Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Whidbey Island Dog Parks

Grete at the beach

The dog parks of Whidbey Island are legendry around these parts. Maybe it’s the crowdedness of in-city parks that drives us all to dream of acreage. I’m always a little hesitant around dog parks, not being a natural dog person, and wide open spaces don’t really add to my comfort. A dog near me is a dog near me – the only thing space might add is a the distance between the dog and its owner. But, so far, at all these dog parks we’ve only run into the sweetest dogs ever. Maybe city owners are just not as careful about socializing their dogs?

Grete Flying at the beach

We took two trips to the expansive Double Bluff Beach Dog Park. It located in such a way as to point back to Seattle, this two mile stretch of wide, open beach is a dog’s dream. We played some long-fetch with the dog both times. Grete loves the tennis ball more than anything, and flying disk/Hurley action just didn’t cut it. She chased a couple big birds, one of them a heron, but being a city dog she never gets close before they take flight.

Grete shaking at the BeachQuincy telling Grete she's lost the ball

At the end of the second day, Quincy and I tested Grete’s desire to swim out to sea. I think she just doesn’t swim. Eventually, we were able to goad her out as far as she could touch; but once the ball was thrown farther than that, it was lost. It was a little sad to see our dog hunting around for anything resembling a tennis ball on the walk back to the car. Maybe this will help her learn?

Patmore PitPatmore Pit

My new favorite dog park is Patmore Pit, about half way up Whidbey Island, near a huge naval air station outlying field. It’s touted as about 40 acres of wide open space, and it certainly is! There are tress in the middle of the park, and a small agility field fenced off in one corner, but other than that, it’s just wide open, flat, grassy field. Grete fetched like there was no more tomorrow. She jumped, bounced, ran, flew. Man, it was fun. We all had a great time in the sun. The park was nearly empty, too, so we had our pick of the most scenic fetching field. Even when other dogs strolled by, it felt like we were just passing in the Plains. (In the photo below, Grete can barely be seen in the center.)

Grete (the dot) at PatmorePit

We didn’t hit up any other dog parks on Whidbey. I don’t know why they have more! With the expansiveness of both, a dog owner can choose between clean dry fetching or dirty beach romping. Either way, on our last day of the trip, Grete was so tired (and I imagine sore) that she wouldn’t run even a tenth of a mile with me in the morning. She was still smiling from the day before!

Patmore Pit

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