Recommended: Midtown Dog Park

Written by Libby Hopper - Photography by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Nestled on the corner of Cass and Canfield lies a little piece of joy. Enter if you dare: you'll run the risk of being muddied, licked, jostled and jumped on — but usually you'll leave with a smile on your face. So it goes at the Midtown Dog Park.

I began regularly visiting the dog park when I adopted my dog, Tucker. It’s his favorite place in the city, made evident by his unadulterated excitement the closer we get in proximity of the park.

You can see any number of dog activities at the dog park, from running laps, tug of war, a good old fashioned game of fetch, wrestling matches, and, of course, the obligatory butt-sniff. I always have the feeling that I’m surrounded by a group of toddlers — they play, they fight, and they need constant supervision to keep the peace.

Being among a group of happy dogs feels quite liberating. You don’t have to work while you’re in the dog park (in fact, it’s pretty difficult to accomplish anything while you’re in there) and you don’t need to look or dress a certain way (if you do, you run the risk of getting a muddy paw print on your clothes).  All you need to do is watch and experience the pure joy of furry creatures at play. 

Not only do you get to meet all types of dogs at the dog park, you get to meet people as well. Although from all walks of life, everyone is united under a common bond not usually celebrated anywhere else. You may only ever know someone by their dog’s name (totally normal here), but it’s a great place to make friends or even just have a casual conversation with a stranger — a much less common occurrence in another scenario. The idle time spent together by the humans at the dog park creates a relaxed and lighthearted sense of community.

If you don’t own a dog, don’t let it stop you from experiencing this joy for yourself! If you find yourself in the Corridor lunching on Motor City Pizza or doing some shopping at City Bird, take a stroll to the corner and peek over the dog park fence – you’ll be sure to see an entertaining show.

Libby Hopper is a local jeweler based in a historic neighborhood in Northwest Detroit whose handcrafted pieces can be found at Goldeluxe.

Alex Trajkovski