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Golden Retrievers Gather for Swimming At Orion Oaks Dog Park

Golden Retrievers Gather for Swimming At Orion Oaks Dog Park

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 13, 2021)

Orion Township, MI –  On Sundays Khloe, a friendly golden retriever, rides with her human Erik Brandon from Royal Oak to Orion Oaks to play in the County park’s dog park. The park includes a fenced in nature area where canines of all kinds can run free with other doggies.  But the best part, Brandon says, is the lake.  A portion of Lake Sixteen is set aside for playing, with a large dock and ramps that are perfect for jumping in and walking out of the refreshing water.

It’s always a great time, but Brandon decided to change things up this week by putting out an invite on Facebook for anyone with a golden retriever to join them.  The invite was shared throughout Oakland County and over two dozen dogs showed up to help Khloe celebrate the end of summer.  Pooches came from far and wide to be part of the party.

“She’s so happy,” Brandon said.  “The weather is perfect and she gets to play with other dogs that are like her.”

Courtney Fields comes from Ferndale to enjoy Orion Oaks with her furry friend Moose.  The 2 year old dog came from a pair of large parents, and when Fields and her family got him, they had been reading a book about Moose and the name stuck for their family pet as well.  “We knew he was going to be big because his parents were big,” Fields said.

When asked if she ever worried about Moose playing with other dogs, Field told Oakland County Times “He’s really a big lover.  He loves people.  He loves dogs. So we never worry about him.”

Barbara Goldman of West Bloomfield had never been to Orion Oaks before.  “I saw this on Facebook and we came out for a special day.”  Goldman’s 14 year old pooch was likely the oldest dog there, plus she’s got a golden puppy at home.  “This is our first time here, but I’m gonna come back. This is amazing.  We have a dog park by us, but you have to be a member and it’s not big like this. There’s so much space, and a place to play. We’ll be back!”

Loki and Annabelle’s droopy-tongued smiles could be seen in the blur of yellow fur that filled the dock.  Owner Elaine George came from White Lake to join in the fun.  “I saw on Facebook there was gonna be a bunch of goldens, so I thought it’s the perfect time for them to burn off some energy,” she said.  “It’s great for dogs to get out and socialize.”

The gathering had been an impromptu idea, a fun way to end the summer. But it could grow into something more.  Brandon brings Khloe to the park every week, and he invited those who showed up to come back any Sunday at 2pm if they’d like to make a regular play date out of it. Canines of any kind are welcome.

Orion Oaks is a 24 acre park with an area fenced off for dogs including two trails, picnic shelter, drinking water, a field to run free in with sections for big dogs and little dogs, and access to the swimming dock (where only dogs can swim, not people). Dogs are required to be licensed and vaccinated, and they must be able to respond to voice commands. In other areas of the park dogs must be on a six foot leash. Orion Oaks also made news recently as a rare white monarch butterfly was filmed flying amongst the park’s generous area of native plants and flowers. Learn more about Orion Oaks at the Oakland County Parks website.

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