Friday, January 11, 2013

Dog Park Reviews: Auditorium Shores

One thing that I especially love to do with my dog is to take him to leash-free dog parks. As a puppy, and a large one at that, he has a lot of energy that he simply can't get out at our apartment complex. We are very fortunate to live in a city that has many offerings for dog parks, though I wish we had more. My first dog park review is also of my favorite place to take him:

Auditorium Shores at Town/Lady Bird Lake
Auditorium Shores really has it all. Dogs run freely everywhere, and they are consistently well-behaved and of great temperament. The dog owners pay attention while they are there (honestly you have to, there are no fences, and plenty of bikers and joggers) and are very friendly. The dog owners at AS often act like it is a play group and are the true definition of pet parents, especially if you go during the typical work day. You can't beat this place on a weekday morning, especially Friday. We go at least once a week, and almost every Friday morning you can find us here.

This park really has something for everyone. As long as your dog is obedient enough to not run away (haven't seen it happen here) you should definitely check it out. There are long stretches of grass for running and fetching, trails for jogging alongside your dog, and plenty of water to swim in with a distinct shoreline that makes entering the water much easier for those shier dogs. Dogs can go for a full on swim and retrieve balls from the middle of the lake, or they can just splash around near the shoreline if they are too nervous to take the plunge. Our dog loves the water, but he wouldn't actually swim until he was 8 months old. Today, he is still nervous about leaping in, so having the nice shoreline really helps!

Apple swimming for the first time!
Other than the occasional person/tourist wearing a suit at the park and not understanding the concept of wet, sandy, leash-free dogs, the only downside is the parking. Good luck trying to go to this park in the evening or on the weekend. Luckily, my work schedule allows me to have some mornings free when most other people are working, so parking isn't a problem. The city also uses the park for other events as well, such as Fun, Fun, Fun Fest, so sometimes a special event can throw a wrench into your park schedule.

I think the fact that we go during the day is related to the good behavior of the dogs. The mornings are when the hardcore dog-moms come out to play. I'm so serious when I say that some of these women stay at home with their dogs...but watching them play is like watching kids on a playground, rather than rival gang members in a brawl.

All in all, I give Auditorium Shores four and a half out of five paws. It is pure doggie heaven. If only we could add more parking spaces!
4 1/2 out of 5 paws for Auditorium Shores!

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