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Let those doggies roam at Folsom park

By: Laura Newell, Features Editor
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After receiving a dog as a gift, Linda Kessemeier decided to organize a group to keep her small dog playing safely outside.

Kessemeier, of Folsom, organized the Folsom Small Dog Meetup-n-Play Group which is run by a group of dog lovers who love small dogs.

“It all started last year I received a Chihuahua as a gift. His name is Carson,” she said. “He weighs less than 4 pounds and had already broken both his front legs in the house. By the time he was ready to go out in the world, I knew I wasn’t going to take him to a regular dog park. I read that many experts don’t recommend taking a toy dog to a public dog park at all. He was so small, but he still needed to be around other dogs. So I found a group, and went to one of their meetings. This still wasn’t right for him, the dogs were too big. So an idea came to me to create my own dog park to fit Carson’s needs.”

The Folsom Small Dog Meetup-n-Play Group requires all dogs to be 10 pounds or less to participate. The park is located at the boarder of Folsom and El Dorado Hills.

“They really need to be socialized with other little dogs,” Kessemeier said. “Dogs are pack animals and need to be in packs. The only way you can learn to be in a group is to be in one.”

She said at the group meet-ups, dogs and owners can expect a safe environment with a fenced-off play area for the small dogs to run and play freely within. Dog toys are also available within the play area for activities.

“Because it’s a membership-only group, we have rules and policies to follow,” Kessemeier said. “For example, no aggressive dogs are allowed and members need to supervise their dogs and cleanup after them. These are just a few of the rules.”

Currently, the group has a steady group of members, but wants to better introduce themselves to other small dog owners in the area.

“I decided to join because I have a very small dog, about 4 pounds, and I wanted her to be able to go outside and get exercise,” said Lisa Senter, of Folsom.

Senter explained that with smaller dogs, it is important to have a controlled area for play.

If a small dog was walking around a public dog park on its own, it could make for a dangerous situation with larger dogs looking for a small chew toy or even rattlesnakes looking for lunch.

“After finding the Folsom meet-up group, I was extremely happy with what I saw,” Senter said. “She is in a more controlled area with the group and I know that they maximize the dog weights. I feel better because I know she is safe.”

The group holds four meetings a month with various times. For more information or to join the group, visit Meetup.com/folsom-small-dog-group/.

If you have any questions, contact the organizer by clicking the “contact us” link.