Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dog Parks

If you know me or you've read some of my books, you've probably figured out that I'm not a fan of dog parks. I think there are too many variables to make it viable for the average dog owner. I have a whole list of "caveats" in a couple of my books, pointing out what you have to look for and why when you're scoping out a dog park. The dog park "bullies," the owners who aren't responsible and aren't paying attention, the fact that children shouldn't be in there playing because it's for the dogs. And then there's the problem of little dogs who can be badly injured or possibly killed by big dogs if owners aren't watchful. There's responsibility on both sides: the big dog owner and the small dog owner.

Not terribly long ago, Cheryl S. Smith wrote a great book about dog parks, "Visiting the Dog Park," by Cheryl S. Smith, published by Dogwise. It's available everywhere books are sold, including at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Dogwise. It's the ultimate guide to using dog parks.

More recently, a sort of picture book for grown-ups was released. It's "fiction" but contains enough fact to be useful even to older children.  "Dog Park Diary, the social round of Goody Beagle," as told to Kim Pearson, tells the story from the dog's perspective.  Frankly, I wasn't sure of the message before I read it. But told from the dog's perspective and with wonderful photos by Anne Lindsay it points out the bully who is expelled from the dog park, the big dogs who get along with little ones, the little dog owner who is afraid to let her Toy dog play with large dogs, the greeting rituals among dogs, etc. For the dog fancier, the sight of Bichon Frise spelled as Bishon Frise thanks to an editorial oversight, might be a bit jarring but shouldn't put anyone off from the book itself.  Published by Primary Sources Books, it's available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  A little pricey but probably at a better price point online, it would make a nice gift for the holidays.

1 comment:

Robert McCarty said...

Dear Ms Arden,
After reading about you and browsing PerPetually Speaking, I would like to introduce you to the Planet Of The Dogs book series and offer you complimentary copies in hopes that you will comment on them in your Blog.
For information on Planet Of The Dogs and Castle In The Mist please visit and

If you would like us to send you complimentary reader copies, please email us at with a postal address.
Best wishes,
Robert McCarty
Barking Planet productions