A Safe Place to Run
It has taken the better part of two years to make it happen, but at long last the Salvadore Park has a large dog run. Vice Mayor Rhonda Anderson, who personally drove the project forward, led the ribbon cutting on the first Saturday of September. Joining the vice mayor were Mayor Vince Lago, Commissioners Ariel Fernandez and Melissa Castro, and Community Recreation Department Director Fred Couceyro.
Also present were dozens of dogs of all sizes, shapes, and breeds, who bounded with their owners into the open space. Leading the charge was Anderson, with her two rescued greyhounds, followed by Coral Gables Garden Club president Susan Rodriguez with her toy schnauzer, Luna.
In opening remarks, Anderson thanked the neighbors, who collectively endorsed the project after Anderson went door to door. “The thing I ask from you all is please don’t park on their grass,” she told the dog owners. “We don’t want to wear out our welcome. Walk over here if you can… because that’s the vision — that we’re going to have walkable dog parks throughout the city.”
Here are images of the dogs and their owners letting loose in the sand-covered dog run along the Salvadore Park tennis courts:
The evidence is clear: Dogs have profound health benefits for the elderly (as they do for all of us, really), including those living with dementia. The calming presence and unconditional love of canines reduces agitation, anxiety, and depression, while enhancing social interaction and cognitive stimulation. With that in mind, The Palace Coral Gables Senior Living Community encourages furry companions for its residents.
Currently, more than 20 dogs reside at their posh facilities on Andalusia Avenue, all cared for by residents aged 70 and above. Among them is the latest addition, a Havanese named Daisy, who is turning one this month. She is the constant companion of her owner, former Wisconsin State Senator Alberta Darling, 79.
The Palace’s Social Director Pamela Parker says residents refer to Daisy as the “Palace Pup,” showering her with affection when she and Darling show up at the community’s nightly happy hours. “She is as friendly and outgoing as the former Wisconsin State Senator who served her state for over 30 years,” says Parker. Bark on.
Back for Another Canine Costume Party
Each year, Infiniti of Coral Gables, along with our magazine, sponsors a Halloween “Doggie Trick or Treat Party” at the Infiniti showroom on Le Jeune Road. This year’s event will take place Oct. 28 from noon to 3 pm, with fun prizes (theater tickets, appliances) for a costume contest sponsored by GableStage. People without a pup can also adopt a dog from the Human Society. Beverages are provided by Bacardi, along with non-alcoholic “puppychinos” for the pooches.
Infiniti Sales Manager Chris Peña will greet guests this year with two Belgian Malinois, mom Sage and son Mako. “Even though we sell vehicles with four wheels, we love animals with four legs,” says Peña, whose dealership has a dog-friendly policy year-round. “We have plenty of customers come in with their pets. I just want everyone who has a dog to know they’re welcome.”