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Canine Country opens

Sports complex expands to include basketball courts and dog park

Posted: December 2, 2009 10:07 p.m.
Updated: December 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Olivia Vasquez, 7, of Canyon Country, plays with her dog Spike, left, and a new four-legged friend, Max, at the new Canine Country dog park which opened Wednesday at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex. The facility also opened new basketball courts during the Phase 4 ribbon cutting.

 
Bill Arens sounded more like a concerned parent than a dog owner when he scolded his poodle for playing too rough with a female bulldog.

“Don’t get involved in stuff like that,” he said, wagging his finger at the black, curly-haired dog. “You’re going to play and run; don’t get into arguments.”

Isabelle, his dog, looked up at her owner for a few seconds then ran off and started licking a small bulldog puppy.  

Arens and Isabelle were among the first to use Canine Country, a half-acre dog park in Canyon Country that opened Wednesday.  

The park is part of the latest expansion to the Santa Clarita Sports Complex. Two full-length basketball courts, covered picnic areas and more seating at the aquatic center have been added to the complex that is now about 60 acres, said city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz.

About 20 dogs waited patiently for the park to open at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

After the leashes came off, pets played while owners talked to each other — happy to have a place to socialize with other dog lovers.

Letitia Vasquez, 45, and her children Joel, 12, and Olivia, 7, brought their brown boxer, Spike, to Canine Country. They said they were excited to have a dog park close enough to walk to.

They live about 3 miles from the park and plan to bring Spike often, they said.  

Arens said Canine Country should help reduce the large crowds at Central Bark, Santa Clarita’s other fittingly named dog area in Central Park. Sometimes, Central Bark gets too crowded with dogs and their owners, Arens said.

Santa Clarita is not done adding to the sports complex. The city is hoping to build a BMX bike park and gymnasium at the complex in the future, Ortiz said.

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