Member Blog Dec. 17, 2019

Housekeeping Info

Safety Alert
Last week one of our members had her car broken into and purse stolen. This was during the day, her car was parked close to our front gate. No one saw it happen even though several people were at the park. Police came for the report; no one was injured.

Please – do not leave anything visible in your car – ever. And be alert about your surroundings at all times. Generally speaking our park is safe but it is a public space – and in the history of our dog park (13 years) – we have had members experience car break-ins and theft and/or damage 3-4 times.

Dog Park Hours
The Tuesday morning closing has been lifted. Since we do not have weekly grounds maintenance during the cold months – we have lifted the 8am to Noon closing for Tuesdays. So, 7 days per week, our hours are 6:00am to 10:00pm. Special closing circumstances might be applied, as needed. Enjoy!

Halloween Winner Announcements

And the Winners Are
Thank you SWCDP members for helping us select this years costume winners. It took some time to create the ballet and collect the votes – but here we are. Please take a look and give them a congrats paw shake when you see them on the playground. And, kudos to all for participating – members say it was very difficult to cast the votes since we had so many wonderful participants, both the costume contest and the Just for Fun.  Click the link to see all the winners.

https://swcitydogpark.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Costume-WINNER-Announcement-2019rev.pdf

Wishing all of our members a safe and joyous Holiday Season.

Member Blog Dec 2, 2019

Let’s try this again, please . . .

After fixing a technical glitch and adding a missing dog – we have the revised ballot and the “fixed” link ready to go. Please take a moment to help us select the contest winners for favorite Halloween Costumes and Just for Fun Poses. We invite EVERYONE to cast a vote. Voting is restricted to SWCDP members – but – you do not have to be an event attendee to vote.

We want to hear from all of you. And, really, these photos are so darling – you owe it to yourself to take a quick break from your daily deadlines and stresses, relax, and enjoy. Treat yourself – you deserve it. You will also get the chance to see dogs you know or have seen on the playground and put a name and breed to the face. Check it out…

FIRST

Go here to review the photos. https://swcitydogpark.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Halloween-2019-BALLOT-rev2.pdf

NEXT

Go here to cast your votes.                                     https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Ballot2019Halloween  

SWCDP Members

If you have more than one person in your household – we recommend each of you view the photos and then decide within your household how to cast your ballot. Only one ballot per household, please.

LOST LID

A lid was left behind after the Halloween event – we expect it belongs to one of our cupcake contestants or someone who donated goodies to the Food Table… We will place this lid in the blue Lost and Found in dog park entry area – Please claim it.

Hoping everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Please place your household vote today so you will not forget!

Member Blog Nov 27, 2019

Drum Roll Please . . .

The ballot for voting for favorite Halloween Costumes and Just for Fun Poses is ready. We invite EVERYONE to cast a vote. Voting is restricted to SWCDP members – but – you do not have to be an event attendee to vote.

We want to hear from all of you. And, really, these photos are so darling – you owe it to yourself to take a quick break from your daily deadlines and stresses, relax, and enjoy. Treat yourself – you deserve it. You will also get the chance to see dogs you know or have seen on the playground and put a name and breed to the face. Check it out…

FIRST

Go here to review the photos.

https://swcitydogpark.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Halloween-2019-BALLOT.pdf

NEXT

Go here to cast your votes.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Ballot2019Halloween

SWCDP Members

If you have more than one person in your household – we recommend each of you view the photos and then decide within your household how to cast your ballot. Only one ballot per household, please.

Wishing all of you a very nice Thanksgiving.

Member Blog Nov 18, 2019



Click Below
Halloween Games and Winners

MORE TO COME

After event activities are a big deal, time consuming – and we think worth the effort. Here are the next phases of the event wrap up.

  • Costume Contest Ballot and Voting – November 26
  • Close of Voting – December 4
  • Announcement and Photos of Winners – December 12
  • Final Event Summary & Photo Gallery – December 12

HELP HELP HELP

We still do not have enough photos of the event. Will those of you who attended the party, please send us a few of your favorite shots for our Photo Gallery that will be on SWCDP website? We are looking for great solo and group shots as well as photos that show the various booths, decorations, etc.

HOUSEKEEPING . . .

More Kennel Cough

Another member reported their dog diagnosed with kennel cough (Bordetella) this week. He also shared that he overheard another member say his dog was coughing then got better…. We do not know the circumstances – but want to remind everyone that if you suspect your dog is infected – you owe it to the health and safety of your canine as well as your dog park friends – to seek Vet treatment and advice. Please do not self diagnose. We do not want an epidemic at Southwest City Dog Park.

(For more info on this topic, see SWCDP member email dated 11/04/19) or go to our Member Blog for 11/04/19 Member Blog

Community Message Board

SWCDP Community Board has been rebuilt and installed over the weekend. This is strictly for member usage. A place to post notes that are dog-centric, like lost dogs, needs for adoption, needs for pet sitters/walkers, etc. Also, posting of general things that might be of interest to our members, items sought or for sale, job leads, event notifications that are dog related, etc.  Please, absolutely, no political, religious, or potentially controversial postings. Postings may stay up for maximum 60 days.

Winter Shelter and Climbing Maze for Main

Coming this week. If you see volunteers working on either – ask if you can lend a hand.

Member Blog Nov 9, 2019

A little housekeeping news . . . we do these member mailers so you will be informed and will enjoy your dog park while keeping it at its best

MSD DAMAGE to our fence

Anybody got any “juice” inside MSD?

