Beatrice: I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me. —Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing Act 1, Scene 1

Friends of mine live with a large, enthusiastic, energetic hound named Jessie. Picture a black dog with white paws and the unnerving golden eyes of a goat: that’s Jess.

She’s ten years old and her owners claim she’s slowed down. But Jessie still takes fences with an easy bound, even if her paws now touch the top railing rather than simply sailing right on over it.

When I visit, our time always includes a trip to the dog park. A dog with this much energy needs a lot of exercise.IMG_6398

IMG_6381This is where good dogs go before they die. Located on the edge of Lake Washington in Seattle, the Warren G. Magnuson Park – Off Leash Area is property set aside for the use of canines. Once you’re inside the grounds, all the dogs are allowed off leash to run, play, chase balls, chase one another, and generally act like… dogs.IMG_6397IMG_6395

From the largest and meanest-looking to the smallest frou frou doggy, they love it here. The first time I visited I was amazed to see how well dogs can play with one another. Somehow they know: the park is theirs. The space belongs to them. There’s no territory to be defended or persons to be snarled for.IMG_6400

IMG_6380Instead of dog fights, the park is filled with the joyous barking of canines wanting to play. Magnuson Park includes an area for timid dogs (usually but not always littler dogs that are intimidated by the bands of boisterous bigger dogs) plus lots of play areas and trails. The park has a beach front area where dogs can go swimming, and even a place to wash off pets and get a gulp of water before leaving.

IMG_6393IMG_6389IMG_6394IMG_6385IMG_6384It’s a dog’s life!


Warren G. Magnuson Park – Off Leash Area

7400 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98127

Phone number (206) 684-4075

Business website: seattle.gov/parks/Magnuson/ol…

Photos Copyright © 2015 Jadi Campbell.

Brutus: I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon…
— Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene 4

We can't wait to get out of this stupid car
We can’t wait to get out of this stupid car

13 thoughts on “Woof”

  1. What a heart-warming story… if only there were more place like that… dog deserve them !
    It always intrigues me how cats roam at catteries, and never fight… when they don’t have to defend their territory, they can relax…

    1. I hadn’t thought about this fact! Cats are more territorial than dogs but you’re right: they too can hang out together peacefully.

  2. We have no dog parks here, though I think I saw one in Central Park.
    Love the header photograph.

    1. My husband took the photo as we were heading upriver from Sittwe in NW Burma. When I was looking for a header image for my blog, I instantly knew this was the one I was going to use. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Oh what a beautiful place for dogs – they deserve the best. My favourite quote “be the person your dog thinks you are”!

    Thanks for the share.

  4. Woof woof! Those dogs were having a blast! We had a dog in Malaysia that did not play well with others. Dog park would not have worked. But what a guard dog! 🙂

    1. Maybe he would have been awed by the friendliness of the other dogs? I’m not kidding Shelley, every time I go there I see dogs that I’m sure were bred for fighting.. – and they are a blur of wagging tails. PS: Congrats on the new home!

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