City Dogs Get New Leash on Life at Riverside Bark in New Brunswick

Share Page

City Dogs Get New Leash on Life at Riverside Bark in New Brunswick

Oodles and Oodles of Poodles and Other Pooches Attend Park's Grand Opening in Boyd Park

Cody may be a city dog through and through, but he knew just what to do when the gate was unlatched during the grand opening of the city’s first off-the-leash dog park on Sunday, May 21.

Cody, part-golden retriever, part-Irish wolfhound, took one look at the expanse of lush, green grass and took off running like a country dog who has been raised in the wide open spaces. He zigged that way, zagged that way, and seemed intent on traversing each inch of space – sometimes all in one frenzied moment.

Spirited spaniels, frisky French bulldogs, and other playful pooches were just as excited to have this space to run, jump and roll around.

Oodles and oodles of poodles – and maybe a few inevitable puddles – marked the opening of Riverside Bark at Boyd Park.

The opening celebration was made complete with Mexican and Italian delights from Mozzarella on Jersey Avenue, not to mention music and giveaways.

Mayor Jim Cahill, who on Sunday cut the leash (not a ribbon, in this case), pointed out that Riverside Bark took the combined efforts of several city agencies and departments, including the Parks and Gardens Commission and the Parks Department under Superintendent Salvatore Salsa. State Theatre New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Cultural Center, and the Middlesex County Arts Institute also made contributions, Cahill said.

Riverside Bark’s grand opening brought people from various parts of New Brunswick. Some said they walked to the park – it’s about a 20-minute walk from City Center, for instance. Others drove and discovered there are a couple of parking lots inside Boyd Park.

They are people like David Piato, who made the trip from his home near the city’s border with North Brunswick so Cody could try out the new park.

“He likes to play chase, but he doesn’t like to be touched,” Piato said. “So, as soon as a dog gets physical, he comes running over to us.”

The grand opening of Riverside Bark also brought people from other towns.

“I like it,” said Milltown’s Gina Fiorillo, who brought Raina to the park’s grand opening. “I think we will use the park. It’s great just getting her out to run and play.”

Riverside Bark is broken into separate areas for small and large dogs.

The park comes with several not-so-small small touches.

There’s a standard-issue fire hydrant that’s been plopped down inside the smaller dogs’ pen.

In the bigger dogs’ pen, there’s a water pump that was hydrating/showering some of the dogs on Sunday. There’s also a bench on which owners can sit and relax while their pups run free.

“I’ll definitely come here again,” said Piato, who belongs to a dog owner social group. “I think we all will come back.”

Story & Photo By: Chuck O'Donnell