New IC dog park to open; watch for my dogs to risk injury there

By Gregg Hennigan

IOWA CITY – The city’s second off-leash dog park will open at 9:30 a.m. July 25.

Known as Rita’s Ranch, it is a three-acre area within Scott Park on the City’s east side. The park is named after JCDogPAC founding member Anne Burnside’s dog Rita.

The city’s first dog park, the 12-acre Thornberry Park, opened three years ago on the northeast side of town.

My wife and I find the dog park to be a pretty entertaining place, although with a baby at home, we haven’t been this year.

The last time we were at Thornberry our dog Bill – we have two Boston terriers, Bill and Pete – nearly drowned in the pond. We coaxed him into the water by throwing a ball in there. (If you’ve ever seen an excitable, athletic Boston at the park who’s psychotically possessive of balls and Frisbees, you’ve likely met Bill.) He swam several feet from the shore to get the ball and then turned around. As he paddled back, he quickly started getting more vertical in the water. Then his head started going lower. I was preparing to go in after him when he was able to touch and get back to land – and safety. We joke that he believes we tried to kill him.

Another time, Pete (whom our vet recently declared one of the biggest Bostons she’s ever seen at 38 pounds) took off after a greyhound that probably was the fastest animal I have ever seen in person. They really are graceful dogs. Greyhounds, that is. Pete, not so much. He was running so fast (for him) and awkwardly that I thought for sure he was going to  break a leg. Needless to say, he didn’t catch the greyhound.

One more quick story. I was actually offered this job while I was at the dog park. Lyle Muller, now The Gazette’s editor, called me on my cell phone. I later accepted, and this month marks my third year at The Gazette.

Feel free to share your dog stories in the comment section.

In the photo below, Pete is in the foreground, with Bill behind him.

Bill and Pete


2 Responses to New IC dog park to open; watch for my dogs to risk injury there

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  2. John says:

    The story about your terrier reminds me of my mom’s pug. Whenever we are swimming Cleo, the pug, can hardly stand still. She wants so badly to come into the lake. Paces and frets and paces some more. One day she couldn’t stand it so she jumped and I hate say it, sunk like a rock. We got to her in time and lifted her out of the water. Now we have to make sure that she isn’t around when we swim. Too big of a heart and not enough common sense.

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