Thursday, October 22, 2020

Charlotte Dog Parks

I didn’t know I was a dog person until we got Pedee. We never had dogs growing up, and I dragged my feet pretty intentionally long after our daughter, who was somehow born loving dogs, started asking for one.

But when the rescue foster family dropped our sweet pup off for a trial-run visit last fall, he quickly won our hearts and I discovered the joys of his energy, enthusiasm, loyalty, companionship and love.

Pedee is the perfect dog for our family. Of course, there was a period of time when he was younger that he couldn't ride in the car for more than 10 minutes without getting sick (how were we to take him on all of our adventures when he couldn't make it across town?!), but his belly settled and now he knows that when we invite him to hop in the van, we're going to end up somewhere fun.

He's a great trail dog, bounding between whoever's leading the pack and whoever's bringing up the rear. He loves exploring, but he loves his people and never ventures too far from us.

For all the exploring we do, we only just recently discovered the delights of public dog parks. We're late to the game, but we realize now how great they are, and there are a number of them around town. Free of charge, these parks offer plenty of contained space for dogs to run and play off-leash. Open from 7:30 a.m. until sunset daily, these amenities are well-maintained by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation

The best part for us is watching Pedee make friends and play with his four-legged buddies. Of course, the wonderful thing is that, since users are there for the same reasons and must meet all guidelines and maintain current vaccinations, we can be comfortable in letting him romp.

A list of municipal dog parks, locations and descriptions can be found on the Park and Rec website. They include:

Our favorite these days is the park at McAlpine Creek. It offers a large, wide-open field for fetch connected to a tree-filled, shady area for a water break and play. There are enclosed areas for both large dogs over 20 pounds and smaller dogs that weigh less. There are also benches and covered picnic tables. And plenty of friendly fellow dog-lovers.

As much fun as we all have covering new terrain, it is a delight for everyone in our family, Pedee most especially, to enjoy canine social time. I didn't get it before, but I'm most decidedly a dog person now, and grateful to be one.

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