By Sarah Colson
Man’s best friends from all over the area came to Willow Springs Park in Johnson City Saturday to celebrate the Johnson City Dog Park’s 10th anniversary.
“Woof, woof,” said Husky brothers Mo and Maynard, which could most probably be translated as, “It was a barking good time.”
Mo and Maynard’s owners, Sarah Scott and Anthony Meyer didn’t even realize Saturday was a special celebration for the park, but let their dogs enjoy some pupcakes all the same. The day’s celebrations also included a pupcake walk, vendors, discounted rates for membership sign-ups, a Halloween costume contest, and a doggy photo booth.
“We come here every day,” Scott said. “This is seriously the best thing in the world and I love that they have the pools here. That’s the best thing in their life, for real. They absolutely love it. If we don’t bring them to the dog park they freak out.”
Dog Park Association member Scott Kirkby has been a member of the park since it opened 10 years ago. For the past seven years he’s served on the board and said it’s been exciting to see the park’s progress.
“It’s a lot busier, a lot livelier,” Kirkby said. “There are a lot more members. Regulars come out, some of them every day. The facilities have improved a lot. We’ve put a lot of effort into maintaining the turf so it’s nice and dry and not a mud hole, even though it’s very heavily used. We’re run all by our volunteers. We like it here and we think we have one of the best small dog parks in the area, so we’re really proud of it.”
Elisa Carbajo has served on the board since May. She and her hound mix Meeka, whom she adopted from the Washington County Animal Shelter, frequent the park often.
“It’s been a really good experience for me,” Carbajo said of her time on the board. “I joined the park as a member about two years ago. My dog, when I first got her, she was still a puppy so she had so much energy. Bringing her here is so great because we lived in an apartment at the time and I’ve also been able to meet a lot of people here who bring their dogs to the park, so that’s neat. I love getting to help out more with the park since being on the board. I really think it’s a good community we have here.”
Scott said they live in a smaller house so to have a space where the dogs can run is invaluable to them.
“Every time you say ‘dog park,’ they’ll start running around the house and get all crazy and stuff,” she said as Mo and Maynard excitedly darted in front of her. “This is like Disneyworld for them. They’re lucky. I only got to go to Disneyworld once. They go every day.”