Beechgrove has been on the to do list for quite some time but with one thing or another it kept getting put off. Recently Bonnie’s best doggy friend Dougal suffered a bad injury which means that they can no longer meet and play together as it would worsen his condition. She really seems to miss her doggy playtime so we decided it was time to finally try out beechgrove as we don’t know many dogs around us to meet and play with.
We hopped in the car and began our drive on a suprisingly sunny Sunday afternoon. The park, which is just outside of Banbridge, was very straight forward to find and signposted from the main road. Although we did get momentarily lost as we forgot to take the A1 road and instead kept on the M1 so we got a bit side-tracked along the way. When we finally arrived we parked up and I was immediately impressed by the facilities. They have spacious parking, picnic tables, a van providing refreshments and of course the play areas.
They have four separate fully enclosed play areas and to enter these you have to go through another fenced area, kind of like an air lock, so no chance for doggies to escape and run away (although they will be having too much fun to want to try!). In each play area there are agility equipment so you can try your hand and see if your dog enjoys it. There are also benches and plenty of water buckets for the thirsty pups.
Bonnie had a ball and really enjoyed herself. In the beginning she was more interested in checking out all the humans and convincing them to pet and cuddle her. But then she enjoyed running around, chasing balls and having a good sniff of everything. She didn’t play too much with the other dogs and we decided to leave on a positive note as after around 30-40 minutes she was getting a bit tired and overwhelmed. But she did brilliantly for it being her first time and everything being new to her and was a great chance to socialise and have positive experiences around other dogs.
As well as public play days on the weekends they also offer private sessions during the week so you can book an area for yourself, which is useful if your dog isn’t comfortable with other dogs or you just want to play fetch or try the agility course in peace without your dog being distracted by others.
I would definitely come back to the public play days as long as Bonnie is happy and comfortable with it, to keep socialising her, raise her confidence and bring her out of her shell a bit. They are also opening a training centre soon and I’m pretty excited about their breed specific events. It’ll be great to socialise with other Border Collies and their owners.
Have any of you been to Beechgrove or any other dog parks?