Running room for puppy paws

·3 min read

Sep. 22—The thing about small dogs is that they seem to appear as puppies well into adulthood. Many, if not most, remain frisky and needing of some running room into old age. They need some space to play out their zoomies and they need a place to socialize with other small dogs.

Several years ago, Polson put in a dog park at the big bend that runs into Back Road and many dog owners have enjoyed taking their dogs to this park. The park is wonderful for larger dogs that like to roam on a hillside or take a swim in the river. It even has a dock for dogs who love to leap into the water after a frisbee or other toy, but for small dogs this park is not ideal. Many are intimidated by large dogs, or can't maneuver in the taller grass, or are scared of the terrain and water. With your help, a smaller run and play area for dogs up to 20 pounds could become a reality in the not too distant future.

The effort to get a small dog park for Polson has been championed by lifetime Polson resident Wanda Watne Heintz. She has been working on this project for three years. It was delayed by Covid, but with the help of Pat Mowen from the Polson city parks department the necessary permissions were obtained early last summer and the location was mapped out. The park for small dogs will reside immediately next to the Southern fence of the Travis Dolphin park.

The current challenge is the funding and manpower to fence the 20x80 area. The goals are to raise $10,000 for the fencing, gates, signage, trash cans, and other material needs and to recruit volunteers to pitch in to build the fence. Should there be monies left over, those monies will go toward the ongoing cost of bags for feces and toward other maintenance needs.

This call is for members and businesses of the Polson Community in particular, and also for surrounding and nearby residents and businesses to come together to create this park for our small-sized, furry canine friends. The City of Polson will be accepting donations of any amount.

Donations can be delivered in person or sent to the Polson City Hall in care of the Parks Department at 106 1st St. East, Polson, MT, 59860. People should earmark the donations for the "small dog park" and remember to report it as a tax deduction.

Also, if you can think of a clever name for the park, people are invited to submit your proposed name simply by writing it on a piece of paper and including it with their check.

Donors who contribute $500 or more will be recognized by having their names included on a sign placed at the park. Remember that donations of any amount will help reach the goal. To donate your time to help build the park, please contact Wanda Heintz or the City of Polson Parks Department.

The park will be erected as soon as enough funding has been acquired—hopefully before the snow flies in the valley or we get a hard freeze.