Let 'em run and stretch your legs as well!
On the days that I need the car, Pooch and I drop Beau off at work, so I can run my errands. Pooch knows what's coming, no matter which neighborhood we're in, her nose tells her long before we get there, that we're close to one of her favorite Off Leash Areas (OLA) in town. Now it's got to be said, any OLA we hit is her favorite. What's more, she'll forget she's just finished running with her palls of the moment, when we come in the vicinity of another OLA. Throwing her head back, pointing her nose up in the air, she'll start that typicle Basenji yodel, spiced with the Terrier's powerful yap. Yep! That's right, before we know it the next favorite OLA comes in sight.
Now if you ask me what my favorite OLA is, I've got to admit, it's all got to do with my personal needs of the moment. If I want to stretch my own legs, I might choose Westcrest Park in West Seattle. Plus points are the walk-about for owners and dogs through a park-like setting, you can actually get somewhat of a work-out yourself, another is the separate area for smaller dogs (the large ones can be quite boisterous), the size of the grassy and sandy area, and Real Bathrooms near the kiddy play-ground and pick-nick area. The lawn outside OLA is great for flying a kite!
For a pretty good walk, and a magnificent view of the city with great photo ops, Jose Rizal gets big points.
If my errands take me to N.E. Seattle, and I have some time at hand, I'll stop at Warren G. Magnuson Park at Sand Point Way. This former Navy facility is by far the largest OLA in Seattle proper, and there's (sweet water) beach access! Once Pooch has had her run, checked messages and left some herself, she's fine being leashed again for additional walking in the magnificent Magnuson. I've been there on a stormy day, with winds gushing and sprays of sweet water frizzing my curls, a wonderful inland treat of ocean shore force.
Pooch's all time favorite (even if she doesn't know it) might be Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island. Located in the middle of Lake Washington, this OLA has splendid beach access.
Another well known large OLA can be found at Marymoor across the parking lot of Sainte Michelle's Winery. While this is a great park, reports are that a lot of dog owners are irresponsible and leave 'do' lying around. Yugh Bad, Bad Owners (YBBO)!
I've run into (Yugh!) the same problem at Genesee, an otherwise pleasant and convenient neighborhood OLA.
YBBO's are the worst and ruin it for everybody else.
Help keep our OLA's clean! Scoop up yer dogs' poo.
Previously published in hotelsbycity 3/22/2007