Leash Optional

| October 2, 2011 | 0 Comments
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Cooper And Steeler - http://retrieverlife.com

Cooper and his best yellow Labrador buddy Steeler doing a "meet and greet" at Magnuson Park.

Amy and Cooper

Amy and Cooper

I am a lifelong dog owner (most of which were from the retriever breeds) and cannot resist the charms of a puppy. When a puppy named Zeus started coming into the office regularly with my co-worker, it was only a matter of time before taking the plunge and getting a second dog. When Lorraine and Toni (Misty Mountain Labradors) decided to place a nine-month-old boy in a family home and sent us his photo with those big brown eyes and open-mouthed grin, we melted. Gingerbred Ain’t too Proud to Beg “Motown” was on his way to our home and to become an important member of our family. Instant love all around and ease in slipping into our household ways, there was no question our new best-friend had arrived.

Motown became Cooper (after many long walks and other names tried out). Cooper is often at the heart of our family and our plans. He has been there for the joyous times as a member of our wedding party, as the party animal at our housewarming in Queen Anne, and there for the tough moments as our rock playing with his ‘brother’ on a warm May day for the last time, and as my husband Jason’s physical therapy buddy during his long recovery from a broken leg. We definitely take him along whenever and wherever possible and that is going to be the heart of my column – out and about with the City Dog!

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City Pooch, Dog Friendly Places

Cooper is a water dog by breed and never misses a chance to dip a paw in a lake or the ocean. Luckily, Seattle has some great dog parks, including those with water front, speckling King County and not least of which is Magnuson Park’s off-leash area.

The Spot:
Warren G Magnuson Park
7400 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 684-4946

Located straight east down 65th Street when leaving the I-5 corridor, Magnuson Park offers the city dog a joyous reprieve from the sidewalks and stoplights. Magnuson has a large off-leash area that has a large field, small dog area and Lake Washington beachfront.

There is the main parking lot found by following the signs from the park’s main entrance gate, but when the weather is nice we like to park on the boat landing side of the park and walk along the trail to the entrance of the dog park near the lake. In the colder and rainier months the main gate entrance is a quick way to get Cooper into the park and running right away, but that parking is often crowded so we usually park near the kids play area and walk the short path through to the dog park lot.

Once inside, it is time to play, sniff and swim! It is usually crowded no matter the time of day – I am sure there are some breaks in the actions during the weekday work hours, but I also suspect the dog-walkers fill it with their charges during those hours. The dogs are generally friendly and Cooper can always find some playmates to run circles around the field with in a game of what appears to be pup-style tag then take to waters to chase down those pesky tennis balls. Of course, Coop prefers to find fellow labs to play and it usually results in a small pack of rambunctious labs rumbling around the play field in a Jets vs. Sharks kind of way – graceful with a bit of bullying and song!

In the Seattle weather, the off-leash area can get muddy, so dress appropriately. Hunter boots and well-worn apparel are the norm on the humans around the park to protect from the puddles and the boisterous breeds. It is dusty in the summer too. There is a nice water station at the main entrance for a drink, a cool down or a paw wash.

Dress for the day, grab your best friend and head out to Magnuson for some real romping fun.

Category : City Pooch, Dog Friendly Places

About the Author ()

I am one of the founders and editor of Retriever Life. My passion is Labradors of all sizes and shapes but I am a big fan of all the retriever breeds.

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