The crew cutting grass for MSD has been consistently banging our fence from the River Des Peres side of the dog park. There are several indentations – we can tell by the direction of the “hit” that it did not happen from inside our dog park. Recently – those workers were working close to the fence and gouged a hole in the fence big enough for a medium size dog (50-70lbs) to squeeze through it. Upon investigating this further – we also found a smaller hole that a small dog could squeeze through. We know this is recent – because within the past week or so – we have had two members report the hole. We put up a board to temporarily cover the hole.

* Photo of large hole was taken from a down angle and is a bit distorted; makes hole look much smaller than it actually is.

We do not believe that our dog park should have to fund the repair or sit back and allow MSD to continue to damage our fence. Our members paid for this fence in 2006 during the initial development of our dog park – and – we are responsible for any repairs required due to normal wear and tear or discretionary upgrades (like our new front fence and gate). We should not have to absorb the financial burden for repairs/replacement for damage caused by outside entities.

Hopefully, seeking remedy will not turn into a David and Goliath battle. But, we are the little guy, and we doubt we will reach a satisfactory outcome unless we can quickly find a sympathetic – and fair – contact within the gigantic MSD organization.

Anybody have any contacts within MSD? Do you have a friend or family within your sphere of influence that might have a contact? We need someone with a good degree of clout or inside organizational knowledge to help us work through appropriate channels

NOTE: We have a contractor that cuts and trims the inside of our grounds and they also cut and trim on three of the outside areas of our park – they NEVER go to the RDP side. And St Louis City Parks Dept (to best of our knowledge) does not maintain any of the area bordering RDP. This is MSD turf.

WATER SOURCES

Water Stations 2, 3, 4 are closed for balance of season.

Water source for refilling buckets as follows:

Water Station 1 will service Main Playground
Water Station 5 (Dog Wash) will service Alternate Playground

The underground sprinkler system and the three mentioned water stations are not freeze proof – and we close them in early November each year.

NOTE: When weather is extreme for long periods – even the freeze proof stations occasionally freeze over. When this happens, members should bring jugs of water from home (milk jugs work great for this).

DRINKING BUCKETS

Black rubber buckets should be replenished with fresh water. Important to keep dogs well hydrated – even in this colder weather. Please refill them on a regular basis as they tend to get filled with straw, dirt, spit, and worse.

We plan to purchase a few more black buckets in near future. The white buckets are in storage until the warm weather and next season.

STRAW & TURF

Within next few days, we will move event balance of straw to Main Playground. The small straw maze will remain in Alternate. The loose bales are intended for turf coverage. Please do not scatter straw until the conditions are right for the project.

STRAW SCATTERING:
      • Spread a light layer of straw over the barest areas first. Cover the mud.
      • Only do this when it is slightly drizzling or we have a reliable weather forecast of immediate rain.
      • Wind will blow straw away if we put down without moist weather
      • Blowing money! We buy a LOT of straw and try to be frugal as possible – if we scatter in dry weather we are guaranteed to lose it to the wind.

WINTER SHELTER & CLIMBING MAZE

The temporary Winter Shelter and the large straw climbing maze will be installed shortly before the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. This project will require a very large straw delivery some time mid-November. Watch for all of this activity – Main Playground.

REMINDERS

LEASHES, COLLARS, TAGS, FOBs

We have talked about these topics until we feel like a broken record! Come on, folks…get it together.
  • Leashes
    • Take leash off in entry area; no leashed dogs in dog park – especially the gangway as you are going into the Main Playground
    • Humans must carry dog leash at all times; do not hang leashes in entry way – they will be useless if you need to take control of a situation
    • Be prepared to leash dog at first sign of trouble – so that you can control your animal and move him out of the way of a fight (this is different than walking your dog into or around the dog park on leash – which frequently creates a problem)
  • Gangway and Greeters
    • A dog entering the dog park can be overwhelmed if approached by multiple dogs piling on top of him or even one dog that might be coming on strong with an overbearing greeting or sniff job. Humans need to monitor this activity – do not let a gang of overly excited dogs pound on a dog trying his best to get into the main play area. Give the new arrivals some space. So many of our issues stem from “greetings gone wrong”.
  • Collars and Tags
    • All dogs – at all times – must wear a collar and SWCDP tag
    • No Tag, No Admittance, No exceptions
  • FOBs and Accountability
    • Do not – ever – let anyone in with your FOB. YOU are responsible for your household actions while at the dog park. When you let someone else slip in under your FOB – SWCDP has no record of that person being at the dog park, and hence, this creates an enormous amount of trouble when trying to identify the correct members when an incident or other situation occurs.
    • You may be letting in non-members (trespassers) or members who have temporarily or permanently lost their membership status
  • Courtesy, Common Sense, Communication
    • It is not ok to kick someone’s dog or cause any situation in which an injury to anyone, canine or human, might arise; keep your cool when breaking up fights – don’t add to the problem
    • Cursing and threatening members is not ok; keep your cool in tense situations – don’t make matters worse by escalating with foul language or threats – then YOU become the problem
    • Most dog park situations can be resolved easily by simply talking to your fellow dog park members – find out what their needs and expectations are and share yours as well. Everyone at the dog park is there for the same reasons: enjoyment of the park, exercise and socialization for their dogs…so start from there. And, remember, we have many different play styles and different levels of dog ownership experience, too.
  • Reporting Incidents and Watch List
    • First Up: Please remember usage of SWCDP means “Use at your own risk” – see Rules and User Guide. This is a dog park – that means dogs, e.g., animals, are abundant and unpredictable behavior is possible.
    • We do not have the staff or means to monitor every dog park scuffle; there is no staff monitoring the daily interactions amongst the members, canines or humans. Honor system and common sense very important.
    • Safety and Incident Committee (SAIC) We are here to provide contact info when required to remedy an incident, such as an injury. We are here to help sort thru what happened – and find a reasonable outcome. This process is based on both (all) involved parties having a chance to tell their side of the story, as well as, including witness testimony when applicable. We also keep a Watch List for aggressive behavior that did not result in a fight or Incident Report; we monitor to see if a trend line of problems develops. All dogs can have a bad day or not get along with a few specific dogs – so we try very hard to give latitude and wiggle room. Our goal is to council those who have potential to improve and eliminate membership of extremely aggressive dogs that clearly should not be on the dog park playground. SWCDP has many success stories of dogs and humans who have blossomed at the dog park, even with a rocky start. Let’s help one another so every dog has a chance for a happy life.
    • Get names – of all parties involved in an incident, including witness testimony when possible, before filing an Incident Report. Asking your SWCDP volunteers to do all the research for you is dumping a huge amount of work on our already overflowing list of tasks.
    • More than once we have had reports like “a black dog did this” or “an old guy did that”. We cannot run a search on such little amount of info.
    • Sometimes when we think we may have found the correct identity – they are not logged into the access control system for that day and time….which means someone let them slip through the gate on their FOB. That is more work piled on us. We just don’t have the time and resources; it is not reasonable to expect your volunteer management team to do all the work.

