Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Day at the Dog Park: Freedom Park

We're running low on dog parks to visit in the city, and on weekends dog parks are clutch to get Harry tired without wearing ourselves out.  Back on a weekend when it was still warm and sunny Harry visited Freedom Park in Medford, NJ.  Although it's a bit of a drive for us Philadelphians, Freedom Park is definitely worth it.  Compared to our teensy urban dog parks, Freedom Park is like taking your pup to that farm in dog heaven, except you also get to go and he lives.  The dog park lies in the back of the park (yes, Freedom Park is a "people park" too) beyond the barbequing patio area and playgrounds.  We opened the gate to send Harry in which in hindsight was a mistake because he sprinted towards the dog party happening in the back of the park amongst the agility training puppy playground type fixtures. 

As this is the "all dogs go to heaven" dog park, there aren't any fences--because there are no fences in heaven!  An open field is surrounded by trees so if you do have the type of dog who likes to go exploring on his own (a cat-dog?) then be mindful.  Harry is the type that likes to get in all the other pooches' faces 24/7 until they start chasing him so I didn't have to watch the tree barriers for stray Harrys...but I did have to chase him around and pull him off the docile suburban dogs.  Several benches sit in the open plain area and the smart dogs show off their agility skills climbing up and down ramps and doing doggy see-saws.  The attempt to get Harry across a balance beam without jumping off failed multiple times.

A little ways behind the park is a small trail that takes you to a creek where you can let your dog swim, play water fetch, and get extremely dirty.  Harry hates water, as we learned when we took him rafting, but he loves trails and he yanked us throughout til we reached the end of the creek.  Part of the rules in the park are that your dog be on a leash at all times.  I don't see how that's plausible when playing water fetch, and I noticed that not all the dogs followed the rules, but the tail-waggers in violation were those well behaved docile suburban dogs of which Harry is a polar opposite.   

One day...I will conquer you, ramp.
We felt a little out of place with our wild animal whose pent up energy from being in a 1,000 square foot condo had to explode over the calm, gentle, golden retrievers of Medford but when you go to a dog park you already know you have something in common with everybody there:  love for all hairy, slobbering, cold nosed, fur-beasts.
Can we come back Mom?!

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