Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dog Park at Dusk: Morgan Hill

This post is the first feature story in a series I am going to do on local dog parks and I think I've started off with the most beautiful one around. The view above and below are not of the actual dog park, but, instead are of the areas that immediately surround it. 
The location of the dog part is on the west side of Morgan Hill, in a very convenient location, with ample parking (at least at the time I was there).  I arrived at dusk, so the already beautiful scenery was made more so by the glowing light of the setting sun. 

I visited the "Large Dog" area first and I was pleasantly surprised with the size of the enclosure.

There are walking paths, trees for shade and benches for sitting. 

No matter which direction you look, beauty surrounds you.

Absolutely wonderful. 

Oh, by the way, YES! There were also dogs there. I got so caught up in the beauty all around me that I almost forgot why I was there! Above is a 4-month old doberman puppy,  ready to play. 

Lots to smell, you know. Look at that shiny coat!
A visitor walking her foster dog. The "Large Dog" area is so expansive that you can actually take a walk with your dog along the path inside. 

This is Bella, a shepherd mix with her person. She was chasing her ball, until another dog took it and never brought it back. 

I walked over to the "Small Dog" area and this Beagle was the first dog I saw and heard. Beagles have the most distinct howl-bark and this one's echoed, as it's head was so far inside a freshly dug hole, as it searched for whatever it is that Beagles search for inside the earth. 
Here is a shy one, whose name I didn't get.

 Awe...look at Chica.  She was the youngest baby I met that evening and I'm guessing she's never too far from someone's arms. 

Meet Trixie, a salt and pepper coated Corgi. She was at the park with her mom, Jane (not pictured) Love. Love. Love. 

Princess, a Chihuahua, was all decked out for the weather, while being lovingly snuggled by her mama, Deanna. Look at her itty-bitty tongue. So cute. 

And introducing, Chito. I didn't get the exact spelling of his name. It could be Cheeto, but you get the idea. He was the Star of the Show. Look at that face. Look at his smile. He knows he's the boss. I didn't even get to pet him. He was too busy running around taking care of business. I think he should run for Mayor.

And here's Chica again, this time being held by her mama, Helen. Chito and Chica both belong to Helen, who was originally only fostering Chica via, but, then, decided to keep her. Who can blame her? Look at that snuggle bunny. 

And now I want you to meet Benny, the one dog who stands out, in my mind, the most from my visit. If you met him, you would understand. He's handsome, looks at you straight in the eye and is very, very friendly. He's also super funny. The hands you see around him (in the picture above) aren't of his person. You see, Benny has this habit of running up to people and getting in between them and any other dog.  So, those hands actually belong to...

Carma, seen above. Her dog is Spunkin, the white Chihuahua, seen in the foreground. And, Look! There's Benny, right by Carma's side, just in case Spunkin tries to do something crazy, like be with his own mama! 

So, where's Benny's mama? Well, her name is Francis and she was working this particular evening, but Benny was lucky because he was escorted to the dog park by his dad, Ron. (Can't tell you how disappointed I am that Benny isn't in focus. He has the most handsome face!) Next time I visit, I'm sure Francis will be there and I'll make sure to get a fabulous shot!

Here's Spunkin again with a new friend, Buddy. In no way shape or form could I get a good picture of Spunkin. I could never get close enough to even attempt to get a proper pose. Too busy for me, I tell ya!

 Buddy, seen here with is family, is half Chihuahua and half French Bulldog. He's the pride and joy of Don and Shoshonee, as he's comforted them through some very tough times. My short visit with them proved to me how important dogs can be in helping people deal with all sorts of trauma, addiction, recovery and loss. In fact, Buddy is now a certified service dog for emotional distress. I won't go in to the full details of Don and Shoshonee's story here, but I was moved by it, as their openness in sharing some of their bittersweet experiences was an unexpected way to end my visit that night. Warm wishes to them both.

It was getting dark, so I had to leave. There was only enough time for one more (cell phone) shot to prove I was there!

I want to thank all the wonderful, caring and friendly people who shared their dogs with me during my visit to the Morgan Hill Dog Park (and special apologies if I got the spelling of any names wrong!) It's not everyday that a stranger with a camera (and no dogs of her own) comes walking through the dog park, asking to take their pictures and share their stories. If, only, they could only know the true joy and appreciation I felt, as they opened up their evening to me and gladly shared just a tiny bit of their life with a stranger.

One person did ask me, "so, this is what you do for fun?" It was an honest question, fueled by curiosity about me and what the heck I was doing! I totally understood what she meant and, if she only knew how much fun it was for me to meet all the dogs and their people, she could really see how embarrassing I am about dogs! 

My blog is what I do for fun. I love writing, taking photographs and telling stories, especially about dogs and their people. All I can say is...

The Morgan Hill Dog Park opened in January 2007. A big Shout-Out! to The Morgan Hill Dog Owner's Group (MHDOG), as they were the driving force in the successful bid to bring a much needed dog park to Morgan Hill. To read more about MHDOG and the effort it took to make the dog park a reality, please visit their website

The dog park is located on W Edmundson Avenue near the intersection of Monterey Road in Morgan Hill, CA.  

  Which dog park will be next? Stay tuned...

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