Heekin Dog Park Opens Today and Tips to Set Your Dog Up for Success

Heekin Dog Park Grand Opening in Muncie, IN
Mayor Dennis Tyler and Phil Peckinpaugh of the Muncie Animal Shelter

Muncie’s south side has a new attraction opening today at 1:00pm. What might this great attraction be you ask? It’s a dog park!

Dog lovers the world over know the benefits of positive socialization and the joy many dogs experience when in the company of other dogs.

Heekin Park, located at the corner of Memorial Drive and Madison Streets, has a huge green space and the location the city chose for their 2nd dog park is ideal. It’s close to the fire station, playground, basketball courts and plenty of parking is available.

Here’s a few tips to keep you dog on his or her best behavior if you go the the grand opening today, or any day at a dog park:

Heekin Dog Park
Liz Vermulean being interviewed by Roger Overbey

1. Relax. When approaching the entrance and upon walking in the park itself, try to hold leash loosely (but still remain in  control) and stay calm;

2. Scan. Look around the park and visually see what dogs are being bullies, which ones are hanging out by themselves, who’s walking the perimeter;

3. Release. After walking around the park for a bit, it’s time to let your dog go. When your dog is RELAXED, unhook his leash. We suggest you wait until your dog is calm so he starts off in that state of mind;

4. No Helicopter. Have you heard of a helicopter parent? A helicopter parents hovers around the child, or in this case, dog, and monitors every move they make. It’s good to stay close and keep an eye on them but let them be dogs. They’ll sniff, pee, poop, run and roll in the grass;

5. Keep a Visual. Many pet parents go off to their own little world once their dog is roaming around the dog park — DON’T DO THIS! Keep an eye on your pal and be ready in moment to come to his rescue, calmly, if a dog altercation breaks out;

6. Mingle. Meet the other dog parents, swap stories, have fun. If your dog really finds a buddy, make friends with the human. Maybe a new friendship will start?;

7. Encourage. Not every person there will care enough to make sure the dogs are safe, so I encourage you to be one that will. Be free to do this without fear of judgement. If you love your dog you’ll want him to leave the park the same way he entered, healthy and intact;

8. Dog Deposits. If your dog makes a poopy mess, clean it up! Not everyone will practice this simple task but boy, if they did, it’d be awesome. I don’t want my dogs running full speed and trampling dog poo. Yuck!;

9. Safety. If you see a dog that is bullying other dogs, or worse, be the go between and keep your dog away from him. Remain calm and use a firm ‘NO’ if the bully dog isn’t playing nice; and

10. Spread the Love. If your dog enjoys the park, tell your friends! Invite them. Set up dog play dates. Help support the Heekin Dog Park by purchasing a yearly pass.

Sonny meeting a group of kids

Just a note, Emerson Dog Park is still operating and it’s on Ball State campus. If you haven’t been there, check it out. And don’t forget that ARF has a Bark Park. Funds raised there go to help the ARF fur babies.

Journalists and photographers came out to this grand opening and they included: Roger Overbey, Kurt Hochstetler from The Star Press and Rick Yencer. Thank you for sharing your day with us and capturing great video and pictures.

One last thing, if you take your dog to a dog park and it doesn’t go as well as you would’ve  liked or you have questions about how to make it better for your dog, contact us. We can help with training, socialization and other aspects of pet care.

Here’s to a wonderful grand opening at Heekin Dog Park!
Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC
Serving Muncie, Anderson, Indianapolis, South Bend & Michiana areaa


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