Parks for our pups

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

It seems that we live in a dog-crazy society these days. Videos flood our Facebook pages, boutiques for designer collars are on our streets and dog beds are nearly obsolete—pups get the owner’s bed.

Unfortunately, as we humanize dogs more and more, cities seem to be going in the opposite direction. More and more places are requiring furry friends to be leashed up and the days of playing fetch seem to be coming to an end.

Yes, Chico has a dog park, but it needs to double, maybe triple, this count.

Over on Leora Court, nearly four miles from Chico State, there is this little, fenced dirt plot for dogs to be free as birds.

This “dog park” is kind of pathetic. In a city with 90,000 people, having one acre for dogs to run free isn’t realistic. Upper Bidwell also has a no-leash required zone but it is the area along the road with insanely tall grass.

Why in a city that is known for their massive parks, there not a specific and safe place for our furry friends?

Lower Bidwell is a 10-mile, beautiful and vehicle free plot of land that has many overgrown areas along the creek that could be turned into puppy Meccas.

Obviously to take on this project, there would need to be money and board approval. However, I believe if this city was presented with an option to create a dog-only area at Lower Bidwell, the citizens would jump at the chance to fund raise and work make it happen.

Fundraisers could include: doggy runs, bike rides, puppy picnics and any other normative fundraiser that dogs could join in.

Below, I have provided a map of the entire city and major places where dogs are allowed—leashed and unleashed.

The actual park would need adequate fencing, or at least beginning and end points, poop bag dispensers an benches for owners to take a rest. All of these resources could be gained at low-cost an with little installation.

The community just needs to see that a more localized and realistic dog park isn’t just a dream but a major necessity for the city.

This could be done through a social media campaign and talking to frequent, dog park visitors, then presenting the information to the city council.

In a time where there are actual pet salons and my dog could get a pedicure, there should at least be a place where puppies can get back to their basics and chase stuff.

Whitney Urmann can be reached at [email protected] or @WhitneyUrmann on Twitter.