Singles bars, Starbucks and dog parks.

My dog Susie says

Are dog parks replacing Starbucks and bars for meeting nice people?

My mom Sandy has been working for quite a few years on creating the first dog park here in our beautiful village in the Southern mountains. It's been quite an effort so far. First, she had to get a lot of people to sign a petition and eventually got 25% of the entire population to sign in favor for it. After accomplishing that, she had to convince the county commissioners to build a little fenced area on some of their unused park land. However, they all initially said no because there wasn't any money for such an extravagance. Of course, then, my "big mommy" said she and the other dog park members would fund it entirely with private donations. Now, two years later after numerous meetings and looking at all the unused county property to find the perfect little two acres, they all agreed and said YES. Hallelujah!

But... UH OH! Since the proposed park would be near a river, she would now have to deal with those big Army Corp of Engineers. They said she'd have to pay a huge fee just for them to simply review the dog park plans. Next, the big, bad EPA would also have to study it. And of course they'd want a larger fee too. Sandy said she felt like, "we're now having to pay extra fees simply for these government employees to basically do their jobs." When did things change in the good old USA causing it's citizens to pay exorbitant fees just to use their own land? Even though four years have passed since she began the dog park project, Sandy won't give up. You see she was a cheerleader in school and they never give up, no matter what the score of the game. All of us dogs really appreciate what she's trying to do, but you humans will greatly benefit from local dog parks in even more ways. Here's how:

Dog parks are FREE... People find themselves outdoors a lot more which of course is super healthy

Cities, large and small, have become so crowded there's not much room for kids and adults to enjoy sunshine and fresh air. Dog parks have evolved into the "new" playgrounds and community centers.

People meet complete strangers who become lifelong friends. Tens of thousands have actually met their soul mates here; many get married have babies and take their kids and family pets to their dog park.

Humans enjoy the happy robust energy at dog parks so much, that many of them hang out there who don't even own a dog. If you visit one you'll probably see some students reading and studying (I'll bet my flashy, wagging tail they learn more at the peaceful dog parks than in their noisy dorm rooms).

I heard my big mommy say that dog parks are the new Starbucks, where people who need a job or just a friend, like to go to make new contacts. It must be true because I've seen strangers there; talking, using laptops and trading business cards and phone numbers. Us dogs are just sniffing each other.

Well, people here in our town sure need jobs and new friends and soul mates! So I hope mom and her dog park members can get enough donations to pay for fencing and benches to build our dog/people park. It seems like EVERY BODY would WIN !

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy,

P.S. A nationwide poll was recently taken to determine who is the "most normal member of their own family." Voted last on the "normal" list was distant relatives. Next to last was siblings. Then came in-laws. Next was spouses. The runner-up was "myself." Hmm...seems a little narcissistic.

The winner of "most normal family member" by a landslide was , drum-roll please.... Dogs and other pets! Wow, I wonder if I should run for Congress? I'm certainly more normal than those guys and girls in Washington!

For more of Susie's barks go to
For info on Sandy go to