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Alexander Park has gone to the dogs


By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

  A two-year-old Boykin Spaniel named Walter curiously darted in and out of a tunnel at McDonough’s newest dog park over the weekend. His owner, Steve Ciccanti, joked that Walter will enjoy the Alexander Park facility for a different reason than most dogs.

Mayor Billy Copeland cuts the ribbon at McDonough’s newest dog park at Alexander Park which will give area dogs a place to play.                                               Photo by Jason A. Smith

  “It gives him a break from his Facebook,” said Ciccanti with a chuckle, as he watched Walter digging in the sand.

  Saturday marked the grand opening of the dog park, just off the Square on Ga. Highway 42. Scores of canines, large and small, were quick to take advantage of their first chance to check out the two-acre facility.

  Mayor Billy Copeland welcomed scores of dogs and their owners to the park. He said raising a family in his city, in many cases, includes taking care of pets, and said the park will provide a way to do just that.

  “I know this park will be a wonderful place for running, for playing and for happy tail-wagging,” said Copeland.

  The mayor thanked the staff at Natural Enclosures in McDonough for donating 1,500 linear feet of fence for the park. He also credited Councilwoman Gail Notti, who was unable to attend the ceremony, as a driving force behind the project.

  Rex Huss’ two rescue dogs -- one-year old Una and and five-year-old Koda -- came to the park, along with his wife Angel and daughter Genevieve, who helped to cut the ribbon at the grand opening. Huss said the dog park will give him a more convenient option to take care of his animals.

  “Mount Carmel is where we used to go,” he said. “Now, we have this five minutes away. This is a beautiful dog park. We like to bring them out to see other dogs and just socialize.”

  Angel Huss agreed, saying the park will be beneficial for dogs and owners alike.

   “It’s good exercise for both us and the dogs,” she said.

  Kim Lyons came to the park with one of her two dogs -- six-year-old Chow mix, named Bella. Lyons said Bella became depressed after her canine companion at home developed terminal cancer and was unable to play with her.

  Lyons is hopeful that the park will help to lift Bella’s spirits.

“This park is good for her to be active and make new dog friends,” she said.

  Saturday was the first visit to Alexander Park for Juan Mercado. His excitement about the dog park was seemingly matched by that of his Cocker Poodle, Bear, and his mixed terrier, another Bella.

  Mercado said although he has a fenced back yard at his home, he is looking forward to bringing the dogs to Alexander Park.

“They’ll have fun at this new park,” he said.

  Greg Ely adopted his Silky Terrier, Rocco, when he was four years old. Ely said Rocco, now 6, will enjoy coming to the park.

  “He loves dog parks and goes to dog parks frequently,” said Ely. “This is going to be a wonderful addition.”



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