All Good Things Must End

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Takoma Park has over 4,250 dogs. Yet at least three citizen requests to build a park for humans with canine companions previously failed. So in 2012, Joe Edgell and Dr. Barbara Muhlbacher started an effort to raise community awareness of the need for an off-leash park, and spur the City Council and City Manager to act and build one (TakomaDogs incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2014).

Creation of the Takoma Park Dog Park is a lesson in citizen activism. Over 1500 people signed the petition to create the dog park (over 1200 at the time of our City Council presentation), overcoming a handful of NIMBY opponents who did not want a city for all communities, including those who’ve rescued canine companions. A core groups of supporters organized and pushed City Council and staff to build the dog park, and after nearly five years of effort, we were successful! Takoma Park now has it’s first and only dog park, opened on April 2, 2017.

TakomaDogs founders Dr. Barbara Muhlbacher & Joe Edgell

TakomaDogs founders Dr. Barbara Muhlbacher & Joe Edgell

With dog park creation, interest in TakomaDogs has wained. With its founders moving to the Puget Sound area, there is no one to keep the organization active. So it is with a mix of sadness and pride that we are closing down the website and terminating the 501(c)(3) status of TakomaDogs. On June 29, 2019, the website will expire and TakomaDogs will cease to exist.

Anyone interested in buying the website and domain name should reach out to Joe here. Historic Takoma is receiving an archive of the website, the banner, a TakomaDogs t-shirt, and our City Council presentation so this effort is preserved for posterity sake.

Visit the dog park at this location.

Woof!

Pooch Pool Party Saturday!

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The Montgomery County Department of Recreation will host its annual Pooch Pool Party on September 9 and 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Wheaton-Glenmont Pool, 12621 Dalewood Drive.

The pool is closed to humans and opened only for dogs to swim with other dogs. Animal-oriented businesses and animal rescue groups will have information tables on-site for the benefit of owners.

Pre-registration is required. There is a $10 registration fee per dog. Owners must provide written proof of a current rabies vaccination and current dog license. Dog licenses may be purchased on-site.

More information and online registration is available at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec

Reminder: Sign Up for 4th of July Parade (Meet at 9:30)

Don't forget TakomaDogs has a float in this year's Takoma Park 4th of July Parade to celebrate the opening of the dog park and we want YOU to join us.

We're meeting on South Manor Circle near the intersection of South Manor Circle & Carroll Avenue. We're assembling at 9:30 a.m. for the 10:00 parade start on July 4.

So we can get an estimate of how many people are walking with us, please sign up here or in the form, below.

Weather for the parade should be seasonable for this time of year.  Please bring a bottle of water for you and your pooch. We'll try to tweet more info on the weather as we get closer, so follow the TakomaDogs Twitter feed.

We want everyone to come out and celebrate the opening of the dog park with us whether you have a dog or not. Bring your kids, your friends, your parents, or anyone else. Never walked in the parade, now's your chance! You do NOT need a dog to walk with us.

This year we'll be joined by candidate for Ward 2 City Council Joe Edgell. Take the opportunity to share your thoughts on Ward 2 issues with Joe.

Do you plan to walk in the Takoma Park 4th of July Parade with TakomaDogs? *
Name *
Name
Please type a cell phone number for last-minute updates
Please type a cell phone number for last-minute updates
Are you interested in buying a t-shirt? *

July 4 Parade Float Coming Along Nicely!

This year's 4th of July float. What is it?

Can you guess what it is?

Work is proceeding nicely on this year's 4th of July Parade Float. But we need your committment to come walk with TakomaDogs or all this effort will be for nothing.

Sign up here to let us know you're coming.

Bring your dog, your kids, you spouse, parents, or friends. Dog not required. We need people!  

Still Looking for Grant Writer – June 30 Deadline Approaching

Please help bring water to the dog park!

Please help bring water to the dog park!

We mentioned on May 20 that we needed a grant writer for the PetSafe Brand grant to help us provide water at the dog park. But no one volunteered.

The deadline is fast approaching on June 30, so if you can help out, please contact us at info@takomadogs.org.

Here's the original post with a bit more info.

Grant Writer Needed

If you fancy yourself to be  a good, persuasive writer, we need someone to help with a grant application. We're seeking funding to install shade in the dog park and/or a water supply for the dogs. This year, PetSafe Brand will award 25 grants totaling $275,000 to help cities build new dog parks and provide makeovers or maintenance for existing parks. We think our shade and water projects make good candidates.

