My husband and I love spending time outdoors, and we enjoy being able to bring our dogs along with us. We have two rescue dogs: Yavanna a 13 lb terrier mix, and Brutus a 10 month 70 lb lab mix. In Oregon there were plenty of dog friendly trails and parks; however, it’s been hard to find places where we feel safe letting our dogs off leash or a dog park where we could get our puppy some socialization. We finally found an off-leash dog park in Monroe, LA. It’s called Kiroli Park.
Kiroli park is a half hour drive from where we live in Ruston. I was immediately in love with the park. The trees are incredibly tall, pine needles coat the ground in areas. It is just lovely! The dog section is near the back of the park away from the entrance and close to a pond.
The dog park has two large fenced sections for our four legged friends. One is for large dogs, the other for small (25lb or less) or special needs dogs. Both sections have a pavilion and a beautiful waterfall/pond for the pups to splash around in. The entire park has numerous benches and chairs scattered throughout the area.
We brought both our dogs into the large dog area that Sunday morning. There wasn’t anyone else there yet. It was such a relief to be able to take their leashes off and just let them run! I think Brutus, our 10 month old mixed breed puppy, especially enjoyed the freedom.
We soon had company, two large huskies came along. This was the first time Brutus has met a dog as large or larger than him. He was very nervous at first, but by the end of the day had gained some confidence playing with other large dogs.
In the large dog area there is a gate that opens to a section on the pond. This area has some fencing and buoys, and it meant to be a place where the dogs can swim. We let Yavanna and Brutus out in this area to play. This was another first for Brutus, as we have not had the opportunity to let him off leash and play in open water.
He was hesitant at first, cautiously wading into the water to grab a stick or ball we would throw, but never going out far enough to get his chest wet. He slowly would wade farther out. I am sure on our next visit, if it is warmer, he will really enjoy splashing round out there!
Eventually more dogs arrived, and Yavanna was feeling over-whelmed, so I took her to hang out in the small dog area. Which she enjoyed, and Brutus was able to get more socialization in the big dog area with the new arrivals. He really loved this dalmatian. They played a very long game of chase/tag.
We spent about 3 hours at the dog park that day, which was more than we thought we would. We went back the following Sunday to let Brutus run, and then walked a bit of the trail around the pond.
Kiroli Park is definitely our new favorite place to go with the dogs. It does cost $1 per person to get in, but we feel that is cheap price to pay for such an AMAZING park!
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