Oak Park Officials Photo Series Celebrates Dogs of Oak Park
(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 9, 2022)
Oak Park, MI – People like their pets, for the most part at least, and in Oak Park city officials like them too. So much so that Mayor Marian McClellan and Mayor Pro-Tem Julie Edgar have been posting pictures of Oak Parkers with their pooches out on walks in the neighborhood, labeling them Dogs of Oak Park.
Edgar began the Facebook photo series in 2019 while running for the City Commission. “It was a way of meeting residents during my campaign and beyond. People bond over dogs,” she said. Edgar was elected and now serves as the Mayor Pro-Tem. The Mayor, Marian McClellan, loved the idea so much she started doing it herself. Together they have met petted and photographed dozens of dogs in all corners of the community.
“We could never have a dog because my kids are allergic to them,” Mayor McClellan said. “But this way I can pet everyone else’s.”
She added that “it gives you a reason to talk to someone that you’d normally just pass on the street.”
Edgar often does her walks with Kirby, the 12 year old Brittany mix she adopted from Brittany Spaniel Rescue Network in 2012. “We walk quite a bit, so he’s known around the neighborhood. He has met a lot of dogs through me,” she said.
One of those dogs was a white shih tzu named Bernie, after past Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. “He was disappointed that his candidate did not make it through the primary,” Edgar said.
McClellan was delighted recently when she met three Boston Terriers: Stuart, Flash and Tucker.
The dogs were at Brown Dog Creamery’s production facility on Capital Street. “In 2020 at the height of the pandemic, Paul Gabriel quietly opened Brown Dog Creamery at 12930 Capital. This is the site where small batch craft ice cream is made and packaged, but luckily for Oak Park ice cream fans, they sell pints of ice cream in their small vestibule,” she said. “The names are a hoot: Mommy Needs Time Out, Who Needs a Therapist, Salty Dog, and Super Dog (lemon, cherry and blue moon). All additions are house made. If this wasn’t enough, ten cents from each pint goes to support animal rescues.”
Meeting the canines and conversing with their humans is only part of the fun. Sharing the pictures helps more people feel good about the dogs in their town. “In 2020 people were putting messages on their sidewalk and putting signs in their window with cheery sayings. I started doing this for the same reason, I want to bring a smile to people’s day.”
According to the city, there are 403 registered dogs in the city. There are likely many more. For information on obtaining a dog license as required by the county, visit the Oakland County Dog License Page. For more stories about pets and animals visit this Oakland County Times section.