Monday, June 22, 2009

Impromptu Dog Parks

I live in the Proctor Plaza neighborhood of The Heights (north of 11th, west of N. Main, south of 20th, and east of Studewood.

We happen to have not one but two amazingly beautiful esplanades that can become impromptu dog parks in the evenings.

Unfortunately, they are non-fenced dog parks, which means your dog has to be very obedient and trustworthy to visit said dog park.

It wouldn't be a problem if I didn't have a bloodhound. Bloodhounds are notoriously stubborn and non-compliant. It's probably due to the fact that they have been bred for centuries to follow their nose (no matter what). They also have those long ears that dampen the noise around them (which is perhaps why our bloodhound didn't even wake up when both our cars were stolen from our driveway in January) and further sweep smells to their noses.

We can't let our lovely bloodhound, Hoss, off the leash unless we want him to help himself to a nine-hour adventure around The Heights without adult supervision.

Fortunately, we have our own impromptu dog park, and this one happens to be fenced in. It's the playground of the elementary school at the corner of 18th Street and Studewood. Each night, several dog owners descend upon the schoolyard, and our dogs have a grand ol' time playing and sniffing--all within the confines of gates that close. We meet new neighbors, enjoy the cooler evening, and watch our little bloodhound trot across the playground with his nose to the ground and his tail in a shark position.

Our little impromptu dog park is just another reason why I love living in The Heights (and so does Hoss).

Are there any impromput dog parks in your neck of The Heights?


  1. The neighbors around Love Park (12th/13th & Alexander/Lawrence) routinely have their doggies play with each other. I try and be careful to 1)ask if my dog can play with theirs and 2) only do it when the park is pretty empty.

    One owner told me she was ticketed in Stude Park for allowing her dog off the leash, so owners beware!

  2. I really don't have a problem with it, but the 10-15 dogs and owners I see in the Allgregg Esplanade every day would be better served by a proper Heights-Area Dog Park. I know people love to let their dogs run loose in the Esplanades, but these areas aren't dogs parks and having dogs off leash there is technically illegal. My family doens't like to walk by these areas when there are several large dogs running free. I've lost track of the number of times I've been reassured of how 'friendly' a dog was as it jumps on me while I'm trying to walk down a public street. Additionally, despite owners' efforts to the contrary, all of the dog leavings aren't always picked up. This leaves the Esplanades full of "surprises". I'm sure many of the elementary school children have found these left overs as well.

  3. My child goes to the daycare at Field Elementary and I am definitely not thrilled to hear that the school is used as a dog park at night!
    Don't get me wrong: I am a dog lover and own 2 dogs who can't be unleashed in an unfenced area. So I trully understand the need for a fenced park! But I also know that not all dog owners pick up after their 4-legged babies and think school grounds should be left as what they are ment for: a safe place for "human" kids only to play, free of surprises!

  4. I hope I didn't sound nasty in my comment. It certainly wan't my intention.

  5. I have to agree that an elementary school is not a good place for dogs to be left to roam. I know Spark Parks have signs that say no dogs allowed.

    Additionally, I tried several times to enjoy a game of frisbee on the Norhill esplanade with but we can't due to dog messes. For shame! I don't think this is an issue just of the dogs being allowed to play. This is poor manners on the owners part. And I have been known to call the police store front on unleashed dogs as well, so owners be warned.

  6. I hope the people using the school as a dog park are thoroughly cleaning up. One, because it's the right thing to do. Two, because nothing will kill the impromptu dog gatherings faster than messes left behind

    I'm a dog owner who is pretty intolerant of other dog owners who don't pick up after their pups and who don't keep them under control in public. (I'm also pretty intolerant of the local cat owners who let their pets roam, and use my yard as a litterbox. For some reason nobody thinks feces is a problem when it comes from cats. Ugh.)

  7. Drove by the Fugate Esplanade Sunday morning to fins a group of dog owners at one end and a dog (with collar) doing his business on the other end. If I hadn't informed the owners they would probably have never known.

    Yesterday it was a dog owner having to chase her dog because it ran behind one of the houses that front the esplanade.

    I don't mind people who live in the immediate area using the area to walk their dogs. On any evening there are multiple (up to 7-8) cars parked along this esplanade. If you can walk there, it's one thing. But if you have to drive there, just drive on to a Dog Park.

  8. I meant to say Allgreg Esplanade.