I visited the dog park at Hickories Park the other day. I’ve been going to the main part of the park since 1986, to jog, walk, picnic, X-country ski, read and doze in my canvas bag chair, to rest after padding from the Village in my kayak and once a year to the Rotary Picnic. I was also there to watch my son’s soccer games, hit golf balls and visit friends in the campgrounds. But, never to the dog park! Hickories Park is the greatest public asset in our town. And now, the dog park makes it even better.
The entire park was a dog park when I first started going there. Our little cocker spaniel, Jezebel, loved to run free when no people were around. She’d like it even better now if she were still alive – to run free with other dogs and never fear the arrival of the dog warden.
We don’t have a dog these days; the circumstances of our lives at present aren’t compatible with dog ownership. Darn it! But I found out I don’t need a dog of my own; the people with dogs let you enjoy theirs at the dog park. Actually, it’s not the people who allow it; it’s the dogs themselves that roam free and stop by for a head rub. It’s so nice to sit on a bench or walk along the path surrounded by dogs running free, chasing each other in a game of tag, establishing the pecking order when new arrivals come to join the pack and doing all the things dogs do when allowed a little freedom.
No, I don’t have “a” dog these days; Instead, I have “dozens and dozens” of dogs, thanks to the dedicated volunteer members of ODOG, who created the dog park with a generous donation from Adam Weitsman. It’s a wonderful memorial to the memory of his sister, Rebecca, and her love of dogs. ODOG volunteers also help maintain the park and keep it user and dog friendly.
Don’t have a dog? Need a dog fix? Stop by and get your fill. And when the ODOG organization asks for help to sustain the place, give it some consideration. Any donation will be greatly appreciated and will get, and keep, a lot of tails wagging around town.
For more information about the Dog Park and ODOG (Owego Dog Owners Group), to become a volunteer or to donate financial support, you can visit their web site at www.owegodogs.com.