Last week's Nor'easter dumped almost 2 feet of snow over the New York Metropolitan area. Remaining indoors for the next several days was not a viable option for our 1 year old, Greyhound-Shepherd mix. Unfazed by the huge drifts of snow and freezing temperatures, Chloe still wanted and needed to run. Difficult driving conditions, notwithstanding, off to the local dog park we went. Although, we were the only ones to brave the elements that afternoon, Chloe, nevertheless, ran excitedly around the perimeter of the yard for the better part of an hour. Benches that were covered in snow and practically hidden from view were unavailable for sitting. Somewhat less excited than Chloe, we trailed our dog and did our best to keep from succumbing to hypothermia.
Just in the nick of time, along comes Long Island's 1st Indoor Dog Park in the hamlet of Woodmere. What a wonderful idea! In New York, where the winter weather can last a good long while, this seems to be the answer to the prayers of all dog owners everywhere. The newly opened Fido Fitness Club is a 4,000 square feet indoor facility run by co-owners and best friends, Ellen Adler and Evelyn Franklin. They each have diverse but extensive backgrounds in areas necessary to run a successful operation. Steve Parker, Manager and staff trainer, works alongside them and comes with his own impressive experience and certifications in dog care and training.
Right next door, they also operate a business that offers daycare, training, cageless boarding and dog grooming. It's conveniently located by the railroad station and may be of interest to commuters who are headed to work and would rather not leave their pets at home, unattended all day. Check out their website for all information regarding days and hours of operation, services offered and price charts:
The place is cheerfully decorated and boasts a foam floor which is designed to be easy on the paws while running and jumping. It is kept very clean and accidents are whisked away immediately after they happen. Fresh, clear drinking water is always available. Dog owners are encouraged to interact with their pets and fellow owners. Proof of up-to-date vaccinations and a behavior review is necessary for membership. Overly rambunctious doggie behavior is attended to immediately with, perhaps, a few minutes of rest required in the cordoned-off, time-out location. A camera is set up to provide live video stream so you can also keep a remote eye on your furry companion.
They are still developing the calendar for many not-to-be-missed future events such as dog agility and rally obedience classes; popular canine sporting events. A particular favorite of mine could conceivably be called "Owners without Partners" since it will be scheduled for Friday evenings and aimed at the singles demographic. Owner, Evelyn, envisions an evening of wine and a little something to eat as singles mingle with others who share a common passion.
By the time we arrived home, after 1 1/2 hours of non-stop running and all around good, clean fun with her newfound Fido friends, it was a toss-up as to who was most exhausted; Chloe or her owners? Because Chloe has no responsibilities, shortly after reclaiming her favorite doggie bed, she fell fast asleep and remained a pleasure to deal with for the remainder of the day. It's a dog's life!