Local dog owners availing of city’s new park

Cory Hurley
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Darrell Sparkes plays fetch with Bella, a year-old German short-haired pointer at the Corner Brook dog park. — Star photo by Cory Hurley

The sky darkened and the rain fell. Whimpers resonate from two Corner Brook houses. Paying closer attention to the sounds of disappointment from each home would isolate the cries of both human and canine.

Darrell Sparkes knows he has taken on a great responsibility. Mornings like Wednesday, with the weather undesirable, his responsibility magnifies. His five-month-old black Labrador retriever cocks his head in disgust as well.

Darren Hillier is sharing the disgust just a few streets away. The weather prohibits him from the opportunity to burn off some of the energy oozing from his year-old German short-haired pointer.

There’s a break in the cloud cover. The spirits of four lift with it. By the time they reach the new dog park in Corner Brook, the sun is shining brightly.

Doc and Bella meet. They chase each other. They play fetch, neither minding which of their owners throw the ball. The whimpers are forgotten memories.

Sparkes and Hillier are both feeling better about their day too. Relief may be the appropriate description. It’s not just the weather; having a place to bring their dogs is a weight lifted off.

“It was much needed,” Sparkes said of the park just recently opened on Wellington Street by the City of Corner Brook. “He has lots of energy, so the park is definitely going to help beat him out.”

Hiller feels the same. Before the dog park, he would take Bella for a walk along the pipeline from Three Mile Dam. It was desolate enough to allow her off her leash, but it came with concerns. The park is a much better option as there are no worries of her running away.

“With my dog especially, if she is on a leash she is not getting beat out.”

Both dog owners are grateful to have the park to utilize. Sparkes said it is a better option than a place like Margaret Bowater Park, where he would get complaints if Doc was off the leash or around people there.

The 100-by-100 foot park had a startup cost of about $20,000, and the Humber Rotary Club sponsored $5,000 toward the project. It is constructed on the site of the former B diamond of Fred Basha Memorial Field.

Both dog owners hope the park is widely utilized, proving its value to council in hopes it will exist long-term.

The owners had been to the park before, keeping company with dozens of dogs there on one occasion.

If there was one criticism, Hiller and Sparkes agreed the park is on the small side. They hope the pilot project leads to an expansion of the facility and the addition of a few amenities.

In short order, a couple pull up to the park in their vehicle, and enter with a boxer. The new dog joins in the fun.

More voices add to the conversation. A few minutes later, another boxer joins the party, and an additional perspective fuels the dialogue.

The dogs run and jump on each other, continue to play fetch. The action is fast and appears rough, but there is not one growl or bark exchanged.

The whimpers were long gone too.

Organizations: Humber Rotary Club

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Wellington Street, Margaret Bowater Park

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Recent comments

  • My opinion
    August 28, 2014 - 13:39

    Your wrong there Shawn. The meager dog license fees go to help pay the sole city animal control officer who is working to control dogs and other animals in our city whom are roaming, off leash leaving crap all over the place. Try walking in the city some time and you will see for yourself. Also not all dogs are licensed in this city. The city will never prosecute dog owners because of no license as it has been stated it is to expensive to prosecute to get a 10.00 fee. What up with that I wonder? Certain dog owners will never avail of the dog park and the current dog problem in Corner Brook will continue... Got to go now their is a stray dog on my property....

  • My Opinion
    August 28, 2014 - 09:14

    Complaining already. Bigger space,Additional amenities. Let the dog owners pay for this very public service. 20,000 could have replaced ancient cracked up curbs and gutters on Carter Avenue. The city priorities leave a lot to be desired. Placating dog owners for a bit of political hay...

    • Shawn
      August 28, 2014 - 11:04

      Being that the City of Corner Brook charges it's residents to have dogs(in the form of license tags) and provides no other services related to these dogs, dog owners are already paying for this dog park, and have been for a very long time before it was a reality.

  • Stan
    August 28, 2014 - 07:15

    Congratulations on the new dog park. Now all is needed is a few trees and ramps or something for the doggies to play around. P.S. Over 71% of dogs in Corner Brook are named Bella! Why?

    • Darren
      August 31, 2014 - 11:50

      Where do you get the 71% from and what business is it of yours what I choose to name my dog? Havnt met any others named Bella

    • Bella
      September 01, 2014 - 09:11

      Darren. Down boy down......