Home > Dog Park, Pet Ponderings > Dog park magic and faraway places

Dog park magic and faraway places


IMG_2154When I was a child, I used to imagine what it would be like if I could transport myself to another land. It was always someplace magical and exciting. Sometimes it was a magic stone that allowed me to travel to a foreign land – Italy, France, Ireland, etc. Other times, it was the arch of the trees in the woods across the street from my house that became a magical portal to a magical kingdom. Almost always, my fantasies were fueled by the books I read, adventurous stories filled with heroes (and heroines) taking on new worlds and succeeding. What child doesn’t want to escape to another land once in a while?

I’d like to say that over time I grew up and stopped fantasizing about those strange new lands, those magical places where enchantment and wonder abounded, but the truth is I am still a dreamer. I still love the idea of finding a land untouched by human hand. Or, exploring a faraway place where the crowds of humanity and the craziness of the world can be forgotten. I like to imagine the America that existed before buildings blocked our view of the sky. I wish to revel in the beauty and awesomeness of nature before it was destroyed by huge machines and mass consumption.

I think that’s why I fell in love with the dog park where I first started taking my dogs five years ago. Back then the park was a magical place, filled with wonder and excitement. Birds sang their beautiful songs of love from nearly every branch. Squirrels and chipmunks ran from tree to tree, gathering nuts and leaves for their nests. The sun streamed down between the treetops, creating rays of light that would hit dewy spots of grass and make steam rise from the ground. It was truly a magical place. One could enjoy the sights and sounds of nature without feeling the full encroachment of man. No people talking. No dogs barking. Just me and my dogs communing with nature. I could almost believe we had escaped to another land.

IMG_2710But, as it is with all fantasies, reality has a way of seeping in. What seems magical to one will seem magical to another, and then another, and then yet again another. Soon word had spread about this magical place, the place where my dogs and I have walked quietly through the forest and listened to the birds singing from the trees, and as it did, the quiet solitude of the forest was replaced by more and more human voices and barking dogs. Suddenly what had seemed magical and private to me had become less so.

We still love our dog park, my dogs and I, but there is something different about it now. It has lost some of its luster. It has become more of the dog park it was always designed to be.

The fenced in forest, where the wildlife used to outnumber the canines, has become less magical and I feel less entranced. I am craving a new land to explore.  What does it take to find a private place to park your dreams these days? Where can one go to enjoy the quietude of the forest? Colorado? Montana?

Where do you go when you want that kind of solitude with your dogs?

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  1. May 13, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Funny, we were just talking about moving to Montana the other day for exactly that – solitude. We live in California though and I’m not sure I could give up the weather. We are lucky to live in an area that has much ‘open space’ and I am able to walk the dogs in peaceful solitude almost every day. Good for the soul.

    • Mel
      May 14, 2013 at 6:23 AM

      I love Montana Slim Doggy. It is beautiful. I can also understand why you might not want to give up the California winter. Perhaps it is easier for a Minnesotan to consider Montana since the weather is not too dissimilar. 🙂

  2. May 14, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    There are plenty of places to dive into solitude in Anchorage. You can easily forget you are in a small city. I prefer Winter for that. Being quiet and alone in Summer can be dangerous due to the black bears and grizzlies! With my little dogs I also need to be aware of eagles, ravens, linx & coyotes! I normally put them bells during spring-fall to avoid the silence.

    • Mel
      May 14, 2013 at 6:21 AM

      Ah yes, the dangers of nature definitely have to be weighed against the beauty of solitude. Good point. I would love Alaska I think. Even in winter.

  3. May 14, 2013 at 6:00 AM

    We still love the Cleary Lake dog park because it is to big and we don’t see that many people and dogs if we go during the week. It has tall grass areas, a smaller treed area and fenced off watering hole. We prefer walking and investigating not standing around and playing so it works really well. It is usually quiet and peaceful with small interruptions when we pass another dog.

    • Mel
      May 14, 2013 at 6:20 AM

      Thanks for letting me know Emma. I always thought Clearly Lake would grow to be busier than my dog park because it is so open. Maybe we need to go there once in a while. Thank you.

  4. May 14, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Wyoming. We can hike all day and never see another person. Utah too, if you find the right place. I love to go where no one is, so I totally get what your saying.

    • Mel
      May 14, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      I love Wyoming! Utah too. Both are beautiful places. You are so lucky to be able to find that magical place of solitude.

  5. May 15, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    I often dream of buying an island covered in native bush for me and the dogs and have special friends visit. It would have to have a fast internet connection though, lol!!

    • Mel
      May 15, 2013 at 6:14 AM

      Good point Sue! I would have to have the fast internet connection too! It sounds lovely doesn’t it?

  6. June 20, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Hi there–Pup Fan sent me over! Yes I definitely have those fantasies. It’s why I miss living in New Mexico and Utah, where it was so easy to get away to a secluded wonderland of rock and canyons. We have plenty of places to hike here but I do miss the daily walks where I don’t see anyone…especially since I have reactive dogs!

  7. June 21, 2013 at 5:02 AM

    My human knows how you feel. We’re very lucky where we live in England, there are dog parks but also plenty of countryside to roam in.
    You should check out http://www.geocaching.com
    It’s a treasure hunt game that I play with my human but it’s the best for discovering new and beautiful places – people that put them down always put them in secret locations. You should have a go – sounds like you’d enjoy it *wag wag wag*

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