Saturday, November 2, 2013

Saturdays in the Park with Ollie

Today's post comes to you as kind of a commercial for dog owners everywhere. Awhile back, I was contacted by another blogger, Shaye, of, about the website is an activity website for animals vacations. For example, say you're in the Omaha area with your dog, and want to know what they can do for fun, too. It's a pretty cool setup I had absolutely no idea such a thing existed.

Since we started training and socializing Oliver back in September, we've been looking into different activies that are around town. Our first was at the suggestion of Oliver's girlfriend's owner. Before puppy training, at Bone Jour Doggie Daycare and Lodging, there is a playgroup that meets called Yapptime.

Before all that, check out this video of Oliver and his girlfriend, Nina, wrestling all over the place. He'll let her do anything to him. It's a little weird.

Anyway, Bone Jour/Yappytime has been around for nine years, with the same people running it every Saturday morning from 9-11, and for $2, you can let your dog run free and play with other puppies. There are all kinds of dogs, different sizes, and several different play areas (though, we've only been in the back play area, and an inside play room, which the dogs don't really care for, it seems). There are usually two or three workers, who have you fill out a waiver before you can let your dog play, but they also help break up fights (like this morning. There was something in the air making all of the dogs a little cray-cray).

Halloween in the playroom. All dogs and owners were getting restless.

We've actually been considering using Bone Jour for kenneling Ollie while we're on vacation in a couple months. I hear $26/night is a reasonable rate, but we haven't had to board a dog in about fifteen years.

Our first week, our waterdog found the pool. He's so goofy.

It's fun and controlled, and all the owners are very friendly and responsible. We all seem to watch out for each other, and each other's dogs. It's a great group, and very welcoming. They're found right next door to the Nebraska Humane Society at 90th and Fort in Omaha.

In other news, when it's not Saturday, we've found Hanscom Park in Omaha, just off Martha Street. Hanscom has three fenced in areas: one for small dogs, and two for all dogs. It's big, it's hilly, it's got picnic tables to sit at, and lots and lots of acorns that Ollie can't stop eating. The crowd at Hanscom is a bit more laid back than at Yappytime. Since no one at the dog park is there to enforce rules, it runs a bit on an honor system, but luckily, people do abide by it.

Ollie is so happy to run off excess energy at the parks, and he sleeps all the way home. It's pretty awesome. Omaha is actually he biggest city in Nebraska (Something that I think The Big Bang Theory frequently gets wrong), and it's also got a large dog population. I'm amazed how many new dogs come to the parks every time they're there. In recent years, dog parks have become huge (we're actually getting one in Council Bluffs with our new Humane Society next year!), and I think more people are apt to train their dogs to walk off-leash. By adding a dog area to local parks (of which there are a lot of parks, but only two specific dog parks), the Parks and Rec people are showing how important the dog population is to the city, as well. My biggest hope is that with the opening of the Council Bluffs Humane Society next year, Council Bluffs will be well on its way to a similar dog-friendly area.

Be sure to check out DogVacay next time you and your furry friends are checking into a new town to find something they can enjoy as much as you.

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