The Social Side of Dog Parks
John Poimiroo, Mt Democrat, June 11, 2012Considering that there are some 39,000 dogs in El Dorado County, it’s surprising that only two dog parks have existed until now — a public park at South Lake Tahoe and a private park in Shingle Springs. However, that’s about to change, as a dog park is under development at Hacienda Park in Cameron Park and another is planned at Community Park in El Dorado Hills.
In the past 20 years, off-leash dog parks have become among the most popularly used spaces in California’s community parks. While many public parks sit idle or used lightly, it’s rare to see an unused dog park. They tend to be full of social interaction, and not just the tail-waggin’ kind.
A “common passion” for dogs, as Holly Morrison, president of the El Dorado Dog Owners Guild (EDDOG) describes it, “brings people together at dog parks. They come from every walk of life, across age, class and cultural differences” but with shared interest in their dogs and, eventually, often with one another.
A dog park is not just about giving dogs space to exercise off leash, Morrison contends. Affection for dogs brings people together, often resulting in lasting bonds of friendship. For many ...