We did end up going on a nice, long family walk somewhere special. We went to Frontier Park - a beautiful park right off the Bayfront. It's higher traffic - more dogs, people, and kids - so we thought it would be a great "stretch" location for Edi.
Oh, it was...and more than we bargained for. We ran into several off-leash dogs. Granted, we had no issues and the dogs were completely responsive to their owners - but still. What if Edi had made his famous gremlin noises? What if the dog would have approached Ed? What if, what if, what if??? All these "what ifs" make a risk that we have to take into consideration.
But this seems unfair to have a gorgeous park -- not a dog park -- that we can't take a leisurely walk through with our pooches. And while this would be a perfect spot for our PEDs walks with easy access and plenty of parking, there is too much risk for a big group of pooches.
Of course, we're extra sensitive to these issues because we have a reactive dog. Maybe if both our pooches were more like Tess, it wouldn't be an issue for us. The goods news, is we had a safe walk and it seemed like Edi's vest really worked at getting us some additional space.
Have off-leash dogs taken over your parks? Do you have any "safe" parks in your area?