2014 marks our 4th Bark For Your Park contest. It was only 4 years ago that we sat around a conference table, with dogs in laps, wondering if we offered communities the opportunity to compete to win funds to build dog parks, if anyone would bother…barking.
Much to our pleasant surprise, communities across the US were just as passionate about dog parks as the PetSafe® Brand employees. Just as our dogs have always helped us connect with each other, the pursuit of a dog park has the exact same effect on community members. More and more dog-loving communities have found a common goal with their fellow pet lovers through the process of participating in the contest. Whether a community completes a dog park with help from the Bark For Your Park contest, or the contest simply gives cities a way to gauge their local commitment to a park and they complete the park on their own, more dogs are enjoying parks and each other.
We often speak of the benefits of dog parks to a community; fewer owner surrenders, lower euthanasia rates, lower crime, increased tourism, more green space and a better quality of life for the whole community. However, the ultimate benefit that communities take from building a dog park or joining in the Bark For Your Park contest is the positive energy that comes from doing something good for your community. It is literally contagious.
Each of us has a choice every day if we are going to add to our community in a positive way or not. Bark For Your Park is just one way that you can positively impact your community with two simple votes. The energy that comes from inspiring a neighborhood to win a dog park continues well after your dogs have worn down the grass in your dog park. While communities are taking the best care of our dogs and making great use of their green space, we are also learning how to care better for ourselves and each other. As we do this, the wonderful waves of positivity will only serve to help us see what else we can do for the betterment of everyone – in and outside of the dog park.
When we commit ourselves to being great pet parents, we are saying to our pets “I promise to pet you for the rest of your life.” It’s not too much to ask for us to promise to love our community for as long as we have the privilege to be a part of it too. We have the ability to duplicate this energy, and with it, change the world. We never cease to be amazed at how many passionate citizens are committed to making life the best it can be for their community and their pets. When we hear you Bark for Your Park, we know it comes from the heart. We also know that a community that loves its dogs enough to go after a dog park will always be an inspiration to keeping on barking for what we love the most.
If you haven’t nominated your city to win a dog park, what are you waiting for?