Well…enough said for today. You get the idea. It takes ALL of us to keep this dog park running smoothly. Please pitch in and do your part. Remember, we have no paid staff – we are all donating our time, energy, skills, and sometimes, even money.

Arf til nextime

Member Blog Nov 4, 2019

One 2 days left . . . Don’t miss out on getting great dog park gear

Show you are a proud member of our wonderful dog park community by wearing your SWCDP sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, shirts, and more around town – and – help us with ongoing fund raising efforts as well.

Check out the large selection of goodies at our webstore.

https://stores.inksoft.com/sw_city_dog_park/shop/home

We will place a Master Order on Wednesday and the webstore will accept orders until midnight on Tuesday, November 5. Dog park gear makes really fun Holidays gifts, too!

NOTE: In order to get production cost discounts to support our fund raising efforts, we have to meet a minimum threshold – and we only order 3 times per year. Next opportunity will be February-March.

ALERT: Kennel Cough

One of our young 4-Legged members came down with Kennel Cough (Bordetella) last week – this was before our Halloween event and she has not returned to the dog park while under treatment. If you notice your dog has persistent, deep coughing – sounds like a goose honk – or reverse sneezing….please seek Vet treatment. An antibiotic will speed up the recovery, although, most dogs will overcome in 3-6 weeks on their own.

Bordetella is highly contagious – which is why we require the vaccine. However, just like flu shots for humans – it is not full proof. If you want to learn more about this contagious disease, check out this article.

Kennel Cough Info

Halloween Event – Nov 2 

Thanks to all who helped and all who participated in this year’s Fall Celebration and Halloween Contests. Our turn out was awesome, weather fantastic but cold – lots of fun had by all.
We are working on after event details. Please watch for upcoming emails with event summary, winner announcements, and more.

Work Around the Dog Park

We are replacing the boards at our entry – please be careful going in and out while the work is being done.
The sprinkler system and Water Stations 2, 3, 4 will be shut off on Thursday, November 7. At that point – Water Station 1 will be your source for filling drink buckets (the winter black buckets); Water Station 5 (Dog Wash) will be your water source for the drink buckets in Alternate.

Lost and Found

Lots of things piling up in the Lost & Found (blue container in entry area) – if you lost anything recently, please check it out.

Arf, Arf

Member Blog Oct 30

Are you ready to pawty? Wanna win a Jeep?

Our favorite time of year is here – take a look at what we have in store for you, below are final details – hope you will join the festivities . . . Saturday will be dry and sunny; don’t miss out on the fun because of colder temps – we will have plenty of hot coffee, hot tea and hot cider – along with other water and soft drinks to enhance our yummy lunch menu.

Check out more info regarding The Wet Nose Project at the end of this email…and more Jeep contest details, too.

FALL CELEBRATION & HALLOWEEN CONTESTS
10 – 3, Saturday, November 2

We ask that only member dogs who are comfortable in crowds and are not resource aggressive attend this event. There will be lots of pup excitement, new dogs and humans to meet, and plenty of treats and intoxicating smells for our 4-Leggeds.

Even if your pooch is not coming – you should consider coming solo or with your human family. Check out the activities for future events for your pup, enjoy the camaraderie of hanging with your dog park friends, have “Lunch on Us”.  And, maybe, win a prize in our Attendance Drawing or Guessing Games (all free!).

If you and/or your pooch are coming:

    • Exercise your dog before entering Alternate Dog Park
    • Please – do not enter the event until after 10:00am – we need every pre-event minute for set up – human & dog guests will hinder our work.
    • We have 4 benches and 2 picnic tables for attendees to share – but you may bring your own lawn chair if you wish.
    • If your dog gets too excited, enjoy the event in multiple, short intervals – take a break by going in Main area or a short walk in Willmore Park. Don’t overload your pooch. There is a lot of activity and things to do and eat – take your time!
    • Keep an eye on your pooch; remember to pick up the poop.

