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Woof woof hooray: Ucluelet Dog Park gets a makeover

It was all hands on the doggie deck for this community project
Happy dogs and their humans hang out at the refreshed off-leash dog park up Pacific Crescent. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Ucluelet’s dog park at Tugwell Fields has been transformed.

The makeover project includes fresh brown and sky blue paint paint on the dugouts, fresh black paint on the chain link fence, a new picnic table, floral planters, bark worthy flags and a custom mural. It all came to fruition thanks to the help of many volunteering hands and donations from several local businesses.

“Dogs are getting to stay longer and more often because it’s nicer. Everything felt grotty before,” said local dog owner Deb or ‘Bubba’s mom’.

New-to-town dog owner Suzanne initiated the project, which kicked off in June.

“The first step was power washing, sanding, priming and painting,” said Suzanne or ‘Riley’s mom’. “Thanks to all the dog park people and dogs for being patient. Sorry about the paint on the dog fur!”

“Our dog park is super important,” she went on to note. “It’s a resource for the community. It’s free. It’s a social hub. And it’s a safe place for them to play. That’s so important. They need it.”

Bruce Faith a.k.a. ‘Rex’s dad’ took on the responsibility of project manager.

“It came in on time and under budget,” said Faith.

Angie provided her green thumb. (R.I.P. Shaggy).

Thank you’s go out to: Laurie Gehrke and Linda VanHoutte at the Ucluelet Co-op, Ken Griffin and Chris Woodword at Windsor Plywood, Shaun Mills and his crew at On the Edge Roofing, Tony Konefall at the West Coast Landfill, Keith and Sandy Johnson at Pioneer Boatworks, Wanda McAvoy and the parks and recreation crew, and Norm Sigmund for all of his dedication to the project.

Professional dog portrait artist Susan Wright painted the mural. She said it took her approximately 25-hours from start to finish. The mural features a grouping of local canine at the beach alongside the saying: ‘Where dogs can be dogs…’

“It honours the parents of the dogs who did so much work on the park. The dog park is so nice for the community to have. If you’re feeling down or lonely, you can come and hang out,” said Wright or ‘Selkie’s mom’.

Phase two of the dog park project, according to Faith, involves building a dog ramp and they are on the hunt for a decent size culvert that dogs can run through. A memorial at the back of one of the dugouts is also on the list.