We dog owners are often blamed for all sorts of problems. Dog mess, barking dogs, aggressive behaviour (the dogs, although I have heard stories of dog owners being shouted at too). It’s too easy to blame, and much harder to actually take up the challenge to do something to make changes.
On this basis, I was delighted to see the recent opening of the permanent dog agility set up at Ferry Meadows thanks to the brilliant Nene Park Trust.
This project has been something I have worked on with their team for over a year. Many meetings and plans, lots of consultation and work has gone into this project. Funds have been raised and the project supported by the Trust, and dog walkers, following the enjoyable Bark in the Park day last September.
This is an important community project. Not only did I consult with one of the country’s leading Agility instructors to help with design, but the Nene Park team built the equipment themselves so it looks very natural and is of course, durable.
Competitors in agility will not be familiar with some of the designs, as this project was made to include dogs and owners of all abilities. We even measured a Saint Bernard dog to make sure the tunnel would be able to accommodate the giants of the canine world!
Your dog can weave in and out of poles, jump through a tyre, walk carefully across a range of steps and run through the tunnel, amongst other activities.
This project is one of the first in the UK that has been solely designated for dogs and owners so it really is something special. A recent study has shown that some dogs do not get walked at all, and we have lots of evidence that having a dog means more activity and better health for us. Being able to visit a special place designed for active dogs is a great asset.
It also shows that dogs can be part of our community without being a problem. I know many dog owners that are just as annoyed as non-dog owners when dog poo is not picked up!
My view is that I was lucky to be involved, and would like to thank the Nene Park Trust team for looking after us dog owners. In return, we can keep our dogs under control, put them on leads when we need to, and train them to come back to us when we call. Let’s all do our bit.
See you at the next Bark in the Park on the 12th September at Ferry Meadows, for more dog fun and games too.