Beneful’s Dog Park Challenge

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Beneful for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve always had a theory that you should never buy a piano or a dog. If you put it out there that you’re looking for a piano or dog, eventually someone will give you one.

That worked for our family with the piano. I mentioned on Facebook that we were looking for a piano and a few weeks later a friend told me that her sister had moved into a new house and wanted to get rid of the piano that was already there. Done.

The dog didn’t quite work like that. No one offered us a dog, which is probably for the best. So we started the process of looking for one online. One day we went out to a fair where there would be a variety of rescue organizations with dogs available for adoption. We thought we were just looking, just wanting to get a better idea of what was available.

We came home with a mixed breed (beagle, spaniel and something small) rescue dog of uncertain age named Sammy.

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We extended his name to Sammy Segal Beagle Block and drove off into the sunset.

Not a lot was known about Sammy. He was skinny, quiet, house broken, and calm.  He had been living in a high kill shelter in Indiana before being sent to a foster organization in Illinois and then finding us. He was very skittish around other dogs. Sometimes over dinner our family would make up stories about what Sammy’s life had been like before he came to us. Almost all of the stories involved Sammy being picked on by a bigger dog. We decided that’s what had caused the skittish behavior.

Sammy had the loving, cuddling side of being a family dog down from day one, the playing side has taken a little longer.

As Sammy became used to us and to the idea that he had a permanent home, he started to fatten up a bit and lose some of his shyness. Although he still preferred people to animals, he started being willing to greet some of the older and calmer dogs on the block. He was just coming into his own and even beginning to tolerate the pug puppy down the block when we went to Bozeman, Montana for a summer.

Bozeman is dog central, I don’t think you’re actually allowed to live there without a dog. Sammy, a totally normal size dog back home in Oak Park, Illinois was a teeny dog under the Big Sky. Sammy stayed loving to us and other humans, but became very nervous around the free-wheeling big dogs of the wild wild west.

When we returned to Oak Park we were determined to help Sammy socialize a little more with other dogs. Luckily in Oak Park we have a dog park.

Dog parks are a great way to help dogs socialize and learn to get along with other dogs. Dog parks can also be a great resource for newer dog owners like myself. I grew up with a miniature dachshund that thought she was a cat (we had two cats as well, one of whom was bigger than the dog). Having a dog that is actually a dog is new to me.

Dogs bring joy to our lives and dog parks are just one of the many ways of making sure you stay connected with your dog.

Celebrating the joy that dogs and people can experience together is part of Benefuls mission and that’s why they’re supporting dog park construction and improvement across the country. Since 2010 they’ve helped over a dozen communities build or improve their dog park, and in 2016 they’ll support at least a dozen more dog parks.

As part of their dog park initiative, Beneful is working with GoFundMe to help communities fundraise for their dog parks. The Beneful Dream Dog Park Project has some great ideas for anyone interested in setting up fundraising for their town’s dog park.

Giveaway!

To help celebrate, Beneful is giving away this great dog park pack!

Because Sammy is still a little play deficient, he couldn’t quite handle the squeaky ball, so he gave that to his doggy friend next door.

To enter to win, please leave a comment below telling us what you love about your dog!

Does your town have a dog park? How often do you visit it?

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