Creating a private sanctuary for dogs
By Kana Coonce
CASCO – If you’re seeking a private retreat with your mutt, a pair of local dog lovers can help.
Merry Mutts Play Yard is an off-leash, private dog park located in the yard of owners Connie and Mike Maedke, whose website describes them as a “certified veterinary technician and professional dog trainer” and “an established houndsman,” respectively; and their four dogs, three of them hounds (Burda, Alan and Hyde) and one a cavalier King Charles spaniel (Izzy).
“We enjoy it for our own dogs,” Connie said, “and as a vet tech and a dog trainer, I saw the need for more of a private setting (than a public dog park can provide).”
Maedke cited potential hazards of public parks like dog fights, which can cause injury to dogs and humans alike.
“There are some dogs that don’t get along with other dogs, and so this is kind of a private sanctuary, I guess, for an hour. It helps reactive dogs decompress and have an outlet for their energy, as well,” she said.
Mike built the fence surrounding the park 16 years ago so that their dogs might have somewhere to play and stretch their legs without the need for constant vigilance.
“We have hounds, and they like to run and sniff, and they don’t always wanna, you know, stick around, because their nose sends them in different directions,” Connie said. “It was just a safe space for them to exercise in the off-seasons, when they’re not hunting.”
Connie believes the park has something to offer dogs and humans alike.
“I would describe it as a wooded acre, fenced, with trees and trails for the dogs and the humans to walk through and enjoy,” she said. “We planted the trees that are in this play yard, also, so it’s fun to see them mature over the years, to go from little seedlings to full grown trees.”
She added that “there’s lots of shade” and plenty of “special trails” through the grass and trees created by dogs and other animals alike for adventurous canines to explore
For more information, visit http://merrymuttsdogplayyard.com or call (920) 255-2134.