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September 29, 2014

Chicago’s Best Dog Park (That isn’t in Chicago)

Life for an active dog in Chicago is pretty good. There’s 20+ dog parks, an awesome dog beach and plenty of dog-friendly green spaces. That said, there are just some things you can’t get in a city, and a massive dog-park with acres and acres to roam is one of those things.
Life for an active dog in Chicago is pretty good. There’s 20+ dog parks, an awesome dog beach and plenty of dog-friendly green spaces. That said, there are just some things you can’t get in a city, and a massive dog-park with acres and acres to roam is one of those things. Luckily Chicago pups need only travel about thirty minutes outside of the city to find Prairie Wolf, a 44 acre dog preserve. Emily and I took Eko to Prairie Wolf this past winter, but since we’ve had some balmy fall weather it seemed like the perfect weekend for another visit. We brought my brother and his pup along for the adventure as well.

The first thing we saw inside Prairie WOLF Park was this friendly…direwolf? Dog?  Bear? (Side note: anyone have a guess as to what kind of dog this is? He was larger than Eko and very unique looking)

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, adventure, chicago, marking our territory, wolf prairie, blog

The second thing we saw was the dogs take off in flight. Penny was in heaven

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, adventure, chicago, marking our territory, wolf prairie, blog

Dutch was all smiles

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, adventure, chicago, marking our territory, wolf prairie, blog

As we walked the path the pups would dive into the brush looking for mischief 

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, adventure, chicago, marking our territory, wolf prairie, blog

This was my view of Penny for most of the afternoon. Then I’d lose sight of her for a second, hear a rustle and…

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, adventure, chicago, marking our territory, wolf prairie, blog

Out she’d burst from the thicket

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, adventure, chicago, marking our territory, wolf prairie, blog

With Eko hot on her heels!

At one point, the trail curves out of sight. When I turned the bend just moments after the dogs had…

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, adventure, chicago, marking our territory, wolf prairie, blog

They were going absolutely crazy in this mud pit!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, adventure, chicago, marking our territory, wolf prairie, blog

If scientists ever discover an exact formula for happiness, I’m positive a large component of it will be mud

But not to fear, Prairie Wolf also has a large lake where the pups washed off.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, adventure, chicago, marking our territory, wolf prairie, blog

Penny and a little Yellow Lab had fun playing Clash of the Puppy Titans

Of course, after all my efforts this summer to get Eko and Penny swimming they decided to just go for it on their own in the lake.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, adventure, chicago, marking our territory, wolf prairie, blog

Although it may appear Eko is smoking a stogie, that’s just a stick

So yeah, Prairie Wolf may not be in Chicago, but if you live in Chicago you absolutely must make the short trip with your dog. Come on, just look at this smile:

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, adventure, chicago, marking our territory, wolf prairie, blog

To see the pups this happy is worth every extra minute in the car, and then some

After the visit we had, you can be sure we’ll be back to Prairie Wolf soon!

Comments for Chicago’s Best Dog Park (That isn’t in Chicago)

  1. Victoria says:

    Guessing it was bathtime after a long, long nap by all the pups!

  2. Emmadog says:

    After that mud pit, I was a bit concerned about the ride back, but since they could wash off in the lake, no problem. How fun! Bailie does the same thing Penny does at our big park. I used to do that crazy stuff too when I was younger.

  3. Kuruk says:

    That big wolfie doggie is an Alaskan Malamute like me! Wooooooooowoooooooooooo!

  4. is that one of this Czechoslovakian wolfdog or a big Malamute? How cool that you looked like me after that mud bath!

  5. Elyse says:

    The big dog might be a wolf-hybrid — part wolf, part Malamute, I’d say.

    We have tons of places where folks let their dogs run around here. I can only do it when my husband isn’t with me though — he frets. Duncan, however loves it!

  6. That really is a dog’s heaven-on-earth you have there, not to mention a beautiful walk while they romp. The beauty of the short coated Ridgebacks, is once the mud dries, it just vanishes. After playing in the deep, thick, gooey mud around the lake following a good rain, Neeka comes out black up to her elbows and her belly. Her friends, however, have sticky mud clinging to their long hair until bath time. Unfortunately, swimming in the lake doesn’t work. You have to go through the mud to get to the water. I’m smiling all the way back to the car.

  7. coastingnz says:

    wow Chicago is super dog friendly – that is great as helps with their socialisation and hence any “human/dog” aggression. I look forward to NZ realising that! The good old mud bath eh – they are like they have neon signs in dog language LOL

  8. Kyla says:

    It could be an Alaskan malamute. Here’s blogville’s resident expert on them.
    http://themisadventuresofmisaki.wordpress.com/

  9. dashlilly says:

    Oh what a wonderful day! I love, love, love when my dogs get to have a day like that. They are just the image of happiness during those times. Just like your guys that day! Happy, happy, happy!

  10. missingaspen says:

    I love seeing the pups so happy and carefree exploring a new place. As with the previous comments, I agree the mystery pup looks like an Alaskan Malamute. He looks similar to my mom’s purebred Malamute, who on a recent visit to the vet weighed in at a whopping 165lbs.

  11. Liz says:

    I suppose it could be a malamute but a neighbor of mine at one time had a dog that was part wolf. Looks close to that.

  12. Very wolf looking body but a Malmute/Husky type face so maybe a cross? It looks like everyone had a blast! Don’t think that I would have wanted to be the Yellow’s owner, I am not sure that mud came off quite as well as it did on Penny and Eko.

  13. raisingdaisy says:

    Wow I’ve seen happiness on dogs’ faces, but this is the best yet!! What a fun time! They must have been exhausted when they got home.

  14. houndstooth4 says:

    We’re downstate a bit from you near Peoria and Bloomington, but that almost looks worth taking a road trip for!

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