When you arrive:

    • Start at Main Table – Booth 1
    • Get a name tag to help others get to know you and remember your name
    • Register your dog or cupcakes if you are participating in either contest
    • Get a number for the Photo Booth (whether Contestant or Just for Fun)
    • Fill out raffle ticket (free) for our Attendance Drawings – one per household
    • Fill out Guessing Games (two questions) – one guess per question per household
    • Winners will be notified via email after the event; do not need to be present to win

SWCDP Merchandise:

While most of our activities are free – we do sell dog park merchandise as an ongoing fund raiser. Plenty of inventory variety will be available, cash and carry. We will also take special orders at Booth 1. SWCDP will place a master order on Nov 5 – so this is a great time to get exactly what you want if you don’t see it on display.

Check out all the special order options at our webstore.

https://stores.inksoft.com/sw_city_dog_park/shop/home

  • If you are not coming to Halloween event but want to order merchandise – you can do so online, credit cards taken.
  • If you are coming to the Halloween event – we prefer you manually place your special order at Booth 1 – and pay cash or check (no credit cards at event).

Restroom and Sink:

Located in front at the end of the ramp – we have rented an ADA size restroom and a sink with water and paper towels –will be available during our event. Please be sure that door stays closed to keep off-leash dogs and other critters out!

VOLUNTEERS & LOANERS
We still need a few more helpers – mostly during the 1:00 to 3:00 slots – and another table or two would be very useful

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Halloween110219

Click link above link if you can volunteer or contact us directly if you have a table.

NOTE: We have one folding table via a member – but it does not have a name on it. If you dropped off a loaner table earlier this week – please let us know so we can put your name on it for easy return.

LUNCH on Us
for the Humans
11:00am to 2:00pm
Featuring:

    • Chili (homemade)
    • Hotdogs – and a fixings bar to load up your dogs
    • Potato Salad and Coleslaw
    • Green Salad (Pasta House Style)
    • Pasta Salad (meatless)
    • Mini-bun sandwiches (meat and meatless variety)
    • Tortilla chips and salsa
    • Dessert (homemade cupcakes from the Cupcake Contest)
    • Bottled water, misc soft drinks, hot coffee, tea, cider

COSTUME CONTEST – for the Dogs

and JUST FOR FUN – for Everyone
To qualify for costume contest:

    • Only dog costumes that have been pre-planned will qualify for contest
    • Costumes can be homemade, hand-me-downs, recycled from last year, or store bought
    • Primary criteria is that an effort was made to come to event with a costume
    • Dog does not need to come dressed; you can dress your dog in the holding area just before your photo session
    • Sign in at Booth 1 upon arrival
    • Record both dog name and costume description in registration
    • Get your Photo Booth number
    • Wait for your number to be called for photo session

First Place – $50 Gift Certificate for Biggie’s Restaurant
Second Place – $25 Gift Certificate for Biggie’s Restaurant
Third Place – $15 Gift Certificate for Biggie’s Restaurant

Just For Fun – What is this???

The Just for Fun element is another amenity of the Photo Booth – and – is as the name suggests. Humans and dogs dressed up with these props do not qualify for the Costume Contest prizes (see above explanation). It’s Just for Fun. However, if you have officially entered your dog (s) in the Costume Contest but want to add some personal glitz for yourself, feel free to pick some fun stuff from the Props Table – Anything Goes!

SWCDP Prop’s Table is loaded with a huge variety of items….some donated costumes for the dogs, but mostly a large variety of goodies for humans who want to get silly and join the fun (hats, beads, face masks, headbands, feathers, and more). Anyone visiting the Photo Booth is welcomed to use any of the props for their photo session, dogs or humans, whether using Just for Fun or as extra glitz for the humans who have entered their dog (s) in the costume contest.

We will offer three small prizes for the best Just for Fun photo. which is separate from the Costume Contest.

First Place – Bag Chicken Jerky for 4-Legged; 2 SWCDP Koozies for 2-Legged
Second Place – Bag Chicken Jerky for 4-Legged; 2 SWCDP Koozies for 2-Legged
Third Place – Bag Chicken Jerky for 4-Legged; 2 SWCDP Koozies for 2-Legged

NOTE: Winners will be determined by our members at-large in mid-late November; one ballot per household. SWCDP will publish a ballot with photos and send to all current members (members need not attend the event to qualify to vote). Winners will be notified by email with directions for prize pick up. The ballot will have two sections: Costume Contest and Just for Fun

CUPCAKE CONTEST – for the Humans

We encourage our members who enjoy baking to participate in this event. Most of us love home baked goodies – please share your baking skills with us. This is an opportunity to win a great prize while also helping us provide delicious treats for our Refreshment Booth dessert table.
First Place – SWCDP 2020-2021 Membership (one dog) – $47-62 value
Second Place – SWCDP Hoodie or Sweatshirt – $30-37 value
Third Place – SWCDP Hat, Cap, or Tote – $18 value

To qualify for cupcake contest:

    • Only homemade cupcakes (no store bought)
    • Cupcakes must have any type of Halloween or Fall themed decoration
    • Provide 12 cupcakes
    • Cupcakes must be standard size – no jumbo or mini
    • Submit cupcakes on Nov 2 between 10am to 1pm (earlier the better since some will be served on dessert table)
    • Sign in at Booth 1
    • Our Cupcake Contest Manager, Brooke, will assist you
    • Log in your name and cupcake description
    • Be sure a photo is taken of your cupcakes before you leave Booth 1
    • 2 cupcakes reserved for Judging Panel of Five
    • 10 cupcakes served to event guests on the dessert table (Booth 3)
    • Judging scheduled for 2:30 pm

NOTE: Winners will be selected by end of event and will be notified via email with instructions for prize pick up. It is not necessary for you to be there for the judging.

