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Finding dog parks can be a challenge

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When my husband and I travel, our dog is usually with us, so we often look for dog parks where he can get some off-leash exercise. Two new dog parks have popped up in my area. Dog lovers in Eureka Springs, AR, recently broke ground for a Bark Park. Rachel Brix, a relative newcomer to Eureka Springs, spearheaded the project.

Rachel Brix breaks ground at the Eureka Springs Bark Park.

Rachel Brix breaks ground at the Eureka Springs (AR) Bark Park.

Joplin, MO, has a new dog park, too. Becee McNally and others had been lobbying for one for years, but it took a massive tornado in 2011 to make it happen. Restoring a destroyed park provided an opportunity to re-purpose an area for dogs.

Finding a dog a park when you’re traveling can be a challenge, but the web is a good place to start your search. Doggoes.com, for instance, has detailed information about all the parks it lists and even maps to assist you in finding them. But not all dog parks are listed, particularly new ones like the two I mentioned above.

That’s why asking a local person walking a dog will sometimes strike pay dirt. That’s how we found out about Enterprise Dog Park in Clearwater, FL, which, in my opinion, is a Cadillac of dog parks. It is, by the way, listed on doggoes.com.

When you visit a dog park new to you, it’s important to learn the rules. They’re usually posted at the entrance. Many are common to most dog parks. Be sure to read them and adhere to them or you may be asked to leave. On the other hand, dog park etiquette is not imperative like a rule, but it’s important if you want to be welcome.

Dog parks can be intimidating to some dogs, while others jump right into the experience. And just as with humans, some dogs are bullies and others are bullied. Read more about it.

Dog parks are a great place for our dogs to make friends, and it’s a joy to watch them romp and play together. I hope you can find one near you, or when you’re traveling, and have some fun!

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