Monday, March 7, 2011

RV Park Dog Park

It would seem that most RVers have a small dog for a traveling companion. On occasion one will appear with a mixed breed or Lab or other larger dog. The small dogs have the advantage of not occupying much space in the confines of the RV. Plus, the small size ensures that the owner can stay in parks that restrict dogs to be less than 20 pounds or even 10 pounds.

Given that dogs are such popular companions, many parks provide dog walk areas for Fluffy and Fido to pee and poo. In our travels the dog walk has varied from being a grassy area to fenced off-leash ares to vacant land neighboring the park. One park in Florida even provided dog-pot stations in the park. These little outposts had a bag dispenser and small trash receptacle.

Now, take this RV park. The dogs are not allowed to pee anywhere in the park except one of the two designated dog areas. While this seems outrageous, it does keep dogs from making unwanted visits into other sites. One area is not fenced while the other is fenced allowing users to take their dog off-leash. Because the dogs can only pee in these certain areas, owners display interesting behavior. Now, we asked to as close as possible which put us directly across from the fenced area. Others will carry said small dog to the dog area. But, most popular is to drive the dog to the pee pen! At first I assumed that driving the dog to the pee pen was out of sheer laziness, but now I understand it is to ensure Fluffy doesn't go in an unapproved spot.

There is an unwritten code to using the off-leash areas.

1. Let Fluffy off leash to do her business.
2. Close the gate behind you
3. Use the provided poop scoop to clean up after Fluff.
4. If both pens are occupied when you arrive, wait until one of the parties has finished.
5. If a party arrives to use the pen and Fluffy is finished, pack it up
6. Be respectful of the other dogs and their owners. If Fido is flustered, keep Fluffy under control.

The pee pens are cleaned daily and sprayed with some sort of odor neutralizer to keep the smell down. They are covered with what appears to be coarse cat litter, but probably is quarry findings. Shade is provided for both dog and human. Each pen has a water spout and dish for the dogs to use. The humans are provided a bench and pot for cigarette butts.

My strategy is to watch the pens for an opening and then dart across and let the boys do their thing. Then we embark on our walk zig-zagging through the park with strategic passes by each dog area. By the time we return to the trailer, they own the approved fences, trees, rocks and posts. At least until maintenance comes by and sprays the odor neutralizer.

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