Fido's field of dreams

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COEUR d'ALENE - Hey, dogs of Coeur d'Alene - you ready for this? Your playground at McEuen Park is officially on.

That's right. The Kootenai County Dog Association has raised the $67,000 it will cost to give you the park of your dreams. You can thank a long list of generous supporters, including Dale Schuman at Panhandle State Bank's Trust and Wealth Division, KCDPA Chair Bob Mcdonald and community volunteers Dorothy Hatch, Robert Knetchel, Bonnie Warwick, Terry White, Jon Busath and Karen Olsen. Save an especially enthusiastic wag for the anonymous donor who contributed $35,000 to meet the fundraising goal.

"There are so many people who stepped up to make this dog park a reality," said Coeur d'Alene Parks Director Doug Eastwood. "They really recognize the value of dogs in people's lives."

The fundraising drive launched back in the fall. While the money to install the dog park is in, more will be needed for further enhancements, said Mcdonald, who will continue fundraising efforts.

"There's still opportunity to contribute," he said. "We need all the support we can get to provide for the dogs in our community."

The new dog park at McEuen will be located at the base of Tubbs Hill and measure about a half acre in size - a little smaller than Central Bark at Northshire Park and similar to the dog park at Cherry Hill.

The fenced playground will feature sections for large and small dogs and a covered canopy area. A decomposed granite surface will prevent muddy paws, a bonus for owners. And for dogs, there will be an obstacle course, water dispensers, landscape boulders, trees and a fire hydrant or two.

"This park will have it all," Eastwood said. "Dogs will be very happy."

Sit tight, furry ones. The park won't open until McEuen does and that's not expected until next November, unless of course things are ahead of schedule. In that case, the dog park could open earlier.

"The dog park is going to be a wonderful downtown location," Mcdonald said. "To have a place where dogs can get off their leashes and socialize with other dogs and where owners can socialize, too, is what it's all about. It'll be a nice recreational opportunity for best friends of all kinds."

Want to contribute?

Buy a brass bone to be installed on dog park benches. Bones are $30 and the money raised will go toward upkeep at the park. For information, contact the city Parks Department at (208) 769-2252.

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