DogTime’s Dream Dog Park

Hi y’all, Mushie here. You might remember me as the two-time winner of the world’s most adorable Shih Tzu contest. The contest isn’t exactly official, and the only voter is my mom…but I digress.

As soon as I heard Purina Beneful® was holding The 2013 Beneful® Dream Dog Park Contest, I knew now was the time to make my voice heard. After all, who better to tell the world what even the most persnickety dogs want in a dog park than a dog herself?

At my dog park, every pooch is created equal. Any dog — dogs on four legs, three legs, even dogs with wheelchairs — of any breed and every creed will be welcome. Whether you’re a Pit Bull or a Poodle, a Malamute, or a Maltese, a certifiable purebred or a Mutt, my dream dog park will provide the perfect place and the perfect space to have the time of your life.

The park has to be huge — I’m talking big enough for my Greyhound buddies to sprint across with ease, and wide enough so the Border Collie crew can practice running circles around the rest of us. The expanse will be dotted with tall trees to give us shade and shed plenty of sticks perfect for long games of fetch. The turf would consist of only the tastiest grass for dogs who love to munch on the green stuff — you know the type.

I also understand some more introverted dogs would rather enjoy some peace and quiet outdoors. Some dog parks are better suited for out-and-out party animals — I’m talking to you, wild young Labrador puppy who chased me in the park last week — so I’m thinking of designating a portion of my dream dog park for dogs like me who might want to chill out, an area with a kind of serene, Zen vibe. Maybe some gardens to sniff around in, a hydrant-shaped water fountain to drink from, and plenty of calm cuddle space where I can sit and enjoy the scenery with my person and fellow pooches.

The park’s playtime amenities will be nothing short of stellar. I’m envisioning a row of top-of-the-line projectile launchers, hurling a never-ending supply of red and yellow Frisbees into a blue, cloudless sky. Every tennis ball will be fresh, its neon yellow-green shell spotless, just waiting for a coating of some lucky pup’s drool.

Sometimes a dog really needs a break from napping and looking cute all day long. In my dog park, all dogs can let loose, roll in the muddiest dirt piles, lounge on the fluffiest sofas, and nuzzle into just-laundered bedspreads. For those who are so inclined, we will even install big bins spilling over with shoes just ripe for the chewing, and no one will even think to tell us “No!”

Dogs and their people always seem so…separate during mealtimes. So at my dream dog park, canines can join their humans at custom picnic tables built low and sturdy so every Fido and Fluffy can chow down next to their moms and dads. And there will be no such rule about keeping one’s paws off the table, thank you very much.

Not every good dog is lucky enough to have an owner, and to have fun with a family at their own neighborhood dog park. So at my park, we will have a special place for pet rescues to bring their adoptable dogs, a place for people to meet the pup who just might be their new best friend.

Most important, my dream dog park would be what all good dog parks should be about — making memories with the people who love me, the people who gave my heart a home.

If you have a dream dog park, enter The 2013 Beneful® Dream Dog Park Contest for your chance to help inspire a $500,000 dog park renovation for your area and win $10,000.