Out for a Stroll

Harmony Valley Dog Park clean and fun

July 11th, 2013

On days like this I am very tempted to go to a local rescue group and just adopt a dog.

accompanied local dog walker Bonnie Perry this week on one of her routine walks through Harmony Valley Dog Park.

It’s been a while since I’d first toured the park and I was greatly impressed with this wonderful pocket of nature we have right in Oshawa. I thought that maybe I’m feeling this way because I’m getting old, but people of all ages use this park.

The 25-acre park is made up of great walking trails, ponds, and filled with beautiful trees. It was great exercise for me and for the dogs, and the ponds allowed them to cool off from the heat.

It was obvious that Bonnie, who runs Tails and Trails Pet Care Services, knew the regular walkers and their dogs, and I felt a great sense of community as we walked around the trails for an hour.

The park is kept very clean, which has a lot to do with responsible owners cleaning up after their dogs, and because of ODAWG (Oshawa Durham Area Walkers Group). This user group oversees the park and helps make improvements and provides park users with useful resources. Voluntary annual membership fees help support park enhancements, such as buying garbage bins and benches to hosting educational seminars and running activities.

This park is great because it gives dogs the exercise they really need. Bonnie emphasized how important it is to take dogs for long walks on a regular basis, and more than just a quick jaunt around the neighbourhood. It not only gives them a lot of exercise, but bringing them to a setting like an off-leash dog park allows these pack animals to be sociable.

“They’re generally sort of high-strung and not very friendly either if they’re not walked,” Bonnie said.

I think any dog owner who lives in the area and doesn’t use Harmony Valley Dog Park should start. I think I’ll start walking the trails even if it is a while before I adopt a dog — just to see all the cute pooches.

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