Dog Park opens in Medina to delight of canines

Photos by Tom Rivers: Batman, a lab mix, takes off running in the Medina Dog Park. His owner, Alaina Zapf (in back), is president of the Friends of the Medina Dog Park, which raised $20,000 for the park. The group is trying to raise $5,000 more for a small dog enclosure, more equipment in the dog agility section and a water station.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 September 2020 at 11:25 am

Another enclosure coming for small dogs, with more equipment headed for agility section

MEDINA – After three years of fundraising and planning, a new dog park has opened in Medina. The site is at 260 North Gravel Road, next to the former composting plant.

The dog park is just south of Boxwood Cemetery and across from The Gallagher, a barn used for weddings and special events.

The new Medina Dog Park opened last month and has two fenced in areas, one for large dogs and an agility area.

A separate enclosure for small dogs should be added soon. (In the meantime, small dogs can run and play with the large dogs.)

“It’s a great opportunity to have this in our community,” said Alaina Zapf, president of the Friends of the Medina Dog Park.

Cindy Davis, left, holds Johnny, a French bulldog, while Batman and Bailey greet her. Alaina Zapf, right, is thankful for a park to bring her dogs.

The group has raised $20,000 towards the project. It is trying for $5,000 more that would add the 100-by-100-foot enclosure for small dogs, and also more equipment in the agility area and also a water station near the entrance for dogs to rinse their paws and get a drink.

Zapf brought her two dogs, Batman and Bailey, to the park on Wednesday afternoon. When she lived in North Carolina, she would drive 15 minutes to take the two lab mixes to a dog park. When she moved to Medina, she wanted a place for her dogs to get exercise and socialize with other dogs.

She pitched a dog park to the Village Board, which supported having it next to the former compost facility.

The site is open dawn to dusk. It is already popular, especially from 3 to 6 p.m., said Cindy Davis, owner of The Pet Nanny. She brings several dogs to the site.

Johnny chases after a tennis ball while walking on a bridge in the agility section of the dog park. Cindy Davis is in back.

Davis was there on Wednesday afternoon with Johnny, a French bulldog.

“This is his active time,” she said when she arrived at the dog park with the little bulldog.

When she opened the two gates to get inside, Johnny took off as a blur, running the length of the enclosure.

Johnny also met Zapf’s dogs – Batman and Bailey – for the first time. They quickly became friends and chased each other around the fenced-in area. They also tried the agility area, using some old equipment from Butts Park. A new playground was put in a Butts in 2018. The village saved a tunnel and bridge for the dog park.

The dog park is a first in Orleans County. People have inquired about it from Rochester to Buffalo. Zapf is thrilled to see the response to the park so far.

“So many dogs do not have adequate room to run around,” she said. “Here they can get all that energy out. They are happier and less aggressive.”

Bailey explores the enclosed area at the dog park.

She thanked the community for donating to the project and supporting fundraisers. The Friends of the Medina Dog Park weren’t able to do some fundraisers planned this year due to Covid-19 pandemic. People interested in donating can check the group’s Facebook page.

The sign will also soon be updated to reflect that the park is open. There will be smaller signs on one of the fences listing people who donated at least $500 in money or in-kind services to the park. There will also be plaques on the three benches, listing those benefactors.

Zapf, 30, led the effort for the dog park while working on her doctorate in clinical psychology. She graduates in May.

She reached out to Davis, the Pet Nanny, to walk her dogs while she was away in class. They became friends and Davis became a big proponent of the Dog Park. She is vice president of the Friends.

She has brought several dogs to the park, where they can be leash-free. Their first trip, the dogs spend most of the time sniffing around the park.

The second time back, they take off running and “go crazy” with delight, Davis said.

Their owners or handlers need to pick up after the dogs. There are plastic bags at the site. There is also a bin of toys.

Cindy Davis and Alaina Zapf have the dogs trying out the bridge at the agility section of the park.

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