The Claremont Pooch Park has become a hotspot for dog owners of all ages and backgrounds to come and enjoy.
Just east of the Claremont Village, the Pooch Park sits on South College Avenue and it consists of two fenced areas: one large and another smaller for puppies and small dogs.
In the main park, dirt pathways surround and cut through stretches of grass and sporadically placed trees.
Owners have developed a community at the Pooch Park by mingling at park benches while their dogs play.
“The people here are nicer and I live around the corner,” Jeffrey Wesson, Claremont resident, said. “The dogs get their exercise and I like to socialize.”
Wesson goes to the Claremont Pooch Park every night with his corgi-chow mix, Penny.
On that particular night he also brought his nephew’s pit bull, Lilly. While Wesson talked with other owners, Lilly playfully growled and chewed on other dogs.
“Lilly. That’s not necessary,” Wesson said. “You don’t need to be the dominant one.”
A large draw to the park is the friendliness of people and their canines.
“Every now and then there is a dog fight,” Mike Brown, a member of the University Of La Verne Board of Advisers for Business and Public Administration, said. “If their dog is too aggressive, we ask them to leave.”
Brown has frequented the Claremont Pooch Park since he and his wife got their Rhodesian Ridgeback, Selah, nine years ago.
“It’s a microcosm, you meet business people that are successful, or bums sometimes, or people that have had a few too many,” Brown said. He joked that he met his girlfriends at the dog park: one who is 78 years old and another who is 12 years old.
In partnership with the city, Friends of The Claremont Pooch Park maintain the grounds.
“The park belongs to the city but we help,” Amy Bogen, community liaison for FOCPP, said.
The FOCPP bought the benches and is currently working with Claremont to acquire lights for the park because it is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bogen said.
“It’s fun to watch the dogs interact and it’s pretty clean compared to other parks,” Jonathan Reed, dean of College of Arts and Sciences, said.
Reed has been taking his newly rescued German Shepherd, Rosie, to the Pooch Park for the past few weeks.
“We didn’t know how she would do the first time,” Reed said. “Now she’s more confident.”
Only a few issues about park maintenance have come up.
“Occasionally there’s a little leaking, but I don’t get involved in dog park drama,” Brown said.
The FOCPP meets monthly to discuss these problems, and then bring them to the attention of the city. Meetings are public and held at Alexander Hughes Community Center on the second Monday every month at 7 p.m.
Hayley Hulin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.