SEQUIM DOG PARK PALS History by Ruth Marcus
It all began on April 4, 2006, just before
dawn. Four dog owners, known to run and walk their dogs at Carrie
Blake Park’s Reuse Center in the wee hours of the morning, didn’t
know someone was watching them. They also didn’t know there was a
leash law, and they didn’t know the person watching them was
repeatedly phoning the police asking the police to do something
about the dog owners who were breaking the law.
On that morning, one of these four dog owners decided to take a
different route. Instead of going to the park, she walked her golden
retriever around the neighborhood of E. Fir and E. Spruce Streets.
One of her dog-walking cohorts was returning from the park and told
her it was an exciting morning, “two police squad cars showed up
this morning looking for your golden retriever.”
Now, the story goes that the owner of this golden retriever and her
friend were annoyed that anyone would phone the police at 6:30 in
the morning to report dogs happily romping in an open field. This
same woman was a writer for the Sequim Gazette. She went home and
dashed off a Letter to the Editor and emailed it to the Gazette, the
PDN, and the Mayor of Sequim, Walt Schubert. The letter read:
"Early this morning, in our cozy hometown of Sequim, there was a
significant stake-out at Carrie Blake Park. Two squad cars, two
cops, and a city employee stalked the offender. The cop on the south
entrance radioed for back-up, and the 2nd squad car on the north end
of the park raced to the other entrance to assist. And what were our
tax dollars being spent on this beautiful, sunny morning?
A friendly golden retriever was strolling along with its owners,
minding its own business, enjoying the tranquil park at 7:00 am. The
cops got their offender. Yep, no leash on a dog that strolls along
by the side of its owner (totally controlled and friendly). This
seems ludicrous when we could spend tax dollars for police to
stake-out meth labs, drug dealers, and vandals.
Carrie Blake Park is a perfect place for a dog run area. There are
many, many dog owners in Sequim that use that park. Next it will be
citizens complaining about bike riders who cause a disturbance
because they are riding along on the designated bike path.
We need to get our priorities worked out. There needs to be a place
for dogs to run, citizens to walk, and bikers to bike. A park is the
most obvious place in any community. Carrie Blake is spacious enough
to accommodate our needs at this time.
A couple of complainers are creating problems for people who enjoy
walking their dogs, visiting, and enjoying the park. Please, please
don’t let a couple of people who rant and rave (and would do so
about anything), ruin an otherwise wonderful area of our community."
-- Signed, Ruth Marcus
At noon, Ruth Marcus received a phone call from the Mayor suggesting
that she take her anger and turn it into something positive. She
said, “I will.” She emailed every dog owner she knew and asked them
to email their dog pals. “We’re going to meet with the Park Advisory
Board and request that the city build a dog park,” she told her
friends. And so they did.
There was standing room only with people spilling out the door at
the initial meeting. Dog owners made their request for a dog park.
Ruth Marcus, David Brown, Margaret Preston and Sandra Necco formed a
committee to study safety issues, design, and planning of the dog
park. By April 22, they had gathered nearly 500 signatures, created
a web site, wrote a proposal and stood before the City Council
requesting they approve and partner with dog owners of Sequim to
create a beautiful dog park. It turned out that Councilman Don Hall
had already advocated for a dog park in Sequim, so the idea was not
new. It was already germinating.
Sequim Dog Park Pals was born. Volunteers stepped forward. Donations
were collected to help fund the park. The City suggested that the
Sequim Dog Park Pals become a Non-profit 501c3. Under the umbrella
of Sequim Community Foundation, Articles of Incorporation were drawn
up. In addition to the initial members of the committee, Diane
Lopez, Dave Neidhardt and Dave Toman became part of the original
Board of Directors.
Citizens and community businesses stepped in and volunteered time,
talent, money and hours to create the dog park. Terry Selby from KC
Construction donated his time, crew and equipment to install
fencing. Dana Hyde designed and donated the entrance gate. Generous
support and enthusiasm for the dog park made it a model example of
citizens partnering with the City in a successful effort of
Many hands have joined to help maintain the dog park. It is used by
small and large dogs, purebreds and mutts. In 2011, an agility
course was installed for the use of police dogs and Dog Park Pal
dogs. The park is known as one of the “best” around the Puget Sound.
Tourists and participants in the annual Kennel Club Shows as well as
visitors for the Irrigation Festival and Lavender Festival are happy
to know they have a safe place to exercise their dogs. Sequim Dog
Park Pals can pat their dogs on the back, knowing it’s all about
love, love, love!
The following are samples of ads we ran when building interest in
the dog park.
Sequim Dog park in the
July 4, 20111 —
The Peninsula Daily News article "Sequim
park pleases dogs, owners alike"
May 5, 2010 — Sequim
Gazette article "Bicyclists
ride for Dog Park"
March 31, 2010 — Sequim
Gazette article "Now, some news to wag about". The article is
not available online.
September 16, 2009 —
Sequim Gazette article "Dogs
Gone Hold Happy Reunion".
April 29, 2009
— Sequim Gazette article "Sequim
Dog Park to host 'Woof and Walk'"
November 2007 — The Sequim Gazette adds a dog
park slide show to their online collection: Dog Day Afternoon at the
Sequim Dog Park. The slideshow is no longer available online.
April 8 , 2007 — The Peninsula Daily News
runs a follow-up article after the Grand Opening celebration.
April 4 , 2007 — The Sequim Gazette runs
an article and a giant full color picture as front page headlines.
April 4 , 2007 — The Peninsula Daily News
runs yet another article and full color picture as front page
March 27, 2007 — The Peninsula Daily News
runs yet another article and full color picture as front page
December 5 , 2006 — The Peninsula Daily
News runs an article and full color picture as front page headlines.
July 13 , 2006 — The Peninsula Daily News
runs an article and full color picture as front page headlines.
May 24, 2006 — The Peninsula Daily News
runs an article on page three announcing the affirmative vote by the
May 24, 2006 — The Sequim Gazette runs a from
page article profiling Sequim Dog Park Pals. See this
April 13, 2006 — The Peninsula Daily News ran an
article, titled "Sequim park hearing goes to dogs, owners" about the
Parks Advisory Board meeting on April 11, 2006. The article is not
Website Last Updated:
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Photos at the park