Please email info@takomadogs.org if you would like to volunteer to write this grant. Grant application deadline is June 30, 2017, but we would like to get our application in much sooner.

Mark Your Calendars for July 4 & Come Walk

Can you guess what we're working on for this year's 4th of July Parade float?

TakomaDogs is once again walking in the Takoma Park 4th of July Parade, and we need you!

Bring your dog, your kids, your parents, and anyone else and join us at 9:45 a.m. on July 4, 2017 for the 10:00 a.m. start. In past years, TakomaDogs met on Manor Circle near the intersection of South Manor Circle and Carroll Avenue.

Please sign up here to join us in the parade.

We're currently constructing this year's super-secret float (see photo). Last year's float took 2nd price in the parade and we hope this year's float will be in contention again. Float construction is again being led by Dr. Barbara Muhlbacher, TakomaDogs board member. If you would like to help her with the float, please email her at barbara@muhlbacher.us.

When you come to the parade, don't forget to wear your TakomaDogs t-shirt. If you do not have one, click this link to buy one now. We will also bring a few shirts that you can purchase at the parade, but it would be helpful if you would use the sign up form linked below and let us know what size you want. There are only limited numbers of shirts left, so get your collector's item now to show your support for the Takoma Park dog park.

Preventing, Recognizing, and Responding to Heatstroke

Image courtesy  Nashville Paw .

Image courtesy Nashville Paw.

Sunday and into the week are supposed to be the warmest days we've had all year, with temperatures into the 80s. Since we're moving toward summer and the sun sits higher in the sky, the sun's intensity is increasing as well. And all of these increase the risk of heat stroke when you visit the dog park.

So we pulled aside Dr. Barbara Muhlbacher, a veterinarian at Georgia Crossing Veterinary Center to ask her how to prevent heat stroke.

Here are her thoughts:

Bring Water

While we and our four-legged friends are jumping for joy that the dog park is finally open, it is important to remember that there is currently no water available at the park. The city is planning on having a water source at the park at some point, but it probably won’t be anytime soon. Therefore it is imperative to bring plenty of water with you when you take your dog to the park. This applies even when it's not a super hot day. Dogs need water when they're exercising just like humans, even on cold days.

Heat Stroke Causes

Playing in warm and hot weather brings on the danger of heat stroke, especially when dogs don’t get sufficient water to drink during playtime. Temperatures will reach the 80s early next week, and the trees have not yet fully leafed out to provide any shade, which increases the risk of overheating. 

Make sure your dog takes regular breaks during playtime. Regular breaks also give them a chance to drink water. If your dog isn't visiting the water bowl on his/her own, take your dog to the water bowl.

Heat Stroke Symptoms

Heat stroke is not just being hot. It is an emergency condition that needs immediate care. Signs of heat stroke include heavy panting, labored breathing, sudden lethargy or weakness; pale, blue or bright red gums (they should be a rosy pink), wobbliness, tremors or seizures, and collapse.

A high body temperature caused by overheating can cause organ damage within minutes, so immediate veterinary care is crucial for survival.

Heat Stroke Care

If you notice any of the above signs, immediately provide shade and a cool place (for example in an air-conditioned car) and plenty of water. Also, try cooling the dog by pouring water on him/her, then head to the veterinary hospital.

If the dog is having a seizure or has collapsed, you will not be able to give your dog water. Immediate veterinary care is critical to save your dog's life. The veterinarian will most likely need to give you dogs fluids through an IV.

There's a fine line between just being hot and having heat stroke. Err on the side of caution, for if you wait, it might be too late. If you recognize any of the above signs, immediately take your dog to the nearest veterinary hospital for emergency care.

Which Dogs Get Heatstroke

Short-nosed breeds like pugs, Frenchies and or other bulldog-type breeds tend to overheat more easily and quickly. Also, breeds with heavy coats such as Huskies, Newfoundlands, Chows, and other heavy-coated breeds all are at higher risk. But remember, any dog can get heatstroke.

So remember to bring water with you when you visit this great new park with your pooch!

Dr. Barbara Muhlbacher
Georgia Crossing Veterinary Center
11414 Georgia Ave, Wheaton, MD 20902
(301) 962-1902
gcvetcenter.com

 

Llama Mediation

The pro- and anti-llama camps were out in force today at Historic Takoma in Takoma Park, to wrestle over whether llamas are appropriate in the dog park.

Mayor Kate Stewart, the star of the Llama mediation session was a great sport when she figured out that it was, in fact, an April Fool's joke. Be wary any time something happens on April 1, Kate!

