by Shannon Daly
If there is one universal family theme here in Stapleton, it’s dogs. It’s rare that I leave my house in any direction at anytime of day and not see someone walking a dog. You may not find ME walking our goofy retriever/pyrenees mix puppy, Gibson, in 10 degree weather, but there are a lot of people you will see walking their dogs in weather like that, and worse. When it is warm enough to get the ‘furbaby’ out for a walk, I find that even spending the better part of an hour traversing the neighborhood with him on a leash isn’t enough to work out his puppy energy. One of the challenging issues with having a smaller yard here in Stapleton is finding a way to get your dog the appropriate exercise to keep them happy and you, sane, if walking isn’t enough for them.
Enter Stapleton’s off leash dog park. This past Friday was the first day I took Gibby here because I was waiting to get all his inoculations. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I have had friends take their dogs to other parks around the metropolitan area with less than great results including owners not picking up after their dogs, or not paying attention so the dogs can actually be in jeopardy of getting hurt. I was also nervous because I haven’t had a puppy in 13 years and I wasn’t sure what kind of dog park etiquette my puppy needed in order to hang out there. I was pleasantly surprised when we got there and I tentatively let Gibson loose. Owners were chatting each other up, sharing toys, carefully monitoring their furry children, and picking up their dog’s business without hesitation. This dog park is big enough for the dog who needs to run full out, or wants to fetch until he drops, and it comfortably accommodates a large number of people and dogs. There are dog bowls available for water, which everyone shares willingly, and even bags to pick up your dog’s business if you forget yours. We were there for an hour, and Gibson had a chance to frolic with a variety of different sized and aged dogs. When there was a break in the action, we walked around the park in the sand, me slogging along in my Crocs, Gibs sniffing at all the doggie scented delights he found along the way. It’s a really good sign when you’re 5 month old puppy lays down in the sand, tongue lolling out of his mouth panting while other dogs run and frolic around him. FINALLY he was tired. Sure, it took an hour, but for someone like me who really likes dogs, (like everyone else in Stapleton, it appears,) spending an hour surrounded by indomitably spirited canines is a pretty cool way to pass the time. If you’re interested in visiting the Stapleton dog park with your furry friend, or even if you just need a pick me up and spending some time around happy-go-lucky pups seems like the way to achieve it, you should stop by.
The park is easy to access and has a couple different entrances. If you are on Syracuse, you can take 23rd east and the park is on your right at N Spruce St. If you are traveling down Montview, head north on N Spruce Street, and the park will be on your left. If you find yourself on Central Park Blvd., head west on E 25th Drive, and after the street curves around the greenway and turns into N Spruce St., the park will be on the right. Hope to see you there!