Watch out Westminster, Here Comes Canterbury Court!

Watch out Westminster, Here Comes Canterbury Court!

About ten years ago, Randy Wilson initiated the establishment of Canterbury Court’s dog park. It was a cozy, tranquil spot that many residents and their canine companions have enjoyed over the years. Though Randy has passed on, his idea for a special place for residents and their dogs lives on and recently has taken on new life.

The park has been named in Randy’s honor and has grown from 800 to 3200 square feet, plus has seen the addition of a canine agility course. A fun celebration of its reopening happened earlier this month. Noradel was there and her kids (and their dogs!) came from Florida for the dedication.   

Tammy Clark, Gardner Specialist for Canterbury Court, helped coordinate the park’s reopening event. As the subcommittee made their plans, Tammy chose the target date of the party to coordinate with the Westminster Dog Show. “I thought that would be a great way to have a theme and make it fun,” she says. Was it ever! Canterbury Court had its first-ever dog show: thirty-four dogs and 115 people showed up to see it!

All of the dogs “entered” the show by having their resident owners fill out funny forms that were used in their introductions. Just like at Westminster, they were grouped by breeds and brought onto the red carpet where some fun facts about them were shared. Those in attendance learned things such as what the dogs’ favorite TV shows are and what they would say if they could speak human. A potential doggie love match was surprisingly revealed when Marty’s “I have a crush on Tassie.” was answered in kind with Tassie’s “I want to get Marty’s number!”

An agility trainer was present to give the dogs a tour and do demonstrations with her own dog on the new equipment. In addition, all of the dogs received certificates with coveted titles such as “Best Squirrel Chaser” and “Most Manicured.” “We had no idea if all of the dogs would get along, but 34 dogs got along great!” says Tammy.

Seeing dogs of all shapes and sizes play together has been delightful. Tammy notes that they often play together more out of disposition than size. She recently spotted resident dogs Mischief, Flash, and Sammy all playing together despite their very different statures. Others are noting this as well. Tammy received heartwarming communications from one resident detailing how fun it was to watch the dogs hit it off with one another in the new space, with the little ones running after the bigger ones, and the older dogs finding ways to be a part of the fray, too. Even if you don’t have a dog, you can enjoy watching them from strategic seating areas within the park.

Tammy already has her sights set on making the dog park the center of an annual event. One thought she has for next year’s theme? A Canterbury Court Dog Talent Show, where the dogs could show off their tricks. “It’s such a good addition. The dogs are socializing. The people are socializing!” says Tammy. “I think that the socialization of the dogs and their humans (aka our residents) is exactly what Canterbury’s about.”