Imagine having the option to let your dogs run free and undisturbed in an extensive area. With the pandemic and its subsequent lockdown confining pet dogs and their owners indoors, the need to have a space where your pooch can roam freely and have a good time has become crucial. With dog-friendly spaces in the city few and far between, pet owners have, time and again, hinted at the need for a dog-friendly park that is available for their pets play-time needs. However, now both dog lovers and canine parents can rejoice, thanks to the recently launched dog park in Karol Bagh Zone at Old Rajinder Nagar. The park is touted as the Capital’s first dog park and was unveiled in October by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). Spread over one-and-a-half-acre of land, this park is equipped with swings, green patches, tyres, and other similar training equipment, some of which have been crafted using recycled waste.
A paved jogging track circles this park, with benches placed at regular intervals for tired owners to sit and relax. Over 75 bright dog caricatures and murals have been created by the Delhi Street Art—an initiative that promotes public street art. The pop art-styled paintings, which are overlaid on the park walls, work together to create a lively atmosphere.
The gates open at nine every morning except on Sundays--the park is closed then--and shuts at five in the evening. Each dog owner is required to register their dogs and themselves at the (entry) booth prior to walking into the park. The registration includes a form with owner details, age of the dog/s age along with its breed and vaccination information. The form also details other necessary measures to be followed by both the pet and its owner in order to visit the park.
At the gate, you will notice a sign informing you that certain dogs—Rottweiler, Doberman, Pitbull, and Great Dane, to name a few—are prohibited from entering the park. Amrita Singh (50) from Rabindra Nagar, who is a proud parent to a Pitbull named Mufasa, mentioned that while she was extremely happy about the inauguration of the park, this ban was completely unnecessary. “Pitbulls and Rottweilers are one of the most loving and sensitive dogs. They are very caring and in no way aggressive. Mufasa loves people and when I take him out to the park in our locality, he is always excited to play with the children there. It’s rather unfair to ban a few dog breeds; it doesn’t make sense,” she remarked. Singh also added that it was quite confusing that Great Danes were also not allowed since the most well-known Great Dane in the world Scooby Doo—paintings of the cartoon dog character along with the pups from Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians are seen on this park’s wall—was a mild and non-aggressive dog. When we asked Umesh, an official from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, who mans the booth and the gates, about this prohibition, he mentioned that this ban is applicable for any dog that might display aggressive behaviour.
‘Fur’ one and all
With dog owners visiting with their dogs from various parts of Delhi-NCR, this park offers a range of equipment to train dogs with. “The park is usually filled in the morning. You will see different breeds of dogs enjoying themselves and being trained here,” shared Umesh. Mayank Mighlani from Patel Nagar, who visited the park with his 10-month-old American Bully named Blue, pointed out that unveiling this park was an extremely encouraging initiative by the corporation. “I would always train Blue at home before this. He did not have a proper open space to run around and play since it was dangerous to let him loose on the roads. Now, with this park, he can freely enjoy himself without being tied to a leash.” Mayank said, adding that Blue is very enthusiastic about meeting new people and dogs. “I am interested to see how he will react when the park is full,” he concludes.