A Day at the Dog Park & the Dream Dog Park Project

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Beneful. All opinions are 100% mine.

Life gets busy and one day I realized my dog wasn't getting the attention he deserved. We fixed that with a fun day at the dog park! See how and learn about the Beneful Dream Dog Park project - a way to help build & improve dog parks across the country!

It all started with Facebook. Scrolling through my newsfeed over my morning coffee, I came across one of those "see your memories" posts. This one showed a photo I had shared six years ago of my two dogs, who were then just two years old. Something struck me especially when looking at my smaller dog, Grady. I noticed how shiny black the fur around his face was. The face that is now turning gray. And I thought back over the past six years.

Back to when I was home alone and found out that I was pregnant with my twins, and my dogs were the first ones I told.

Back to when I was pregnant, and Grady would lay his head protectively in what little lap I had left.

Back to when my twins were born, and those long nights when Grady would sit up with me while I nursed or rocked babies back to sleep.

And as I thought of these moments, my nostalgia took on some guilt. Yes, even dog moms can get mom guilt.

I thought of Grady's bravery as he faced neck surgery, the discomfort of recovery, and eight long weeks of crate rest while he healed.

I thought of how he has always been so gentle and loving to my now almost 4 year old boys, even through their toddler years when they were learning how to be gentle with him.

And finally I thought of how even though I stay home every day, he does not get the attention that he once did. Our formerly nightly walks in the neighborhood are much less common. He doesn't get to hop in the car for a quick outing (what's a quick outing anymore with little kids?) like we used to.

And worst of all, I couldn't remember the last time we had been to the dog park.

I looked at his sweet graying face, still full of joy and ready to take on the world, and I knew it was time to change that. So on a beautiful Sunday morning, I left the kids at home with dad and headed out for a special dog park day, just Grady and me. It was time for us to reconnect, and time for me to show him again how much he means to me.


Back to the Dog Park

Grady loves the dog park. I actually take him solo, without our bigger dog, because our dog park is separated into areas for small and large dogs. And even though my two dogs are the best of friends, Grady really enjoys getting a chance to play with dogs his own size. Besides getting the opportunity to play with other dogs, the dog park gives him a chance to explore a new off leash place beyond our backyard and is an awesome way for him to get some much needed exercise (he could stand to lose a couple of pounds - don't tell him I told you that).



For me, the dog park is about more than just giving Grady a chance to exercise. It's also about watching his joy as he romps and runs with the other dogs. It's about getting a chance to socialize with other dog owners and spending quality time with my dog. Going to the dog park is something that has been sorely neglected for us lately, but I am determined to put it back on our priority list. It's important for my and Grady's well being, physically and mentally.
 

The Dream Dog Park Project

We are fortunate to live in a community with a new, clean, well designed and lovingly maintained dog park, with covered areas, benches, trails, and even doggie water fountains. It makes heading to the dog park a joy! But many dog owners are not so lucky. In fact, 73% of dog owners surveyed by Beneful agreed their dog park could use some improvements. Yet the number one challenge for these dog owners is a lack of funding.

That's why Beneful is working with GoFundMe for the annual Beneful Dream Dog Park Project to help improve or build new dog parks across the country. Their goal is to provide support to 12 dog park projects, one each month, over the course of a year.  Every month, Beneful selects a new GoFundMe dog park campaign to highlight online and on social media, and they provide matching dollar for dollar donation support for the chosen projects, helping them reach their goals even faster. If your community needs to build or improve a dog park, be sure to get your project on GoFundMe for the chance to be featured in the Dream Dog Project!

You can also support this awesome project by spreading the word on social media. When you tag @Beneful & use the hashtag #DreamDogPark to share a photo of your dog at the dog park, or the Dream Dog Project site, Beneful will put $1 towards the Beneful Dream Dog Park Project this year (up to $50,000). If you love to share pictures of your dogs as much as I do, this is a really easy way to help build some amazing dog parks!


Dog Parks 101

Another really fantastic way that Beneful is supporting dog park users is by providing a wealth of information on dog park building, renovations, and most important in my opinion, dog park etiquette and safety. Dog parks are only as good as those of us who use them and are diligent with safety and common sense.  Before you head to the dog park, be sure to read and follow these Dog Park Tips. And of course, check with your local dog park for any additional rules or requirements before visiting.


Win a Dog Park Pack

We have our Dog Park bag packed and can't wait to go again! And, Beneful has given me an awesome dog park pack to give away to one of my lucky readers too. Just enter below to win a Beneful Dream Dog "Dog Park Pack" including a leash, toys, Beneful coupons and more. Perfect for your next dog park outing!

Baneful Dream Dog Park "Dog Park Pack"
Tell me about your dog park! Is it in need of improvements, or are you looking to build from scratch? Or is it already awesome? I'd love to know in the comments below. Learn more about the Beneful Dream Dog Park Project here, and share your GoFundMe page with me on Facebook or Twitter!


