not only for dogs but also for their pet parents as it is a great place for them to meet new friends and form a community of folks who see each other on a regular basis and have similar interests. There is something there for every type of dog, whether they want to train on agility equipment or take a swim or play fetch or just meet other dogs.

(Pic courtesy: Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Joy St. Clair)

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