Release the leash

FIDO Dog Park opens Saturday
By: Crystal Vernazza, The Telegraph
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Dogs and dog owners of Folsom, get excited – the public debut of FIDO Dog Park is just days away. City leaders and members of the Folsom Independent Dog Owners (FIDO) Saturday will unveil the long-awaited canine facility. A grand-opening celebration from 8 a.m. to noon will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, pet vendors, demonstrations, dog park etiquette and more. The 1.7-acre park is located next to the existing Cummings Family Park at the corner of Creekside Drive and Oak Parkway. The puppy-play place features separate areas for large and small dogs. Each area includes a gated entrance, a drinking fountain, shade area, poop bags, and a dog wash area. The park is the first of its kind in Folsom. Nearly 10 years and $200,000 after the idea was first proposed, Folsom residents finally have a place just for their “best friends.” “The first efforts to get a dog park started in 1998. The FIDO group has been working on this since 2000,” said Jim Simpson, City of Folsom park planning manager. “It’s taken a lot of work. Without some key volunteers within FIDO and the support of the City and Rotary, I wouldn’t have been able to hold all this together to get us where we’re going to be Saturday,” said Beth Marshall, FIDO Co-President. The project has been a real collaboration between FIDO and the City of Folsom. Earlier this year, members of FIDO feared the project would be delayed even further because of budget shortfalls. “It seemed that the park would be at a standstill for awhile because all of a sudden we realized we didn’t have $16,000 worth of stuff,” said Marshall. “But we worked with the city, the city has been so generous. We went half-and-half.” Marshall is co-president of the non-profit organization along with her husband, Matt Bogerman. She runs a pet-sitting business in town. She says they can’t wait to take their own Boston Terrier, Molly, to the new park where she can play and socialize with other dogs. “She was the inspiration as to why I started pet-sitting in the first place. I looked at her like my daughter, because I’ll never be able to have children,” said Marshall, who overcame cancer in recent years. She hopes the new dog park will make for “happier pets” and help owners realize the true potential of their dogs. “Keeping your dog cooped up in your apartment, you don’t know what your dog’s capable of until you get the dog out in an open field and you never know, your dog could be an agility champion,” Marshall said. The park will operate on metered access from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. Twenty-five people and their pets will be allowed in for fifteen minutes at a time, to give everyone a chance to use the facilities. Owners need to make sure their dogs are licensed, as Animal Control will be checking each dog’s tags. Also happening this week, “FIDO Night” at the Thursday Night Market on Sutter Street. Contests and a fashion show will take place 7:30-8:15 p.m. Dog owners and their pets are invited to participate in Bobbing for Bones, Best Smile, and Owner/Pet Lookalike Contests.