Run Opal, Run…and I REALLY Mean It This Time!!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, service dog handlers, dog lovers, friends and readers; I am pleased and proud to announce that HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality) has approved funding (via a recommendation from the HRM Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities) in the amount of $20,000. towards the creation of an off leash dog park which service dogs and their handlers will have priority use of.   What does this mean? Guide dogs, hearing dogs, special skills dogs, other service dogs and their mums and dads will have a safe, fenced place to go and exercise OFF LEASH. An existing site, already partially fenced has been secured.  The funding will allow for total fencing,  clearing of the area, addition of some seating and refuse bins and posting signs. The location is more than suitable, with bus and ferry service routes nearby. Service dog handlers who require parking will be accommodated as well. Use is not exclusive to service dogs, however signs will indicated that pet dog owners must vacate when a service dog handler wants to use it. A public awareness and education campaign will  hopefully ensure that this is a workable stipulation. The parks department will take care of maintenance.

I have worked on this proposal through its various incarnations over the last two years that I have been on the ACPD, and more so in recent months as the committee’s chairperson. When this dog park is finally established, it will be a first in Canada.  We are the city to watch. We will be the model for all other initiatives seeking  to establish similar facilities in Canadian cities.

When I finally pronounced the outcome of the motion today, Opal rose and stretched. Sure, I know that she was bored, but I like to think that she was showing a little interest. I KNOW she will when I take her to the dog park next year (hopefully fully functional by then) and let her free run. She will go foolish!

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8 responses to “Run Opal, Run…and I REALLY Mean It This Time!!!!

  1. that is freaking awesome! Damn, why am I so far from Halifax?

  2. Congratulations–that is super!

  3. Come on down! …or you could use Halifax’s initiative as a model to encourage your own community to financially support one.

  4. Wow! that is great. However, please tell me why dogs who don’t work can’t stay and play at the same time. Is the space not big enough for more than one dog?

  5. It is a site small enough to keep track of your dog. The city is worried about liability if a fracas were to break out with unruly pet dogs. Remember that the dollar value on a guide dog is over 35,000.00. I look forward to sharing the park with one or two friendly service dogs, because all dogs need social interaction with their own species. I’m not saying that a pet dog could not be discreetly invited in….

  6. Wow Congrats! I know you have been working on this project for a long time. Now it’s going to happen! What a rush! Woooo Hoooo!

  7. That is awesome. I think service dogs should have their own park.

  8. i’m moving to Halifax with a deaf dog and this is a dream come true for us! Having a safe place to play and train is a huge relief for disabled dog owners!

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