When humans talk about Minnesota, they don’t usually think of it as an active place to live, but rather a place that is frozen most of the year. Amazingly, our state almost always scores in the top five for fitness and health, and we are big on being outdoors year round! Going to the dog park is also a big activity here. In the Twin Cities metro area, there are some fifty dog parks! Some are big, some are small. Some are fenced, some partially, some are not at all. Some have ponds, some have woods, they are all very different. Since moving back from Germany seven years ago, we have tried out many different dog parks and have about four we go to. Our very favorite is Cleary Lake, but the Alimagnet Dog Park is one we go to sometimes in the winter when the pond is frozen.

Alimagnet Dog Park is special for several reasons. In 2005, it was voted one of the best dog parks in the nation by Dog Fancy Magazine. Some of the reasons for this are: it has a heated shelter for humans to stay warm in while dogs play, two large heated water bowls, it is lighted, so open until 10 pm all year, a separate area for small or elderly dogs, and a dog wash station (summer only). The park is run fully by donations, and they are constantly adding new features as money comes in. There are cute little dog house boxes all around the perimeter with poop bags, and garbage cans as well.

We go to this park when the pond is frozen as Mom said the water in the pond is disgusting and she doesn’t want us to go into it or drink it. We also go only during the day on weekdays when it isn’t real busy. Bailie and I don’t like a crowded dog park. There are always a few other dogs around to meet up with.

Bailie enjoys working on her tracking skills either with Mom or on her own.

Sometimes I like to sniff around in the wooded area. I know squirrels live here, but they don’t come out when dogs are around.

Once and a while, Bailie and I sniff an area together.

I am practicing my recall.

Sometimes I stand around like I own the dog park. Who goes there?

Bailie has a snowball beard because she always drags her beard in the snow tracking stuff.

Not only do we run like crazy and have a blast at the dog park, when we get back home to our warm house, we love to curl up in our beds and take a nice, long nap! The right dog park is a fun outing and a great way to expend some energy to stay fit!