OTHER PRIZES – for the Humans

Attendance Drawing – three winners!
First Place – $30 Gift Certificate to Imo’s Pizza
Second Place – $25 Gift Certificate to Schnuck’s
Third PlaceBottle of wine ($25 value)

Guessing Games – two winners!

First Question Winner – Starbucks Gift Basket
Second Question Winner – Starbucks Gift Basket

NOTE: Attendance drawing winners will be determined at 3pm; Guessing Games winners determined after event. All winners will be notified via email with instructions for prize pick up – you do not need to be at the event at time of winner selection.

SWCDP Guest Booth

Who doesn’t love a wet nose?

Since we are all dog lovers and so many of us have or have had dogs from a variety of rescue and adoption organizations – we thought you might like to learn about a new organization with big plans to make a major impact for homeless Metro area canines – dogs (& cats) with the most desperate needs.

You can learn about the Wet Nose Project (rescue support, training support dogs for Veterans, canine hospice home) by visiting their website.

https://wetnoseproject.org/
The Founder (s) of the Wet Nose Project will have a booth at our November 2 event. Please drop by the booth to learn more details about what they have going on….

We particularly like the fact that they give top priority to distributing funds directly to Veterinarians on behalf of homeless dogs with the most severe medical needs. Many of these dogs would be euthanized due to lack of rescue organization funds. It is a sad and true fact that most of the rescue groups are also managed by volunteers and always run on a shoe string budget, frequently with a deficit. There are simply not enough available funds for all of the medical and surgical care needed – so the Wet Nose Project is there to save a few more innocent animals that might not otherwise have a chance for a new life.

Jeep Raffle

Who wants to win a Jeep Wrangler?


Check out the video . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rJ6vd2wTBE

No pressure to buy a raffle ticket – but – for those who might like to direct a small donation to this organization while at the same time having a chance (or multiple chances!) to win a Jeep….tickets will be available at The Wet Nose Project “Booth 7” in Alternate Dog Park during our Nov 2 event. You can also make any kind of donation, large or small, at our event booth or at their website.

One ticket – $20
Six tickets – $100

Hope to see you all at the event. Remember – there is plenty to do even if Halloween is not your thing…come and make new friends and visit your regular pals, too.

Member Blog Oct 21, 2019

URGENT NOTICE

Dog Park, both Main and Alternate, will be closed for 24 hours.
We will close at 8:00am on Tuesday, October 22.
We will re-open at 8:00am on Wednesday, October 23.

SWCDP will begin a new turf care program on Tuesday.  The first phase is to begin improving our soil for future turf development. On Tuesday, the grounds will get a thorough aeration and its first fertilization application. We will use Milorganite; it is a granule.  https://www.milorganite.com/  We plan to run the sprinkler system 2-3 times beginning at completion of the application and running into the night. Time is needed to let the water and granules settle – so we will keep dog park closed for a twenty four hour period.

The grounds may still be wet at 8am on Wednesday – we will re-open at that time, but are hoping most of you will give the turf a little more quiet time. We’d love to see very little traffic on Wednesday, if at all possible. Let’s give our turf a breather.

Some may say….”why are we feeding the weeds”? Well, we don’t care about the weeds at this point. Let them have their last supper! Our focus is on improving our soil. Right now – it is all about the dirt.

GROUNDS UPDATES

More turf management info will be shared with our members as we get into the New Year – we are working out details and timelines, etc. The only things we will do between now and then are:

  • Shut off Water Stations 2, 3, 4 (Nov 7)
  • Open Water Station 1 (Nov 7)
  • Disperse straw to cover muddy spots (Mid-late Nov)
  • Put up Winter Shelter in Main (Late Nov)
  • Put up large climbing straw maze in Main (Late Nov)

FALL CELEBRATION & HALLOWEEN CONTESTS

Get creative! Or not!
 

  • Variety of games and contests for 4-Leggeds & 2-Leggeds
  • Lunch on Us for 2-Leggeds
  • Fantastic prizes – 12 winners
    • Costume Contest, 4-Leggeds
    • Cupcake Contest, 2-Leggeds
    • Guessing Games
    • Attendance Drawings

VOLUNTEERS & LOANERS

We still need helpers, tables, & tents to pull this whole thing off

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Halloween110219

Click link above to sign up as a volunteer or contact us directly if you have a table or tent to loan.

 

The Halloween event is multi-faceted and has so much activity packed into five hours – that it is our greatest volunteer need of the year. We simply cannot produce this event without a solid volunteer base.

Thanks to the few who have already signed up – but we need more.  Check out the volunteer link to review the task variety and give us as many time slots as you are available – and you will be assigned your 2 hour slot when we create the Master Volunteer Schedule. We also desperately need to borrow tables of all sizes and pop up tents. Tents and tables should be dropped to Alternate Dog Park on Friday (11/1), as early as possible but definitely before 10pm. We hope to set up tables late Friday afternoon.

Hope to see you all at the event. Remember – there is plenty to do even if Halloween is not your thing…come and make new friends and visit your regular pals, too.

Member Blog Oct. 14, 2019

Hi All

We are less than 3 weeks away from our largest social event of the year – SWCDP Fall Celebration and Halloween Contest, “Spooky and Silly – Anything Goes”.  We hope you have your calendar marked for Saturday, November 2. You will see promotional signage and increasing level of event development at the dog park starting any day now. The following event info will give you a better idea of what to expect. It’s a big deal!

