Dog run organizers hope to collar more donations |

Dog run organizers hope to collar more donations

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. PearsonKimo, an Australian Shepherd, chews on a stick while visiting the dog run in Glenwood with his owner, Chris Naughton.

Visitors and locals alike have been nosing around in one of Glenwood Springs’ newer recreational attractions, and giving it a paws-up rating.Dog owners also are happy to see the city’s River Dog Run, which opened last year. But Becky Spagnolo knows the facility will be better yet for pets and humans alike after some further improvements can be made.”Once we get the right ground cover it will take off like crazy,” said Spagnolo, who has helped spearhead the effort to create the city’s only dog park, or “bark park.”Technically it’s not a city park at all, Spagnolo said. Still, the city made the land available, and Spagnolo said city park and recreation staff have been helpful in making improvements to the dog run, such as adding tunnel and other agility-type structures for the dogs to enjoy.Now organizers are focusing on landscaping improvements – especially covering over the gravel surface that now predominates at the dog run. Some decent dirt or sand would be a good start, she said. She also is looking into sod and other forms of ground cover.”I would love to get some Astroturf over there,” Spagnolo said.She also is seeking donations of about 1,300 feet of 2-inch-diameter PVC pipe to bring water to the site. Also needed are shade structures and fountains, tractor tires and other agility devices, and volunteers to help provide labor.

Spagnolo said people sentenced to community service have helped rake out gravel and bigger rocks to smooth the ground for now.Others have said they will donate trees, and architect Dean Moffatt has offered to design a shade structure.Some $6,000 in previous donations paid for the chain-link fence that surrounds the dog run.Spagnolo said she hopes the new improvements can be made as early as this fall.”Our idea is to create a really fun place where the dogs like to run, but also for people to visit,” she said.Glenwood Springs resident Kathy Schattleitner appreciates the efforts to date in providing a place for her dog, Buddy, a German short-haired pointer, to roam leash-free.”I think it’s a great addition. We really need something like this,” she said during a noon-hour visit last week to the dog run.

Schattleitner and Buddy at first had the dog run to themselves, and she said she rarely sees others there during their visits of once or twice a week.Spagnolo said visitation usually peaks after work, once the sun goes behind Red Mountain and things cool down. Early-morning usage also is fairly good, she said.She said she recently made maps, which are helping more people and their pets find their way to the dog run.Mara Gras, of Denver, and her uncle, Chris Naughton of San Francisco, took advantage of the facility as Schattleitner and Buddy were wrapping up their recent visit. Gras owns a husky named Pele, who busily scouted the park’s perimeter. Naughton’s dog, Kimo, an overgrown miniature Australian shepherd, chewed a stick while perched on a giant wooden spool that once held wire. City parks superintendent Al Laurette had rounded up several spools and built a structure for the animals to enjoy.Gras said she usually takes Pele hiking, but wanted the dogs to get some quick exercise before she and Naughton went for something to eat.”We found out about this, and we use the ones in Denver all the time,” she said. “I have one two blocks from my house.”She was surprised to see Glenwood setting aside a place for dogs to play.

“I think it’s great. It’s just a good way for them to socialize and get exercise.”Said Spagnolo, “They’re much better dogs when they get to run. If I don’t run my dog every day then she’s miserable.”She said the dog run “benefits the community immensely,” and tourists are thrilled when they discover it.”They just love having a place to run their dogs off the leash,” she said.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext.

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