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Monday, June 6, 2016

A Park Crawl

It doesn't seem like it, but we've officially been living in Los Angeles for over six months now. Once we moved here and Christmas passed, I was busy job searching and once I got a job mid-March, middle schoolers kept me equal parts entertained and exhausted. Now that school is out, I'm going to give my best attempt at using these newfound hours for productivity instead of extra sleep. That is, until I start teaching summer school in July...

One realm of our LA exploration that hasn't been neglected is parks -- dog parks, dog beaches, regular parks, the patch of grass next to Pop Physique that Zora tries to turn into a park every time a stick falls from a tree. You get the idea. Here's a review of Zora's stomping grounds...

Bellevue Park and Recreation Center
Bellevue is a fifteen-minute walk from our place and is always busy with kids at baseball practice, bros on the outdoor workout equipment, joggers on the track, teenage boys on the basketball court, and questionably young children climbing trees. We stick to the back, grassy corner of the park to throw Zora's frisbee. For the past several visits, the communal balcony of the apartment across the street fills with spectators by the time Zora's made her third leap. Technically she's not supposed to be off-leash, but she stays close and cares too much about fetch to be interested in any other dogs that come by. The park is also fairly clean, apart from the occasional, post-game Cheetos bag and Capri Sun. 

My only gripe with this park is actually with Zora -- the route to Bellevue does not showcase her best walking skills. No matter how we try to trick her with the walk there, she always knows exactly where we're going and pulls like crazy. Punk.

Griffith Dog Park
When I'm so tired that I'd rather sit in traffic than go for a walk, we wind up at Griffith. I love this park because it has a parking lot. Coming from Arizona, I never thought that would be my favorite aspect of a park, but here we are. Also, owners and dogs are generally friendly and we've started to get to know the "regulars." People pick up after their dogs and I've never stepped in poop, the trees make plenty of shade, and there are more stray tennis balls than Zora ever knows what to do with. The only real con is the drive, especially on a weekend when the park road is busy with zoo visitors. Getting there can take fifteen minutes or fifty minutes. 

Rosie's Dog Beach
We've visited Rosie's Dog Beach twice and hope to go more often once we move closer. Everyone who goes there has a well-behaved dog since the beach isn't fenced at all and the dogs need to have good recall. The last time we went, a ten-year-old boy threw Zora's frisbee for her into the water for nearly an hour while we sat and watched from our chairs, toes in the sand. 

Silver Lake Dog Park
I love how close the Silver Lake Dog Park is to us, but I don't love that Zora has gotten sick the past two mornings after going. I thought it was just an odd coincidence, but the people there are never great about picking up after their dogs... and then the dogs step in the water bowls. Blech. 

It is such a bummer because she actually seems to have the most fun there (not counting the beach of course). There are always a lot of dogs and the walk there is only twenty minutes. We'll try again in a few weeks and see what happens...

What's your favorite place to bring your dog? I'd love to hear, especially if you have LA recommendations! :)

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