Fun and Photography at the Fergus Dog Park

Dog playing fetch while running across a fieldPhoto: Michelle Duvall

…And Sometimes a Deeper Clean is Necessary!

Given the Fergus Dog Park’s country setting, it’s inevitable that at some point a dog will find and roll in something that smells godawful putrid—which to a dog is like manna from heaven! And, of course, don’t they pick that moment to come over and lean up against you, pleased as punch. Bailey rolled around once on what was left of a decaying muskrat. I almost lost my lunch—and it was yet another trip to the water pump for at least a partial “rinse” before heading home. I’ve learned to store wet wipes, hand sanitizer and some old towels in the car.

Apart from the dogs, I’ve also been fortunate to photograph some of the abundant wildlife in the park, including deer, raccoons, chipmunks, rabbits, snakes, turtles and a variety of birds. I even saw a juvenile bald eagle there once.

Next, check out these adorable pictures of dogs dressed for work!

Big black dog with its tongue sticking outPhoto: Michelle Duvall

Up Close And Personal With a Coyote

Early one beautiful spring morning, Bailey and I were alone at the Fergus Dog Park and had an unexpected encounter. Meandering along the path, I chanced a look up and spotted a coyote sitting in the treeline not 50 feet away from me! For a split-second, I remembered thinking, “Oh, it’s just Bailey.” He can look slightly wolfish, if you don’t take into account his baby blue eyes. Once it dawned on me that it wasn’t Bailey but a coyote, I immediately recalled him—he’d been off investigating—and put him on leash. We slowly walked backwards the way we came, not once taking our eyes off the coyote—who just sat there, never taking its eyes off of us. And, of course that day, didn’t I leave my camera at home! I haven’t seen another one since, but other park visitors have told me they’ve heard them yipping in the woods at dawn or dusk. (Here’s another story about a close encounter with a coyote.)

Don’t miss this adorable gallery of the cutest dog breeds as puppies.

Three dogs in the back of a carPhoto: Michelle Duvall

Fergus Dog Park is a Truly Special Place

I’m so grateful to all the wonderful people I’ve met and befriended at the Fergus Dog Park over the years, who don’t mind me photographing their dogs. After spending a few hours there, I usually end up as a hot, sweaty mess, covered in muddy paw prints and slobber—but a smiling, happy mess with a happy, tuckered-out Bailey.

Life is finite, and it’s inevitable that at some point we have to say a final goodbye to a few of our furry friends. Those times are especially hard for those of us who frequent the park and have gotten to know one another’s dogs well. They’re family, and they leave an indelible mark in our lives and hearts.

I like to think in the end there’s a big, wonderful dog park just waiting for us. To all the dogs we’ve loved and lost, we’ll meet up there again one day in the not-so-distant future. I’ll be sure to bring the Frisbee and treats! In the meantime, Bailey and I will keep truckin’ along here, finding adventures and making new friends along the way.

Next, check out 100 of the most popular puppy names!

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