Canines crazy about Somenos Creek

Shiloh, a five-year-old West Highlander visits Somenos Creek Dog Park in January. - Andrew Leong/file
Shiloh, a five-year-old West Highlander visits Somenos Creek Dog Park in January.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

Although Duncan’s dog park has been around for more than five years, that doesn’t mean folks aren’t in need of a brush-up on its doggy dos and dont’s.

“There are quite a few rules and guidelines actually,” North Cowichan parks and recreation manager Ernie Mansueti said of the unsupervised park located on Beverly Street.

Infractions that come up most for Mansueti often involve the park’s age restrictions — which state children must be older than 10 to enter the park and any dog handlers must be 15 or older — as well as aggressive dogs causing chaos.

Besides that, the Somenos Creek Dog Park has acted as a positive place not only for pooches but their owners as well, Mansueti said.

“The users of the park have been absolutely fabulous,” he said. “It’s a very well-used park.”

Ladysmith resident Judy Lindop agreed.

She said the majority of folks who come to the park use it exactly the way it should be.

“It’s a great park and there are some great people and their pets that come here,” she said.

She brings Shylo, her border terrier, to the park for some much-needed socialization and playtime when she’s in Duncan doing errands.

She and Shylo braved soggy weather last week as part of their weekly routine.

“We haven’t had any serious problems here at all,” she said, noting her only pet peeve is owners leaving their pooch’s poop along the outskirts of the fenced-park.

But the consensus remains most folks are minding their Ps and Qs.

The park is ideal for owners who aren’t comfortable letting their dog off leash in open areas or have the time or health to walk, run or hike with their dogs.

And there’s peace of mind knowing there are fences and secures gates surrounding the premises, one user, whose dog is deaf, said last week.

“We did a lot of research and we worked with other municipalities with dog parks,” Mansueti said of the park project which came to life in 2008.

And with any park, facility, meeting place there are folks who use common sense and those who need be reminded of the rules.

“If your dog shows any sign of aggression you don’t bring them or you take the dog away right away,” Mansueti said. “You really need to know your dog.”

“And you can’t just throw your dog in the park and sit in the car either,” he said.

“It’s like if you took your small child swimming, you would be in the water with them too wouldn’t you?

The ins and outs

-Leash your dog prior to entering and upon leaving the dog park

-No more than two dogs per person per visit

-Dogs in heat are prohibited from using the park

-Dogs must display current licenses on their collars

-Choke, prong, pinch and spike collars must be removed inside park area

-All significant incidents and injuries must be reported to the municipal dog pound by calling 250-748-3395

-Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. to dusk everyday, except Wednesday (park opens after park maintenance after 11 a.m.)





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