Dream Dog Park Project
Earlier this spring, I was in St. Louis visiting our friends at Purina (specifically, Beneful), and was able to take part in a work day to spruce up the Frenchtown Dog Park while there. This was the unofficial kickoff off Beneful’s sixth year of the Beneful Dream Dog Park Project program- where monies and volunteer hours are given to help Frenchtown and dog parks across the country become even better places for dogs and their humans to play. We don’t have a dog park in our town, but we have visited a local dog park in a neighboring town and had a fun morning giving Brownie a chance to experience some social time with other dogs and visit with some fellow dog lovers.
Before Frenchtown, I’d never really SEEN a dog park in person. I didn’t really appreciate the benefits to the community, the dogs, or their owners, because it wasn’t on my radar. Having seen a few now, and spent time in them, I have a huge appreciation for both the parks in concept and the folks behind the upkeep of these parks as well. The benefits to both the dogs who visit these parks and their owners is huge-social, physical and community benefits and more. We even saw a breed of dog we’d never heard of before!
I forgot to grab a photo, but where we went today, in mid-July, in Connecticut, there were several dogs for Brownie to meet and play with, plus their owners… three of whom had come with jugs of water to share with the dogs. (Note to self: bring some water for doggies when you go to a dog park!!)
A fairly simple structure to hold some water dishes, but dogs of all sizes can have easy access to water at any time while at the park. This park has a separate area for small dogs, which has a scaled down version of this waterer for those poochies. One great feature at many dog parks.
For the past five years, Beneful has been helping to build and upgrade parks across the country. They (and now I!) believe dog parks provide a special place for dogs and owners to bond and socialize with each other and the community. The program started out as a contest, and the Beneful team visited one winning community each year to complete a Dream Dog Park renovation. The program has evolved to help to grow more parks and this year, Beneful is aiming to help support a total of 12 dog parks nationwide through GoFundMe donations and work day like I took part in at Frenchtown.
The Beneful Dream Dog Park Project’s new website features expert tips on dog park renovation materials and play equipment, dog park etiquette, pet safety and more to help anyone who’s got some interest in starting a dog park, sprucing up an exisiting park, or looking to educate others on the importance of a quality dog park.
Brownie had one of her “best days ever” at the dog park. She really did. She got to play with about 12 other dogs of all ages and sizes, she learned about being part of a pack, even if only for a few hours, she got to play in a new place, meet new people, and do a whole lot of running around and playing with her new doggie friends. My son was with me and he and I both really had some nice chats with other dog parents at the park. My son loved that there were dogs who would bring sticks back to him for another throw instead of what Brownie does, which is to go run around like crazy with the stick in her mouth and then drop it far from the thrower…
Each month, Beneful will select a new GoFundMe dog park campaign to spotlight on the website and on Beneful’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Beneful will provide dollar-for-dollar donation matching support, helping the projects reach their goals. Beneful is currently spotlighting the first Dream Dog Park of the year, Frenchtown Dog Park in St. Louis! If you have a park in the community that needs support, make a campaign for it on GoFundMe and Beneful might spotlight it and help match the funds raised!
TAKE ACTION and SUPPORT A DOG PARK!!
Beneful is also supporting dog parks through crowdfunding on social. For every post tagging @Beneful on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter with the #DreamDogPark hashtag Beneful will donate $1 (up to $50,000) towards the Beneful Dream Dog Park Projects this year. (That’s one of the EASIEST ways I’ve seen to help raise funds to support a cause!!)
Thank you to Beneful for inviting me to be part of the #FriendsofBeneful Ambassador program, as well as take part in a work day for the #DreamDogPark at Frenchtown, and for inviting me to St. Louis! Information, accomodations and compensation were provided but opinions are my own.