Park is new beginning for dogs and their owners

Dogs are social beings and, like humans, enjoy spending time with friends.

On March 16, Maui’s first official off-leash dog park was dedicated, blessed and opened with the untying of the leashes.

This event was full of excitement, smiles and laughter.

A place where dogs proved to the enthusiastic crowd how much they enjoy spending time with their own species – freely.

Each dog entered the first gate entry and was unleashed. They were then released into their respective area – either into the large dog or small dog field. Each dog immediately displayed, without premeditation, an impulsive dash to what they do best: run. Each ran with the wind, leaving their master in the dust.

A release, a freeing, a need to be let loose. Dogs of all descriptions and attitudes zoomed around off-leash to his or her heart’s content. This long-awaited desire to run freely and not be led by a leash is a natural instinct.

Owners never shouted at their dogs: “Stop!” “Stay!” or “No!”

Instead, there were outbursts of relieving expressions: “Wow, this feels so good!” “Isn’t this beautiful?” “Love this!” Yes, owners also experienced a release, a freeing, a need to let go.

As each dog did their run, they freely investigated new smells, wrestled with dog buddies and continued to do so until exhausted and ready for a long snooze.

Keopuolani Dog Park is a new beginning for Maui’s dogs, and a strength for people to bond with other dog lovers.

JudithCatherine Lam