Please, help us spread the word and build event excitement with fellow members.

And, we still need helpers to pull this whole thing off…see Loaner and Volunteer request at the end of this email.

EVENT CONFIGURATION – in Alternate Dog Park

LUNCH for the Humans

Time for our annual “Lunch on Us” – an assortment of goodies for the humans, compliments of SWCDP.

Featuring:

  • Chili (homemade)
  • Hotdogs – and a fixings bar to load up your dogs
  • Potato Salad and Coleslaw
  • Green Salad (meatless)
  • Pasta Salad (meatless)
  • Mini-bun sandwiches (meat and meatless variety)
  • Maybe a few snacks or veggie and fruit tray
  • Dessert (homemade cupcakes from the Cupcake Contest)
  • Bottled water, coffee, and misc soft drinks

PHOTO BOOTH

Whether you participate in the Costume Contest, want to get involved “Just for Fun”, or simply want a family photo to memorialize the event – the photo booth will provide the right environment. The photos we take on behalf of the event will be for SWCDP use and will be published in SWCDP communiqués and on our website. If you want a personal photo, please ask the photographer to take one for you. Our volunteer photographers will be happy to use your cell phone or camera to take a photo for you.

SWCDP Photo Booth is sponsored again this year by Treats Unleashed. Each dog coming into the Photo Booth will get a yummy, specially baked cookie at the end of the photo session. SWCDP member, Brooke Bennett, arranged for Treats Unleashed to donate 100 doggie cookies for our event.

Thanks, Brooke (and Jack, Oliver, & Bailey)

COSTUME CONTEST and JUST FOR FUN

SWCDP 4-Legged Costume contest is sponsored again this year by Biggie’s Restaurant.

First Place - $50 gift certificate
Second Place - $25 gift certificate
Third Place - $15 gift certificate

Thanks Brian and Kelly Preiss (and Gibbs)

To qualify for costume contest:

  • Only costumes that have been pre-planned will qualify for contest
  • Costumes can be homemade, hand-me-downs, recycled from last year, or store bought
  • Primary criteria is that an effort was made to come to event with a costume
  • Dog does not need to come dressed; you can dress your dog in the holding area just before your photo session
  • Sign in at Booth 1 upon arrival
  • Record both dog name and costume description in registration
  • Wait for your name to be called for photo session

NOTE: Winners will be determined by our members at-large; one vote per household. SWCDP will publish a ballot with photos and send to all current members (members need not attend the event to qualify to vote) – sometime in November.

Just For Fun – What is this???

SWCDP Prop’s Table is loaded with a huge variety of props….some for dogs (donated costumes, etc) and mostly for humans who want to get silly and join the fun (hats, beads, face masks, headbands, feathers, and more). Anyone visiting the Photo Booth is welcomed to use any of the props for their photo session.

This is Just for Fun as the name suggests – but will not qualify for the Costume Contest prizes (see above explanation)

CUPCAKE CONTEST – for the Humans

We encourage our members who enjoy baking to participate in this event. Most of us love home baked goodies – please share your baking skills with us. This is an opportunity to win a great prize while also helping us provide delicious treats for our Refreshment Booth dessert table.

The prizes and sponsorship are still being determined.

First Place - $50 retail value
Second Place - $25 retail value
Third Place - $15 retail value

To qualify for cupcake contest:

  • Only homemade cupcakes (no store bought)
  • Cupcakes must have any type of Halloween or Fall themed decoration
  • Provide 12 cupcakes
  • Cupcakes must be standard size – no jumbo or mini
  • Submit cupcakes on Nov 2 between 10am to 1pm (earlier the better since some will be served on dessert table)
  • Sign in at Booth 1; Log in your name and cupcake description
  • Be sure a photo is taken of your cupcakes before you leave Booth 1
  • 2 cupcakes reserved for Judging Panel of Five
  • 10 cupcakes served to event guests on the dessert table (Booth 3)
  • Judging scheduled for 2:15 pm – you do not need to be present – winners will be notified by email and prizes coordinated after the event

PRIZES and Other Contests

Event will include additional opportunities for the humans to win prizes, including Attendance Drawings and Guessing Games. The prizes for such as well as prizes for Cupcake Contest are still being assigned – but here is the collective of what is currently in our GIFT BAG for our members.

$30 Gift Certificate to Imo’s Pizza

Thank you, Aimee Francis (and Widget & Cracker)

$25 Gift Certificate to Restaurant to-be-determined

$25 Bottle of Wine

Thank you, Sarah Yates (and Cooper)

Two Gift Baskets with Starbucks goodies

Thank you, John Stoltz (and Donna Jean)

Assorted SWCDP Gifts:

SWCDP 2020-2021 Membership (one dog) ($52-67)
SWCDP Sweatshirt or Hoodie ($30-37)
SWCDP Shirt, Long or Short Sleeve ($20-24)
SWCDP Hat, Cap, or Tote Bag ($18)
SWCDP Assorted Koozies ($3-5)

Possibly – additional gifts …

GAME BOOTHS for the 4-Leggeds

Back by popular demand . . .

The Liver Lounge – dogs go crazy for entry to this booth! Chopped up liver in a nice liver broth – and liver pate on a cracker. Slurp and munch. Very popular lounge!

Bobbing for Hotdogs – this is a hoot for everyone. Some dogs dive right in – others need a little coaxing – but in the end most dogs cannot resist the chance to get a bite of dog! Small and medium containers, best suited to each dog. Chopped up hot dogs at bottom of container filled with water.

