Photo by Pam Woolway

Photo by Pam Woolway

by Kate Brenton

They are our forever companions with wagging tail and slobbering tongues; our canine special somebodies give us their devoted attention and ask for little in return, but everyone needs a good romp once and awhile and Kaua`i’s canines are getting two new gorgeous locations to do just that.

Along with the dog park in Puhi, Wailua Homesteads Park will be unveiling a dog park, and North Shore is also in the process of sharing in the furry frolicking with a new park on the Wai Koa Plantation. Each park plans on opening in November this year for use; each hosting a grand opening party at the end of the month. Both new facilities will have accommodations for large and small dogs to have perfectly sized fun.

“A tired dog is a well behaved dog, “ smiles Ellen Carscadden, dog trainer of Akamai Pet Services, with five pooches of her own.

These dog parks easily exercise the minds and bodies of our four-leggeds in ways that a human led stroll just can’t recreate. Dogs need to be stimulated by new sights and situations, just like us.  And the payoffs, aside from the joyful bonding of pet and owner are worth it.

“If visits to the dog parks are done right, there will be a cascade of benefits: less barking, less escaping, less line running. These are all signs of bored dogs,” Carscadden explains.

“This is great for our community and our dogs,” Deb Alper, dog lover and former vet tech said. “This means more exercise for our dogs and ourselves. Some dogs don’t like to walk on the bike path, and some dogs shouldn’t. Such as older dogs with joint pain, or young puppies, the impact of the concrete is not ideal for their forming joints, either. “

The biggest problem on island that these parks can solve, both experts agree, is the lack of socialization with many dogs. “Once dogs learn how to interact with each other, a lot of issues just fall away,” Alper teaches. “But, they need to learn how. They are pack animals of course, but in the busy lives of owners we can forget just how important having dogs with other dogs can be.”

“It’s like taking your kids to the playground,” Carscadden expands. “Kids need to be around other kids; dogs need to be around other dogs, and we all have to be akamai about the dog parks: police ourselves, clean up after ourselves, do right by each other and this is going to be great.”

Some simple rules of etiquette include, not leaving your dog alone in the park, watching your dog closely to be sure that he/she is acclimating to the party, and allowing other owners the same courtesy to be watchful of their pets. If you see something that needs to be picked up, it won’t hurt to play your part and keep the parks clean. Be mindful if the park is already over-filled, maybe there is a better time to come, and don’t bring puppies under four months of age because they won’t have all their shots yet.

It appears that if we follow the lead of our tails, to be ready to play, to be considerate of others, and to welcome everyone, these new dog parks have the making of creating packs full of aloha.

November Pooch Park Grand Openings

For details:

North Shore Park:

Wailua Homesteads Park: