Midtown’s first dog park opens

By Susan Roakes

The City of Memphis Division of Park Services recently opened its first enclosed, off-leash dog park just minutes away from CY. The park is located at 2599 Avery, near the Memphis City School’s main administration building.

[singlepic id=279 w=320 h=240 float=left]On my visits to the park I have seen many happy dogs. The park includes separate fenced in areas for big dogs (25 lbs and over) and little dogs (under 25 lbs). The big dog area is about an acre in size with no shade trees while the little dog area is a half acre with some shade. Both areas have a few benches, as well as poop bags and trash cans for people to pick up after their pets. Even though no water is provided, no one seemed to mind.

Like all Memphis City Parks, the dog park is open from dawn to dusk (6 am-8 pm in summer and 6 am-6 pm in winter). Dogs and people are sparse in the morning. Peak hours are after work from about 5:30-8 pm. Although the park has not been open long, a group of regulars is already forming.

Most of my trips to the dog park have been pleasantly uneventful. However, I heard rumor of an incident that occurred on Wednesday, June 15th. I arrived just after the event. Most people had left the park after a couple brought a dog that wanted to pick fights with other dogs. The couple were reportedly unconcerned about their dog’s behavior. However, the other people present at the time agreed that people should manage their dogs. I spoke to one witness who had called the Parks Department about it and was very pleased with their response.

Etiquette within the dog park is outlined on two very large signs next to the entrance of each fenced in area. While dog parks are common in many US cities, this park is the first in Midtown. According to the Commercial Appeal, Cindy Buchanan, Director of Memphis City Parks, said “This is kind of the pilot project to see how it works. Once we get some users out there and get some feedback from them, we can look at where we go next.” The dog park is located within the Fairgrounds redevelopment area so it may not be there for good.

Nevertheless, I encourage all of you dog owners to go check it out. But remember that each person who brings a dog is responsible for their dog’s behavior. If this is your dog’s first visit to the park, you may want to keep him or her in the entrance area or on leash until you are sure they are comfortable around other dogs. Pay attention to your dog’s behavior. If your dog doesn’t play nicely, please take them home.

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