The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

August 22, 2008

The Marymoor Dog Park Revisited

Filed under: Dogs, Redmond — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 2:00 pm

Wait, you mean it isn't a prairie dog park?

The last time I was here dogsitting back in April, I put together a brief tour of the huge off-leash dog area over at Marymoor Park here in Redmond.  As I said when I previously wrote about the dog park, having a huge place to allow the dogs to run around unleashed makes the job a lot easier, especially when you have high-maintenance dogs like Beagles to deal with.  During the warm weather months, this place can be especially popular, although even on the dreariest of days (a couple of which seem to have shown up this week) you’ll find the diehards and their canine companions out for their morning walk in spite of the weather.

As with many other things, the dog park tends to change with the seasons, and a few months can change quite a bit out here.  To show some of these changes, I thought i’d take a few more photos  and show some of the changes that come with the season.  After the jump, a look at the dog park in late Summer.

The last time we were here, the grass in this area was relatively short, with a few patchy areas of taller grass scattered around the place.  As you can see now, the grass has grown up quite a bit and gone to seed, although there is still a distinct layer of green to be found underneath, highlighted a bit more than usual by the recent rains.

This grass is tall enough that most of it is over Imola and Minardi’s heads., giving them plenty of opportunity to “explore” the area. 

 Because of the height of the grass, the dogs have to “leap” through it in order to get around.  Looks kind of fun, actually.  Then again, I’m not a dog, and can rarely derive more than a couple of seconds of entertainment from sniffing things.

There are also some areas (such as this one, in the southeast corner of the dog area) where the grass doesn’t grow up quite as tall.  This field area is one of the more popular areas for playing fetch, although these two (Imola in particular) always tend to get transfixed on some of the holes in the ground that you find over here. 

On the walkways, you can still see some of the effects of the heavy rains from a couple of days ago.  With the more typical sprinkles and light rain we usually get, this type of thing is fairly rare.

One of the most obvious changes that happens at the dog park around this time of year is the appearance of these fences in the water.  These are put in place to protect the salmon runs that begin to go through the Sammamish River around this time of year, although it does leave some area for the swimming dogs to go into the water.


This sign explains the rationale behind these fences.  Apparently, they should come down sometime in November after the years salmon runs have finished.  Neither Imola nor Minardi are particularly inclined to do any swimming at this point, although the fact that I did actually see a beagle out in the water swimming earlier this week would seem to indicate that it is possible.

As you can see here, Imola will go right up to the edge of the water, and might even dip a paw or two in (there’s a lower ledge below where this picture was taken that allows smaller dogs to get out of the water without having to jump up onto the steps,) but I have yet to see her swim. 

 Minardi will occasionally follow Imola to the edge of the water, but usually seems content to just keep her distance. 

Near the water’s edge, a significant number of blackberry bushes can be found.  The berries here aren’t ripe yet, but blackberry picking becomes a popular activity once they do ripen.   For better or for worse, you generally don’t have to go far to find blackberry bushes around here.  In fact, if you wait long enough, the things will come to you, which usually means you can look forward to an afternoon worth of backbreaking labor getting rid of the blasted things, but at least you’ll have a delicious helping of blackberry pie to look forward to at the end, right?  Didn’t think so.

One other interesting thing I noticed was that this one tree, over by the Dog Watch bridge.  Many of the outer leaves of this particular tree seem to be covered in what I would assume to be some sort of insect egg, although my searching hasn’t been able to determine exactly what they are.  Is anyone out there familiar with these?  One way or another, I don’t know if I want to be around here when these things start hatching…

The last time I took care of Imola and Minardi, for some unexpected reason I found myself giving consideration to getting a dog of my own, although the thought just kind of went away on its own after a while.  Although these two have have actually been pretty well behaved this week, I am reminded of just how much work all this dog keeping stuff takes, especially for a high-maintenance breed like the Beagle.  Of course, you’ve probably heard the old advice that a single guy should get himself a dog if he wants to meet women, but with dogs like these, when would I actually have time to meet anyone?  Either way, I think I’ll be content to just stick with letting my parents keep the dogs and coming over to visit.  At least that way there’s less to clean up…


  1. Go for a lab! Great for attracting the women!! Break the Eastside tradition and join the south folks!! Come on Brian – you can do it!

    Comment by Aunt Valerie — August 22, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

  2. We do appreciate it Brian. We owe you big time!

    Comment by Mom — August 22, 2008 @ 8:42 pm

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