By Maggie Mae…with Ronni Diamondstein
I’m a town dog. I take a walk into the hamlet of Chappaqua daily. Once I saw my neighbor Riley get into the back of his owner’s SUV. When I asked where they were going they said they were off to Gedney Park for a run. I had been to Gedney on a leash a few times so I decided to find out more about it.
First, I spoke to Jill Shapiro the New Castle Town Clerk. She said that dogs are allowed in Gedney Park but only if they follow the rules on the Town website. Dogs can be off-leash on the trails as long as they stay in sight of their owners and obey their commands. I stayed on my leash as I walked along the paths there, because I’m so small. Because there’s no place fenced off for small dogs, I feel safest that way.
I decided to ask some of my canine friends about their visits to the park. My friend Rocky, a black Labrador Retriever, is a regular at Gedney. He and his owners follow the rules, and Rocky knows his place in the park. “I love to meet new people and dogs, but I’m so big that my overfriendliness can ruin a picnic in a playground area.”
Rocky knows that he can’t go on ball fields, but he does enjoy it when his owner unhooks his leash so he can enjoy some freedom on the trails. He says his owners love to take a break from their busy days to walk the nature trails at Gedney. Rocky and his owners have made many new friends at the park and they feel lucky to have a place where they can “stop and smell the roses.”
My friend Harry, the Wire Hair Terrier, also goes to Gedney, where he runs the trails to his heart’s content. He told me that his owner uses the “doggy bags” which are a must for park etiquette. “At Gedney, dogs are friendly and get along with other dogs and people,” says my neighbor Belle, an eight-year-old Chocolate Lab. Belle, who is very mature, likes to do her own thing, so when she encounters other dogs she just sniffs “hello” and moves on exploring the trails.
While a lot of dogs I know head over to Gedney, some like go to the nearby Rockefeller State Park Preserve where dogs must stay on a leash when they walk along the trails and roads. There are other dog parks in Westchester County, but I haven’t visited them. The best advice on visiting a new dog park comes from the ASPCA, which suggests that owners check out the rules before they bring their dogs.
Dogs that go should be vaccinated and should get along well with other dogs. My friend Stella, a miniature dachshund, has had a few unpleasant experiences at dog parks. She recommends that small dogs only go to dog parks that have an area for dogs their size like the White Plains Bark Park or the Peekskill Dog Park.
Gedney Park is a great place for us canines and our owners. It’s a beautiful day today, so I’m on my way for a new adventure!
Contact Maggie Mae Pup Reporter at email@example.com
Maggie Mae lives in Chappaqua with her adoring owner Ronni Diamondstein, who, when she isn’t walking Maggie is a freelance writer, PR consultant, award-winning photographer and a School Library Media Specialist and teacher who has worked in the US and abroad.