Private Pooch Parks - are you in?
Go on. Admit it. You would come back as a dog...if you knew you had an owner that had the money and the inclination to treat you to your very own members club.
Where walks are off lead, massages and a sesh in the grooming parlour is a must, and the very best snacks are served by the pool!
In New York the more discerning dog owners have resorted to paying fee based memberships to outdoor play areas for their dogs, as lock down caused their normal spaces to get crowded.
What's the price tag?
From free to $2,200 a year!
An eye watering sum to most of us, but if you had the money and you knew your pooch was having the time of his/her life, would you?
So what do you get for your money?
The Soho Grand Dog Park charges $795 a year for non guests to enjoy seasonal flowers, hosed down fake grass and a complimentary bowl of water...oh and you get free wifi so you can look at your phone while your dog roams the 'park' and enjoys the small pond and Zen rock garden.
For a paltry $245 a year the West Village D.O.G run offers a more utilitarian space. Enclosed with running water to hose down the surface, bowls for dogs to drink, a couple of balls. That's it! Still I guess the dog can't make a dash for the busy road so you are paying for safety...on that note, all dogs must show an up to date vaccination certificate to enter. And there's a bar next door!
So what do you pay $2,200 for?
At the School For Dogs you get training programmes (a must for the unruly mutts amongst us), a trainer supervised dog run, (not unlike a teacher in the school playground) 5 dogs maximum rule for each outdoor space, all matched by size and temperament. I guess they must trust the owners to tell the truth about their four legged babies. If the dogs look like they are going to get aggressive or carried away they are subjected to a time out session to calm down.
In a city where dogs are regularly left to their own devices whilst owners get comfortable on the park bench to catch up with their phones, a supervised play area is a great idea. But how many people can or will afford the price tag?
On the other end of the scale, if you are lucky enough to live in Queens, you could enjoy the fun of attending the FREE (yep you read that right) of Jackson Heights Canine Recreational Wonderland, (JHCRW).
With separate areas for big and small dogs, and plenty of space for them to run around, the park also boasts tubes for the dogs to run through, solar lighting and barrels of fresh water for the dogs to drink.
All run by volunteers!
So what if you live in the UK? Do Members only dog parks exist?
If you live in Sutton Coldfield you are lucky to have Pawpounders on your doorstep!
For a small fee of £10.32 you could book a field with additional agility equipment for an hour and a small additional charge for any additional dog.
You could enjoy the Bark Parks of DogsGo!
Situated in Raby, on the border of Cheshire and Merseyside DogGo boasts the option of two fields to hire.
Splash and Dash is a 6 acre field with play equipment, a swimming pool and sandpit. Including the human comforts of a portaloo and picnic benches to enjoy a packed lunch while you are there!
Mellow Meadow is an 8 acre wild meadow which again includes picnic benches so that you can enjoy some feet up time while the dog/s run free.
Also offering day camps for dogs and doggy socials you are well served if you have this on your doorstep.
I have just discovered this one which isn't a million miles away so will report back!
I am really interested to hear if you take advantage of any of these facilities and where they are. It would be great to include a small directory of dog friendly parks on this site.
email me with your recommendations at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's make this world a better, safer and healthier place for us and our beloved pets!