Here are a few photos of the session:

Don't Forget: Dog Park Opens Sunday at 1:30 p.m.!

The dog park opening celebration kicks off Sunday, April 2 at 1:30 p.m., rain or shine. Bring your dog, wear your TakomaDogs t-shirt (outside your coat if it's cold!), and feel free to bring colorful paraphernalia. Don't have a dog? Still come out and celebrate this awesome new community resource.

There will be veterinarians to chat with, doggie schwag to covet, and you can even pick up your very own Support the Dog Park t-shirt, if you do not have one. After all the speeches, the park will be open for your and fido's enjoyment, so please join us!

Dog park location. Click map for a larger map.

Dog park location. Click map for a larger map.

The dog park is located at the top of Takoma-Piney Branch Park at the end of the parking lot on Darwin Avenue. On Google Maps the address comes out at 198 Darwin Ave. Apple Maps doesn't yet handle the address properly, so type 14 Darwin Ave. into your iPhone, then walk past the address into the parking lot.

Parking is extremely limited, so we encourage you to walk to the park or park behind the Community Center in the Community Center parking lot near the library. We cannot guarantee that there will be parking at the dog park.

We've reported the map issue to Apple and hope they will make their correction soon. Click the map at the right to load a larger map from Google.

Elimination of the Low Activity/Small Dog Area

TakomaDogs Chief Designer, architect Eric Saul, originally designed the dog park with a low activity/small dog area. The area was to be used by older larger dogs who didn't really want to rough house, and small dogs that were not comfortable playing with the big dogs.

Unfortunately the TakomaDogs proposal for a second area did not survive city review.....

Read More

Thank a Council Member

Click the big red button to send a thank you note to the City Council.

Click the big red button to send a thank you note to the City Council.

We've updated the Take Action Page. Now you can send a thank-you note to the City Manager, Mayor, and each of the City Council members.

Tell them you appreciate them opening the dog park, and urge them to consider some less expensive, neighborhood parks that people can walk to.

Visit the Take Action page to get started.

Dog Park Grand Opening Set for 1:30 p.m., April 2!

The City announced today a dog park grand opening date! Plan to be at the dog park on Sunday, April 2 at 1:30 pm. Bring your dog, your kids, your cat, but come and celebrate with us!

Meet at the dog park, which is located at the top of Takoma-Piney Branch Park at the end of the parking lot on Darwin Avenue. On Google Maps the address comes out at 198 Darwin Ave. Click here for a map. Apple Maps doesn't handle the address properly, so plug in 14 Darwin Ave. into your iPhone, then drive past the address into the parking lot.

Bring your dog, wear your TakomaDogs t-shirt (outside your coat if it's cold!), and feel free to bring colorful, parade-worthy paraphernalia and noise makers. Don't have a dog? Still come out and celebrate this new awesome community resource.

Incremental Progress This Past Week

New handicap access ramp.

New handicap access ramp.

This week concrete was poured to finish the handicap access ramps and the benches were installed. Best we can tell the only thing left to complete is fence installation. City staff indicates that "Fence installation was to start Monday."  When we went by Monday morning, there was no one on site, so we will check later this week to see if installation has begun.

Staff also let us know that Montgomery County site inspection to remove tree protection fence and clear the park for opening is scheduled for this Wednesday. After that staff indicate that they have signs to install and minor site work which will be done by next week.

Benches now bolted down.

Benches now bolted down.

That holds out the possibility that we can make the April 2 opening we discussed. We are waiting from word from the City Manager whether this will, in fact, be the opening date.

Check out the rest of the new photos in our Construction Photo Gallery.

Anticipated Opening by April 2

In recent communications with the City, they mentioned that they are anticipating that work will be completed by the end of March. We are hopeful that we can have a grand opening soon thereafter.

We requested that the City consider a grand opening date of Sunday, April 2. Please block it off on your calendars in the hopes that this will be the official date. And please check back with the website to get confirmation on the opening date.

Week 20: Getting Close!

The past two weeks brought additional rock placement and concrete pouring. It appears that the only remaining item if fence installation and a small amount of concrete work so that wheelchairs can get from the parking lot into the park.

Below are a few photos shot this weekend. More photos at the Construction photo gallery.

Benches awaiting installation on the concrete pads, shown as the round circles in the rear of the photo.

Decorative rocks. A bit too small to be much of a play structure for dogs, but provide some visual breakup of the surface.

Stormwater control trench and drain at the top of the park.

The main play area.