We have a new dog park in Pleasanton, and Cubby's is its name.
After perusing more than 300 names suggested in the city's dog park naming contest, the City Council last Tuesday chose "Cubby's Dog Park" as the winning entry. The name honors Cubby, the city's first K-9 dog engaged for duty by the Pleasanton Police Department. Cubby will be recognized on a plaque and sign posted at the $300,000 park when it opens next month at Lagoon Road and Bernal Avenue.
Officially known as the Bernal Property Off-Leash Dog Park project, it's been in the works since the city acquired the 138 acres that are now known as the Bernal Community Park.
At the time, dog owners lobbied the council to include a second dog park on the land to add to the woefully under-sized and over-used narrow dog park strip at the far end of Muirwood Park. But either by intent or overlooked, when a previous council sent the Bernal Park plans to voters for approval, a dog park was not included.
Fast-forward to a number of subsequent council meetings when a newly elected council got the message and asked Susan Andrade-Wax, director of community services, and the Parks and Recreation Commission to find a place for a new dog park. Their work, now under construction, will be the fenced-in park on a 1.5-acre site at the staging area of the Marilyn Murphy Kane Trail with separate runs and toys for large and small dogs.
Both areas will have drinking fountains, shade structures, seating, trees with protective barriers, trash receptacles and dog waste stations. The large dog area will include dog play equipment, including a seesaw, hoops and a jumping stand.
Naming the park was almost as exasperating for the naming contest screening committee as it has been for the owners of 26,800 licensed dogs in Pleasanton (and who knows how many more there are without licenses) over the years.
Among the committee's top favorites were Amador-Bernal Dog Park, Bark Park, Happy Trails, Paws to Play, Pooch Paradise and Pup-Town Life. There were many others that didn't make the final cut, including Bark Alley, Barking Lot, Bernal Buddies, Pooches Playland, Mutt Manor, Murphy's Tails, Canine Campus and Happy Hounds Hangout.
When opened, Pleasanton's new dog park will measure up to some of the better-known canine parks in the country, including Houston's Millie dog park, named for Millie Bush, the English Springer Spaniel who shared the White House with George and Barbara Bush. We'll still be a bit shy of Richmond's Point Isabel Dog Park, a 23-acre off-leash park that even has a gourmet cafe, appropriately named "Sit and Stay."