Paws-itive news story for Lurgan as un-fur-gettable park for pooches opens

James Gould


James Gould


It’s a dog’s life in Lurgan as a new facility for pups has brought a new fun option to our four-legged friend and owners alike.

On the Portadown Road all canines great and small are welcome at the Dog Bark, which has a doggy day care and a dog wash.

The park also has an agility course, three massive areas for dogs to play in with each split up for the different sizes and type of dog.

There will also be two swimming pools for dogs to bathe in.

But it’s not just the animals will be having all the fun. Brian has opened a café where dog lovers and owners can sit and enjoy a coffee while they look out on to the park.

Brian says he wants everyone to visit the dog park, even people who may not even own a dog.

“This park is here for everyone,” he said.

“Not everyone can have a dog for whatever reason, for example they could have allergies.

“I get a lot of messages from people saying that they don’t have a dog but asking to come down.

“The dog park is a place for people to come in and enjoy it even if you don’t have a dog.

“They can come in here have a cup of coffee, look out the window and watch the dogs. People can come here and socialise; they could sit here with a coffee talking about dogs for hours.”

As social style and culture are constantly changing, Brian appreciates there are different types of dog owners these days and everyone must be catered for.

“I want this place to cater for everyone, including now the young, trendy dog owner and of course working dogs on for example the springer spaniel that just wants to come down for a bit of fun,” he said.

“Young, old doesn’t matter this place has something for everyone.”

The sense of community spirit and pride is important for Brian. He believes the area was crying out for a dog park and thinks it will “put Lurgan on the map”.

He said, “Two years ago, no one ever thought lockdown or any of this would have happened when I had the idea, so now a dog park is something that the community needs.

“I am just aiming to bring something to the community that is fun. It needs it, it really does.

“The community needs somewhere you can bring your dog where they can have fun and be safe, not just a field where you let them run about where anything can happen.

“I think this dog park has the potential to put Lurgan on the map. There is so much potential in this area.

“I want it to be a hub in the community.”

With Covid restrictions beginning to ease across Northern Ireland, Brian still understands that some people may be cautious about leaving the house.

“For that person who is a little bit nervous about Covid they can social distance obviously because they are outside. It’s a safe environment,” he said.

“Not only will it help dogs, but it is going to help people socialise too. You will always find fun down here.”

At the minute it is only the dog wash and dog day care service available, but work is well under way to complete the park with Brian hopeful it can fully open soon.

Optimistic for the future, the love of his job is the driving force for Brian behind this project.

“I love what I’m doing, it’s fantastic and even the people working here are the same they love it too,” he said.

“It’s not work if it’s fun.”

Pictures by Sionibha Kelly

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