|ROOM TO SWING A DOG
The first playground built just for dogs--complete with swings, slides and dog-go-rounds--opens in New York today. It is designed to being joy and exercise to the thousands of urban pets that live in cramped apartments.
Canine Court is in Van Cortlandt Park, in the Bronx. Some 15,000 sq. ft. has been fenced off for them to frolic in a "free-play dog run", leap along obstacle courses with hoops, tunnels and "crawl-spaces", and paddle unchecked in large pools.
Henry Stern, the city parks commissioner, said: "It's a tough city, and dogs have to stay fit, just like people. If we can give our four-footed friends a chance to strengthen their muscles and paws, then their two-legged companions will stay fit chasing them."
Officials expect the playground to be the prototype for others across the country. It is the brainchild of Bashkim Dibra, whose long career as "dog trainer to the stars" has included schooling the pets of such celebrities as Henry Kissinger, Kim Basinger and Kathleen Turner.