Friday, January 18, 2013

Dog Park Reviews: Onion Creek

It's Friday, better known as Dog Park Day, and I am here with another review of my favorite dog park on standby, Onion Creek.

When the weather is warmer, you can wade in the creek!
Onion Creek is not your typical dog park, or even city park for that matter. It seems more similar to a state park, filled with trees and a few hiking trails, only much, much smaller. I'm sure that is directly related to its location, nestled just South of McKinney Falls State Park in Super-Southeast Austin. Really, the only thing that distinguishes it as a dog park is the fact that dogs are allowed off-leash here. There are no signs, so the only way I knew was by seeing the park listed on a Parks and Recreation site. It seems like most people haven't gotten the memo, because most of the time that we come here the park is nearly devoid of dogs.

Apple lying in some flowers amongst the beautiful trees
 A few times, Apple has been able to find a good playmate, and other times, the dogs were just freaked out by him. Most of the time, though, we are here alone and just play by ourselves. Onion Creek's location is much more convenient for us than any other dog park, so often we come here when we don't have enough time to take him to Auditorium Shores, on busy weekends, or colder days when we don't feel like getting sacked by wet dogs.

The nice thing about the little creek is that you can wade in it alongside your dog, as my picture indicates, and your dog doesn't get nearly as wet when playing in it (you don't either!). However, fetching (at least for Apple) can be a little precarious in this water because he seems to think that it is appropriate to drop the ball anywhere his paws can touch the ground. He has gotten better at this, though, and this past Wednesday, I was able to get him to do some full-on swimming and water retrieving, which usually only happens at Auditorium Shores.

Another thing that makes fetching difficult at this creek is the steep hill going down to the water. If you get your dog to drop the ball on land, 9 times out of 10 it will roll back down the hill and into the water. That can allow for some good exercise for your dog, but it can also make it difficult for you to get the ball back!

Other than the lack of dogs, the main drawback about this park is the smell. It must be near some kind of sewer line or something, because sometimes it really stinks. When you bring your dog home, he might smell a little worse than your average wet dog smell. But, if you can overlook the smell, the park is really beautiful and you can have a nice hike on the trail or wade in the creek with your dog.

It was difficult for me to rate this park, because it is so different from most dog parks, and one reason that my husband and I love it so much is the location. I finally settled on 3 1/2 out of 5 stars for the average user...but you can upgrade to 4 stars if you live in Super-South or Southeast Austin, as this dog park is right in your neighborhood!

3 1/2 Paws for the general population

4 Paws for locals!

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