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Laura R

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46 comments:

  1. Such a sweet story! Looks like a fun day together :)

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  2. Our dog park is located in town. It has a sepatate run for large and small dogs.

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  3. Dog parks are so awesome for dog owners. And what a cute story (and dog!)

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  4. Our Dog Park is located within the County Park.

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  5. Our dog park is pretty basic with a fence...and trails through the woods..wish a large area for them to run. Oh they love to explore there!

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  6. We have a few different dog parks in our area. Our lab likes any park, as long as it has a pond or pool she can jump in! :)

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  7. Our dog park is small but nice because they have separate areas for the big dogs and little dogs!

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  8. We don't have a dog park near us but we live on 5 acres so my 3 dogs have plenty of room to run.

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  9. I wish we had a dog park! We're lucky to have a yard for our pups to play in, though!

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  10. We don't have a dog park nearby, but I'd love to visit one with our corgis.

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  11. We have a dog park in the town next door:) I haven't been to it yet though.

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  12. We don't really have an official dog park. People take their dogs to the far-end of the park across the street from us and let them run, though.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  13. My dogs are nuts about the dog park! We just got new swimming pools at ours!

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  14. My dog loves the park, I try to take him ever week.

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  15. We have a small dog park in the next city. It is simple...it could use a Baneful makeover!

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  16. Sadly to say we don't have a local park, the closest is an hour away but I have taken my babies to a NC dog beach.

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  17. Our dog park is great! It has a big man made lake for dogs that our dogs love

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  18. We don't have one yet but we should soon. The city nearby is deciding where to build it.

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  19. We are so luck to have some great dog parks in our area, one is a large farm with miles of trails and it's mostly fenced in and offleash. The second has a big field for fetching and fenced in trails through the woods.

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  20. There's a large local dog park in a shady county park. It's nice!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  21. We have a few different dog parks near us. They are actually called dog runs and it's just a large fenced in prairie that dogs can run through! We love it!

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  22. We live by Pennypack Park in Philly which is Sully's dog park!

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  23. We don't have a dog park here, but there is a new one in Traverse City we haven't been to yet.

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  24. Good news. A new dog park is to be built only two blocks away. We already are friendly with a few other dogs in the area.

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  25. cute pooch you have! Has markings like my childhood dog, Cloudy

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  26. Unfortunately, I live in a town without a dog park. This park looks amazing and I would be ecstatic if we had one of those. My dog would be ecstatic too!

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  27. If we have a dog park nearby, I am not aware of it. The closest one I can think of is about 30 miles away and it is near a skateboard park which I think is a lawsuit waiting to happen....

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  28. San Diego is chock full of fun dog parks and dog beaches. Our city is very dog friendly!

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  29. I would love our city to build a dog park. maybe I can urge our leaders.

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  30. i'm looking for a dog park for my new puppy in my area

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  31. We have several offleash dogs parks that are really nice! Sadly, we had to stop going to the one down the street due to aggressive dogs not being monitored by their parents.

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  32. I would love our city to build a dog park.

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  33. I love your dog park. Ours in a big, grassy fenced in area without anywhere to sit and you have to bring your own water for the dogs. Would love to have the doggie water fountain at us

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  34. I need to find a dog park for my dog.

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  35. My local dog park is small but we love it!
    Thank You for the chance

    Fiona N

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  36. My county does not have a dog park that I am aware of. The one next to us does though and I have been able to go there a few times. There is one on Atlanta too that we have visited. I love that it is dog friendly and the dogs get to see other dogs.

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  37. Alston Park is a large open space park surrounded by grape fields. Some dogs are well behaved and some are not.

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  38. Nicole LancasterJuly 10, 2016 at 4:01 PM

    My dog park is a medium sized park divided into two sections. One section for large dogs and the other for small dogs. It has multiple water stations,a splash pad, and a ball station. My dogs always have a good time.

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  39. They built a nice dog park just down the road from us. Two different areas that are all fenced in (one for the 'smallish' dogs & one for the larger ones). And always so many nice dogs/families down there! There are restrooms and access to water, altho most people just bring a jug of water & pour some into a 'shared' bowl that the dogs all seem to use.

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  40. I don't know if we have a dog park in the area. We just take our dog to the park we go to, and see other dogs there from time to time

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  41. I only went once, but it's spacious and accommodates all dog sizes at once. It's right by a lake, so it's nice scenery.

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  42. We do not have a dog park in our rural America neighborhood.

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  43. I have a great dog park 1/2 mile from my home.

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  44. We don't have a dog park where I live. I really wish they would make one.

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  45. Our little guy loves dog parks, he loves seeing his pals when we go. We go traveling and love to visit dog parks in other states and cities. He loves telling his stories when we visit other areas. I can only imagine how the other dogs think about his southern accent.

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