The dogs have explored a new walking area again! This time we went to a park in Nijmegen with a lake for them to play in:
Although I have lived in Nijmegen for ten years and an additional three years in a neighboring village, I had never been to this park before. It just never was really in the neighborhood. Even with a car it’s a twenty-minute drive from where I live now. Ironically though we don’t have walking areas more nearby. Even though we have moved out of the city. So we packed dogs in the car and drove to this new place to explore.
At first I was really disappointed. The reviews on the internet had been pretty good, so I had expected a place equally awesome to the last two places we’d visited. It could definitely not compete to those areas though.
The park was extremely ugly in my opinion. It was not wild enough to feel like true nature and not taken care of properly enough to feel like a decent city park. It was a collection of random trees, some of which had fallen down (and our last storm was at least a few weeks ago). There were nasty nettles everywhere and electricity wires were hanging above us, destroying the sense of nature completely. But the thing that was the biggest turn off, was the asphalt paved road going right through the park. It wasn’t meant for cars, but there were quite a lot of bikers driving on this road. Not safe at all.
After a few minutes, we discovered a fence with a sign that said ‘walking area for dogs’. This made sense. The unsafe road wasn’t in the official walking area (although every handler walked there with their dogs off the leash). Behind the fence it was safe for the dogs, which was a big plus. It was still ugly though and the area was actually pretty small. Within three minutes you could reach the end of the pathway and leave the area.
I decided never to go to this place again (especially since the recently discovered Puptopia is an equally long drive away). But then I noticed the one big plus in this area: the lake. The dogs could easily enter the lake from the shore, since there were no steep slopes anywhere. Rikku recently discovered she loves splashing in the water, so she I immediately went for it. She was so happy, dancing around in the water like that. It was so adorably to look at. She even got Milo infected with the splashing fever! Usually he only wants to drink when he sees water, but now he jumped in right after her and tried to frolic with Rikku. Rikku went in deeper and deeper, but made sure she could still stand. I think it won’t be long before she’ll actually swim!
It’s priceless to see the happiness on the dog’s faces. They don’t care about fallen trees or electrical wires high above them. The just want to race around and plunge in the water. So they highly approved of this place!
Sometimes it’s all about perception. And the dogs’ perception is most important in this matter, don’t you think? We might go back here after all. Unless we find a place with an equally awesome lake and a nicer scenery for us humans of course. Our search continues! If you know of any awesome walking areas anywhere in the Netherlands, or just across the border in Germany or Belgium, please let me know. I’d love to discover nice places a bit further from home as well!