New Mexico's Pet Resource WINTER 2006


PAWS 'N' PILES

Santa Fe Village Dog Park, Taylor Ranch

Howl-o everybody! Rover Reporter here to bring you New Mexico’s latest hot spots for all my canine cohorts and their human friends. Places I recommend will get the “Paws Up” mark and those that aren’t worth a second sniff will get a “Doggy Pile” designation. Our scale is on a 1 to 4 basis with 4 Paws being the best and 4 Piles being the worst.
Howl-o everybody! Rover Reporter here to bring you New Mexico’s latest hot spots for all my canine cohorts and their human friends. Recommended places will get the “Paws Up” mark and those that aren’t worth a second sniff will get a “Doggy Pile” designation. Our scale is on a 1 to 4 basis with 4 Paws being the best and 4 Piles being the worst. This time we invited guest dogs Henry and Emma to talk about Santa Fe Village Dog Park in Taylor Ranch. When asked by the great “PETroglyphs” gods to write something on our favorite dog park, we practically peed our pants.

OK, forget the pants.

We couldn’t believe our luck that someone wanted us – Henry, the cattle dog, and Emma, the terrier, two dog park canine-isseurs — to talk about the greatest thing since soup bones.

But then we realized this wasn’t going to be easy. There are so many excellent dog parks in Albuquerque, and now that the mayor has approved five more, the job of picking our favorite became downright daunting.

But we pulled through. We hopped in our Trusty Friend Jen’s hatchback and cruised all seven of the city’s off-leash play areas. It was tough, and there was a lot of sweating and panting, and rock, paper, scissors involved, but we finally agreed on our favorite.

(If we had thumbs, this is where you’d hear the drum roll.)

It’s the Santa Fe Village Dog Park.

Funny thing is it’s nowhere near Santa Fe. It’s off Unser Boulevard and Montano Road in Taylor Ranch. That’s right, people. We’re hangin’ with the West Siders and having a ball. Mmmmmmm....ball.

In fact, the best thing about this spot is the space in which we get to play fetch. The fenced-off area is a good hop, skip, jump, sprint, back flip, Frisbee throw of thick, soft grass. We don’t know dimensions, but our Trusty Friend Jen says it’s about two blocks long. Wow. That sounds big.

For the humans who get tuckered out walking that much, there are park benches along one side of the park. We say forget the benches and sit yourself down in the cool grass — if you don’t mind getting run over by a determined dog with his eye on a flying tennis ball.

At one end of the park is a separate fenced-in area, covered with wood chips. We’ve heard it called the “Small Dog Area” but we know better. It’s really the area reserved for the not-so-well-behaved dogs that need a little time out. But there’s nothing about this area that resembled solitary confinement. It’s huge, and the wood chips are fun to roll around in. And Jen says they make us smell like a campfire on a chilly night. She’s weird.

Of course, with every excellent dog park, there are one or two things that could be improved upon. Here, it’s the lack of drinking water. You have to bring your own. Now, who wants to lug a jug of water when they’re being pulled by two hyper, happy dogs ready to snap out of their leashes to get to the park?

Also, Unser Boulevard is only a few feet from the park, and even though it’s a fenced-in area, it can be a little intimidating. Just keep your dog on a leash from the car to inside the gate, and there shouldn’t be any problems.

So come to the city’s newest park. Say “Hi.” We’re hard to miss. We’ll be the dogs playing rock, paper, scissors.

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