Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What Dog Parks Mean to Me - Kirsten & Ella

To show our support and need for this new dog park, we're asking South Loop residents and dog lovers in Chicago to share what dog parks mean to them.  The first post in this series comes from Kirsten Agnello-Dean, board member of the South Loop Dog PAC, and her rescued from Paws Chicago Dachshund Mix Dog, Ella.

Ella at Grant Bark Park

Kirsten & Ella
Graduating from obedience
class at the Anti-Cruelty Society
By a giant leap of fate and a roll of the dice, my husband and I have added a very, VERY active puppy into our lives.  Ella is 1 year and 2 months old and an absolute lover of dog parks.  She loves to run.  LOVES it.  She'll run in the dog park whether it's 18 degrees, 105 degrees, or even covered in snow.  Whatever breeds of dog are mixed into her, one of them is an outdoor, running breed.

Since we live in a one bedroom apartment, dog park visits are essential!  Ella starts to go stir crazy and no amount of ball tossing in the living room or even down the building hallway (don't tell my neighbors) will satisfy her.  We end up at the dog park at least three times a week.  Without a park to take Ella to, we'd all go crazy, and we may not be able to keep her happy and healthy at home.  Currently Ella likes to visit her two South Loop dog parks - Grant Bark Park and Coliseum Park - but even more so, Ella loves the West Loop Dog Park, Lakeshore East Dog Park, and Montrose Dog Beach.  We love taking her to parks with faux turf and water features so she doesn't hurt her paw pads, stays hydrated, and can play for hours.  But since she's little, the only park she can walk to is Coliseum Park.  It would be amazing to have a full size, close to home South Loop dog park.

From the different parks I've been to, it's clear that parks can be more than a place to exercise your dogs.  They can be a community where you find friends, human and dog alike, and people look out for each other.  It is my greatest hope that the 16th and Wabash Dog Park will turn out to be that place!  Please Chicago Park District, keep working on building Ella her dream park!

Do you love dog parks?  Want to write a "What Dog Parks Mean to Me" post?  Email your thoughts and a picture of your dog to

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