Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ed Austin Park


Jedi and I discovered a new park. Ed Austin Park is less than 10 minutes from the house and it's huge! There are baseball and soccer fields, several playgrounds, a skateboard park and a Senior Center -- all with plenty of parking, public toilets and lots trash cans for tossing poop bags. There's also a Frisbee golf course that weaves throughout the park. My favorite part is the paved walkway along the perimeter. This 1.75 mile path goes through the woods, around a couple ponds and past all the ball fields. It's really quite pretty and I didn't realize how far we had walk until I got home and my backside hurt. I guess those muscles haven't been used in a while! Jedi and I have been out to the park several times; this time I even took a few pictures. 

I'm committed to get more exercise for the both of us, and the park is much nicer than walking in our neighborhood. I don't have to worry about cars, stray dogs and disappearing sidewalks. There are always other people on the path, though it's far from being crowded. We encounter Frisbee golfers, other dog walkers, joggers, and people on bikes. These are all great distractions for training. Our walk follows a definite pattern: Jedi is an ass in the beginning, barking and lurching and pulling, making me wonder why we came out in the first place. Eventually he settles down and it turns into a nice walk. It seems that the time from "ass" to "OK" gets shorter and shorter with each visit. I'm hoping that the ass period will eventually disappear completely -- the sooner, the better! This adolescence thing really sucks.

While walking through Ed Austin Park we saw several signs announcing an off-leash dog park coming soon. There's a website listed on the sign, so I came home and looked it up. Apparently City Council just approved the addition of a dog park. I signed up for the online newsletter though I'm not quite sure how I feel about dog parks. We have one where I work and sometimes it seems more trouble than it's worth. I think a lot of that might be because the planning committee went out of their way to exclude animal control from the beginning. My partner and I has some ideas and were firmly told "Thanks, but no thanks" when we tried to share. Seriously! Don't get me wrong, it's a nice park and they did a good job, but there are some issues. For example, members must sign a contract with many rules that say "you will not do such and such." However, nothing is in place should somebody actually do "such and such." Now people are breaking the rules and the committee doesn't know what to do about it. I guess the committee just assumed people would follow the rules. Truth is, sometimes people don't feel that rules apply to them -- and that's why I have a job. Sadly I would have told them in the beginning, but . . . Anyway, I hope this dog park does better. It's close enough to home, maybe Jedi and I will join. But for now, we need to relax. It's been a long, hot day and Jedi and I need a nap. Hey! I think Jedi has started without me! Catch you later, -- K

Jedi after a long walk in the park