Gracie’s Story

Hi.  My name is Gracie.  I was adopted last April by a nice couple here so I am kinda new to Desert Ridge.  We walk all over the place and meet many humans and dogs.  It is a very nice community.  However, every time we walked by a park and I tried to get off and run they would tell me they can’t let me off of my leash because of some law and that it just isn’t safe for me.

It was a little tough because I need to stretch my paws, so to speak.  They kept telling me to be patient, the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is building a new dog park here in Desert Ridge.  After spending time in a rescue, I am grateful for my humans who love to walk with me but this girl has a need, a need for speed.

Then one morning, December 13th, I remember it well, instead of our morning walk, we got in the car and drove to this big beautiful new park.  There was a big sign that Read “Welcome to the Dog Park at Pinnacle Peak.  I was shaking uncontrollably with anticipation.  Is this the place my humans told me about? Could this be the place I can shed my leash and run like the dogs I see on TV?  YES it is.

As we walked up to the pens I was surrounded by many human and furry friends, and the people that made this park happen.  There was Inger Erickson, the Parks Director, Doug Dickson, President of the Desert Ridge HOA board, Terrance Smith, the Desert Ridge community manager, and Vice Mayor, Jim Waring.  There was a ceremony where Vice Mayor Waring cut a ribbon to officially open the park.  That’s me standing next to the Vice Mayor.  Then they opened the pens and we raced in.  It was pawsome.

In the pens we ran, wrestled, explored, sniffed each other, said hello to all of the humans.  You know, dog stuff.  When we got thirsty, we enjoyed cold water from the water fountain.  There are ramadas and benches for us dogs and humans to enjoy and there are lights so we can enjoy the park in the evening too! The Parks and Recreation Department is really smart.  They built a pen for us big dogs and one for the little guys too.  And a third that they say is resting so whenever we go the pens are in great shape.

I had so much fun, I didn’t want to leave.  My humans bribed me to go home by promising we’d come back.  To tell you a secret I was so tired all I did when I got home was sleep and dream about coming back, which we do often.

I have so many fun stories to tell now like this one morning last week.  I met a little dog named Mango.  Since there were no dogs in the small pen at the time, her humans let her play with the big dogs.  She was having a great time until she got run over by one of the very big dogs.  It was an accident and Mango did not get hurt but her humans took her back into the small dog pen to play with other small dogs that showed up.  In the small dog pen she ran with the little dogs just like we big dogs do.  It’s so cute to watch and it’s safer for them.  We decided both the big dogs and small dogs would meet up at the fence to say hello and check each other out.  Kind of like our own Pet Club meeting.  It’s so Cool.


I know my humans like the park too.  It seems like from the moment I walk in and dash off, they are chatting up many of the other humans.  I pretend not to notice but I see them smiling and laughing so I know it’s one of their new favorite things too.

So, come on out, bring your humans.  Let them get to know each other.  But be careful with your little humans.  We don’t want them to get hurt or run over.  This is the only public place we dogs can play off leash and get that exercise that we need to keep the weight off and help us live longer and healthier lives.

Please remind your humans there are a few simple rules to make sure we all have a great time and show the Parks Department we appreciate their support of our community.

• Your humans have to bring you and stay until you leave.  No unattended dogs.
• If you are one of those that like to fight, please don’t.  This is a fun place so if you fight your humans are going to have to take you home immediately.
• Please make sure the gates are closed behind you.  We don’t want any dogs slipping out by accident.  Keep your leash on until you get into the pen- this will keep us safe
• And most importantly, please make sure your parents pick up after you.  It’s not the Park and Recreation Department’s job to pick up and many of us love to roll in messes.  That doesn’t make our humans very happy when we jump in their car to go home.   Also, it’s not good for us.
• If your humans forget bags, there are dispensers around the pens with bags and if they want to bring their own, ask them to bring extras to help fill the containers for others.

Looking forward to seeing you out there.