Dog Bark Park opens

Tails are wag­ging all over the Bay as ca­nines get their own space, writes Tre­maine van Aardt

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS -

TAILS are go­ing to be wag­ging like crazy when Nel­son Man­dela Bay hounds get the first woof of their very own dog park in Sar­dinia Bay from next week.

The launch of the Sar­dinia Bay “Bark Park” – a 1.2ha stretch of land – is set to un­leash a load of leisure and qual­ity time for dog own­ers and their pets.

It is the brain­child of Sar­dinia Bay Ken­nels own­ers Ai­don and Cardel Lipp­streu, who heeded nu­mer­ous re­quests from Bay dog own­ers to es­tab­lish the re­gion’s first ca­nine fun zone.

The of­fi­cial open­ing of the dog park, lo­cated along Sar­dinia Bay Road at Sar­dinia Bay Ken­nels, will take place on Fri­day (Septem­ber 1).

The cou­ple said they had been mulling the idea over since last year but last month “we just de­cided to do it”, Ai­don said.

“There were a lot of peo­ple re­quest­ing we build a dog park and we lis­tened. For­tu­nately we al­ready had the land on our plot and we are just busy clear­ing the area. It will be ready by the launch on Spring Day,” he said.

“Dogs are so­cial crea­tures and crave com­pan­ion­ship from us and so­cial in­ter­ac­tion with other dogs. Our dog park al­lows dogs to ex­er­cise and play both on and off leads in a safe and se­cure en­vi­ron­ment under the su­per­vi­sion of their own­ers.

“Dogs on lead can of­ten be­come or be ter­ri­to­rial and thus more ag­gres­sive. Roam­ing free is def­i­nitely ben­e­fi­cial to their state of mind. This ex­er­cise and play­time will as­sist in the re­duc­tion of bark­ing, de­struc­tive and ag­gres­sive dogs.”

Cardel said while the Bark Park was open to the pub­lic, there were cer­tain cri­te­ria which own­ers would need to ad­here to be­fore be­ing al­lowed ac­cess.

“All dogs must be reg­is­tered to en­ter, with the sim­ple com­ple­tion of their owner’s de­tails and proof of their an­nual three-year core vac­ci­na­tions, ra­bies, an­nual ca­nine/ken­nel cough, de­worm­ing and tick/flea con­trol. Signed-off vet books are the norm,” Cardel said.

“The en­trance fee is R25. But we be­lieve it is well worth it, be­cause aside from the guar­an­teed fun for the dogs, we haven’t for­got­ten about their own­ers. There will also be a K9 cof­fee bar and we are look­ing at get­ting a dog groomer in to en­sure the an­i­mals look as good as they feel.”

Ai­don said: “We will have benches for own­ers, shade under the milk­wood and aca­cia trees, bore­hole wa­ter for the dogs, poop scoops or spades and bags and bins for the dog waste prod­ucts and ob­vi­ously reg­u­lar main­te­nance of the grounds.

“Af­ter do­ing some re­search I dis­cov­ered that there are only dog parks in Gaut­eng and one in the West­ern Cape, but we are the first in the East­ern Cape.

“And I think it is long over­due that dog lovers have a place to en­joy their an­i­mals with fel­low dog lovers.”

Next Satur­day, the Sar­dinia Bay Bark Park will also be host­ing a 5km and 2.5km fun run to cre­ate aware­ness.

En­trance is R50 per per­son with the start and fin­ish at the Bark Park.

“Our dog park al­lows dogs to ex­er­cise and play both on and off leads in a safe en­vi­ron­ment”

PHO­TO­GRAPH: BRIAN WITBOOI

IT’S A DOG’S LIFE: Cardel Lipp­streu with Cola in the Bark Park where ca­nines can play and so­cialise and get some ex­er­cise

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