By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE — Your dog won’t be limited to fetch it or tug-of-war at Selinsgrove’s dog park this fall if the borough has anything to say about it.
About two weeks ago, organizers of the two-year-old park added what parks and recreation board member Vincent Stoops called an agility course to the penned-in area, featuring jump barriers, weave poles, balance and wait tables, tubes and an “A” frame.
Dog owners were clamoring for more toys and equipment for their canines, Stoops said. “This is actually phase two of our plan at the dog park. Two more pieces of equipment will be going in soon, a tire jump and another wait table are going in. But we are also putting in an area for the small dogs to come and play. That way, the big dogs and small dogs don’t have to mix unless their owners want them to.”
Phase three calls for night lights to be installed, “but we’re still a long way from that happening,” Stoops said.
By 6:30 p.m. Monday, 15 dogs were running at full speed, rolling around, chasing each other and, as Selinsgrove dog-parent Carol Moore said, “socializing.”
Moore was at the park with three dogs, one of her own — Napolean — and two “grandpuppies” she was baby-sitting, a westie and an angel-white husky.
“I’m here almost every night,” she said. “It’s good for our dogs to be with other dogs. So many that come here are locked up all day while their owners are at work. They get a good workout here.”
Being at the dog park also is a good way to get to know your neighbors, Stoops added. “One of the biggest causes of dog-related incidents is that many are not easy around strangers or other dogs. This helps our dogs be at ease around other dogs, and it strengthens the idea that Selinsgrove is a pet-friendly community.”
Many of the people who use the park are not from Selinsgrove, Stoops said. “Which we think is great. Because ultimately, when they come here in the evening or on Sundays — our busiest times — they may spend some money in the downtown area.”
Meanwhile, Northumberland borough is well along with planning its own dog park at the old Jolly Hollow site, on Orange Street between Seventh and Eighth streets.
“Where we stand right now is our Borough Council still has to agree upon the rules of the dog park,” Councilman Adam Klock said.
A distribution of funds for the dog park was received from the S. Luther Savidge Charitable Trust.
“The amount received was $6,000, the estimated cost for standard fence material,” Klock said. “We are now looking at possibly upgrading to a PVC-coated metal fence, which is no maintenance and low profile in visibility and less of an eyesore to neighbors. The dog park is on our short list of things to do, but we’ll be in a race against the freezing weather to get the fence installed. Depending on how quickly the materials are procured, and cooperation of the weather, we may be calling for volunteers very soon. We’ll need assistance installing the fence posts, because that’s the most time-sensitive aspect of this project.”
The fencing can be hung during the fall or winter, but the posts must be in before freezing temperatures arrive. Klock said the borough could use donations of cement mix, a mixer, gas-powered fence post augers and wheelbarrels as well as volunteers to put the tools to use.
“Of course, cash donations will help procure materials and required signage at park entrances,” he said. “Any monetary donations or donations of time or materials should be directed to the borough office at 473-8341.