Road Trip with Cabana - Laurelhurst

I love checking out dog parks, so on the last morning of our trip, Cabana and I drove over to Laurelhurst Park in southeast Portland. Laurelhurst is supposed to be one of Portland's most beautiful parks and was the first city park to be included on the National Register of Historic Places. But Laurelhurst has a shady past. In 2003, eight dogs were deliberately poisoned there. The debate over leash laws in Portland, and more specifically at Laurelhurst, inflamed one person to take matters into his own hands, placing herbicide-laced sausages under bushes.

Laurelhurst is a lovely park in a gorgeous neighborhood, full of old trees, with meandering walking paths around and through the park. But I could see why there might be issues about off-leash dogs. During the summer, the area in front of the path (where Cabana is standing) is the off-leash section. In the winter, the off-leash section switches to the grass on the other side of the path. Not many dogs are respecters of paths, and it must be very confusing to them to switch from one side to the other. The paths, it would seem, should be off-limits regardless of season, since runners and bikers don't want dogs getting in their way, but since dogs are allowed off-leash all the way up to whichever side of the path they're allowed on at the time, it must be a constant challenge to keep them from straying onto the actual path. It seems like disaster in the making.

When we first got to the park, there was not a single dog in sight. I thought maybe the dog poisoning incident 9 years ago was still taking its toll. Just as I was about to give up and leave, this big boy, a Great Dane-Mastiff mix, came to save Cabana's day.

This dog is still a puppy, about 1.5 years old, all legs and very playful. He and Cabana ran around for quite a while. Then, lots of other dogs began to show up.

The mastiff/dane wasn't the only big dog, though. I thought this Anatolian was a humongous Lab at first!

There were smaller dogs, too. This sweet dog, I would have liked to take her home.

Most of the dogs and owners there seemed to know each other, and it reminded me fondly of my dog park play group at home. Thankfully, there haven't been anymore instances of poisoning at Laurelhurst, but I do hope for everyone's sake, that they find a better way of dividing the park so everyone can enjoy it more fully.

Mango  – (July 21, 2012 at 3:46 AM)  

Oh dear. That does sound confusing, but dogs are fairly adaptable. It looks like a lovely park.

Mango Momma

Min  – (July 21, 2012 at 6:01 AM)  

I took Bella to the dog park the other day and no other dogs showed up in the forty minutes we were there. I don't think Bella minded though. She loved all the lovely smells!

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