Dogs can have their day, too
April 3, 2012 1:40PM
To loosely borrow from a popular song, “Dogs just want to have fun.”
Although necessary, consider how hard it must be to be tethered to the end of a leash when every fiber of your being wants to run free, jump and wrestle with other canine friends.
Most cities and towns have leash laws (and rightly so), but some parks are designed to let dogs feel the unfettered wind in their hair (or fur). Dogwood Run is a 14-acre off-leash area inside Lemon Lake County Park (6322 W. 133rd Ave, Crown Point). An annual Pooch Pass for Lake County residents is $70 (seniors 60 and older pay $60). Noncounty residents pay $90 (seniors $75). Other dogs from the same household join in for $5 each.
Not sure if your dog will enjoy this social interaction? A one-time pass is available for $10 and can be applied to the annual fee. Dogwood Run is open daily from 7 a.m. to 30 minutes before sunset. Call 769-7275 for more information or to buy a pass.
Freedom Bark Park in Lowell (17105 Cline Ave.) has won national recognition for its five-acre area. It is noted for its use of recycled and biodegradable materials, plus a solar water source. The park also offers a separate run for smaller dogs, 25 pounds or less.
Fees are $60 for Lowell residents or $30 for those disabled or 65 and older. Nonresidents pay $70 or $35. Other dogs are $5 each. To register for a pass, go to freedombarkpark.org.
Munster offers the Dog Park at Centennial Park (9701 Calumet Ave.). This three-acre area includes fenced-in security, a doggy playground and water fountains (as do the other parks). Resident rates are $50 ($25 for additional dogs). Nonresidents pay $175, with a $50 fee for other pets. Call 836-7275 for more information or register at the Town Hall, 1005 Ridge Road.
Count on the rules being fairly similar at all dog parks: dogs are to be kept on-leash to and from the safety of the enclosure; proof of current immunization and residency always are required, and make sure your dog has an ID and rabies tag. A container of water is a good idea, especially in the heat, just in case the fountains are not working.
If your dog doesn’t play nice with others, this probably isn’t a good idea.
Finally, never leave your dog unattended, and be a good park citizen — clean up any messes.
† Going from dogs to horses, this is different. Crete Parks is offering a Mommy and Me horseback riding event from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 12, for adults and children ages 2 and older, at Nova Quarter Horses (10129 W. 187th, Mokena, Ill). This is being billed as a “unique Mother’s Day experience.”
For more information or to register, go to cretepark.com or call (708) 672-6969.