As the last rays of summer sunlight reached across the horizon, they bathed the field in that magical hue which lives only in the fleeting moment before nightfall. It was in that exact moment that the day took one last breath and sent a whisper rippling across the field… “If you build it, they will come.” As the whisper faded away into nothingness, Pat McNeely knew the moment had finally come to bring his dream to life…
Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly how it happened, but as Eko and I stood at the entrance to the Beneful Wagworld Dream Dog Park in John’s Creek my imagination got the best of me. The truth is that while Johns Creek resident Pat McNeely may not have had a Field of Dreams moment, the story of how the park came to be is just as incredible.
Beneful asked dog owners across the country, “If you had $500,000 to create the ultimate dog park, what would you do?” In addition to submitting a video that showed the creative ways they would create their dream dog park, contest entrants were asked to write a short essay explaining how the makeover of a neighborhood dog park would enhance their daily adventures with their dog. Pat McNeely and his Siberian Husky Koda dreamed big and last summer their dream came to life. Eko and I were fortunate enough to see the dream first hand.
I had two seconds to get this photo before Eko ran off to have the time of his life
Eko’s favorite sign
Hoops, bridges, tunnels, fire hydrants – the park had everything a dog could want
Pat and Koda celebrate a dream come true
The park has a ton of great design features including a fire hydrant fountain and tented areas that provide shade. The artificial turf was especially nice because it doesn’t get torn up like grass and it dries extremely quickly. But by far the best part about the park is the community it brings together. In just one visit I could tell how much the locals appreciated having such an incredible park right in their own backyard. I would also venture to guess that the Beneful Wagworld Dream Dog Park has one of the highest concentration of dogs/humans smiling on planet earth.
Eko and I lived the dream in Atlanta this week, but now it’s on to Tennessee. If you want to check out some more info about the Dream Dog Park contest, or even better, if you have a dream of your own – this is where you need to go. Dream big!