It's Always an Interesting Day At the Dog Park
Isabelle is a Bloodhound Mastiff and belongs to Rebecca Hoch
It took me a while to figure out why cars were parking in the middle of a field south of Hewitt/20th Street. A Park-N-Ride? No, it's not paved, there's no signage, no Community Transit fanfare. A trailhead? To where? It's surrounded by houses and busy roads. Then one afternoon on my way home from Seattle, I saw a couple making their way down the mysterious path towards a copse of trees on the western edge of the property. Part of the duo was on two legs, the other was on four. A dog park!
Such was my initial discovery of Snohomish County's Cavalero Hill off-leash dog park. The park is a three-acre, fenced-in field where local dogs and their owners go for unbridled fun. There's also a quarter acre designated as a shy dog area. Located at Hewitt/20th Street and 79th Street in Lake Stevens, it is easily accessible from Highway 2 and Route 9. "Great!" I thought. "A dog park is a fine use of that space!" and I continued on my way pleased to know the picturesque field was saved from pavement.
Last February, Isabelle entered my world. She is a pumpkin-colored bloodhound mastiff with an adorably wrinkled face, long, soft, floppy ears and the propensity to drool when she's excited and/or happy. After being dog-less for five years, she rekindled my dog-loving heart. I'd forgotten how soothing it is to pet a pooch, how unconditional puppy love makes any day better, how comforting it is to have a hound sleeping at one's feet. Needless to say, I was smitten.
Now any dog owner, trainer or vet will tell you a happy dog is a tired dog. Hallelujah for dog parks! I can walk Isabelle until there are holes in my sneakers and she will not get exercised like she does at the dog park. Cavalero Hill Dog Park is a daily – yes daily! – destination point for us. It matters not what the weather is. Rain, wind, or blazing sun we are there.
Initially, I blithely set out thinking our daily trip was solely for Isabelle's benefit. She needs exercise and socialization after all. That was the goal. It still is. But there is more at the dog park. Much more. And not just for the dogs. There is community, connection and contentedness. There is joy, delight and esprit. In our busy world full of incessant noise and to-do's, the dog park is a respite. I have learned to linger and savor what I find there. Some days it is the wind moving through the trees while Isabelle snuffles through the grass. Other days it is a wide variety of dogs and owners intermingling and enjoying each other's company. It is a fascinating place. I've come to look forward to going as much as Isabelle does. What kind of dogs will be there? Who will we meet? What fun will ensue? It's like unwrapping a gift; you never know what you will find. One thing is for sure: it's always an interesting day at the dog park.
Cavallero Hill Dog Park is a Snohomish County facility. Bags are provided for scooping poop, a dumpster is on site for trash disposal, and seating for humans is available. There is no water. For more information, visit the Snohomish County website: http://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/Cavalero-Hill-Park-21
Rebecca Hoch is a Lake Stevens resident and proud dog owner. She and Isabelle will be sharing their adventures and insights from the dog park with Journal readers on a regular basis. To learn more about Rebecca's writing experience or to get in touch with Isabelle, please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.