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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dog Friendly Dallas

So we're avid dog people - A has a Teacup Chiuaua, I have a Boston Terrier and B has ... well, I don't know what he is (Sorry B!) - and we L-O-V-E our babies.

Naturally, we (maybe it's more me?) want to take them everywhere, but can't. So, we're going to try to point out all of the places around town where you can go with your pet. (I should say that this will apply mainly to dogs, because they are more accepted than say, iguanas. Sorry.)

Of course there are city run dog parks - White Rock Lake, Plano and Allen being the ones that stand out right now. But ... come on. It's Texas. The weather sucks, there aren't any *clean* places to sit, no one pays attention to the rules and the lack of ground maintance is a cause for concern.

That's why The Boy and I take our BT to Unleashed - an indoor dog park off of 30 between Jim Miller and Ferguson. For a small fee of $7.50 daily (or the option to buy a package of days at a discount) we have in-and-out access to let pups burn off all of his crazy energy for as long as we want and to come back before closing if he ralleys.

Open since April, Unleashed beats any of the free dog parks in my book. Besides the fact that its all indoor (with a proposed outdoor section to be completed by next year) which means we can burn off steam no matter the weather, the facility is big, clean, inviting, and most importantly, SAFE. (I don't know about you, but the Plano park scares me because when its dark you have to walk forever in a park to get to your car; the Allen park is nice but very small so it gets crowded and worst of all some guy was stabbed at the White Rock Lake park not too long ago. No Thank You.) Every dog has to have up-to-date shot records (which are entered in the system on your first visit and checked again yearly) and they don't allow Pitbulls. (Which is sad, yes, because they are beautiful, smart, wonderful dogs; but as we all know, it's some of the owners who mistreat them and cause them to be violent.)

The complex offers two staffed playing fields - one for bigger, more active dogs and a smaller area for the cute little prissy ones; each play field features multiple water bowls (that constantly circulate and purify); ramps, jumps and other agility pieces; tennis balls, rope toys and other projectiles as well as places for the pet parents to sit. Oh, and the play surface is stadium quality astroturf that gets cleaned nightly (and spot treated as necessary) to ensure the best. I mentioned the staff - they are there to play with the dogs, enforce the rules with the people (you won't believe how many people try to eat fast food while in the park) and break up any fights that may encure.

Poo bags and hand sanitizer are provided should your 4-legged pal have an urge. And if you have the urge, the people restrooms are clean, too. Actually, having a bathroom to begin with puts them over the competition already.)

Other amenities under the Unleashed roof: a supply store that sells everything from treats to non-perscription medication; a cafe (and holy crap the food is amazing) for pick-me-ups and quick meals; free wi-fi; doggy daycare; a groomer; cage-free boarding (get this - there is an apartment on-site and someone sleeps in this huge bed with all the dogs who like to sleep in people beds); and an Event Planner - thats right, they have a person who plans Birthday Paw-tys, breed-specific mixer nights and theme nights - like Singles Night and a Howl-o-ween party.

Also, I've talked with the owner and other staff members and things to come in the near future - a full fledged sit down restaurant, an outdoor park with water features AND a bar. (I mean, you have to go to happy hour somewhere, right?)

I know I went on and on in this post about how great this place is (we were there tonight!) and I SWEAR I don't work for them nor have I been paid to write this; I just wanted to share about how much I love that I can take my little guy out to play and enjoy it because I know that we're both safe and can both have a good time.

~ K

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