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Do you like dog parks?

I remember before I had a kid, my life pretty much revolved around our dog, Maya. All I could talk about was Maya and how much I love her, pamper her, and how wonderful she is. Well, she’s still wonderful and I still adore her, but lately I’ve been thinking about how she is often “neglected” in favor of Zachary.

Since having the baby, she’s not exactly the pampered pooch any longer. ;( Of course, that’s what happens when you have a child, but it doesn’t make me feel good to know my dog is put last. I know she loves Zachary, but I don’t want her to feel badly, either!

A couple of years ago, I took Maya to a dog park for the first time. I attended a Meetup for dachshund owners, and it was so much fun to see her playing with all of the other South Florida dachshunds! I think she really had a good time! Of course, I got pregnant right after this event, and all of my hopes of being an avid dog park goer were dashed because I was so exhausted from my first trimester. Poor Maya. She hasn’t been to the dog park since then!

Boscoe & Maya playing Maya is the black/silver dapple. I loved that she was playing with another dappled doxie!

This picture was taken at Happy Tails Dog Park in Plantation, which was nice, but not very close. I liked that they had a small dog enclosure so I didn’t need to worry about the huge dogs looking at my dog like she was a squeaky toy….. but now there’s another dog park a bit closer to my house, called the Gary B. Jones Park for People and Pups in Tamarac. It also has a small dog enclosure, and is right around the corner.

I think it’d be a lot of fun to take Maya and Zachary one day to play in the dog park. Our backyard is definitely nice, but with spring basically here in South Florida already, there are bound to be lots of bees flying into our yard soon to pollinate our honeysuckle hedge, and I won’t feel comfortable having Zachary play around there anymore until the bee season passes.

Since I’m not a regular dog park goer, for those of you who regularly visit a dog park, is there anything I should know, other than bringing extra water for my pup? If you’re in South Florida, which dog parks do you enjoy visiting?

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EricaFebruary 22, 2011 - 11:02 am

Hey Karen – we met at the Becker meet up years ago in Coconut Grove .. I have 2 dachshunds too, and I’m in the South Florida Dachshund meetup group too .. small world!

I used to bring my two dog parks once or twice a week for their first 2 years, but then we moved and it was harder to get to a dog park. However, this Saturday I brought them to Markham Park’s dog park to check it out. It was our first time there, and they hadn’t been to a park in over a year (last time was at Happy Tails for the one and only dachshund meetup I’ve attended) .. but they did good .. just barked .. alot .. but that’s a doxie for ya. Also they had a small dog and big dog side .. both were nice big spaces, especially the big dog side, lots of room to run.

AndreaFebruary 22, 2011 - 1:04 pm

Before I moved to NYC, I would bring Lil’ C to the dog parks in Coral Springs. There is one by the SportsPlex and one right across the street from my mom’s house in the corner of Coral Ridge Drive and Southgate. I believe they both have the little dog sections, although Lil’ C didn’t much like those. Usually, he would just bark at the other dogs and sniff/try to hump white poofy dogs (his favorite).

When I moved up to NYC, we used to bring our little ones to the dog parks in Brooklyn all the time. They really loved them, especially when there were more little dogs there. There were specific meet times for people with little dogs, and we really liked that. If our dogs were in the big dog section, Lil’ C would just start fights with every dog there. Once, he even peed on a man’s leg. To be fair, I told the man that he was trying to pee on him, and he thought it was funny or didn’t believe me. i don’t know. Well, he got peed on, but didn’t notice, so we quietly left. We also watched one of Scott’s friend’s dogs, and all she ever did at the dog park was get other people to pet her. She never interacted with other dogs, but seemed to enjoy having such a large variety of humans to choose from.

Sadly, they do not have any dog parks here in Alabama. I wish we did. We have a large backyard, but the dogs do not run as much as they did when other dogs were around.

Heather LillyFebruary 22, 2011 - 1:05 pm

We used to enjoy the dog park on a regular basis – but stopped going for 2 reasons: one Summer is extremely competitive and doesn’t share nicely with other dogs. It’s hard to know when others will be there. Second reason is the dead grasses and twigs were hazardous to Coral & Summer’s paws. The park you took Maya to looks really nice!

ColeFebruary 22, 2011 - 11:41 pm

Henry loves playing at the dog park! Before you head out with Maya and Zachary, though, you should check into the local regulations; none of the ones near us allow kids inside, so if I go someone needs to stay outside the fence with me.

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