Peanut Butter Licking Contest – our list of “champions” is growing! Each dog starts licking at the “go” – first one to clean the spoon wins a prize. We have a Prize Box with small prizes, winner gets to choose – and add name to Peanut Butter Licking Champions list.

Find the Treat Course – great nose work! We hide all kinds of goodies in a variety of containers. Dogs must sniff out and find the treats. Finders Keepers! Treats include hot dogs, chicken jerky, dog biscuits, salmon/sweet potato kibble, apples, peanut butter, etc.

Tether Ball – if your dog likes balls or chasing anything – you must introduce him to the Tether Ball – a ball on a rope….what could be more enticing?

Straw Climbing Maze – a mini version of what is to come later in the season in the Main Dog Park. Piles of straw bales to climb and run under and around. Oh, what fun. Chase me!

Final Comments – Loaners and Volunteers Needed

The Halloween event is multi-faceted and has so much activity packed into five hours – that it is our greatest volunteer need of the year. We simply cannot produce this event without a solid volunteer base.

Thanks to the few who have already signed up – but we need more.  Check out the volunteer link to review the task variety and give us as many time slots as you are available – and you will be assigned your 2 hour slot when we create the Master Volunteer Schedule. We also desperately need to borrow tables of all sizes and pop up tents. Tents and tables should be dropped to Alternate Dog Park on Friday (11/1), as early as possible but definitely before 10pm. We hope to set up tables late Friday afternoon.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Halloween110219

 

Hope to see you all at the event. Remember – there is plenty to do even if Halloween is not your thing…come and make new friends and visit your regular pals, too.

Member Blog Oct 1, 2019

This week – HOUSEKEEPING before fun stuff – but we hope you will read the event updates towards the end of this communiqué, too.

Giardia Alert

We have a report that one of our 4-Legged members is being treated for Giardia. Being responsible members, the humans will keep the dog away from the dog park while under treatment and until recovery. If you suspect your dog has Giardia – please go to the Vet and refrain from coming to the dog park until cleared by your Vet.

NOTE: We recommend that current balls & ropes at dog park be thrown away – and – for additional caution, perhaps, scrub the current white drink buckets (brushes, rags, detergent in vertical storage unit to left of Water Station 1 & 2). Hoping a few of our members will take the initiative to get this done.
The pools are already put away for the year. White drink buckets will be changed this coming weekend; black buckets will be ready for winter use by Sunday. Members may bring new balls or tug ropes, as needed.

HEADS UP ON GIARDIA
No need to panic or change your plans for visiting the dog park or attending our annual event on November 2. This alert is just for informational purposes. SWCDP had a report of Giardia last Fall as well – so we thought it timely to review again.

Understanding Giardia:
Giardia is a parasite that infects the intestinal tract. Symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and lethargy and usually occur within 4-10 days after being infected – although many of those infected show no signs at all. It is easily diagnosed with a fecal sample and quickly cleared up with antibiotics. If left untreated, symptoms usually clear up in a couple of months but we can’t stress enough the importance of taking your pup to the Vet. By leaving this parasite untreated – you run the risk of infecting other SWCDP members. And yes, it can be passed to humans. If your pup is infected, make sure you are very careful to wash your hands after handling your dog or dog supplies. It’s even a good idea to give your dog a bath after they have finished their antibiotic treatment in case some parasites have hung onto their hair.

Since our pups put everything in their mouths, please know that Giardia can be spread by eating grass, eating dirt, picking up a ball, licking their paws, or licking themselves after they have rolled in the grass. Giardia can also be spread by drinking contaminated water. Many of our pups have jumped in the pools after running around the park – and then drink the water.

Our members do a decent job with picking up the poop but we are definitely not at 100%. And, even if we were, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, etc., drop feces as they move around in the park – and any of them can also spread Giardia. Since the contaminated feces is the source of the parasite – if you are hanging around any park – there is really no way to completely get away from it. We can, however, do a better job of picking up the poop we do see.

Good news. Freezing weather will kill the parasites in the ground. Bad news. New parasites can be deposited by ongoing wildlife visitors. The possibility of Giardia being with us is always there.

Foster Dogs

We have had a couple recent situations that suggest we should review the adding a dog process, and in particular, including a foster dog.

Adding a foster dog to your existing SWCDP Membership is easy. The process is basically the same as if you were adding a new 4-Legged member to your household. You must present current vaccination records and photo of the dog – but because it is a “foster” dog, you should contact Joan directly to let her know the “foster” status. Since you have already paid the base fee for your season membership, you will pay $10 for the additional dog fee. Although a foster parent does not technically own the foster dog – as it relates to using SWCDP facilities – such foster parent will be considered the “owner” as it relates to responsibility of the foster dog while on the dog park grounds.

When the foster dog leaves your care, you may coordinate with SWCDP to apply the “foster tag” to your next foster dog, if there is one; just repeat the process. There are no refunds for the foster dog – and the tag may not be transferred to another household. It is understood that the $10 “foster dog” fee is for an uncertain time period within the SWCDP season. Consider it a placeholder, if you will…so that those who choose to be an ongoing foster home may use the foster dog tag when a new foster dog temporarily moves into the household.

ALL dogs visiting the dog park must have registered properly and wear the SWCDP dog tag on their collar. There is an honor system in place and we trust our members to do the right thing.

NEVER bring a dog into the dog park that has not been approved through the SWCDP registration process. This applies to adding a new member to your family or serving as a foster home. No dog – regardless of origin or ownership – may be on the SWCDP grounds without proper SWCDP vetting and membership approval.

