Friday, August 5, 2011

The Nose Knows - Diesel's Trip to the Dog Park

Today I had a day off from work and decided that since Diesel and I haven't been getting out for many walks lately, that I would take him to the dog park.

My friends recommended Orion Oaks Dog Park, in Orion Township.  At about 10ish or so this morning I packed some water, his portable dog dish, and grabbed his leash.  We headed north and checked into the park at around 10:15 or so.  It's a $5 fee for a daily pass to the park, annual passes are also available for $30.  Orion Oaks is an Oakland County park so if you buy the annual pass it will also grant you access to Addison Oaks, Groveland Oaks, Highland Oaks, Independence Oaks, Lyon Oaks, and Rose Oaks.  

Orion Oaks has 24 fenced in acres set up with different zones.  There is a small dog area and then an area for dogs over 25 lbs.  Diesel and I headed into zone A and instantly met a 7 month old German Shepherd puppy.  We wandered off in search of the trails mentioned on the website.  More than anything Diesel was more preoccupied with sniffing everything he came across.  By the time we had reached the back of the park I am pretty sure he had marked every tree and waste can.  Benches are located in many of the more shaded areas, and waste cans with provided baggies can be found almost anywhere.  

Orion Oaks Dog Park
At the back of the park you can pass through the double gates and enter the Dog Dock area.  A slight ways down the trail and you come to a decently long dock that stretches into the lake.  The water is deep enough that the dogs can jump off the end.  Ramps on either side allow the dogs to climb back on to the dock with ease.  There is no swimming allowed for humans, but you can get pretty wet sitting on the end with your dog and the others that come up and shake off.  Diesel didn't go swimming today, as I did not bring a floaty for him to chase.  I wasn't sure how crowded the dock would be.  

Dog Dock @ Orion Oaks Dog Park

Diesel and I made our way back to the fenced in area and strolled around the trails for a bit.  They're not really secluded, and are quite short, but it was nice to have the shaded area as it was starting to warm up a bit faster than I had hoped.  Diesel isn't bad with other dogs, but he's much more interested in people.  Dogs would come up to him and they would circle around each other and sniff each other but he wasn't interested in playing much.  The one time he did seem kind of excited was for a guy that was walking by with a few dogs of his own.  

Diesel and I decided that since we had already bought the daily pass, we headed down the street to the main park and hit the trails.  At first looking at the map I figured we would do the 2.5 mile loop.  We started off in a nice meadow walking along a grass trail.  A lot of people ask me if I am afraid of walking alone, have you seen my 90 lb German Shepherd?  I have heard him get mean and protective once before when I had to stop and use a porta-john while on the trail.  I am not really afraid of much when he's around.  We made it to the 2nd trail maker, it was really starting to get warm and we had just walked up the largest, straight up hill.  We stopped to take a breather and get some water and that's when I decided that we were not as prepared as we should be.  

There were bugs everywhere! Deer flies were all over Diesel's ears, and I was being attacked from all sides.  The only cool thing was all of the butterflies and grasshoppers.  We were running low on water by the next trail marker and Diesel and I came to the same conclusion, let's get out of here! We started following the trail markers back to the parking lot and managed to make one wrong turn that thankfully wasn't too far out of the way.  Diesel and I were more than happy to be back in the car and back in the A/C as we headed home. 

Orion Oaks Trails
It wasn't the worst trip and I can't say that I hated any of it.  The dog park was okay, but a little bit too busy and too small for Diesel and I.  I am sure its better for those that live in apartments and don't have the room to let your dog go free.  And Diesel isn't a "social" dog so he really doesn't need to be around other dogs.  He's not bad with them but for the most part he just doesn't care. The rest of Orion Oaks was beautiful, I would like to go back again when we can be a little more prepared.  I think Mikey would even like scouting out trees to climb. 


  1. Wow. I found your blog on BlogHer and it seems we're both Michiganders! I go to the Red Oaks dog park every other week or so. Our lab/chow mix Brooklyn seems to have some hip issues, so she can only handle so much. I was hoping to make it up to Orion this summer.

  2. Hi Kim! I just signed up for BlogHer last night, I'm excited to see that it's already getting me visitors!

    I'm not sure yet if I will tak Diesel to the other dog parks yet. He's not that interested in other dogs. I think he thinks he's a people, lol.

    If you ever head out to Orion let me know, maybe we can introduce Diesel and Brooklyn. :)