unedited sept. tahoe mt. news story:
By Kathryn Reed
A Hollywood movie director could not have scripted a better opening act for the Bijou Dog Park. As if on command, one of the four legged stars barked just after South Lake Tahoe City Manager Dave Jinkens said, “I know we are all enthusiasts.”
On the first play day, big dogs, small dogs, skinny dogs, well groomed dogs, mixed breeds, pure breeds, retired show dogs and puppies showed up to test the South Shore’s only dog park.
Pit pulls, Labrador and Golden retrievers, Schnauzers, Dachshunds, various terriers, a Finnish Spitz, a Doberman pinscher, shepherd mixes and a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, which just got accepted into the American Kennel Club in 2003, all scampered about the park.
The $35,000 dog park takes up nearly 1 acre. It’s sectioned off for big and small dogs, with the big guys having a bit more space to run. It will be open year-round from dawn to dusk.
Sean and Georgette Riley have a big dog of sorts and therefore had Jersey Girl on that side of the fence. Even though other dogs wanted to play, this 10-week-old black Lab preferred to stay close to mom.
“You are looking at all these wood chips as chew heaven,” Georgette Riley said to her puppy.
Grass, wood chips and drinking fountains are in both enclosures. The Lake Tahoe Humane Society donated the fountains. City Councilwoman Kathay Lovell and husband Lt. Les Lovell of El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department donated one of the benches in the memory of their sheriff’s K-9 Jake.
The city rec department would love to expand the grass area, plant an aspen grove, add more seating and put in other upgrades. Donations are being accepted.
Lennie and Judy Schwartz were on hand for the official opening Aug. 18, this despite having to put their 14-year-old yellow Lab down last October.
“It’s great to have a place for dogs,” Lennie Schwartz said as his wife was busy with duties as a Humane Society board member.
Kenji, a Shiba Inu, patrolled the fence line of the small dog area while his human Ken Parker watched.
“I call him and he won’t come. But he can’t get out here,” Parker said.
On the big dog side, the canines seem oblivious to their people. It’s all about their four legged friends – chasing, running, sniffing and sometimes tackling.
It gives new meaning to the dog days of summer.