Qualifying Statement
If a new member joins the dog park specifically to exercise and socialize their foster dog – the base fee will be required. There is ALWAYS a base fee for the first dog, whether it is the members own dog or foster dog. Then we offer the household the courtesy of $10 for additional dog (s); with limits.

Safety & Security Review

SWCDP’s membership management and security features include a two-part check list. Members must understand the importance of the two-level security – and we need everyone to help us monitor the dog park for breach of process on a daily basis in order for this to work to the fullest extent.

First, each dog must wear a current season SWCDP tag on the dog’s collar. The DOG TAG signifies that the vaccine records are current and have been verified and we have a photo of the dog on file.

Second, the primary human bringing the dog into the dog park must have a FOB for entry. The FOB signifies that the adult bringing the dog into the dog park has read and agreed with all SWCDP rules and has signed the St Louis City required waiver. When the FOB is used, it is logged into our security system; the daily gate entry log shows who has accessed the dog park and time of entry.

Please take turns coming through the gate – one household at a time – and never allow anyone in using your FOB. Remember . . .

** No Tag, No Admittance, No Exception **

Qualifying Statement
As always, SWCDP is a “use at your own risk” entity. Everything described above regarding membership processing, security, etc., is the outline for our management principals. However – it must be recognized at all times that Southwest City Dog Park is managed by its members – ALL volunteers – and we have no management on site on a daily basis. This means YOU, the members, must assist, as best you can in helping us ensure that the rules are followed and process respected. We cannot fully guarantee that trespassers and non-member dogs will not from time to time be on the SWCDP grounds. It is up to all of us to monitor this.

Poop Bags Needed

Our bag bin in entry area is almost empty – we need more used grocery bags to be used for poop pick up. Please do not bring oversized or tiny bags – they do not work for our system. We want the typical grocery store size plastic bag.

Also – we noticed the bag holders are getting emptied and not always refilled. While you are standing around watching your dog play – it’s a great time to be stuffing some of the bag holders. Simply pick up a supply from the bag bin when you enter the dog park and disperse where needed. All bag holders have been upgraded – and we have an abundance of holders to make it easy for our members to quickly grab a bag when their dog poops. But, if holders are empty – it defeats the point of having them strategically placed.

Amenity Update

Straw
Does anyone know of a vendor where we can a decent discount on straw bales – since we order a large volume of straw and pay for delivery as well – we really need to find a better source. ???

Flagstone
We added larger flagstone at Water Station 1 to the existing stones which were donated by Sara & Adam (Koda) at the beginning of the season – thanks all. The flagstones will prep the area for water bucket filling during the cold weather – giving the dogs and humans flat areas to stand on as opposed to direct gravel.

Table
Delivery for new table for Alternate Dog Park was refused last week – they sent us an ugly purple table in error. So, now, after shopping for two years and waiting over 3 months for production/delivery – we have to wait again for the manufacturer to process the correct order. Hoping we have it before end of season but doubt before year end.

Umbrellas
We plan to store the donated table umbrellas for the winter as we wait for the table. Thanks, Deb L (Sunny) and Kay J (Gus, Cinnamon) and the other unidentified member who all donated crank-style umbrellas. Eager to enjoy them!

 

Fall Celebration and Halloween Contest

Watch for upcoming event flyers – mark your calendars for Nov 2 now!

 

VOLUNTEERS Needed for Halloween Event

The Halloween event is multi-faceted and has so much activity packed into five hours – that it is our greatest volunteer need of the year. We simply cannot produce this event without a solid volunteer base.

Please volunteer for a two hour volunteer slot. There will still be plenty of time to enjoy the party with your family and 2-Leggeds either before or after your work session. Or, bring an adult with you to watch your pooch while you volunteer. Check out the volunteer link to review the types of tasks and give us as many time slots as you are available – and you will be assigned your 2 hour slot when we create the Master Volunteer Schedule.

Volunteer Sign Up – now open
We only have 3 people signed up – come on folks, help us out.  Click Here to Sign Up

DONATIONS Needed for Halloween Event

We had a great response last week – thanks to those who have offered a variety of donations – we are firming up details on several donations now – more details forthcoming.

We still need a few gifts, especially a sponsor for our Cupcake Contest, as well as general prizes. Please contact us right away if you or anyone you know might be in a position to either sponsor one of the contests or provide general prizes.

Attendance Prize (s) 
    • First Place (Retail Value: $50-100)
    • All other drawings may be within a wide retail value range ($10-50)
*Dog Costume Contest (Range: $85-175) 
    • First Place (Retail Value: $50-100)
    • Second Place (Retail Value: $25-50)
    • Third Place (Retail Value: $10-25)

*Biggies will sponsor the costume contest again this year

*Human Cupcake Contest (Range: $85-175)
    • First Place (Retail Value: $50-100)
    • Second Place (Retail Value: $25-50)
    • Third Place (Retail Value: $10-25)

*If possible, we prefer one entity to supply all three gifts for Costume contest winners and one entity to supply all three gifts for Cupcake contest winners – so they will be the “sponsor” for those contests.

Suggested Gifts: specific items or gift certificates for goods and services – appeal to the broadest membership, such as dog supplies and services, gas cards, restaurants, wine or specialty shops, home improvement stores, sports or other entertainment events, etc – or even a SWCDP membership for next year.

And, variety of small giveaways ($1-25)…sometimes we use a bunch of small items for a Swag Bag to give as thanks to key volunteers or to add to our Prize Box for the Peanut Butter Licking Contest winners (ongoing)

Stay tuned, lots going on . . .

Arf, Arf

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