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Dog park already drawing pups

February 4, 2019 GMT

The pent-up demand for a dog park in Floyd County was on full display Sunday as pet owners migrated toward the fencing installed on the shoals side of Ridge Ferry Park.

It was unanimously pronounced a success, although amenities have yet to be installed and the public facility is not technically open.

“It isn’t?” laughed Hayley Sirmons, who came with Aaron Moore and their dogs Dobbie, a 13-year-old rat terrier, and 4-year-old Eska, a border collie mix.

No one knows who did the unofficial honors, but the three pens were already in use when Kayla Caldwell and Jesse Nicholson arrived with Vader, a black Lab puppy, and Leia, a heeler.

“I was driving by and saw a man with his dog, so we came out too,” Kayla said. “There were dogs here when we got here so we went to another area until they could check each other out. They liked each other.”

Even elderly Dobbie interacted with new friends as she hobbled around sniffing under the dead leaves, until the tiny terrier got a little tired of the young dogs gamboling around her and had to be picked up.

Marcel and Denise DaSilva said they were pleasantly surprised to see the park when they drove in from Centre, Alabama. They often bring their pound-rescue Murray to Ridge Ferry Park, and said having a centralized gathering place is even better.

“He’s in training to be a therapy dog at Mountain