LAKE IN THE HILLS – There was a four-legged frenzy Saturday afternoon when dogs and their owners gathered at the Lake in the Hills Bark Park for the village’s first Bark in the Park party.
The sunny afternoon was the perfect backdrop for pets and owners to socialize with one another in the enclosed 10-acre park on Haligus Road. Yearly membership is required for use of the Bark Park, which features large playing areas, an obstacle course and a separate adjustment area for dogs new to socializing in large, open areas.
The free event included a farthest-catch contest, dog rally, music and visits from local vendors.
LITH resident Jessica Harper is a member of the Bark Park and received an email about the event. Harper brought her Brittany spaniel, Murphy, and her puggle, Guinness.
“This is great way for them to release some energy and become familiar with other dogs,” said Harper. “Everyone I know has dogs, and having a nice park like this to go to is great.”
The purpose of the LITH Parks Department is to offer events to bring the community together with their families and pets are part of the family, said Andrew Gemmell, superintendent of recreation for the department. Gemmell said he is looking forward to the Water and Wags event this summer, where dogs can play in the sprinklers and the baby pools set up for the event.
“It’s a beautiful park and we want to show it off,” said Gemmell. “This is a great reason for people to come out and play with their dogs and just have fun.”
Owners left the event with happy, tired pups as well as information and freebies from local pet industry vendors.
LITH resident Nicole Kotelman recently applied for membership to the Bark Park and brought her Australian shepherds, Bella and Mizzou, out to enjoy the park.
“Our dogs need to be able to get out and run,” said Kotelman. “We live in a townhome and don’t really have a yard. This a great place for them to get out so they’re not cooped up inside.”
Annual memberships cost $40 for LITH residents and $60 for nonresidents. For information on the park and for registration forms, visit www.lith.org.