WHERE DOGS ARE KING
DERBY – The new Kingdom Dog Park in Derby is now open. A grand opening celebration was held Saturday. Despite the rainy weather a large group turned out and nearly 100 dogs enjoyed romping around in their new playground. Ann Kelley, her husband Bob Kelley, their daughter Ally, and many volunteers have worked on opening the dog park for more than two years.The Derby Dog Park Committee and many people from all over voted for Derby to win the Pet Safe dog park contest. Derby prevailed in the second round and won $25,000.The area is fenced in and has an area for large dogs and a separate area for small dogs. There is plenty of agility equipment, a parking area and benches.The park is open seven days a week until dusk and is free of charge. There is a list of rules posted, with a main rule of cleaning up after pets. A receptacle is available to dispose of waste.At the grand opening there were plenty of refreshments, including hot dogs, sandwiches and baked goods. More than 100 people gathered and celebrated with their pets. The canines seemed to relish the cool rain that fell as they ran and played. Not one fight developed.Dog behaviorist Ian Grant of VT Dog B’n’B was on site and spoke with people who had questions about their dogs.He said in an interview that energetic dogs should be walked for about an hour before vising the dog park. He called the dog park a “recess” for the animals. He said that most likely dogs will get along with each other as they are in their element and like to be around other dogs. If one dog isn’t behaving correctly, others dogs will take action to get the animal in line. Owners should immediately address problems with their dogs.Some dogs have trouble socializing, especially if they left their mother and brothers and sisters too early. But, he said, there is hope, and he works with dog handlers/owners to teach the dogs proper behavior.The Kelley family is delighted that the dog park is now a reality. The dog park continues to accept donations for future improvements, and volunteers are always welcome.